Facebook Twitter Google+ Nestled behind Marshall Square Mall on every Syracuse game day is a white tent draped over a variety of SU gear, expected from a normal tailgate. There’s a cooler stamped with a sticker from the 1994 season, two Orange lawn chairs and a couple of SU-themed blankets hanging down from the roof.Watching over everything is a poster of head coach Dino Babers’ smirking face. An unavoidable, 4-year-old banner is an homage to the head coach for injecting life into the SU fanbase.“That’s the Dino Babers lounge,” said Kurt Pomerenke, a realtor living in Oswego. “It’s the focal point of the whole tailgate. We always make sure it’s here.”The lounge inspired a multi-pronged tailgate with upward of 50 people coming every week, including former SU softball stars Alicia Hansen and Faith Cain. Pomerenke, otherwise known as “Spartacuse,” arrives between five and seven hours before kickoff every week to craft the best game day experience possible.A routine tailgater since 1982, Pomerenke used to tailgate in the SUNY-ESF parking lot. In 2015, the same year that Babers took over, the group moved to the South lot. Pomerenke’s tailgate isn’t the only one to highlight Babers, as one on Skytop features a 10-foot long “Dino-saur.” Along with friends Brian Haessig and Mike Morschauser, the tents have expanded from a small tailgate to the “largest game day tailgate on campus,” Haessig claims.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe Dino Babers lounge is the “focal point” of the whole tailgate, Kurt Pomerenke said. His poster hangs to pay homage to his revitalization of Syracuse football. Corey Henry | Photo EditorComponents of the Babers lounge are on a list that someone must bring for every game, home and away. It includes an electricity generator, a high-definition television (which usually airs full-game highlights from the 2017 Syracuse win over Clemson), stereo, space heater, grill and an orange grill-turned-bar.“We just want our tailgate to be something that everyone wants to be a part of,” Haessig said. “Everyone is accepted in the Dino Babers lounge.”Adjacent to the lounge, perhaps even more eye-catching than Babers’ poster, is a 40-foot tall inflatable human tube. The tube, which dances across the sky, arms flying in every direction with the wind, is noticeable from the intersection of University Ave. and Waverly Ave. two blocks away.In the summer after the 2018 season, Haessig and Pomerenke said they were “ginned up” after Syracuse had just won 10 games for the first time since 2001, its first winning season under Babers. Sitting by a bonfire one night, the two stumbled upon the inflatable attraction on Amazon. After a short deliberation over whether to purchase the 20- or 40-foot one, the two decided they’d split the larger one: $100 each. For 2019’s first home game against Clemson on Sept. 14, it was ready.“That’s what happens when you get drunk and go on Amazon,” Haessig said.The tailgate moved to the south lot on University Ave. in 2015. Corey Henry | Photo EditorNext to the inflatable 40-foot tube is a table of SU memorabilia including Donovan McNabb and Marvin Harrison beanie babies.In front of the tailgate is a series of vintage Orange helmets from the 1990s and a blue one from 2015, covered with silver scribbles from front-to-back. They’re from the end of the first season that Pomerenke moved to the south lot. After SU defeated Boston College on a last-second Cole Murphy field goal, Pomerenke met the team after the game and got everyone to sign the helmet, including Babers.“That year was the first year that we kinda knew this whole thing might be real,” Pomerenke said.Last season brought more people to Pomerenke’s tailgate, too. Once, a few Canadians came across Pomerenke’s tailgate — with his ear-trembling Metallica playing and collection of alcohol, from Tito’s to Patron to Cuse Juice. Given that SU football and Babers have such strong ties to Canada, the diehard SU fans welcomed them aboard.They show up unexpectedly, like Syracuse’s upset of Clemson two years ago. The lone Canadian flag in a sea of Orange memorabilia rests on top of Babers’ lounge shows them where to go.“Who knows when they’re gonna show up?” Morschauser said on Oct. 18. “They might show up today.”Kurt Pomerenke is also known as ‘Spartacuse’ and is a realtor living in Oswego. Corey Henry | Photo EditorHours before SU played Pittsburgh, Pomerenke stood in front of the tents with an orange vuvuzela-type horn in his right hand. With the inflatable tube flailing its arms over him, he gripped the small instrument with his orange lacrosse gloves and exhaled. It’s a weekly tradition.A few seconds later, he blew into the horn again, attracting glares from everyone in the lot.“Spartacuse!” one of his friends yelled.The game wouldn’t kick off for another three hours. More than half the people who were coming hadn’t shown up yet but Pomerenke had no plans of slowing down. As a tailgater since 1982, he watched a program-changing 1987 national title team and upsets over Nebraska and Penn State. He’s seen McNabb sling touchdowns and Dwight Freeney crush quarterbacks.And now, he sees the same spirit in Babers.“He’s bringing it all back,” Pomerenke said. “That’s why we do this.” Comments Published on October 22, 2019 at 11:57 pm Contact Adam: firstname.lastname@example.org | @_adamhillman
