The Landmark’s Final Stages
Since our last visit to the under-renovation Landmark Theatre, the place is looking more like a finished product and less like a series of unrelated remodeling efforts. In the past four months, the project has gone from ready for prom to almost ready for prime time.
A Sept. 22 visit revealed a bustle of activity, as nearly 75 workers—the most at any one time—tended to their tasks. The dressing rooms, one wall of each painted an inviting lipstick red, stand almost complete—plumbing and flooring are the big items on the to-do list. Also nearly done is the box office, which is now located one door down from the main theater entrance, at 364 S. Salina St. Red must be the color of choice as a stunning, ruby-hued iridescent tile covers the wall of the box office across from the three ticket windows.
But the biggest advancement has been made in the stage, which was the whole point of the $16 million renovation in the first place. Seventy-eight lines for backdrops and curtains stand at the ready at the back of the stage, while the weights to lift and lower those lines were being installed along the Jefferson Street side. Painting of the stage walls is nearly complete, with 100 gallons of black spray paint needed to get the job done. Way up at the ceiling, lighting and an impressive wallto-wall catwalk have replaced one with unsafe gaps. And instead of a rickety spiral staircase leading to this uppermost level, a sleek yet steep silver one gets stagehands where they need to go.
The final step is breaking through the Sheetrock covering the proscenium, there to protect the deep-red seats in the theater proper, and then placing a wooden floor over the new concrete one.
Everything remains on schedule for the Nov. 18 grand reopening event, the day before the first performance in the new space, comedian Bill Cosby. Until then, look for one last remodeling update in these pages, in late October or early November.SU Crafts OT Upset, Big East Exodus
Maybe the Syracuse University football fans who left the Carrier Dome before the start of overtime on Saturday, Sept. 24, had it right all along. The game really was over. At least that’s what the Big East Conference said hours after the game. But then again, who cares (anymore) what the Big East has to say?
Capping one of the craziest weeks in Syracuse sports history, the Orange outlasted the Toledo Rockets 33-30 in overtime before an announced crowd of 39,116—many of whom were seen scurrying for the exits after Toledo had tied the game with a field goal on the last play of regulation.
That field goal should have given the Rockets a 30-29 victory. Big East coordinator of officials Terry McAulay admitted Saturday night that replay officials made the wrong call on Ross Krautman’s extra point that gave the Orange a 30-27 lead with two minutes, seven seconds remaining in the game.
So a week that started with one controversial announcement—Syracuse is moving to the Atlantic Coast Conference—ended with another. “After studying the videos of the Syracuse extra-point attempt at 2:07 of the fourth quarter, we have concluded that the ruling on the field that the kick passed between the uprights was incorrect, and that the replay official made an error in failing to reverse that ruling,” McAulay’s statement said. “In reviewing the video, we have determined that the angle from behind the kicking team shows conclusively that the ball passes outside the right upright.
“Our review of the process determined that the replay official mistakenly focused his attention on the sideline angle, which proved to be distorted.”
Oops. “I guess it means we won 30-29,” Rockets coach Tim Beckman told the Toledo Blade newspaper. “It should never have gone to overtime.” That’s one way to look at it. The other way is that Syracuse is now 3-1, halfway to a bowl berth (it needs six wins to qualify), and 3-0 at home for the first time since 2001.
“We have a great bunch of kids,” SU coach Doug Marrone said. “They kept playing and kept fighting until the end of the game.”
Facing a veteran Toledo team that went on the road and nearly upset Ohio State Sept. 10, the Orange was on the ropes the entire game. SU fell behind 10-0 in the first quarter and also had to overcome deficits of 20-13 and 27-23.
With the Orange trailing 27-23 with 6:51 remaining, quarterback Ryan Nassib engineered a 10-play, 71-yard scoring drive to give Syracuse the lead. Nassib— the primary reason SU is 3-1 instead of 1-3—connected on three key passes during the drive: a 17-yarder to wide receiver Jarrod West on third-and-9, a 6-yarder to tight end David Stevens on fourth-and-2, and a highlight-reel 18-yarder to wide receiver Alec Lemon for the go-ahead touchdown.
On the toss to Lemon, Nassib called an audible at the line of scrimmage when it appeared the Rockets would come with an all-out blitz. They did and Nassib was hammered, but not before he floated a pass that Lemon glided under to catch in the corner of the end zone.
“I saw a matchup with Alec on a safety and I thought we’d just change his route up a little bit, make it something quick so I could get the ball out quick because I knew we didn’t have enough guys to block all the guys they were sending,” said Nassib, who completed 16 of his 24 pass attempts for 213 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.
The extra point did not go as smoothly.
Krautman caught a break in his previous point-after attempt when the ball clanked off the right upright and snuck through the goal posts. This time, he hooked it right again, and the field and replay officials from the Big East missed the miss.
