As we reach No. 2 of our Fizz Four: Program Personalities series, it’s only right that we very quickly recap how we got here.
No. 4 was a fan-favorite on the court, who wound up salvaging some tough times and past antics for a feel-good, comeback story well-worth documenting.
No. 3 was one of the most appreciated figures in the history of Syracuse athletics. His flashy play on the hardwood, paired with his selfless charisma and genuine humbleness made him too easy to root for. This man’s impact was widespread, reaching many beyond the confines of just Syracuse and the Central New York area before he was taken from us far too soon.
As we now hit No. 2, we certainly have a dandy. An unquestionable program icon whose name, face and signature mannerisms couldn’t possibly be more synonymous with Syracuse basketball than they already are. Get ready for a good one.
No. 2: Jim Boeheim
With Boeheim sliding in at No. 2, I’d like to point out two things. First, given Boeheim’s status within the SU basketball program and collegiate basketball as a whole, the fact that the he’s coming in at No. 2 means our top spot on the list has to be a big one. You’ll find out who that is, in due time. Nevertheless, the second – and timelier – thing worth noting is that after starting with Derrick Coleman then jumping to Pearl Washington before now, covering Boeheim, the criteria here is clearly nonbinding. Between these three men, we certainly have three distinctly different (albeit noteworthy) stories.
Coleman resonates because of his redemption story, rising from the depths of his personal struggles to find purpose through compassion, giving and helping cultivate the youth.
As for Pearl in the No. 3 spot, simply put: any Orange fan who refutes Pearl’s character is the proverbial equivalent to a Central New Yorker who denies any reminisce of snowfall during the wintertime. Pearl is Pearl, and that’s that.
Now, with Boeheim at No. 2, we truly are taking a different approach with this one. But hey, as Jay-Z – along with plenty of others since – once famously said… “real recognize real.”
If you joined Coach Boeheim for a night at Delmonico’s, it’s hard to gauge how much the two of you would cover at the table. Sure, you’re locked in for some good hoops talk and maybe that’s enough. But let me ask you this.
If it came down to it, would you spend an entire day, one-on-one with Boeheim? Presumably, the answer for most would be yes, and understandably so.
The only thing is, one can’t be too sure he would want to spend the day with you.
Over the years, it’s been proven time and time again that – at least when analyzing from outside the locker room – the Syracuse coaching legend is a man keen on no nonsense. However, it’s this very trait Boeheim so often demonstrates that over four-plus decades, those close to Syracuse basketball – either as fans or in the media – have grown to lovingly embrace.
As long as you’re not on the receiving end of it (example shown in video below). Then it’s just cold.
For well over 40 years now, Boeheim has been a staple on The Hill. So, when you consider the success he’s had during all his time at the helm and combine with that heavily disciplined, relatively emotionless and oftentimes terse signature presence of his, it’s no surprise that the relationship Boeheim has with Orange faithful is one of those unique ones you don’t see too often.
Up next, we’re closing out the series with No. 1.