I just got back from my “doomed” trip up to Syracuse, which in hindsight, really wasn’t so terrible. Maybe I was being a little melodramatic. I’ve returned to you a little more worn out, a little more broke, but also a little more enlightened.

Turns out, I did not go to real college.

NYU students always joke that we didn’t go to a real college. No campus, no center of community, no sports. Turns out the addition of those three things can make for a much different college experience. Especially the sports. Now, don’t get me wrong. NYU was the best four years of my life and I wouldn’t be where I am now without it. But damn…there is something to be said for a real college sports scene. Enter Syracuse University.

This past weekend happened to a huge weekend for college sports. Syracuse was vying for the number one slot in the country for college basketball. They were playing against Villanova and the on-campus crowd expected was the largest in college basketball history. And I was there for it. Now, you may recall from my last post that I was not thrilled about this. But, f*** it, I said, and was determined to make the most out of it.

I headed towards Syracuse’s campus and literally had to fight my way through throngs and throngs of people. Traffic was at a standstill and all you could see were hoards of orange-clad (Syracuse’s color) fans scuttling their way up Syracuse U’s hill towards the Carrier Dome.

I wound up at a bar called Lucy’s Retired Surfers Bar on S Crouse Avenue. Picture a dingy beachside hangout, complete with surfboard tables, license plates on the wall and even a lifeguard’s chair. Add to that $3 beers and about 150 college kids and alum decked out head to toe in bright orange, all screaming “LET’S GO ORANGE“. The most sports exposure I ever got at NYU was drinking a 40 out of a paper bag in the bleachers at Chelsea Piers while watching our club hockey team with about 30 other people (mostly parents). Dorothy was not in Kansas anymore.

Now don’t get me wrong. I wouldn’t change my four years in New York City’s scene or nightlife for just a sports team, but it was nice to have a night in frigid upstate New York, crammed like a sardine into a college bar and cheering on a school sports team with fans who were all there for the same reason.

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