Two months before first Duke game, Syracuse fans have a rivalry shirt

The front of the latest Syracuse Orange slogan shirt.

The front of the latest Syracuse Orange slogan shirt.

Syracuse basketball fans are fired up to play Duke on Feb. 1, 2014.

And the back.

They are good at the art of the T-shirt in Orange Nation.

The latest slogan-to-wear-proudly made its debut (in my sights, at least) on a football Saturday.

And it’s a basketball-related ‘T.’

The Syracuse University Book Store set its table up indoors for the first time this season, as colder weather moved the big tailgate shindig inside the University Sheraton on the hill instead of in the circle out front.

This new orange T-shirt (and Orange T-shirt) says, simply, on the front:

Beat Duke

On the back it declares:

The Rivalry Begins


Syracuse Orange vs. Duke Blue Devils

Carrier Dome

Syracuse, New York

Indeed. That’s the date and place when Syracuse, coached by Jim Boeheim, will play an Atlantic Coast Conference game against Duke, coached by his multiple U.S. Olympic team colleague (and head man) Mike Krzyzewski, for the very first time.

The shirt is right. It’s going to be one heck of a basketball rivalry, these two teams that usually are among the top dozen squads in the nation and sometimes way, way better than that.

Speaking of basketball rivalries, the Orange won a hard-fought game over Minnesota last night in the Maui Classic. The Golden Gophers were coached by the son of Rick Pitino. Junior looks just like dad. All it took was the first sideline shot of Richard Pitino to bring back memories of the Orange’s blazing competition with Papa Rick’s squad Louisville. The Cardinals are left in the AAC this season, but thankfully join Syracuse in the the ACC next season.

Mike Waters and I write all about those rivalries and more in “The Syracuse Fan’s Survival Guide to the ACC.” You can buy it here.

In any case, my dear wife Karen saw me admiring the Beat Duke T-shirt and bought it for me.

This particular shirt will have legs. It should rank up there in forever-wearability with several classics. If I had to guess, the one I see worn the most around Central New York is Marathon Men, the ‘T’ in tribute to the Orange basketball team’s six-overtime Big East Tournament clash with Connecticut. The football ‘T’ is see most says The Devil Wears Orange, coined after Duke point guard Greg Paulus came to Syracuse as a graduate student because he had a year of football eligibility left. The Central New York native used that year as the Orange’s starting quarterback.

When I attended Maryland way back when, the most popular ACC-themed shirt declared this on the front:

Wake Is Fake and Duke Is Puke but the Team I Hate Is N.C. State

On the back:

Carolina Sucks!

Sadly, I never bought one.

Do you have a favorite sports T-shirt slogan?

15 thoughts on “Two months before first Duke game, Syracuse fans have a rivalry shirt

  1. Pingback: The No. 1 T-shirts are hanging out in Syracuse | markbialczak

  2. Pingback: Yes, people are fired up for Syracuse vs. Duke | markbialczak

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