Covering and following Syracuse Orange sports is always interesting. And 2016 was no exception here at TNIAAM. As a group, we’ve written over 2,5000 articles in the last 12 months, many of which received quite a few comments.
Starting up our year-end recap articles, we wanted to take a look back at the pieces that elicited the biggest reactions from this community. This excludes GameThreads, because that’s cheating.
TNIAAM's Most-Commented Posts of 2016
The most ornery opponent Q&A that ever was on this site, Georgetown included. Gonzaga fans were pretty confident going into their matchup with the Orange -- a team that “wasn’t supposed to be there” and admittedly had some physical disadvantages in the post. Still, SU had a quality defense and (mostly) dependable senior leadership. It would at least be a competitive matchup. Zags fans didn’t think so, and shared as much. Syracuse fans disagreed, and were happy to tell them as well. The rest was the most-commented article of 2016.
After arriving in a “special place” like Syracuse back in 2015, we figured Coyle would be around awhile as our athletic director. He was not, obviously, and it stunned us as a group. The comment section turned into a bit of a venting session, but in the end, SU got John Wildhack. We think this all worked out for the best.
The most-read article in TNIAAM history, by Syracuse and non-Syracuse fans alike. Sean penned an opus to every fan or talking head yammering on about why the Orange didn’t belong in the NCAA Tournament or why their wins didn’t count as much as everyone else’s, etc. In what was effectively an “eff you tour” for Jim Boeheim, the fact that we’d make the Final Four after this letter’s publishing made it that much more satisfying.
Shut up, it’s not a GameThread. As we waited for the brackets to be revealed, nerves were high for Syracuse fans. Then someone leaked the whole thing on Twitter and we breathed sigh after sigh of relief. Things looked pretty bleak following an early loss to Pitt in the ACC Tournament, so it was understandable why we were all so down on the Orange’s chances. Thankfully, that wouldn’t come to pass.
And here’s your follow-up to the first article on this list. After all the early celebrations by Zags fans and all of the pundits telling us Syracuse had no shot, the Orange took it to Gonzaga anyway. It certainly wasn’t easy, and SU trailed for much of the game as well. But Michael Gbinije scored the late points needed to seal the deal for a scrappy Syracuse team that was defying all odds and laughing at those telling them they couldn’t.
The Orange trailed by a lot against Virginia. Then they started to press, Malachi Richardson started donning imaginary eyewear, and the rest is history. Like every other pre-Final Four team/fan base before them, the Hoos were very confident they’d make short work of a “lesser” Syracuse team. This was validation for Orange fans and Jim Boeheim, and we celebrated it as such.
A couple of years removed from some questionable officiating to end a Duke-SU game in Durham, it would happen again for these two teams — except this time, the calls would benefit the Orange. Syracuse clamped down on the Blue Devils’ shooters, forced them to play an uglier type of basketball, and eventually knocked and dragged out a win in one of the sport’s toughest venues. This, more than nearly any other win, is the reason SU made the NCAA Tournament.
Ari asked a simple question, and the response was complicated and filled with ire. How much fans were still annoyed by Cooney’s late miss vs. Michigan varied, but many were not having another #CooneyLegacy post no matter what he did in the Final Four. The pro- and anti-Cooney camps warred in the comments, creating divisions instead of unity in advance of a surprising Final Four trip.
Sean summarized everyone’s feelings about the Final Four run in the moments following the Virginia upset: “YES!” “How?” “Lulz.” Getting there with a team that people expected to win is exciting in its own right. But advancing to the final weekend with a team many said was undeserving was just as satisfying for the wins as it was for proving the critics wrong. None of it made sense, and that provided a sick sense of joy in its own right too. It was among the most fun couple weeks of Orange basketball we’ve witnessed.
#Chainghazi was pretty dumb, and we said as much early on. Louisville fans did not agree, and were anxious to share as much with us. The fact that Petrino was proven wrong had no bearing on anything that happened next. The #disrespeck card was played. To no one’s surprise, Petrino was also brought up in another cheating question later in the year, as #WakeyLeaks unsurprisingly showed direct involvement by the Cardinals’ coaching staff. Guess we were right about him all along?
Certainly much happier memories, for the most part, than 2015 provided. It’s always nice to see the most commented pieces revolving around wins, instead of anything involving
Bernie Fine NCAA sanctions other stuff. So go read them again, and laugh at the gifs, schadenfreude and more in the comment section, just like you did then. As always, thanks for reading.