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Syracuse Lacrosse Aesthetics and Hot Wings

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 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.

Rit Fabric dye

“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.”

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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.

Rit Fabric dye

“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.”

Acropolis Pizza and Wings

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.

Dr. Opie scoring in the '85 finals with a Brine Super Light II with a semi-hard mesh pocket.

Dr. Opie scoring in the '85 finals with a Brine Super Light II with a semi-hard mesh pocket.


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.

In 2009, Adam O’Neill, Harry Alford and Thomas Alford launched Lacrosse Playground as the preeminent site for lacrosse gearheads. For years Lacrosse Playground provided lacrosse fans with tutorials and tips on how to string a lacrosse head, up-close looks at the gear the top players used and sneak peeks at equipment and uniforms before they were released. More than 10 years and millions of visits later, Lacrosse Playground has relaunched with a focus on storytelling. Our mission is to provide comprehensive coverage of the latest lacrosse news, share insights into the sports betting and fantasy lacrosse world and showcase the lifestyles and personalities of the sport of lacrosse through articles, videos and podcasts.

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WP Maintainer
11 years ago

Please, if you have pictures of old and iconic heads like the Brine Super Light, send them our way, [email protected]. We will gladly post them!

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