Malcolm Gladwell's article on how underdogs increase their chances of success by using unorthodox approaches is great in theory, but how many entities have actually utilized it?
Well, I know of at least one.
Saying SU Football is in a rough stretch would be a tremendous understatement. Greg Robinson pioneered the worst tenure in program history and left new coach Doug Marrone with a squad recently called the worst BCS program. To the program's credit, they came up with a trendy campaign to renew interest in the team.
SU Athletics sent an e-mail out about the competition and now there is a link on the site. All it takes to enter is a brief sample post on how you are an SU fan and why you would make a good blogger. You can check my sample out below but regardless of your interest in SU football or blogging, admit it: This is a nice approach to regaining relevance for an entity sitting firmly in the underdog role.
Syracuse Football fandom doesn't start in the women's section of a thrift store, but it can certainly reach new heights there.
Confused? Don't be. My name is Nathan Mattise and I'm a passionate fan of Syracuse University Athletics (all SU Athletics but for the task at hand, let's focus on football).
I'm an alumnus who as an undergraduate learned to play traditional grip snare drum to earn free tickets. When the televised poker craze swept the nation, the 3-9 of any suit became my favorite starting hand (affectionately named "the Walter Reyes"). I secretly own a McNabb jersey despite being birthed a Redskins fan and @syracusedotcom is my most read news source, I still watch every game I can on Time Warner Sports (including the gutwrenching win against Northeastern last season) ...
... and I self-tailored an orange women's sports coat to fully express my love and dedication for Syracuse University.
This blazer has seen the best of times (McNamara's Big East run) and the worst of times (fourth-and-one against Iowa). It's ready for a football season where despite some critics predicting the worst for the Orange, anything is truly possible with some exciting new faces in town.
Simply being a fan (albeit one with some great threads) isn't reason enough to earn the title of SU Football Blogger for SUAthletics.com. The web site is a credible source for anyone trying to retrieve news, information and insight on all things SU sports. That's where my undergraduate time away from the athletic fields comes in.
My blazer habits translated well into the journalism field (with a proper button-up, not this) so I decided to earn a degree in journalism from SU's famed Newhouse School. I have professional experience both writing about and reporting on sports. I last reported on sports full-time (including some University of New Mexico football) for the Albuquerque Tribune in 2007. Recently I've been working as a freelance copy-editor for the Fox Sports affiliated BleacherReport.com (and contributing the occasional article there too).
Journalism, writing and blogging in particular are strong passions of mine that I continue to pursue. I'm currently earning a graduate degree in (shocker) Magazine, Newspaper and Online Journalism at SU. I'll be close by the Dome this year to easily make all games and fulfill any outside reporting duties that may arise. For a passionate, connected, honest, clear and (hopefully) entertaining look on the season, this is the fan perspective to look toward. After all it won't be hard to find me, just keep an eye out for the blazer.
(Links today from ESPN, Syracuse University, Vic Firth Online, DailyOrange.com, YouTube and BleacherReport.com)