With TNIAAM founder Sean Keeley off to bigger and (probably) better things, the Syracuse Orange blogging legend has been on the formal farewell tour. Today, that included Syracuse.com, where Chris Carlson asked him all the questions you always wanted answered about the site and him as well.
As is customary when someone of Syracuse-related importance gets interviewed, TNIAAM creates a top-10ish post of some sort instead of doing actual reporting. Sean fits the bill on the acclaim front, so now you get a listicle-thing. Enjoy.
1. Sean doesn’t like college basketball
“I don't get quite as excited for college basketball. I consider myself a Syracuse basketball fan but I'm not really that into college basketball. It's tough to maintain a level of enthusiasm when you're writing about college basketball every day.”
Sean goes on to explain that once football season’s ended for the last couple years, it made him want to quit. That’s all you need to know about non-Syracuse things during college basketball season.
Since I almost feel the same way (WATCH THE NBA, YOU HEATHENS), nothing will change here.
2. Sean doesn’t even like sports
“I was never really this obsessive sports fan. Really it was more about just Syracuse. I was a fan of Syracuse and always will be a fan of Syracuse.”
See? Proof. Now, while you may doubt whether or not I’m even a sports fan, I assure you that sports has been one of my only interests for nearly 30 years. I follow every Syracuse sport large and small, seven pro teams and several leagues in their entirety as well (especially college football). Your only concern with me is how much I let those other sports interfere with Syracuse-related things. Based on the podcast, you have reason to worry.
3. Masochism’s always been in TNIAAM’s DNA
“...Those things really established the identity of the site, which was, we're going to talk about sports, we're going to talk about Syracuse but we're going to have some fun with it. Even if things are terrible.”
I may have taken over the most hapless and excruciating of tasks over the years around here, but I was far from a pioneer there. We’ve talked about every terrible thing to befall Syracuse (and others) imaginable. And we’ll continue to do so.
4. Sean thinks there are all kinds of sports blogs
“I think there's all kinds of sports blogs.”
5. Being #DisloyalIdiots before #DisloyalIdiots were a thing
“It was important to me that we weren't just rah-rah, toe the party line, sycophantic. That's not me. I'm too cynical to be like that. I have my feelings on the world of college athletics and how it's run. I think there's a balance. I'm a Syracuse fan and I want Syracuse to do well, but I also view the world of college sports with a bit of a side eye.”
Sean founded this thing questioning what happens around SU and college sports in general. People have stuck around for the community aspect of all of this (and what a community it is), but the cynical (#disloyal) side of the site was what set it apart from day one.
I know there have been claims about my own pessimism in my time on the site, and I’ve tried to strike a balance in how I write. But digging deeper than the typical fan or blog would is sort of how we’ve always done things. One day, we’re going to Woodward-and-Bernstein something around here, and it’ll be more fun and rewarding for everybody than you’ll ever admit to yourself now.
6. Sean’s a populist; a man of the people
“...I had this realization that I don't want to sit in the press box. I want to sit in the stadium. I want to sit in the seats and be a fan, and after the game I'll talk about it.”
He’s so much of a populist he doesn’t even NEED your press box. He just wants to wear a hat, hang out with common folks, listen to their needs, then yell about it on the internet afterward. Can’t think of another person that’s ever done this. He’s a Populist with a capital P
7. Syracuse athletics is headed in the right direction
“From my point of view, it seems like SU Athletics is moving in a really good direction.”
We haven’t scheduled a very difficult Power Five opponent for the football team in over 16 months. That’s progress.
8. Sean and I are similar, and different
I’ve been true to my word so far. Syracuse is also losing, which is what they were doing under Sean. But they also lost to Virginia Tech, which they hadn’t done (in basketball) ever under Sean. So yeah, different.
9. Sean wants you to keep reading
SO DO I!
In all seriousness, you should read the interview over on Syracuse.com. It’s some great insight around Sean’s time with the site and his decision to pursue other career avenues now. You might even learn a thing or two you hadn’t heard from/about him before.