Animal impressions and fashion shows: How SU’s “weirdness” leads to team chemistry

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on September 25, 2018 at 11:43 pm Contact Nick: nialvare@syr.edu | @nick_a_alvarez During an early season road trip, junior forward Severin Soerlie pressed his belly against the floor, put his hands at his sides and slithered between two airport gates. He was performing midfielder Hugo Delhommelle’s favorite task to dish out: Act like a snake for 20 seconds in public.The transfer broke character and shooed bystanders. A couple dozen feet away, his teammates beamed. It was all in good fun, anyway — Soerlie’s impersonation of a snake was a consequence after losing a card game. Syracuse head coach Ian McIntyre wasn’t surprised. He’s used to the “weirdness” his team exhibits off, and sometimes on, the pitch.“Some (impersonations) are quite funny. Some are …,” McIntyre paused, a smile cracking at the corners of his mouth, “… tough.”For years, SU players have completed tasks after losing competitions. After roster turnover, the embarrassing acts help familiarize the squad with each other, former and current Orange said. The tasks — acting like an animal or wearing a uniform at a public team dinner, among other things — are like a rite of passage.Laura Angle | Digital Design EditorAdvertisementThis is placeholder textSome Syracuse teams use dodgeball or Fortnite to bond. But card games, former defender Louis Cross said, are an SU men’s soccer “tradition,” specifically during road trips. This week, the Orange (3-3-1, 0-2-0 Atlantic Coast) preps for its second-longest road swing of the season. The team heads to Blacksburg, Virginia, for No. 21 Virginia Tech on Sept. 28 and Akron, Ohio, for the Zips three days later.“We started with a random punishment, and everyone liked it,” Delhommelle said. “… We play video games, but we also play cards. We’re like the old generation.”Before cards, “punishments” were dished out after rounds of Settlers of Catan, a board game in which players colonize a fictional island. Sergio Camargo, who transferred to Syracuse in 2016 for his senior season, bought Catan on Amazon. The team’s international athletes introduced poker and Go Fish shortly after. Swedish-born midfielder Jonathan Hagman said foreign players forced themselves to speak English during Catan and card games.Losing any game corresponded with a task. Once, a goaltender on the 2015 team wore his full kit, from cleats to gloves, during a team breakfast. Some underclassmen recited poems in front of the team. Others walked around like a Tyrannosaurus rex or flapped their arms like birds.“It’s very funny because it’s not that embarrassing,” Hagman said. “It’s a good group. We’d never force anyone to do anything they wouldn’t want to do.”When Camargo graduated, Catan stopped. But cards stuck in a new form.Delhommelle transferred from Lander University last season and brought a new card game with him. It has no name, midfielder Jan Breitenmoser said, but Syracuse calls it “21.” Delhommelle wasn’t sure how he learned the game, either. All that’s certain is the game’s central principle: There aren’t winners. Just one loser.Each player starts with seven cards in the first round. The game’s objective is to top another player’s card with a higher number or face card. After six rounds, the owner of the highest card remaining loses the round by as many points on their card. Once your score totals 21, you lose.Some, such as Hagman, pride themselves on how little they’ve lost. This season, SU brought out the “classic” punishments, along with a few new embarrassing acts. Assistant coach Matt Verni joined the game, lost and had to wear a shower cap during a pregame walkthrough. McIntyre and associate head coach Jukka Masalin have open invitations to join in but haven’t accepted.Before a flight earlier this year, Breitenmoser walked a fake runway in the airport. His teammates surrounded him and acted like photographers. Delhommelle recalled Breitenmoser’s strut as “impressive.”“When we’re away, we just don’t have much to do,” Delhommelle said. “It was very simple. We were looking for an easy game that everyone could play.” Commentslast_img read more

Murray thinks Sharapova will get Wimbledon wildcard

first_imgPhoto: © pixabay World number one Andy Murray reckons Wimbledon will give Maria Sharapova a wild card if she needs one.But he says the All England Club would rather not have to make the decision – and would hope she qualifies herself based on her world ranking.Murray says that players banned for doping should have to work their way back up. Sharapova made her comeback from a 15-month drug suspension last week, reaching the semi-finals of the Stuttgart Open.last_img