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BARNES FILEAge: 34Height: 6-foot-7College: UCLACareer statistics: 8.0 ppg, 4.5 rpg2014-15 statistics: 9.4 ppg, 3.2 rpgSeaons pro: 12 Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error “Yeah, I couldn’t even imagine dealing with everything that he’s dealing with,” Crawford said. “But he’s found a way. He’s a professional, he’s played well and I’m happy for him. When he’s playing like that, it makes our team better.”Crawford said everyone on the team has Barnes’ back.“He knows that we’re all here for him,” Crawford said. “Whenever he wants to talk and whatever he needs, we’re here for him.”Barnes and his wife separated in mid-October during training camp. It affected his game, to be sure, because he could not buy a basket during the exhibition schedule.Barnes began the regular season by averaging just 7.5 points and 2.5 rebounds in 14 games in November. He shot 43.1 percent from the field, 35.7 from 3-point range, which was not too shabby considering he at one time during the preseason was shooting just 9.3 percent (3-for-31) from the field.Barnes then averaged 9.9 points and 3.8 rebounds in 17 games in December, shooting 48.8 percent – 39.4 percent from beyond the arc. He had a high of 26 points Dec. 13 at Milwaukee. And in five games in January, he’s averaging 12.8 points and 3.5 rebounds while shooting 48.9 percent.Barnes, a 6-foot-7 small forward out of UCLA who formerly played with the Lakers, is feeling better. That’s for sure.“You never like to blame anything,” he said of the early troubles. “I just couldn’t hit a shot. But I had a lot of stuff going on, you know? So things are starting to clear up somewhat and I’m back to playing basketball.” Coach Doc Rivers has noticed.“I don’t know the off-the-court stuff, you know, I don’t want to get into that. But on the court, I think he’s playing extremely free,” Rivers said during the recent homestand. “That’s what we need him to do.”This has not been an easy split. According to reports on TMZ and other publications, Barnes and his wife might have separated because of “trust” issues stemming from Govan allegedly forging her husband’s signature on a loan document.One thing’s certain, Barnes has learned a lot about himself during the ordeal.“Just that you’ve gotta stay mentally tough, man,” he said. “Everybody goes through it. When I go through it or when we (pro athletes) go through it, it’s on a world stage, especially with my ex being a reality TV star.“So just stay mentally strong, making sure my kids are always OK, first and foremost. And then when I have basketball, I have basketball. And then when basketball is done, I focus on the rest of the bull(bleep).”Barnes is shooting 44.4 percent (12 of 27) from 3-point range this month – 52.9 percent (9 of 17) the past three games. His focus is where it belongs. On his twins, whom he obviously adores, and that deep 3-ball from the corner he likes to bury. Matt Barnes of the Los Angeles Clippers sat at his locker before a recent game at Staples Center. He listened as a reporter began to pose a question and he began making sounds while slightly nodding his head as if to indicate he knew where the reporter was going.How tough has it been to concentrate on being an NBA professional when you are going through the trials and tribulations of a separation and possible divorce?“Um … very difficult,” he said. “You know, especially when your ex is an attention seeker.”Barnes in 2012 married Gloria Govan, who starred on “Basketball Wives: LA.” As the story goes, their relationship was on full display on the show during a pre-marriage breakup in 2011. They have twin sons, the cutest little guys who are often with Dad in the locker room after games. The look on Barnes’ face when discussing the situation tells a story. There’s pain, yet strength.“I’m really out here earning my money right now, to say the least,” said Barnes, whose 25-13 team plays Wednesday night at 7:30 at Portland (29-8). “My job is to focus and play basketball. But, you know, people don’t realize that we have a lot more going on in our lives than just basketball.“I’m a father going through a situation, so I just thank my teammates and my coaches for really understanding what I’m going through and working with me through this. And knowing what I’m capable of and believing in me.”PHOTOS: Matt Barnes and Gloria GovanTeammate Jamal Crawford winced, and then smiled slightly, when he was asked about how well Barnes has handled his personal turmoil.
