It could be argued that Syracuse has the best football history in the Big East. But strangely, the Orange don't seem to have that many gameday traditions. Perhaps it's a result of playing indoors, or having a lot of noon starts or the cold weather outside for much of the season. Anyway, I wrap up the gameday tradition series by looking at some of the Syracuse gameday rituals:
Jingling the keys: A tradition among fans is to hold out their keys and make noise with them on opponents' third downs.
Varsity Pizza pennants: The famous campus pizzeria has pennants on the wall for each team Syracuse plays that season. When Syracuse wins, the pennant of the losing team is turned upside down for the rest of the year. The MVP of the game used to turn the pennant upside down and be given a free slice, but the NCAA frowned upon that practice.
Singing of the alma mater: This is a new tradition started by Doug Marrone last year. After every game, win or lose, the entire team sings the school alma mater in front of its fans.
The Quad March: While there is no official pregame walk by the team, the Orange marching band plays in the quad an hour before the game and then walks to the Carrier Dome.
Tim W. from Syracuse: Another great (new) tradition that most Syracuse faithful take part in is touching the Ernie Davis statue located between the quad and Carrier Dome before going to our seats at the start of each game. Perhaps Syracuse's greatest tradition of all is awarding No. 44 to any prominent running back. Many of Syracuse's greatest players ever have worn 44, including Jim Brown, Ernie Davis, and Floyd Little. The current AD has retired the jersey, but many fans and alumni want it brought back. I only foresee the retirement lasting as long as Darryl Gross's tenure before it returns to its glory days.
Pawel from New York: I graduated in 2005 and by then it was painful watching the Orange play so I didn't make it out to too many games. I remember, however, during my early years going to SU games when the opposing team was going for it on third down, everyone in the student section (not sure how much it caught on with everyone else in the house) would take out their keys (house keys, car keys, whatever-they-had-in-their-pocket keys) and start ringing them. The sound in the student section was ear piercing and if you get 30K+ people in the Dome ringing their keys it got pretty annoying for the other team.
Edward from New York: Here is my Syracuse tradition (and i am sure it is many other Orange fans' tradition as well): drown the sorrow of yet another Orange loss in yet another beer.
Bob H. from New York: Unfortunately, there are not many game day traditions at Syracuse despite the long history of great football. I am sure many of my fellow SU alums at Syracuse would agree with me. Syracuse is more like a pro-town when it comes to college football. The Dome is packed and rocking when the team is good and quiet and empty when the teams are bad.
Syracuse needs a lot more. They need the alumni, the students (greek and non-greek), the faculty, the adminstration to come together and build many traditions around SU football. The administration could do the following five things and more traditions will follow and they can bring the Loud House to football once again.
1) The Administration should bring back the Hey Song. The band will then create more songs
2) Students should go to the Carrier Dome Field and sing the Alma Mater after every win. They should allow students on the field after the games to set up a close atmosphere between student body and football team
3) Because of lack of tailgating options around the dome, they should bring in sponsored tents into the Schine Student Center and give out different
4) Give Orange Towels, Noisemakers, and Orange T-Shirts to the SU Students for the games. Giving them as much stuff as possible so they can help the team.
5) Do some type of walk on madness. SU can never fill all the walk ons on the team because of the 25 scholarship limit. Doing something big in August might get more student interest.