Let me start this by saying that the current Syracuse basketball squad is among my most favorite squads–and I’ve been a fan since my dad took me to a game at Manley Field House as a gift on my seventh birthday–the old Manley, the one with the raised wood court laid down on top of the dirt floor.
But I’ll always be a sucker for the Louie (Orr) and (Roosevelt) Bouie show. Everything we take for granted now was either just beginning or just on the horizon–Boeheim’s head coaching career started with the 100 wins over 4 seasons of L & B. Manley Field House and its 50+ home court winning streak may have been “officially closed” by John Thompson and the hated Hoyas, but the Carrier Dome and the classic Big East rivalries with G’town, St. John’s and Villanova were all on deck.
I do miss the intensity of the old Manley Field House games–the Kennel Club of swearing, milk bone throwing students, the intimidating line up cheer–the fact that all 9,000 or so fans were there for basketball–not like too many folks today in the Dome who are there as a social event. It was one of the classic pits of all time–so much of a home court advantage that some schools refused to play there–I’m lookin’ at you Holy Cross. The Dome may be called the Loud House, but Manley was the insane asylum. Syracuse grew from an eastern regional team into a national power–and the glory days started with Louie and Bouie.
Enough reminiscing. This year’s team is awesome and da ‘Cuse is in the house! Let’s Go Orange!!!
P.S. my votes for the next big heads: Louie & Bouie, Pearl Washington and the Dome Ranger!