It was another busy year of Syracuse Orange sports in 2017, and that lead to our community here continuing to grow on the strength of the contributions of everyone at TNIAAM. With that in mind, I wanted to feature some of my favorite posts from the site’s staff (other than myself) after an interesting last 12 months.
These aren't ranked -- I couldn't decide which I liked more than the others (you: “cop-out!”). So enjoy them as a group (in chronological order), one more time before we turn the page to what’s hopefully an even more successful 2018.
An open letter to Syracuse's incoming 2017 recruiting class (Julian Whigham)
Julian’s insight has been an invaluable addition to the site, and this article seems to encapsulate his unique perspective most of all. He’s honest, helpful and invested in how Syracuse’s newest roster additions can make the best of their time playing. The advice works for non-players as well; it’s a fitting reminder of the challenges many of us faced as students at one point in time.
America got what it needed out of Fab Melo (Sean Keeley)
Still weird seeing Sean’s stuff in this article? Well, in any case, this was his best article of the year and one of my favorites he’s written in the last few years. Fab Melo’s death was a tragic occurrence and Sean put a smarter conclusion on it for Syracuse fans than we would’ve really thought possible when his career came to a close.
We always love blaming someone else for our own problems -- especially those that are self-induced. That goes double for Syracuse basketball fans, who were very anxious to place blame elsewhere for why the Orange wouldn’t (and eventually didn’t) make the NCAAs. Sometimes you have to be blunt about these things, and Ari obliged.
Syracuse lacrosse: In defense of Jordan Evans (Jim Simmons)
There are few, if any, lacrosse opinions I’ll trust more than Jim’s. So if he says that Jordan Evans is doing fine, I’m very tempted to believe him. The detailed breakdown near the men’s team’s midpoint was a great conversation starter and a look where the team could improve (and did, en route to a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament).
The Orange were entering uncharted recent territory as 2016-17 came to a close. And though Ben used recruiting as the lens for this conversation, it applied to the entire state of the program. Taking the advice here into the fall was needed — and still is, no matter what happens this season. After a strong 2018 cycle, SU’s future appears bright.
Katherine Switzer’s story is a great one, especially 50 years later. And the best person to tell it around here is Kevin, obviously. What Switzer had to go through just to run a race was both a horrible commentary on society at the time and a testament to her courage as a person.
Another Cooney legacy post? Hardly, as we caught up with the former SU guard during The Basketball Tournament to chat what exactly he’s doing now (and Orange hoops). He also created Sean’s eventual tombstone inscription: “He’s a pretty funny guy, had some good tweets.”
How Syracuse offensive line recruits help in 2018 and beyond (Steve Haller)
Given that he used to play on the line himself, Steve has plenty of perspective on the position. He applied that to Syracuse’s current situation, which is gradually building some quality depth. Even if it was predicated in part on Tyrone Sampson arriving in this recruiting class, the points still very much apply.
What Syracuse loses without Taurean Thompson (Andrew Godnick)
It was easy to jump to conclusions after Thompson decided to leave Syracuse for Seton Hall. Andrew helped put things in perspective about what the Orange could and couldn’t do without him. He expected we’d be leaning on SU’s guards to score points, and hey, that ended up happening. Andrew didn’t predict Oshae Brissett’s rise, but who really could have at the time?
Syracuse losing close to LSU means nothing, unless it does (Andy Pregler)
Losing close did mean nothing, it would end up. Though it did sort of foretell what could have happened this season (and did vs. Clemson). Andy seemed to get the ledge we were staring out from at the time, even if a lot of us didn’t.
Syracuse 27, Clemson 24: Diary of a Tiger (The Invisible Swordsman)
TNIAAM’s resident Photoshop extraordinaire ends up on this list for a written work, believe it or not. Syracuse beating Clemson allowed for a fair bit of crowing and schadenfreude around these parts, and this was among the most entertaining bits of that. Swordsman walks you through the full weekend for Tigers fans, who were not pleased with the result (or this article).
That March feeling in the dead of fall (Matt McClusky)
After besting Clemson and falling just short vs. Miami, there was a new feeling around Orange football — the type of buzz that normally reserved for March Madness. That would fade, of course. But at the time, it was inescapable and infectious. As a long-time fan and contributor, Matt understood how these feelings can all come together (and what’s so great about that fact).
There are quirky elements to the football wing here that I’ll always love, and one of them is Suxa’s recurring diaries these last couple years. This entry stuck out the most due to the proactive attendance plan Matt puts together here, instead of just bemoaning the fact that fans don’t show up like I always do. Hopefully SU takes heed a bit.
That’s far from everything I enjoyed reading throughout 2017. And an article’s lack of inclusion doesn’t mean it wasn’t a valuable addition to the larger narrative of this website during a great year for TNIAAM. With well over 2,000 articles to go through for these yearly lists, narrowing things is a bit difficult, though also a task I’m happy to undertake.
Hope you all liked these as much as I did. And thanks to each of these writers for their efforts above. Thank you all for reading, as well. TNIAAM couldn’t be what it is without you.