I must admit, even after the Cats’ disappointing loss to Tennessee on Saturday, I was still looking forward to watching the primetime game between Syracuse and Villanova on ESPN. Yeah, say what you want about the Big East and these two teams, but, undoubtedly, the game was expected to be among the best this season. So, at around 8:30 PM (EST), I sat down on my couch in front of the television and began watching Rece Davis and the rest of the GameDay crew do their typical thing; you know, discuss the game and what not. Then, at some point over the next 20 minutes or so, it happened: Out came the Dome Ranger.
As I watched this loon run around the court while wearing a friggin cowboy hat and a football jersey, I immediately thought to myself, “What the f*ck?”
Or, maybe I said this well-known expression aloud to which my lovely wife, who was in the next room, replied, “Uh, what did you say?!” [Note: In the past, my wife wouldn’t have made any such reply, but now that we have a 2-year-old boy running around the house, such comments need not be expressed aloud for his impressionable ears to hear.]
Without her having seen this guy yet, I found it difficult for me to explain what I was witnessing, but I tried: “Well…see, there’s a guy dressed up kind of like a cowboy, while also wearing a football jersey, running around the court and yelling at the crowd.”
Her reply: “What the f*ck?”
Exactly. I mean, who was this guy, and, of all places, what was he doing in Syracuse, New York? I could see such a character taking the floor at a University of Texas basketball game, among other universities in the Big 12 Conference, but not at a venue in Central New York State. Seriously, who thinks “cowboy” when you say “Syracuse?” But again, maybe that was the irony at work. I dunno…
Anywho, after feeling perplexed, I came to discover that the Dome Ranger was a popular entity in the 1980s and that was his first appearance at the Carrier Dome in quite a long time. Okay, that’s fine, but what’s his relevance? I’m pretty sure Syracuse already had a mascot prior to the Dome Ranger’s debut, so who thought letting this yahoo run around the court and scream at the fans was really a good idea? Does any other university have such a character at its sporting events? I didn’t have much luck finding answers to these questions, so please help me out here, TGR nation. I’m still pretty upset about the whole thing. Let’s be honest, was I the only one who felt uncomfortable about the Dome Ranger?