Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Review: The Syracuse Fan's Survival Guide to the ACC (2013)

By Mike Waters and Mark Bialczak

All of the realignment taking place in college sports these days probably has caused a jump in sales in road maps. Who can remember what teams are where these days?

Mike Waters and Mark Bialczak took on that difficult assignment in recent months. The figured out who would be in the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2013-14 (who can say where we'll be in the future?), and wrote a guide to all of the schools individually. Presto! They have a book.

It's called "The Syracuse Fan's Survival Guide to the ACC," and it's simple and straight to the point.

Each of the schools - including Louisville, which is following Syracuse into the ACC in a year - gets a chapter. The headings are the same: school history, program highlights, athletic legends, stadium/arena, Syracuse connections, gameday tips, hotel & restaurant information.

Every school gets the same treatment, and that includes Syracuse. It's not a bad idea, since some people who follow the Orange live outside of Syracuse and are just as likely to travel to an SU home game as any other. It's all done in a factual, relatively good-natured manner.

It's not said anywhere, but one point comes through loud and clear here. The Atlantic Coast Conference is not a bus league. Syracuse is several hours away from its closest conference members, Pittsburgh and Boston College. Most of the schools are a much larger distance. Care to zip from Syracuse to Florida State for a game? It's a 1,200-mile jaunt. The college landscape sure has changed these days.

College sports fans are known for "traveling well," that is to say they are willing to go see their favorite team on the road. It will be interesting to see how the move to the ACC affects Syracuse in that sense. Fans who could drive to Connecticut or Rutgers now need to hop on a plane, which adds to the cost considerably. Will it be worth it to many? We'll have to see.

For those that are going, "The Syracuse Fan's Guide to the ACC" seems like a good item to pack. The information is a good starting point for planning a trip to a new rival. The audience is limited, though, and there is a lot of white space here. Therefore, it's tough to give it more than three stars unless you fit into the right demographic. But, the concept is a good one, and it probably wouldn't take much extra work to write a similar book for the other ACC schools.

Three stars

Learn more about this book.

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