2015 is practically in the books and it was an...interesting...year for Syracuse Orange fans. We were witness to the worst 50-game stretch of the Jim Boeheim Era. We saw the demise of the Scott Shafer Era as well as the beginning of the Dino Babers Era. We also got to see National Championships courtesy of the Field Hockey and Men's Cross Country as well as memorable post-season runs by men's soccer and track & field (literally).
In between all of that, we had to keep ourselves busy. We had to entertain ourselves on Twitter and during the tough times and memes were the way through all of it. Even when things were bad, we could count on a fun meme or hashtag to maintain our interest and/or distract us.
Here now, are the very best ones from 2015:
#DungeyforHeisman/The Dungeyeon: Eric Dungey quarterbacked his way into our hearts almost immediately and gave us hope about the future. Hopefully that future hasn't been hit in the head too many times.
#DungeyForHeisman https://t.co/TAQ9gChBvS— Jon (@Jon__Nunes) October 17, 2015
#FreeRak: When the NCAA hit Syracuse with sanctions and SU declared itself ineligible from the postseason, it felt like senior Rakeem Christmas was being unfairly punished for the sins of others.
Last stop on the Rak Express. Let's have one last Christmas Celebration. #BEATNCSTATE #FreeRak pic.twitter.com/S9NBlK1pDv— Justin Hardie (@OrangeHardie) March 7, 2015
#IStandWithShafer: As the tide started to turn against Head Coach Scott Shafer, this movement cropped up on social media, led in large part by player parents. Alas, Mark Coyle did not include hashtag metrics in his decision-making.
No. 10 - NCAA Sanction Memes
When the sanctions came down, they came down hard. You could get angry, which many of us did. But you could also take a moment to laugh at the absurdity as well as the issues it was about to create for SU Basketball.
@TheBenSwain @jjones9 @lebrownlow pic.twitter.com/CligOClqol— Jared (@GolfproJ) March 6, 2015
No. 9 - #BRAND
DOCTOR Daryl Gross was out as Athletic Director in March following the sanctions. It was either the Chancellor's decision or DOC's decision, depending on who you asked. In a way, it was the perfect way for DOC to leave us, #BRANDING on his way out the door. This was the year of the Roosevelt Bowie snafu, which was one of the final in a long line of gaffes that Gross's department left in it's wake. That's what we'll remember most...how under Gross it was more important to think BIG PICTURE #BRAND than it was to check the spelling on honorary jerseys or logos on statues.
What is Syracuse Football's #BRAND, And What Should It Be? (H/T @Andy_Staples) http://t.co/OkyCbvecGR pic.twitter.com/32LuSCirb3— NunesMagician.com (@NunesMagician) July 1, 2015
No. 8 - Incorrect SU Player Names
It's downright amazing at this point that we're still talking about this. It's literally been years now that announcers and writers have been botching Orange player names with regularity and there doesn't appear to be any end in sight. We know The Cooney Brothers well but in 2015 we got to meet Kyle Lydon, Grizzly Estime, Evan Foy and Michael Gbinijah.
No. 7 - MethodCat
It all started innocently enough as a transcript typo.
Tim Lester: #MethodCat pic.twitter.com/qMtF89Y6kU— NunesMagician.com (@NunesMagician) October 1, 2015
From there, this descriptor for Tim Lester's play-calling style took on a life of it's own. What WAS MethodCat? Hard to explain, but you knew it when you saw it...
Second half has been SO #MethodCat it's insane.— John Cassillo (@JohnCassillo) October 10, 2015
No. 6 - Officer Mahoney
When Zack Mahoney joined the Orange as a walk-on JUCO transfer QB, we figured we might get a couple Police Academy references out of him and that was it. But a few injuries later and all of a sudden, Zack was a One-Man Tackleberry as he led us into battle against LSU and Clemson. Along the way, a legend was born...
No. 5 - Coach Q's Self-Memeing
If you're not a big Syracuse women's basketball fan, maybe you're not up on Coach Q and his unique style of tweeting. It's...uh, unique.
September 15, 2015
They don't waste time feeling sorry for themselves. They take responsibility pic.twitter.com/wJ7euqp059— Quentin Hillsman (@CoachQatSU) December 14, 2015
Yeah we don't know what's going on either. But we love it.
No. 4 - Dino-saur Babers-que
Has the name of a Syracuse football coach ever fit so well with the name of an iconic Syracuse eatery? We don't think so. It's destiny.
Also, we can finally unveil this masterpiece. From @NunesMagician's @NunesSwordsman #DinosaurBabersque pic.twitter.com/kLygF447Fv— John Cassillo (@JohnCassillo) December 5, 2015
No. 3 - "3-0! 24 Years! 3-0! 24 Years!"
Oh, poor Scott. This one's gonna sting for a while. After Syracuse's 3-0 start to the 2015 season (which was fully expected), Scott Shafer got after the local media before they'd even asked a question to try and make sure they remained positive about SU's good start. Even though Shafer seemed to be the one acknowledging that SU's first three opponents were cupcakes, and the fact that the Orange had just needed overtime to defeat a MAC team at home, he was all kinds of fired up about SU's hot start.
Oh how that would come to bite him in the ass as the season progressed...
"3-8! One year! 3-8! One year! 3-8! One year!"— NunesMagician.com (@NunesMagician) November 21, 2015
Shafer's relationship with the media went sour some time between Year 2 and Year 3 and this was the way-too-early moment when he decided to cash in on his bitterness. He probably should have waited.
No. 2 - #CooneyFace
We don't know what it is about Trevor Cooney but his facial expressions, coupled with the never-ending neck stubble of a 45-year-old, are the gift that keep on giving...
#Cooneyface @NunesMagician #Cuse pic.twitter.com/o8fcVpBkxT— NY Sports Biz (@NYSportsBiz) December 10, 2015
*waiting patiently for the @NunesMagician #CooneyFace tweet for this picture (courtesy of @DOsports)* pic.twitter.com/qVKtmi7uFU— Nicole Howell (@nicolehowl) December 3, 2015
#CooneyFace pic.twitter.com/02smMGoTQg— NunesMagician.com (@NunesMagician) November 26, 2015
The wait is over. #CooneyFace returns tonight! #OrangeMadness pic.twitter.com/2D3uRk7eZ0— Justin Hardie (@OrangeHardie) October 16, 2015
No. 1 - #DixonForHeisman
Perhaps it's a little self-serving seeing all the work I put into #DixonForHeisman but as I have said before, the only reason the Heisman campaign for Riley Dixon had so much traction is because Riley himself was so great. The local walk-on turned scholarship punter with a flair for the dramatic gave us something to root for in the last couple seasons that provided few rooting opportunities otherwise.
It became a movement so potent it was actually mentioned on-air during a game while the coaching staff and his teammates also acknowledged it.
So many great moments to choose from but obviously there's one that stands tall (and punches harder) than any other...
#DixonForHeisman, now and forever.