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Year-in-review: John’s favorite TNIAAM articles (that he wrote) in 2017

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I wrote some things this year. Perhaps you read them.

NCAA Football: Clemson at Syracuse Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Obviously I create quite a bit of the #content here at TNIAAM, but some of those articles are better than others. You’d be forgiven for missing at least a few of the posts that have appeared in this space, what with over 2,000 pieces going up since January 1.

In case you wanted to revisit some of the year’s more enjoyable articles, I pulled together a list of the ones that most resonated with me below. These are just the ones I wrote, however. If you’d rather read the great things the rest of the TNIAAM staff wrote, head over here.

These are in chronological order, so don’t imply anything from the order. There’s 15 in all. Cool? Cool.

For the first time under Jim Boeheim, Syracuse gets its turn at the bottom

Rather than bemoan the horrific start to last season (we did plenty of that too), this article looked at the potential positives of playing so poorly early. Without expectations attached, it as an opportunity to surprise people. Ends up the Orange would answer the call, even if they didn’t end up making the NCAAs.

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss

I kicked off my 29th birthday by taking over this website and trying to fill some large shoes. It’s been a very busy year since, but I feel like it sort of worked, no? Anytime I need a quick boost in motivation, I revisit this article and your (mostly) supportive comments to help keep pushing forward. I’m also very glad I didn’t leave for another site before eventually swinging back around as editor.

If someone is going to demolish Chuck’s, this Syracuse fan has some thoughts

I was lucky enough to get one more drink at Chuck’s back in March, but it didn’t change the weird feelings I had about its departure. Many of us had “our bar” while in college (or even now as adults), and for me, Chuck’s was that place. As I stare out at my 30th birthday on the horizon, it seems symbolic that “my” college bar was demolished en route.

Syracuse basketball just refuses to die

Despite how the year ended, the road to the end was a twisting, turning ride that had its many enjoyable moments. That got exhausting, clearly. But it was also encouraging to see a team that wouldn’t quit despite the deceptively long odds in various games against better opponents.

Syracuse vs. Duke doesn’t have to be a rivalry to be important

As Syracuse continues to figure out its post-Big East identity, one of the critical elements to that is “rivalry.” SU’s tried to force Duke, but I don’t buy it. That doesn’t take away from the game’s theatrical potential, however, as we found out once again last year. If every contest between the Orange and Blue Devils resemble the last few, we may never need a true “rival” in the ACC.

Hey Tennessee, hands off Syracuse’s emoji

What would this place be without a little #jokesandgarbage? Tennessee encroached on our emoji turf and we were happy to tell them to step off. Vols fans got pissed about it, and to show how mad they were, they endured an embarrassing coaching search this offseason too. Pretty sure we know who won this one...

ESPN layoffs a reminder that nothing’s ever permanent

Just avoid the comments on this one because it’s one of the worst examples of what this place is about. The article itself, however, is (what I consider) an interesting look at the changing dynamics around sports content.

Syracuse football’s scheduling finally focused on making the postseason

When SU started piling up cupcakes on future schedules this past offseason, it was nice to see a newfound focus on wins over big opponents. And that was before SU and Wisconsin cancelled that future series. Obviously the program still has more room to get better. But one way it can do that is by getting to bowl games. You do that by scheduling wins... you know the script by now.

Syracuse, you’ll have to take whichever Eric Dungey you get

This was written after the Orange’s week one win, by the way, but it applies for literally any week the quarterback’s played for SU. He’s a great player, but one that comes with significant risk. As we noticed yet again this season, our ability to make a bowl rises and falls with his health — which is both scary and thrilling all at once.

One game won’t define Dino Babers’s tenure at Syracuse

I wrote this about the MTSU loss, not the Clemson win, but it really works for either. Syracuse is still occasionally great, versus consistently good. His ability to get us to the latter is what’s going to tell his story more than anything else. I’m still very convinced he can do it, and you should be too.

Clemson? I demand a refund!

Schadenfreude’s fun, and it’s even more so when Clemson’s the victim. Using an STS article as our muse, we were able to laugh our way through the assumed Tigers victory spelled out in advance. We could’ve done these with more regularity after the huge win, but... we proceeded to lose every game afterward.

Consistently good, not occasionally great

As mentioned a couple articles up, Dino’s getting there on the promise he first talked about at Syracuse. Maybe I jumped the gun on whether he was there yet or not after the Orange bested Clemson. Still, there are enough glimpses of “great” even when considering the collapse at the end of the year.

Syracuse football: Welp, progress is rarely linear

This was some self-therapy, in the aftermath of a horrendous loss to Wake Forest — and before we knew what was to come next. As a group, though, we should probably stop waiting for “the” moment when Dino Babers’s teams are good and just accept that we’ll know it when we see it.

Syracuse football: Now what?

Asking all of the questions that needed to be asked following a 4-8 collapse. Personally don’t have any doubts we’re on the right track, but more addressing the general feeling within the fan base that things stalled in 2017 (and explaining why it’s only sort of true).

The curious legacy of Zack Mahoney

Maybe you missed this amid the disappointing end to the year and the blowout loss to Boston College. But Zack Mahoney had a very interesting career and it’s one we probably shouldn’t soon forget, despite how it seemed to end.

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Hopefully you enjoyed each of these posts as much as I did. While year one of the new era of TNIAAM was hardly perfect, I’d like to think we had some good times in there. Thank you all for being part of TNIAAM, and as always, #CancelCassillo.