Syracuse and UConn square off tomorrow night as the prelude to Dick Vitale's wet dream. ACC aside, there is not a more hated team in college hoops for this idiot than Jim Calhoun's bunch from Storrs. Where does the hate come from? Well, pull up a chair as I slip on my aviator sunglasses and hoodie. My Husky Manifesto:
Watching Big East hoops in the 1980's was a blast. The league established itself with such stars as Patrick Ewing, Chris Mullin, Dwayne Washington, Walter Berry, and Ed Pickney.
For a Syracuse fan, there was no greater rivalry than the hated Georgetown Hoyas. They were Darth Vader, the USSR (remember we're in the Cold War '80's), and the Boss Hogg rolled into one. I can remember vividly talking ChampMom into letting me stay up late to watch a school-night matchup against the Hoyas. In fact, my first Dome experience was sitting in the nosebleed seats with my family to watch the Hoyas in '83.
That rivalry helped make the Big East arguably the best league of it's time. Meanwhile Phil Coles and Cliff Robinson were leading Connecticut to 8th and 9th place finishes in the conference. Note to the youngsters: this was not a 16 team conference, far from it.
In 1988, the Huskies struck gold by winning the NIT. It was such big news that the Nutmeg state felt it important enough to let all travelers know where the nations 65th best team resides.
The '90's arrived and the Huskies emerged as a national power while Syracuse recovered from probation. They reeled off Big East tournament wins and displayed a boatload of NBA caliber talent. And in 1999 the unthinkable happened, after years of underachieving in the NCAA tournament Jim Calhoun won the whole flippin' thing.
Was I jealous? You're damn right. They were the Lloyd Braun to our George Costanza. I felt like the older brother who worked his butt off only to have the younger brother come along and steal the spotlight. The Huskies won it all again in 2004, a year after Cuse's One Shining Moment.
Why the hatred? There are several contributing factors including Jim Calhoun, stolen laptops, and Kahlid El-Ahmin. But above all there is one reason T3I despises UConn:
I know there is a love affair between Syracuse and UConn fans on some internet message boards. But, full disclaimer, the Husky fans I have met in person have been among the most smug, rude and pompous fans of any college team I have met. You know where we stand on smug. Again, I'm only talking about the fans I have met on road trips, at the Dome and in Armory Square watering holes.
The Russianator can tell many a story from his annual trips to MSG for the Big East tournament. A certain nightmare trip to Worcester got even worse when Husky fans were circling all three Syracuse clad idiots asking if we were "selling our Sunday tickets." Let the body get cold man.
And I'm not even going to begin to talk about their dellusional Yankee Conference football fans.
I have never cheered for UConn in the NCAA's and never will.
Go Cuse. Pound the puppies. Remember that chant Husky fans?