It’s always great to go out on a high note. Some highs are better than others, and today, the high note has to be considered bittersweet. The Syracuse University football team beat Boston College 20-17 on a last second field goal by Cole Murphy, but it was a tough, emotional scene to watch at the end. Instead of elation, there were tears, and hugs, and the head coach being carried off the field by his players.
Whether you agreed with the decision to remove Scott Shafer from the position of head coach or not, there’s no getting around that it was a rough scene to watch as the cameras lingered in the end zone while Shafer went through his players, one by one, giving each and every one a hug and, presumably, thanking them for their efforts.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to wins and losses. After three seasons, Shafer compiled a record of 14-23, which just wasn’t good enough in the eyes of athletics director Mark Coyle and a sizable portion of the Orange faithful. But that won’t take away from the passion and integrity that Scott Shafer brought to the program. Sure, he got a little fiery now and then. He was ruled by emotion. The same people who complained about that were the ones complaining about how robotic Doug Marrone seemed on the sidelines.
In short, there are just some people who fill find reasons to complain, no matter what’s happening on the field.
But the decision is in the past, and now Syracuse will move on, with the potential for a new coach to be named in the very near future. In the meantime, however, it’s fantastic that Scott Shafer gets his moment of celebration, however bitter it might taste. He went out with a victory, and surrounded by players who, push comes to shove, would almost certainly all take a bullet for the man.
So thank you, Scott Shafer. I wish things could have worked out for you as the head coach of the Syracuse Orange. You’ll land on your feet and continue to do what you do best: make life a nightmare for opposing quarterbacks with your constant blitzes at whichever school is smart enough to hire you as a defensive coordinator.