Just as soon as the word got out early Sunday morning that Doug Marrone was trading Syracuse Orange for Buffalo Bills blue, the negativity began.
From this corner in Central New York, it was fury at Marrone for having the nerve to leave the program he helped resuscitate. From that corner in Western New York, it was griping about missing the big name and settling for something smaller.
Such is our times. You can say something positive happened, and get a few seconds’ worth of perfunctory attention. Or you can complain, and it’s worth hours, or days, of talk that rehashes the same tired points over and over.
None of this requires any reason to stop and think, but that’s what we need to do. And once said thinking is done, we’ll likely find that, for much-improved SU and for the long-suffering Bills, this all just might work out.
A large part of the grief given to Marrone does not stem from this returning to the NFL, where he essentially learned his coaching craft with the Jets and Saints. Nor is it based on the work he has done turning the sorry Orange program around after the Greg Robinson debacle.
It’s all based on a single quote, given when Marrone took over at SU, the one where he said that this was his “dream job”. What, the cynics say, it’s not a dream job anymore?
Folks, this is all about context. Marrone meant it at the time, when he hadn’t been a head coach before, when he was coming back to rescue the alma mater. He was honest and truthful.
But guess what? Times change, and circumstances change. What was true in January 2009 might not be as true in January 2013. Marrone has done wonderful work, and the most important part is that he’s leaving behind a stronger, improved and healthy program, ready to take on the ACC without fear or embarrassment.