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Professor of History at Marist, Dr. Frederick Douglass Opie, is a scholar and educator. Many of his students probably wouldn’t know he was a big time player in his day at Syracuse in the ’80s or that he is a published author of a history book about food with some recipes. Dr. Opie recently launched a blog for just that; to share what he is passionate about. In his latest post Dr. Opie reminisces about how he and his teammates would dye heads over wings at the local restaurant, Acropolis. His memory is uncanny and the topics could not be more relevant in this given day.
“Organized white lacrosse head dying sessions, using Rit fabric dye, and downing dozens of hot Buffalo style chicken wings in the process represented an important part of SU lacrosse culture in the 1980s. There was definitely an unspoken competition over both who could eat the most wings and who could come up with the most aesthetic multi-colored design with your name, number, and Syracuse somehow all fit on a small surface.”
Dr. Opie and his teammates knew business. They knew exactly what they wanted and how to be efficient. Dr. Opie states they would “order wings from a number of places but one in particular stays in my mind. In business since 1972 on Westcott Street and 1982 on M Street, Acropolis Pizza had legendary wings, stayed opened late, and delivered.” The Syracuse Men’s team delivered on the field too making two championship appearances in a row, both in ’84 and ’85. Unfortunately they lost both to Hopkins.
What’s most impressive and symbolic is how he describes the team members’ different backgrounds and walks of life, the type of pockets they used. “80% of the team loved the wings and used traditional pockets. The difference was over the size of the holes. Yorktown guys like big holes maybe 5 and West Genee players always used small holes say 8 or more. The island guys at SU, and we didn’t have a lot in those days, were right in the middle. Syracuse players as a whole used Brine superlight II; about four of us however used STX.”
Continue reading his story on dyeing heads and many more at his Blog.