DES MOINES — Drake looks to regain its winning form tonight by hosting Bradley. The Bulldogs are 5-5 in Missouri Valley play.That’s Drake coach Darian DeVries who says they need to be more patient on offense than they were in a loss to the Braves in Peoria.Bradley is 6-4 in the Valley. ST. PAUL (AP) — Matt Dumba scored with 2:39 remaining in overtime to lift the Minnesota Wild to a 3-2 win against the Chicago Blackhawks. Kevin Fiala scored twice for Minnesota and Alex Stalock made 27 saves. Dumba snapped a 33-game goal-scoring drought with his fourth of the season as the Wild won for the second time in three games.Adam Boqvist and Olli Maatta scored in the third period for Chicago. Corey Crawford made 31 saves for the Blackhawks, who had won six of their previous seven games. MASON CITY – NIACC sophomore Autam Mendez was selected as the Iowa Community College Athletic Conference women’s basketball player of the week for the week of Jan. 27-Feb. 2.Mendez, who is from St. Paul, Minn., scored 22 points, including four 3-point goals, in the Lady Trojans’ win over then No. 1 Kirkwood last Wednesday. She also scored 25 points with 10 rebounds in a win over DMACC last Saturday.It is the second time in her career that Mendez has earned the conference player of the week honor. She also won the award in the 2018-19 season for the week of Jan. 21-27.It is the second time this season that a NIACC women’s player earned the league’s player of the week honor. Freshman Sierra Morrow earned the award for the week of Nov. 1-10.Mendez averages 15.3 points per game, which ranks third in the conference. She is second on the Lady Trojans with 47 3-point goals and second on the team with 147 rebounds.Mendez ranks 10th on NIACC’s career scoring list with 863 points, ranks fifth with 130 career 3-point goals and ranks eighth with 440 career rebounds.No. 1 NIACC (23-1 overall, 10-0 in the ICCAC) returns to action tonight in a conference game at Iowa Lakes. ALGONA — Clear Lake saw their nine-game winning streak snapped, falling for the first time in North Central Conference play this season with a 48-45 loss at Algona last night, as you heard on AM-1490/96.7-FM KRIB. Algona led for the entire first half, but the Lions outscored the Bulldogs 17-14 in the third quarter to take a 38-36 lead. The teams traded the lead several times in the fourth quarter, but the Bulldogs outscored Clear Lake 12-7 in the final frame for the win. Sara Faber had 10 while Darby Dodd added eight to lead Clear Lake, as the Lions drop to 16-2 overall and 11-1 in the conference. The Lions host Garner-Hayfield-Ventura on Thursday night in non-conference play, followed by hosting Humboldt in conference play on Friday. IOWA CITY — The 17th ranked Iowa Hawkeyes face a tough challenge tonight against a Purdue team that has been tough to beat at home. Iowa coach Fran McCaffery says among the challenges is the play of Purdue guard Jahaad Proctor. The senior has averaged 14 points and shot nearly 50 percent from three point range the last two games.Iowa junior center Luka Garza is coming off a career-high four three pointers in a win over Illinois and McCaffery says that has always been a part of his arsenal.Sophomore guard Joe Weiskamp has become a more complete player this season. Weiskamp is ninth in the Big Ten in scoring and 15th in rebounding.Iowa has lost nine of ten in Mackey Arena. You can hear the Iowa-Purdue game on AM-1300 KGLO starting with the pre-game at 5 o’clock with tipoff slated for 6 o’clock. — boys basketballNewman 61, Central Springs 35Bishop Garrigan 58, Forest City 51Iowa Falls-Alden 64, Hampton-Dumont-CAL 60Lake Mills 86, North Iowa 50Osage 61, Rockford 31Saint Ansgar 42, Northwood-Kensett 36West Fork 58, North Butler 22West Hancock 65, Belmond-Klemme 42 WEST DES MOINES — Dowling swept Mason City in a CIML basketball doubleheader last night, as you heard on AM-1300 KGLO. The Dowling girls handled Mason City 79-38. Anna Deets had 16 to lead the Mohawks while Sami Miller added eight. The Dowling boys raced out to a 24-8 lead on their way to a 92-41 win over Mason City. Jeff Skogen led Mason City with 12 points. The Mohawks drop to 5-10 on the season and will travel to Marshalltown on Saturday. AMES — Iowa State coach Steve Prohm is not concerned about criticism of the program affecting his players. The Cyclones are 9-12 overall and just 2-6 in the Big 12 heading into tonight’s game at West Virginia.Tonight’s game ends a tough stretch for the Cyclones that has seen them lose three straight.Prohm says two keys against the Mountaineers are handling their press and rebounding.Tipoff in Morgantown is scheduled for 6 o’clock tonight CEDAR FALLS — Northern Iowa takes the Missouri Valley Conference lead on the road tonight to Valparaiso. The Panthers won the first meeting in Cedar Falls but Valpo senior Ryan Fazekas has returned from injury and is averaging over 10 points and shooting over 47 percent from three point range.That’s Panther coach Ben Jacobson who says Fazekas helps open up the offense.The Crusaders are 5-5 in the Valley but 8-1 at home this season. TONIGHT:AM-1300 KGLO — Iowa men at Purdue — pre-game 5:00, tipoff 6:00 — girls basketball last nightNewman 46, Central Springs 36Bishop Garrigan 79, Forest City 56Clarion-Goldfield-Dows 50, Webster City 42Crestwood 72, Charles City 51Hampton-Dumont-CAL 51, Iowa Falls-Alden 27Lake Mills 56, North Iowa 29Osage 84, Rockford 18Saint Ansgar 65, Northwood-Kensett 30West Fork 56, North Butler 40West Hancock 61, Belmond-Klemme 31