It was a Syracuse football game seven years in the making for me. It was 2006 the last time I had been able to attend an Orange football game. I jumped at the chance to check out my school live and in action in Atlanta against Georgia Tech.
And sure enough, I saw something I had never seen at a football game before. But, it was not what I had in mind…
You see, at halftime, the Yellow Jackets marching band performed a “Celebration of Math,” spelling out 3.14 (pi) at midfield. I kid you not. Give that a minute to sink in…
Now, I have a friend that has season tickets at Georgia Tech and upon seeing this appalling display, I texted him to let him know that if his team were not destroying my team, I’d have a lot more to say about this musical and visual catastrophe.
But alas, I had no room to talk, for the show on the field when the football was in play was actually worse.
A blocked punt here, a bad roughing-the-passer call there, and a porous (to put it kindly) defense that looked like it had never seen a triple option before other than on a fast food menu, and those at Bobby Dodd Stadium were left to watch what turned out to be a very one-sided equation. The numbers on the scoreboard were far more offensive than the never-ending number represented during halftime.
The game was supposed to be a measuring stick of sorts. After beating NC State, Syracuse could use the Georgia Tech game as a litmus to see where they stood. The Jackets are a middling ACC team, at best. If the Orange were able to beat them, it would bode well for where they stood in the ACC hierarchy. A loss would shade the Orange more towards the lower half of the conference.
This wasn’t just a loss, though. The Orange allowed 394 rushing yards. The Yellow Jackets had only eight third-down plays in the whole game. And when all was said and done, it was the largest margin of victory Georgia Tech has ever had in an ACC conference game, going back 35 years. It seems like the momentum gained after an ACC win on the road the week prior was quickly squashed, leaving reality to show the Orange still have a long way to go before conference relevancy will be achieved.
Of the 56 points, I could only stand to stick around for 42 of them and I actually opted to go into work to watch other college football games instead of sit in the rain during a dark and gloomy performance.
Seven years of waiting. A fifty-six point loss. And five minutes of my life that I’ll never get back spent watching the marching band “dot the pi.”
I did the math, added it all up, and got zero from Saturday’s game. And I didn’t have to be a Georgia Tech grad to figure out that was the same number underneath “Syracuse” on the scoreboard at game’s end.