Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Orange We Glad

"All I needed to know I learned at Syracuse University." -A t-shirt I received after attending freshman orientation in 1993

The words flashed across the screen below the coach's name and immediately my wife said, "Wow, that was that long ago?"

Boeheim cutting down the nets in '03
The words I'm talking about read "Won 2003 National Championship." The coach under whom it appeared, of course, is Jim Boeheim of Syracuse. My alma mater. Our alma mater. If not for Syracuse, there would be no us. There would be no Peanut.

The Hall of Languages on SU campus
Syracuse University holds a very special place in our hearts. It is arguably the most important place in our lives. Good ole' SU.

Syracuse would go on to lose that game during which my wife made that comment. They lost in the second round of the NCAA tournament this year, outplayed and outcoached by an inferior Marquette team. A team that clearly deserved to win. Another disappointing March for the Orange. No Final Four this year. Another year of "if only.." If only they had made that shot, grabbed that rebound, denied that pass.

But... we still have 2003. That magical run. That amazing journey. Just thinking about it right now brings a smile to my face.
2003 National Champs
Syracuse won their first and only men's basketball championship a little less than three months after my father passed away. Earlier in the season, I took a trip to D.C. with a group of friends to see SU play Georgetown. It was a welcome diversion.

Thanks for the diversion, Carmelo
Syracuse won a close game that day... and you felt it. You felt this could be a team that could win the whole damn thing. You felt it because they had a freshman superstar named Carmelo Anthony. I also felt relief... that I had made it through. I learned that day that I can have fun again. I can have a few drinks and laugh and enjoy the things I love... and still miss my dad.

And so they did... they won the whole damn thing. We celebrated. We hugged. We partied. And I still did... I still missed him. But Syracuse made that year a little easier to endure.
So here's what I'm taking away from that 2003 National Championship, a moment now eight years in the rearview mirror: enjoy every minute. We did. And that makes it so much more special.

And that's what I continue to try and teach my daughter. Enjoy.

Tickle. Laugh. Dance. Run. Love.


She'll be this age only once, and then the next age, and then the next. I want her to ride that tricycle with abandon. Hit the bumps. Fall off. Get back up. Get back on.

That's what Syracuse taught me.

And my parents wanted me to go Rutgers.


  1. Another amazing post my friend, so heart felt i can truly see where you are coming from on this post. Life is very short and you should enjoy and laugh each day and not waste a single second.
    Sure we will have problems along the way but don't let them take away any of the happiness that you have!

    As you said mate Cherish!

  2. Thanks, M8 (I'm gonna start calling you that!)

    This is one of my all-time favroites because of the subject and AND the message.

  3. Nice article. The Giants won the Superbowl about three months after my dad died. He was such a huge Giants fan, it was surreal the way that season ended. Big Blue won it for Big Ken.

  4. Yes, Anon... I was pulling for Big Blue that year for that very reason. For your dad and mine. even though I'm a Jets fan.


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