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Five things you don’t need to know about Syracuse

The Orange are here and they are very orange

North Carolina v Syracuse Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

This week’s episode of five things focuses on newly minted Atlantic Division rivals and dome aficionados, the Syracuse Orange.

  • 14 years ago, Syracuse officially changed its name from the Orangemen to Orange. Then Athletic Director Jake Crouthamel delivered the following quote during his press conference. “We are the only school in the country that has orange as its primary color.” Now I can’t really blame Syracuse for wanting to pretend that Clemson doesn’t exist, but that doesn’t excuse Tennessee, Texas, Oregon State, Oklahoma State, or Cain’s Barber College.
  • Syracuse’s campus holds a tree known as the “Tree of 40 Fruits,” which, as the name implies, is an individual tree that has been genetically engineered to produce as many as 40 different fruits throughout the year. There’s nothing funny or amusing about this. It’s just really awesome.
  • Syracuse assistant strength and conditioning coach Dave Chirco can be easily identified on the Syracuse sideline as the guy wearing a kilt. Why is he wearing a kilt? Absolutely no reason. It’s just a thing that Dino Babers’ staff at Bowling Green, a school with a primary color of orange, started and decided to continue at Syracuse. Chirco isn’t Irish Scottish (my apologies for the error, Scots and Irishmen), and the guy at Bowling Green wasn’t either. It’s the most random tradition ever, but Syracuse seems to love it, so more power to them.
  • Syracuse’s 1915 team earned an invitation to the Rose Bowl, but turned it down because it had already played a game on the west coast that season. Early 1900s college football in the context of today is pretty weird.
  • You can book Syracuse’s dancing fruit mascot Otto the Orange to appear at almost any gathering or event. Otto apparently has enough requests to appear at weddings to have a fixed rate, which is $300. The cartoon piece of produce will dance with newlyweds, take pictures, and has even appeared at a wake.