We're a big community of Syracuse Orange fans here. Of course, that community thrives and grows on the contributions of everybody at TNIAAM. With that in mind, Sean and I wanted to feature some of our favorite posts from the site's staff after a positive and eventful 2016.
These aren't ranked -- we couldn't decide which we liked more than the others. So enjoy them as a group (in chronological order), one more time before we turn the page on the calendar.
Our Favorite (Top 10) TNIAAM Staff Articles of 2016
The first of a whole bunch of #CooneyLegacy posts, this one from James seemed to capture the confluence of SU fan feelings about the guard well. Some were so transfixed on what he wasn’t that they forgot what he was. Others seemed intent on defending what he was, so they lost track of what he failed to be. Cooney arguments may be in the past now, but their legacy (and his) will live on as one of the most polarizing in recent memory at SU.
The Imperfect Coach and His Ready to Fight Fans (Matt McClusky)
Matt may not write nearly as often as he used to here, but he certainly makes it count when he does. As a lifelong Orange fan, he had a lot to talk about in light of Syracuse’s surprise Final Four trip, and this was the most important of all. Last year’s team was an embodiment of a frustrating few years for the fan base post-Bernie Fine, sanctions and more. Jim Boeheim’s handling of it all was reflective of the way the team’s supporters felt each and every day. We were sick of hearing it from outsiders. We were ready to embrace the role of the villain (and so was he).
Our resident lacrosse guru Jim provided some interesting thoughts about where the sport’s coaching atmosphere was headed after Virginia fired its own head man. While UVa had been successful, they wanted more than Starsia could provide. Given the situation the Orange are in with John Desko and recent diminishing returns, the conversation hits home pretty hard for SU lacrosse observers.
The Most Obsolete Syracuse Basketball T-Shirts Orange Fans Still Wear (Aaron Goldfarb/Hoya Suxa)
When the Syracuse-UConn game was announced much earlier in 2016, it resulted in a conversation about past-their-prime tees. Given SUA’s propensity for making shirts about accomplishments large and non-existent, it was only fair to discuss which could make an appearance at Madison Square Garden this fall. Many of us (John included) own and wear several of these, so there’s no shame in owning up to it — though Goldfarb and Suxa may argue there is, indeed, plenty to feel deep self-doubt for.
What Syracuse Needs From the Next Athletic Director (Kevin Wall)
When Mark Coyle bailed on us back in May, it left everyone wondering who’s next to man the post? Instead, Kevin explored what that person would need to do in order to be successful. Football was an obvious one, while managing the transition of the basketball program from the Boeheim era to Mike Hopkins probably seemed easier then than it does now. In any case, it’s a good starting point for John Wildhack as he looks to shape his tenure going forward.
TNIAAM Roast Week: Hoya Suxa (Hoya Suxa)
Celebrating year 10 of TNIAAM back in October, plenty of folks lent their voices to our roast of Sean, the site and more. None, however, shown bright than longtime pop culture columnist Hoya Suxa. His post set the tone for a week of laughs at your editors’ expense in a way that only he can. There are too many excellent zingers in there to isolate just one, so go and re-read for yourself.
StrawHatGuy Pays Tribute to #TNIAAMRoastWeek (StrawHatGuy)
Speaking of Roast Week, when one of the community’s longest-tenured commenters StrawHatGuy came to us with an idea for a tribute, we were all for it. And while we had some high hopes, we never thought it would turn out as good as it did. The video recap, complete with depraved fight song, cigars, inside jokes and more is everything that TNIAAM’s ever been about. Things have changed around here, clearly. But we hope the heart of the site’s always what’s summed up in what may be the best video to ever appear here.
Following Eric Dungey’s second straight season-ending injury, former Orange cornerback Julian Whigham had some questions about SU’s concussion policy and how Dungey’s (not) protecting himself properly. All of Julian’s contributions were welcome and appreciated at the site this year, but none more than this one -- which boldly took a critical eye at the program he used to play for.
SU Football: It’s Dino or It’s All a Bust (Matt McClusky)
Matt’s all in on on Dino Babers era, but also understands what happens if it doesn’t work. We’re all about #jokesandgarbage here, but there’s also a heavy dose of realism about this athletic program too. Matt hints at the optimistic side of the coin with SU football, though there are truly some dire consequences to this not working out. For all of our sakes, let’s hope it’s Dino.
Syracuse Football: Time to Enjoy an Uncertain Future Rather than Search for a Distant Past (The Invisible Swordsman)
In recent (last 15) years, Syracuse football’s defined itself largely by what it’s been, rather than what it is or will be. As Matt points out in the previous piece, however, there’s a lot of optimism to be had about the Babers era, and the Invisible Swordsman embraces those feelings over our “storied” days gone by. Now if only someone at SUA could cooperate with our optimism and get around to scheduling easier...
This is far from EVERYTHING we enjoyed reading throughout the year. And an article's lack of inclusion doesn't mean we failed to appreciate the value it brought to another great year for TNIAAM. Given the pure volume of articles here (over 2,500 in 2016), it’s quite the task to narrow a list like this, but still, it’s a labor of love.
Thanks, everyone, for writing. And for reading too. TNIAAM couldn’t be what it is without you.