As of this writing, the Syracuse basketball team is ranked #3 in the nation. This, despite the best overall record in NCAA Division 1.
Though the team has always enjoyed great success it has rarely ascended this high in the polls. They can move up even higher if Villanova (the #2) loses to Georgetown this Saturday.
This places me in the unenviable position of rooting for Georgetown. As any Orange fan, including the little boy on the left, will tell you, that is a difficult pill to swallow.
I have such a visceral hatred for that school and their sloppy mascot and their pressing defense and their ugly grey T-shirts.
I still have haunting memories of Patrick Ewing in too-tight, too-short shorts swatting fade-away jumpers into the cheap seats of the Carrier Dome.
My daughters love watching me watch Syracuse on ESPN. They particularly like it when my team turns the ball over or misses a three pointer and Daddy has a full blown meltdown.
They, nor my wife, cannot understand my irrational love for the team. And frankly, sometimes neither do I.
Fact is, I left the university before any of the kids on the current team were even born. I don't know a single soul in Syracuse. And I haven't been back there since I snuck away with a sheepskin.
Although I did sit next to Orangemen point guard Hal Cohen in Math 598: A study of Matrices, Determinants and Vector Spaces. He and I both failed that class. That's when I switched my major from Advanced Calculus to the less-rigorous, intellectually-free field of Advertising.