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Year-in-review: TNIAAM’s most-commented articles of 2017

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Another busy year of Syracuse sports comes to a close.

NCAA Basketball: St. Bonaventure at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Syracuse Orange sports never sleep, as we’ve come to learn in recent years. And of course, 2017 was no exception as SU put in another... interesting 12 months that left us equal parts elated and confused. At TNIAAM, we’ve written over 2,000 articles about it all, and many of those posts received quite a few comments.

Starting up our year-end recap articles, we wanted to take a look back at the pieces that garnered the biggest reactions from this community. This excludes GameThreads, because that’s cheating.

TNIAAM's Most-Commented Posts of 2017

1. Washington hires Mike Hopkins as head coach

The NIT wrapped up and shortly thereafter, we heard the long-time Syracuse assistant was on his way out the door. It shouldn’t have surprised us, but it was a shock to the system. For the first time in decades, there was a real question of “what next?” around Orange basketball. While we don’t have a definitive answer to that query just yet, this thread started getting us closer to figuring it out — while occasionally yelling at one another.

2. Syracuse 82, Clemson 81: Orange Come Back From Behind Once Again

Last year’s run through a slew of late comebacks was stressful for fans, and this game was among the most agonizing of all. But the late game-winner from Tyus Battle was a major moment for the then-freshman and for us as fans given the roller coaster we were being put three each game. It was our top Clemson-related highlight of the year until October...

3. Syracuse not directly tied to basketball pay-for-play scandal at this time

Man, you guys hated this article. Moving on...

4. How Rick Pitino and Tom Jurich’s departures affect the ACC

In the wake of the offseason’s FBI investigation, Louisville clearly came out of it with the most problems (at least for now). We looked at what this could mean for the ACC at large. Many of you participated in that conversation... or continued the conversation from the previous thread. Whichever.

5. Final score: Syracuse 27, Clemson 24

It was a very Syracuse thing to beat Clemson, the now-No. 1 team in the nation, and then proceed to lose every game thereafter. We weren’t thinking about that at the time, however. Beating the Tigers was a possibility we hadn’t really entertained just yet. And it seemed to validate the good vibes Dino Babers had brought to the program as well. There are evenings on this site that always stand out, even years later. This one, after one of the largest Orange football upsets of all-time, will be among those.

6. Dino Babers puts ketchup on hot dogs and I don’t know what to believe in anymore

Ends up a lot of you are animals that believe in the world’s worst condiment, ketchup. Still, there were plenty more on the right side of history -- something Babers would be as well by the end of this internet fracas. Moral of the story: Don’t put ketchup on anything and we’ll all be better people for it.

7. Everything that has a beginning has an end, Dino

For the first time, TNIAAM would be run by someone other than Sean. Some of you were alright with this news. Others are still trying to #CancelCassillo. But Sean’s parting letter did capture a lot of what made (and still makes) this community a great place to care about Syracuse sports. And #jokesandgarbage. I hope I’ve somewhat followed through on the promising future Sean laid out in this article.

8. Syracuse forward Taurean Thompson will transfer to Seton Hall, per report

Every recent season has featured one major “WTF” moment, and this year’s was Thompson’s August departure. While the dynamic offensive player’s absence is clearly missed on the 2017-18 Orange basketball team, we’re definitely a better defensive team without him. Depending on how this season ends, it could be one of our larger “what-ifs” in a decade full of them.

9. Final score: Middle Tennessee 30, Syracuse 23

Game two of the 2017 football season had us in crisis mode pretty early. The Orange would rebound of course, before fading into the depths we thought this game was a harbinger of anyway. There was a lot of yelling and uncertainty. It was just like the Shafer days, which was convenient given the fact that we faced the former SU coach’s defense (with little success) on that Saturday.

10. Three takeaways from Syracuse’s 27-24 loss to Florida State

The fact that this game was such a gut-punch is a testament to what Babers has been able to accomplish in a short time. But given the fact that the Orange didn’t manage any points at the end of the first half, missing a field goal as time expired seemed extra brutal. We didn’t yet understand what pain was in this season.

11. Washington upset Kansas and Mike Hopkins is coming back when Jim retires, right?

As indicated by the most-commented piece of the year, you guys like talking about Mike Hopkins. This one looked at how the former Orange assistant was able to beat Kansas a week after Syracuse couldn’t -- largely on the strength of a 2-3 zone. I’m personally looking forward to keeping an eye on how Hop fares in Seattle these next few years (while still hoping he comes back).

12. We can’t let sports, like everything else, send us to our separate corners

This was a subtle preview for the year to come in the outside world, with a country that’s never been more divided by political opinions (and concepts of reality). We’re all Syracuse fans here though, no matter who or what we vote for. The hope in this article (and for me in general) is that we can keep Orange fandom in mind even when discussing our differences.

13. Syracuse Orange basketball fans should embrace rational optimism

This SU basketball team is far from perfect, but there’s reason to see them being able to accomplish something of note this year (even if that’s just an NCAA Tournament bid). There’s a balance between a positive outlook and an irrational one, however. Kevin’s article just reminded us of where that intersection lies.

***

Hopefully it was a fun first year of the next era of TNIAAM for everyone. While it didn’t feature a surprise Final Four run, we still had plenty of good times, right? If you missed any of these posts the first time around, go read them again and explore the comment sections for what should be a pretty enjoyable collections of gifs, #jokesandgarbage and other assorted nonsense.

As always, thanks for reading.