No recent Cali or Iggy awards; Mr Irrelevant
- Aug 15, 2011
Welcome to National Knife Day!
Grab or pull out your knives! Today we celebrate them, no matter their size, style, or brand! It is unknown who started National Knife Day or when they started it, but it was being celebrated by at least 2011. It is also unknown why the observance takes place on August 24, but one explanation appears to be that the date is connected to the Bowie knife. It was on this date in 1838 that Rezin Bowie, the brother of the knife's namesake, wrote a letter to the Planters' Advocate claiming he was the person who had created the knife.
When will ACC release men’s basketball schedule? (Mike’s mailbox) (PS; $; Waters)
The New York State Fair is underway. School gets started soon. But there’s no sign of the ACC’s basketball schedule for the 2023-24 season.
Shouldn’t the schedule be out by now? When should we expect to see it?
Because I’m being asked about the schedule several times a day, that’s the lead question in this week’s Mike’s Mailbox.
(If you have a question for the Mailbox, email it to firstname.lastname@example.org).
Q: I’m wondering why it seems to take so long every year for the complete upcoming basketball schedule to be released. Non-conference games always come out first, but the ACC always drags its feet.
Mike: The ACC usually releases its full conference schedule in the second week of September.
In the last five years, skipping the 2020-21 schedule which had a late release due to the Covid pandemic, the ACC’s conference schedule came out on Sept. 13, Sept. 12, Sept. 16 and Sept. 13.
This is pretty much the norm for most of the power conferences. The reason is these conferences are just so big now. There are a lot of moving parts regarding availability of arenas and the nuances of the television schedules.
The ACC is actually lucky in that only one school’s men’s basketball team plays in an off-campus arena that it shares with a major league pro team. That’s N.C. State, which plays in the PNC Arena, which is also the home of the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes.
So if you want to wager a guess, I’d look for this year’s schedule to come out on Tuesday, Sept. 12 or Thursday, Sept. 14.
Q: I can see Adrian Autry using a lot of man-to-man defense since he will have players who can be aggressive and if in foul trouble can be replaced with similar talent. We have depth at all positions, which should allow Autry to play more man-to-man and fullcourt press. What are your thoughts on SU playing man-to-man and zone?
Battle is finishing season in China, then deciding what comes next (PS; $; Ditota)
It had been a long 11 months for Tyus Battle.
The former Syracuse basketball star endured surgery to repair his fractured foot and then a subsequent surgery to have the plate removed from the initial operation. There were grueling hours of rehab and solitary moments of waiting to see when his foot would heal and he could get back to the business of basketball.
“Extremely difficult,” he said by phone from China on Tuesday. “It was hard mentally.”
Battle was one of the more ferocious competitors to play at SU, his intensity and his singular focus hallmarks of a career that produced a remarkable 1,647 points before he departed for professional basketball after his junior season.
Battle, 25, was playing in Israel when the foot injury occurred; the fracture happened right before the playoffs began. After those excruciating 11 months without basketball, he took a job in France’s competitive Pro A league to work himself back into game shape. Battle played 10 games for Blois last spring.
He’s now finishing a summer season in China. The gig in France helped establish he was healthy enough to aid a team.
“I played about two months in France just to get back in shape a little bit,” he said, “and then I did this China thing just to show people I’m healthy. That’s the reason I’m out here right now.”
He’s playing for the Guangxi Rhinos in the NBL, the Chinese league with a summer season. The league itself is dwarfed by the bigger and more popular CBA, which returns in the fall.
Battle was hired, he said, to score. And while current stats from the NBL are difficult to unearth, if anecdotal social media posts are any indication, he seems to be doing a lot of scoring. His team currently sits tied for 3rd in the league with the playoffs looming.
Should Syracuse men’s basketball replace its Duke rivalry game? (TNIAAM; Ostrowski & Chiappone)
It’s been an offseason full of change for Syracuse Orange men’s basketball - easily the most in 47 years. It was bound to happen when the man who’s most associated with the program finally wrapped up a monumental coaching career.
Adrian Autry still has plenty of questions to answer in his first year as head coach, but there’s one more facing the program as a whole:
Who should we be most excited to see the Orange play annually?
Since ‘Cuse joined the ACC, that answer has officially been Duke - and for the first few years, that really was the case. But as the quality of play declined on one side, while the other remained a steadily ranked program, attendance figures and hype around the game have dropped.
Dom and I attended the game against Duke as fans, not reporters, last season and now we want to give our takes on the situation.
The Case for Consistency:Mike: I’ll admit that there were some genuinely good moments throughout this series. Between the two games in SU’s inaugural ACC season, Gillon’s buzzer beater, and even the final battle between two coaching legends, it’s not hard to see why this rivalry used to work. Emphasis on used to.
