every year, a number of radio geeks decend upon the SU hill for the annual wjpz alumni banquet. it's an all around great time - you catch up with old friends, network, catch an orange basketball game, and drink.
yes, and you drink... did i mention drink?
seriously though, this year would be my fifth banquet, and the one looked forward to since sophomore year, as this is the first time i would attend banquet as both a z89 and su alum. my second through fourth banquets were filled with a minimal amount of awkwardness because i had only completed one year of Z, with hot 107-9 stealing me away at the beginning of my second year at syracuse.
in addition, this would be the first alumni event that a date would accompany me for - of course, my girlfriend angela.
the day started on a down note. ang and i were slow to arrive at the carrier dome for the orange's noon-time start against pitt. and then, well we all know how that ended.
but things started to improve before i even left the dome. i ran into my uber-mentor, dr. wright, as well as good friend, popular newhouse alum, and espn broadcaster sean mcdonough.
after a quick walk back to the sheraton, the gf hit the sheets to catch up on shuteye. i met up with my friend julie from atlantic records and her friend ty, and walked over to the z89 studios, located in the comfortable confines of watson hall.
i thought i had it good as a freshman... these kids have the most high-tech equipment out there. the z89 studios are much more advanced than the bht world headquarters, from the digital boards and software to the three sony video cameras, complete with remote controls and an lcd monitoring board.
just sounds sick, right?
after hopping on the air for literally, a hot second, julie and i walked over to chuck's, where i was greeted with a number of familiar employee faces, a number of fellow disappointed orange fans, and thankfully, a number of draft beers available via pitchers.
of course, i can't forget former college roommate sam, now living in washington d-sizzle. seriously, this story would be way cooler without that game that just happened an hour ago.
after a three-hour frosted beverage marathon, with a halftime appearance by the notorious hawaiian ryan, we headed back to the sheraton. afterall, i did have a 7pm alumni banquet to attend.
more drinking, catching up with friends, awful food... i mean, GREAT food.... a little more drinking... a right-on-key keynote address from z alum and new york sports talk show host craig carton (despite his blatent diss of buffalo women, while i sat there with my girlfriend).
don't say i didn't take full advantage of the fact that i had returned to my old stomping grounds, with no where to drive and a hotel room.
okay, the rest of the night entailed a trip to senior-bar faegans, a return to chuck's, and a final stop, via limo, to an afterparty that had more or less emptied out. so, let's just fast forward to 11a on sunday, when i woke up, sans the hangover.
ang and i met patrice (now a sophomore, responsible for those msnbc segments) downstairs at rachel's for brunch. of course, i'd be remiss if i traveled to central new york and didn't visit with my aunt and cousins in liverpool. finally, almost everything we set out for accomplished, we hit the road.
as you may or may not be able to tell, i enjoyed my trip back to syracuse. i carried more good than bad memories away from the three-one-five after four years on the grind there. when you invest so much - monetarily, physically, emotionally - in one place, it's hard to forget and easy to look back and reminisce on the times that were.
that is of course, those times that you can remember.