In November, TNIAAM introduced the moniker "DABO" as a way to call out those individuals who opined on Syracuse football, but Didn’t Actually Bother to base their opinion on anything resembling fact. Indeed, 2013 was a banner year for those individuals who gleefully opined on just how weak a program we were based on the lazy and incorrect narrative that we were a middle-of-the-pack Big East program in 2012 (we weren’t), and/or the Big East was generally inferior to the ACC (which, aside from FSU and Clemson, it wasn’t). Select members of the ACC and national media certainly were guilty of DABO-ist tendencies, but a few groups or individuals separated themselves from the pack in a year where (hopefully) fresh and more accurate opinions of our football team were established. Let's review the candidates for Biggest DABO:
Testudo Times (Maryland): The term DABO was born on the day our friends in SB Nation-hood described Syracuse as a "very, very bad" football team following an apparent 20-3 pasting at the hands of the Terrapins. Given how we were described following the game, one would be forgiven for thinking that Maryland ran roughshod over Syracuse in a game that showcased the terp's aggressive defense and punishing ground game, while exposing Syracuse as a soft team who couldn’t respond to being punched in the face. OH THAT’S RIGHT…it was the other way around!
To be clear, there was only one very bad team on the field in College Park, and they weren’t wearing orange.
The Daily Gopher (Minnesota): Whether it was frustration at returning to a mediocre bowl game far from home, facing a somewhat familiar opponent whom the Gophers had beaten in previous seasons, or their wholesale application of the transitive property, fans of the nation’s greatest ever 8-win team sure were in a dismissive mood when Syracuse was chosen as their Texas Bowl opponent. With few exceptions, Minny’s fans expressed their disappointment at having to play us, and it came across as smug, cocky, and a bit condescending. Expecting to roll over a team that lost to Penn State and Northwestern, the Gophers were left stunned when Brisly Estime and Terrel Hunt starred in SU’s well deserved 21-17 victory.
Dabo Swinney/Shakin' the Southland (Clemson)– Any discussion of biggest DABO has to include the man whose odd name was the muse for our newest acronym. Dabo Swinney’s fourth-down decision to go for a touchdown in the closing minute of the first half in a game that already seemed out of reach smacked of disrespect, and led to what has already been coronated as the greatest GIF of 2013 (and perhaps all time)!
Syracuse clearly couldn’t compete with Clemson on the day, but Dabo’s attempt to insert the dagger in Syracuse’s mostly dead corpse was a seminal moment in our fan base’s general hatred of the Tigers. Combine this with our interactions with a Clemson fanbase that seemed strangely indignant that we had the gaul to actually think we had a chance at competing with the Tigers quickly entrenched Clemson as a team we love to hate. The chip is now squarely on our shoulder, and as Justin Timberlake famously said: "What goes around comes all the way back around". Be ready Clemson, be ready.