Dom: The apex of the Orange versus Blue Devils rivalry does feel like long ago, especially since Syracuse has lost eight straight games and is just 1-10 versus Duke since 2018. The decline in competitiveness clearly showed in the attendance, especially last year, where the Dome’s electric atmosphere was absent by halftime and overall turnout cratered from its previous peak.
Syracuse Basketball: 5-star PG eyes possible visit, heads to Overtime Elite (itlh; Adler)
Syracuse basketball 2025 five-star target Tyler Jackson from Baltimore, who is rated the No. 1 point guard nationwide in his class per several recruiting services, has signed on with the Atlanta-based professional league Overtime Elite for his junior year, according to social media posts.
As a sophomore in the 2022-23 season, the 6-foot-3 Jackson was a standout for the Saint Frances Academy in Baltimore, as the Panthers won the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association (“MIAA”) A Conference title and Jackson was named to the Baltimore Catholic League All-League second team.
Offered a scholarship by the Orange coaching staff in late April, Jackson put together a ton of strong performances this spring and summer on the AAU circuit, with national analysts and scouts dishing out high praise for this ‘Cuse recruiting target.
He suited up for one session alongside Syracuse basketball 2025 four-star priority recruit Kiyan Anthony for the 16U group of the Baltimore-based Team Melo in Nike’s EYBL league, during which time Jackson displayed stellar scoring prowess. Additionally, in July, Jackson helped lead the Baltimore-based Team Thrill to the 16U championship in the Under Armour Association league (“UAA”).
Syracuse basketball 2025 five-star recruit Tyler Jackson is thinking about campus visits.
Besides the Orange, Jackson’s growing offer sheet includes schools such as LSU, Old Dominion, Pittsburgh, Virginia Tech, California, Kansas, Alabama, Maryland, Illinois, Rutgers, Seton Hall, DePaul, George Mason, Georgia Tech, Rhode Island, Houston, Penn State and UCF, among others.
Gov. Kathy Hochul eats a sausage sandwich from Basilio's on opening day of the New York State Fair Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2023. Joining her are state Agriculture Commissioner Richard Ball, left, and newly appointed state fair Director Sean Hennessey. (Dennis Nett | email@example.com)
Gov. Hochul’s NYS Fair sausage order comes with a surprise: New building for Basilio’s (PS; Boyer)
As Gov. Kathy Hochul approached the Basilio’s stand at the New York State fair to continue the gubernatorial sausage-eating tradition, she asked the staff to gather together at the counter.
By this time next year, she told them, the Basilio team will be operating out of a newly built structure, replacing the aging and cramped space where they’ve been serving fairgoers for nearly seven decades. A roar of applause followed and then the governor got her Italian sausage sandwich.
Wednesday’s twist on the yearly ritual of governors eating sausage was delightful news to Gary, Larry and Jeff DiGeorge, the three brothers who now own the sausage stand business. The DiGeorge family has a long history at working at the fair with longtime owner Paul Basilio, who opened the fair stand 67 years ago. Paul passed away in 2020.
“We’re happy,” Gary DiGeorge said. “It’s a dream.”
DiGeorge said the stand’s small size requires the family to rent an adjacent tent that’s needed as supply storage space during the fair’s run. Workers continually have to shuffle back and forth between the two areas. “There’s a lot of work we have to do in this space,” he said.
Hochul said she expects the new building will be in the same spot, near the western end of the fairgrounds a short walk from the Expo Center. A teardown of the existing stand would start after this year’s fair ends. She did not disclose an estimated cost for the project.
DiGeorge said the announcement was a surprise, and he’s eager to learn more details.
The project would be in keeping with the state’s capital improvement strategy at the fairgrounds in recent years, which includes building more permanent structures for bigger food vendors.
The state recently built a $1.4 million facility for Tully’s, replacing what had been a large tent with a plywood base that Tully’s had to install themselves for many years. For Tully’s, the new space did mean higher rent, but the owners said it was an investment worth making.
Lainey Wilson performs at the New York State Fair
Lainey Wilson crushes NYS Fair record for largest crowd with 53,200 (concert review) (PS; Herbert)
A year ago, Lainey Wilson was the opening act for country superstar Morgan Wallen.
Now she holds the record for the largest crowd in New York State Fair concert history, drawing an estimated 53,200 fans to Suburban Park on Wednesday night. That crushes the previous record of 43,000, set last year by rapper Nelly, by more than 10,000 people.
“This is absolutely insane,” Wilson said as she looked at the audience, which snaked around the pond between the edge of the Midway and Suburban Park.
Wilson, wearing red bell bottoms and her signature hat, led the crowd through her catalog of hits, including “Watermelon Moonshine,” “Things a Man Oughta Know” and “Heart Like a Truck.” She also performed her twangy cover of 4 Non Blondes’ “What’s Up (What’s Going On).”
