I've been a Syracuse Alumnus for five days now, and I've received two sports gifts so to speak. Sunday night the Bruins stayed alive in the playoffs, Big (Shot) Baby hits a jumper to tie the Celts series, and Papelbon strikes out three in a jam to lift the Red Sox to win. This caused me to immediately pound every long island ice tea on the table, and gave me the best possible graduation present. The second came this morning when I got a text message telling me Greg Paulus will play for my Alma Mater in the fall. This "gift" might be one I wish I could return.
The funny thing about rooting for a sports team is you want the best group of guys, but won't sacrifice that for a certain hated players. You know the possible scenarios: Jets fans wouldn't want Brady. Celtics fans puke at the thought of Kobe in Green. The Yankees would never accept a true Red Sox like Rodger Clemens. Hmm, I guess some fans have lower standards.
Nonetheless, this is exactly how I feel about Paulus coming to play for the Orange. Only the Yankees and cowboys can create as much hate as the Blue Devils. For me the reasons are simple: One, the school is better than mine. I couldn't get into Duke, and that pisses me off. Two, the fans are annoying. Not just the Cameron Crazies that make me want to punch babies every time I watch a Duke game, but arrogant fans that talk about Duke's last National Championship like it was last season. Three, I have no factual basis for this, but the players look flat out annoying. They always look two seconds away from screaming like KG in '08, or crying like TO after the Cowboys exit from the playoffs.
And Paulus has been the leader of these guys for the past four years! He didn't start for the Blue Devils this year, but he did start for the Slinky Johnson All-Hate Team. Seriously, do a Youtube.com search for him and the top two results are "Greg Paulus - 'I Kissed a Boy'" and "Tea Bag: A Greg Paulus Tribute". I think my sister's boyfriend put it best when he emailed me this morning saying, "I'd let R. Kelly chaperone a prom before I'd let Paulus run my team."
But I don't have that choice, so I must accept Paulus as the potential starter for the Syracuse Orange next season. Let's look at the bright side. Granted it was five years ago, but the guy was a beast in high school, tallying 152 touchdowns, 11,763 yards, and winning the Gatorade Player of the year. Let's just say that's slightly better than the quarterback play I've seen the last four years in the Dome. Even the hate might benefit the program. People hate Paulus so much, they may actually watch a Syracuse game again to root against him. This could remind people that Cuse still does play Division One Football.
On September 5th, the Syracuse Orange will coming running out of the Dome to play Minnesota. I can't imagine Paulus coming back without thinking he has a real shot to start, so he may even lead the team onto the field. Watching the game will be like rooting for Osama bin Laden and the Taliban. I'll be cheering for Greg Paulus, a Dukie at heart, to lead Syracuse to their first bowl game in five years.