Disco in the Dome
Growing up in Central New York, one memory that most of us can share is the first time you visit the Carrier Dome, the home to Syracuse University’s Women’s and Men’s basketball and lacrosse teams and to the Men’s football team.
The “Dome” isn’t a huge stadium by most college standards, but when you’re a kid, the first time you walk up the concourse and under the white, inflatable roof, it seems enormous.
When I was 13 and had already been to a bunch of games at the Dome, my mother allowed me to go to a game with a friend without our parents for the first time. As I was relaying this story to her last week, I asked:
“Why did you let me go to the Dome without a parent when I was 13?”
“You were with Scott Clearwater and I knew that if his parents let him go, you guys would be just fine”. (note: I was hoping for the ‘you were mature enough and level headed enough to go’ answer but I guess the ‘Scott will take care of it’ answer will suffice)
So, tickets in hand, we walked to the end of East Lake Street to New Seneca Turnpike in Skaneateles, where the Greyhound Bus stop was. And, about 4:30 in the afternoon, we were off to the Dome.
Mind you, no Google. No maps. No phones. Two kids off to the big city, bus schedule in hand. We were pumped!
Through Marcellus, through Onondaga, up and over the hill. Like a shining beacon, there it is. The DOME!
Pull the cord, pull the cord, this is our stop!
Precisely 2.5 miles from the Dome. We got off approximately 3 stops too soon and walked. We still arrived about an hour before tip off.
“Make sure you pee in the trough!” (the men’s room is classically adorned with a trough. No, I’m not kidding)
“Make sure you stomp between the pillars outside!” (when done perfectly, the noise it makes is something out of Star Wars. Cosmic-like)
“Let’s try to get our hats knocked off and get blown out of the doors after the game!” (If you time your exit at the Dome properly, the huge double doors are opened in between the revolving doors to relieve the pressure inside and the wind blows you out at approximately 126 mph)
My parents had season tickets for many, many years so I was very fortunate to go to a ton of games. The Dome had become a second home for us. We had our routine down and were there 2, sometimes 3 times a week.
During one of our conversations, probably during halftime, my mother turns to me and says, “You know what? I figured out that I’ve ‘made’ it in this world when I’m drinking bottled beer in one of those private boxes in here”.
The day I thought I broke my back at Ski Club at Labrador? My parents were at the Dome.
The day I got a concussion playing basketball in high school? My parents were at the Dome.
There was a time when I think they were on a first name basis with the security guards in the “bowels” of the Dome.
Fast forward to November of last year. I am walking in the concourse of the Dome, all alone. I am walking towards a meeting with the Food and Beverage Director with a case of Disco in my hands.
This Wednesday night, 30,000 people will be in the Dome rooting against our most hated (sorry, Georgetown) rivals, the Duke Blue Devils. Many of those people will have a couple of drinks.
They won’t be able to drink bottled beer like the folks in the private boxes.
They will have to settle for Disco Lemonade.
(photo credit to @Jeff_Funck on Twitter. I have never met Jeff. He tweeted about getting something “other than beer” on his next trip to the Dome. Someone that follows us on Twitter suggested DL to him and then he tagged us in the picture above. How did we ever survive before Twitter?!?!)