“I was nervous when they reviewed it,” Krautman said after the game. “I knew it just sneaked through, but when they said they were reviewing it I was a little nervous.” Mike O’Brien, the athletics director at Toledo, said Sunday he had asked Mid-American Conference commissioner Jon Steinbrecher to contact Big East officials and request that the Orange win be vacated and the Rockets awarded a 30-29 victory. A day later, O’Brien dropped the request.
Toledo (1-3), the favorite to win the Mid-American Conference, started its final drive of regulation at its own 32-yard line with 2:01 left. Playing with a flu-ridden starting quarterback (Austin Dantin) and without leading rusher Adonis Thomas (broken arm on first carry of the game), the Rockets charged down the field and were set up with a first-and-goal at the 9- yard line with 1:13 on the clock.
But the Syracuse defense, short-handed because of injuries, made its finest stand of the game. Two quarterback keepers netted 1 yard, and a short pass left the Rockets with a fourth-and-goal at the 3 with four seconds remaining. In a decision that in hindsight he’d love to change, Beckman had Ryan Casano kick the short field goal to send the game into overtime.“We felt we had as good of an opportunity to go into overtime and win the football game,” Beckman said.
But on the first play of overtime, SU cornerback Kevyn Scott failed to bite on a fake and intercepted Dantin’s pass intended for Bernard Reely in the end zone. “I was in coverage and turned around to look for the ball,” Scott said. “I saw it was coming and it was like a baby seeing candy.”
Krautman provided the sweet ending with a 27-yard field goal after running backs Antwon Bailey and Prince-Tyson Gulley had moved the ball from 25 to the 10-yard line. It was Krautman’s fourth field goal of the game; the others were from 33, 31 and 29 yards. “Every kick is a new kick,” Krautman said. “The thing is to just always focus, stay in the zone, and just move on from the last kick.”
Now Syracuse moves on to the start of the Big East Conference season by hosting Rutgers at noon Saturday, Oct. 1, at the Dome. It could be SU’s last Big East opener—or not. In addition to paying a $5 million exit fee, Syracuse and Pittsburgh, which is also bolting for the ACC, must wait 27months to leave, according to Big East bylaws. It would seem against the Big East’s interests to keep two lameduck schools for two more seasons, but the remaining Big East schools feel jilted and may make SU and Pitt stay to the end.
From a football standpoint, that might not be such a bad thing. While SU’s program is clearly on the rise, in the short term it will have a much better chance of competing for a conference title and playing in bowl games if it’s in the Big East. The ACC, keep in mind, includes the likes of Clemson, Florida State and Virginia Tech.
Looking at SU’s remaining schedule this year, you could make a case for the Orange finishing 8-4 or better, particularly with the stronger Big East teams coming to the Dome (West Virginia, South Florida and Cincinnati). On the other hand, the Orange should realize they’re in many ways lucky to be 3-1 heading into the Big East opener.
“I’m happy to sit here 3-1,” Marrone said, “but I do realize that we have a lot of work ahead of us.”
Participating Burger King restaurants will be helping out The Rescue Mission by selling a coupon for $1 during the Fries for Friends
campaign. The initiative gets under way Friday, Sept. 30, at the Burger King at 104 Fayette St., Manlius, and continues through October. The coupons can be redeemed for specific items at area Burger Kings. For more information, call 701-3835.
Deadline for contributors to the Everson Museum of Art’s annual Festival of Trees is Saturday, Oct. 1. Use the online submission form at everson.org to donate decorated trees, wreaths or holiday displays. New this year, each item will need to fit in a theme: Everson; Red; Young & Old; Natural; Faith; Victorian or Other. Each item sold will raise funds for children’s art programs and special exhibits at the museum. The Festival of Trees will be on display Dec. 2 to 11 at the former Bon-Ton store location in Shoppingtown Mall. For more information, call 474-6064.
Sing a Song
The North Syracuse Community Singers seeks new members. Rehearsals are typi cally held Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. at the North Syracuse Community Center, 700 South Bay Road. For more information, call 457-5010.
Watt’s Up, Doc?
Onondaga County Public Library cardholders can now borrow a Kill-A-Watt meter from two branches and use it to measure the kilowatt consumption of the appliances in their home. The meter will also calculate the electrical cost by the hour, day, week, month or year. It is available for checkout at the Central Library, 447 S. Salina St. (435-1900) and Betts Branch Library, 4862 S. Salina St. (435-1940).
For the 26th year, the Erie Canal Museum is seeking entries for its Gingerbread Gallery. All ages and levels of experience are welcome, and this year the museum challenges bakers to make canal-related creations, such as buildings, locks, boats and scenes, to be judged in a separate category. Entry forms are due by Friday, Nov. 4, and the holiday display takes place Nov. 25 to Jan. 8 at the museum, 318 Erie Blvd. E. For more information, call 471-0593 or visit ereicanal museum.org.