Updated 06/18/2011 08:11 AM
Syracuse football players spend the day with Fort Drum soldiers
Bomb, battle, cannon. The words of sports are often described with words of war. And Friday, those worlds collided. Syracuse University sent several football players to Fort Drum to learn a bit about military life. As our Brian Dwyer reports, they had a great time trying it out.
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FORT DRUM, N.Y. -- Asking the guys on the Syracuse football team, you'd think Doug Marrone traded in his visor for an Army hat.
But Friday, those directions were being barked from Fort Drum's 3rd Brigade Rear Detachment. The players spent the day on Drum, learning about military life.
"It's hard work to do this," senior strong safety Olando Fisher said. "They go through rigorous training just like we do. It's learning new experiences and seeing what they go through day by day and it's a good experience for us."
"My dad is an ex-Marine, former Marine," senior wide receiver Dorian Graham added. "I kind of grew up around a lot of this stuff and it just interests me on how these guys protect our country and how we stay safe."
And these guys can take some of this stuff back to the Carrier Dome. The discipline, the hard work, teammates, a plan and more.
"Trust. Not that we don't already trust each other, but in a different way you know?" senior defensive end Chandler Jones said. "We have a gun in our hand and you've got to trust that guy next to you that he's not going to shoot you and not turn on you."
"I already had a great respect, but now I see this is real," sophomore free safety Jeremi Wilkes added. "This is real."
And all of this practice of course, leads to game time. Except the Carrier Dome on Fort Drum is this paintball field. But the players brought some things from the loud house, like the competition and, of course, the trash talking.
"I want to shoot all these guys," Olando Fisher said.
"Who do you want to shoot the most?" our reporter asked Wilkes.
"Fish. Fish. Olando Fisher. He's talking a lot of trash. I'm going to get him good. I'm going to get him good," He replied.
"I want to shoot him too," Fisher joked of Wilkes. "I really want to shoot him right in his head."
The players say they hope the football team keeps this relationship with Fort Drum for years to come, saying it's fun and what they learn could score some points with Coach Marrone.
Of course, it won't be too much longer until the football team gets back to their field. Practice begins in just a matter of weeks and the team kicks off the 2011 season September 1st at the Dome against Wake Forest.