It’s funny how things like this come to fruition. Fanatical sports fans are presented with the prospect of witnessing history and begin to stir the surrounding scene. Then word spreads, the ears of bystanders perk up, and what was once just sport becomes a mass exodus that is glued to a higher calling.
I’m currently sitting in a tent surrounded by hypnotized neighbors who, like me, are itching to be a part of something bigger than themselves. We’re all fully submerged in the inclement Syracuse weather, relying on layers, blankets, and collective warmth to shield the cold that is weaving itself through our makeshift community. The insides of our tents are warm, respectively, and when we unzip our “front doors” the wind hits us from just about any angle you could think up.
You may be wondering what makes these conditions even slightly bearable, and the answer to that question is quite simple. It’s our goal, the blaring commonality that ties us all together, that keeps us moving toward the finish line that is within our grasp. It’s why we smile and shake our heads with one another when flakes of snow make their way into the underpass. It’s why we give friendly waves to camping strangers who have chosen not to give up, but to endure.
We are the aforementioned fanatical fans, obsessed with seeing something, anything, that no one has before or ever will again. Individually, our names mean nothing in the grand scheme of sport. But together, we possess the necessary determination to cement our names in the facts and figures that will one day define an historical event.
We are camping for Saturday, and just about the entire stage is set. Syracuse will take on Georgetown at 4:00 p.m. in the Carrier Dome and because of our devotion to the magnitude of this game, we will be in the first few rows. It started on Tuesday night, when we found our spots, pitched our tents, and visualized the week’s worth of ambivalent struggle. It will continue through Friday night and into Saturday morning.
The factors that initially drew us to the camp site known as “Boeheim-burg” are as follows:
1. Syracuse-Georgetown is quite possibly the greatest rivalry in the Big East and with the conference disassembling after this season, it will be the last time the two will meet in a regular season game as conference foes.
2. It has been reported by the Carrier Dome box office that over 35,000 fans will be in attendance on Saturday. That will break the attendance record for a college basketball held on a campus, previously set by a Syracuse crowd.
3. Carmelo Anthony’s #15 will be retired before the game. Anthony brought Syracuse its lone championship in 2003, so it’s safe to say that he’ll receive a few cheers.
Come Saturday afternoon all of the hours spent in the confined space of our tent will be worth it. Until then, let’s sit back on the hard ground, bundle up, and day dream. In a few days time we’ll be on hand for one of the last rivalry games in the history of the Big East conference. And for what it’s worth, we’ll be pretty damn close to the action.