Most of the crowd knew every word. Many wore similar “Bell Bottom Country” outfits, celebrating her combination of retro country with modern flair.
Wilson’s career trajectory is astonishing, quickly becoming country music’s “it girl” after being named ACM New Female of the Year and CMT’s “Breakout Artist of the Year” in 2022, as well as Billboard’s “Top New Country Artist of 2021.”
But anyone who saw her open for Wallen and Hardy at St. Joseph’s Health Amphitheater at Lakeview shouldn’t be surprised. She is a flawless, energetic performer with a voice that soars to the back of the crowd and maintains a mission to make sure everyone’s having a good time. Even when there’s more than 50,000 people, she still takes the time to thank fans holding signs like “My name is Lainey (too) I’m your biggest little fan” and “Can your blue hat be my something blue (for our wedding)?”
8 worthy pieces of pizza (and 1 bonus) at the 2023 New York State Fair (PS; $; Kirk)
Pizza is a New York State food staple that comes in many shapes, sizes and colors. While it isn’t a typical NYS Fair food - it’s not deep fried, ice cold, or sweet - there are options. Whether it’s packed with cheese or with minimal sauce you can find a pizza for you. Here’s what we came up with:
Sausage PizzaPizza place: Papa’s Pizza
Where: The Eatery
How much: $5 a slice
What’s it like: This isn’t the sausage you come to the fair for, but it’ll hold up. It has a good crunch and a bit of a sweet taste to it. It’s not doughy - a little crispy if that’s your thing. They have specialty pizzas but you have to order the whole pie. For our first stop, it set the tone for the afternoon.
Cheese PizzaPizza place: Hot & Fresh Pizza
Where: At the start of the Midway
How much: $6 a slice
What’s it like: It is your typical piece of pizza. The woman in the small stall said they make their own crust. They offer garlic powder, chili flakes and parmesan for you to top it off with. The cheese is a little thick and greasy but it’s exactly what to expect from a slice of fair pizza.
Peanut Butter Cream Doughnut from Peachey's Baking Co. (Kevin Tamponefirstname.lastname@example.org)
The 8 sweetest, most over-the-top desserts at the 2023 NYS Fair (PS; $; Tampone)
If you’re looking for the most indulgent ways to blow your diet at the 2023 New York State Fair, we’ve got you covered.
Below you’ll find the eight finest examples we could find of sugary, chocolatey, goopy goodness. We’re talking non-frozen treats only in this post. We’ve got a whole separate story on the fair’s best frozen goodies elsewhere.
Cookie CupWho: The Bake Lab by The Sweet Praxis
Where: Dairy Products Building (conveniently near the 25-cent milk)
How much: $7
What’s it like: It’s tough to argue with an entire cone of cookies for just $7. It’s probably one of the better values you can find at the fair if you’re hunting for sweets for a crowd. The cookies themselves were delightful. Moist, warm and chewy with melty chips.
Sweet PlantainsVendor: Las Delicias
Where: The Eatery (formerly the International Building)
How much: $5
What’s it like: Absolutely piping hot soft, sweet plantains. This is a great option if you want to feel a little less guilty about your sugar fix because, hey, it’s technically fruit! This was our first pleasant surprise of the day. It’s a large container, enough to share with three or four people, and it packs tropical flavor you won’t find elsewhere on this list.
There’s more to Syracuse than the fair: A Fair Hater’s Guide to CNY (PS; Paventi)
We’re a quiet group. We blend into your world like so many other people that scatter about your day. We’re your family, friends, co-workers and neighbors and you probably don’t even know it.
But we almost always get the same look of disappointment and confused response after telling people that we don’t like the Great New York State Fair.
“What? How can you hate the fair?”
It’s possible to live in Syracuse and be a fair hater. This year marks my 16th consecutive year of avoiding the Not-So-Great New York State Fair. There wasn’t a triggering moment, no single instance of disappointment or offense. I simply reached my maximum intake level for middling food, the rainbow of smells, and the crowds. Go ahead and call me a curmudgeon or a snob; you won’t be the first person to do it today.
I’m not ignorant of the fair’s importance to the state’s agricultural industry; our farmers deserve a forum for recognition and to showcase their finest. But, there’s little symmetry between blue ribbon dairy cattle and deep-fried cheesecake chimichangas.
You going to the fair means one less person where I want to go. There are so many things to do in Syracuse on a day when 80, 90, or 100,000 of you are there. So, for my people, the Fair Haters that lurk among us, I offer the top five things to do while everyone else is standing in line for a cup of milk or pizze fritte. It’s my fair haters’ guide to the Syracuse area.