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Looking Back on 5 Years

Five years, still no name on the header.
It is no small feat. Considering that this is the internet age of “what have you done for me lately” and the pursuit for the latest and coolest thing, anything lasting online past a year is probably a fairly big deal now. Yet we here at Orange::44 have endured. Not only that, but it has seen a complete turnover at the top, which seems kind of stupid for something as trivial as a sports blog dedicated to Syracuse University Athletics. Yet it happened. Because it has been five years we just can’t gloss over it.

“The Glaude”, Matt Glaude to be exact (now at Hoya Suxa), started this whole internet affair back on March 12th of 2005. Seems like forever ago at this point. I was in the home stretch of my senior year at Syracuse, loving life as the basketball team was cruising with Gerry McNamara and Hakim Warrick rolling through the Big East. Then the Catamounts ruined my March, and the first part of my April as well. Gus Johnson just HA HAAAAAA’ed all over my dream of a long NCAA Tournament run my senior year. I mention all of this for one reason, that a big part of me moving on with my senior year was Matt Glaude’s musings on the subject and Orange::44.

I met Matt my freshman year and I’d like to think we had a friendship based on mutual respect but I’m guessing he thought I was a dumb freshman and I knew him as a cool senior who had his act together. Every so often he’d come back and I’d see him and we’d talk but it wasn’t anything earth shattering. Then he started this notebook. I read it often, and often I laughed my ass off. Then he put out an open call to write for Orange::44. In April of 2006 since I still lived in Syracuse at the time I figured what the hell, I’ll write for this blog thing, whatever a blog was. I joined up with a couple other people and somehow I was the one to last. It’s especially interesting since I was probably the least funny one and I’m also guessing I had the worst grammar at the time.

I eventually went off to law school, so the grammar got better. Syracuse eventually got worse at a lot of things, so I got bitter. Somehow Matt let me keep going. I eventually wrote more and more and he wrote less. Finally one day he wanted to scrap the whole thing and I wanted to keep going so instead of moving on to something else, I asked him if I could take over this site. He agreed. He moved on to speak of the evils of Georgetown and I kept going here. Since November of 2007 I’ve been at the helm of this thing and it’s been pretty great. Occasionally I’ve enlisted my good friend John Brennan to write some things, but it’s mostly been me plugging along.

Rarely do you go five years without some pretty notable memories from your time doing something. Because of this blog I’ve been interviewed by Brent Axe on The Score 1260 in Syracuse, Matt McClusky on WNER 1410 in Watertown, and yes even The Daily Orange. I’ve stirred some stuff up on occasion, and had a dust up with a certain former beat writer. And in between we’ve seen some extraordinary moments in Syracuse sports including a six overtime game win over a rival, a big time win over Rutgers in football last year, and a game tying goal with four seconds left in the National Championship, to go on and win two back to back.

But it isn’t just games we write about. Over the long history of Orange::44 and the over 1,100 articles published we have covered a lot of topics. They range from coaching changes, uniform changes, curling, the National Spelling Bee, various tragedies, holidays, Big East Tournaments, campus projects, campus events, television and movie references, and other items of interest to Syracuse fans and alumni. I’ve discovered the joy in both the mundane moments, along with the spectacular and lucky ones.

Things have changed since we started. When this started Facebook was barely taking hold, no one used Twitter, and no one did videos or podcasts really. To “break news” I got a text message from someone in the know, and then went from there. While bloggers generally have a bad wrap for not being held accountable, we at Orange::44 tried to uphold a higher standard by always using our real names and providing general responses to critical feedback, as well as trying to confirm things we said that we were reporting to be facts as best we could. I hope that has been clear through the years. When we weren’t being ridiculous on purpose that is.

Because I’ve taken off a couple years from the celebration of the anniversary of this notebook I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out some of my favorite articles over the past two years. I pointed out some of the best from our first two years here, and celebrated our third birthday here, but we’ve done a lot since then.

Coaching Rumor of Interest
This article blew up my blog for a while and got me intertwined by Donnie Webb, the former football beat writer for the Post-Standard. It resulted in my writing this open letter to him as well. I maintain I had enough sources at the time, and so did Brent Axe, who stated it on his show as well. Either way, it still remains one of the most commented item on this blog.

The Inaugural Big East Blogger Roundtable - 12/3/2008
While this isn’t an article, it was the first time we put several well known Big East Bloggers together in a roundtable online which was a really good time for all of us I think. I’ll have to do that again sometime I guess.

Sleep: That's Where I'm A Viking!
Part of our catalog here is occasionally just posting a picture with a small paragraph because the photo does most of the work. In this case a good friend of mine just happened to be in the right place at the right time to get a picture of a sleeping Greg Robinson leaving town after being fired. We’ll miss you for your press conferences and awesome sayings, but not for the coaching.

The Official Hoya Hater Certification Test
I may hate Connecticut with a burning passion, but even I know what rivalry pays the bills around here and for Syracuse fans. I developed a test for the big game in the Carrier Dome in February of 2009 to illustrate the pretenders from the true haters. I think it truly works. You be the judge.

The Glaude Dancing
This one isn’t even an article. It is our good friend Matt Glaude celebrating a Syracuse trouncing of Duke in the National Semi-final game in Boston in the 2009 NCAA Tournament. He was too busy dancing to the music to notice I snuck in the filming. Here’s hoping he does the same in a parking lot in Baltimore in May. A moment of true jubilation… and booze.

Troy Nunes Is A Podcast Magician
Sean from Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician and I had been doing a back and forth Q&A for a long time. Then we decided to try it in podcast form. From the comments we’ve gotten you loyal readers seem to enjoy it as well. Frankly I am not quire sure that many other people could just yammer on for around 45 minutes on a somewhat regular basis about Syracuse like we do. We do it so you don’t have to.

Carrier Dome Beer Public Service Announcement
Orange::44 Correspondent John Brennan and I look good in suits. We also both have law degrees. I guess that’s why it seemed natural to stage our own video in the wake of the anti-wave video the SU Blogosphere took part in. The result was our video advocating that the Carrier Dome return to letting individuals purchase four beers at a time. It didn’t work, but hey Pat Campbell retired. It was clearly the public pressure we put on him.

Interview With Rich Kimball, Maine Play-By-Play Announcer
We are used to doing Q&A’s with lots of blogs around here. But it isn’t often we get to do one with a genuine professional. Rich Kimble, the radio man for the Maine football team was nice enough to respond to my questions. Hat tip to my good friend Chris Sedenka for setting it up for me.

The Tampa/DC Travelogues
Part of the attraction of blogs is getting a different experience than you would from reading the game recap in a paper. As much as I enjoy seeing games I also enjoy traveling. When they combine good fun is usually had. I traveled to Tampa to see Syracuse take on Florida and John traveled to DC to see Syracuse play Georgetown. Often the best stories happen around a game even if the game is great itself.

It was hard to pick some of my favorites, but that is just a small sampling of some of the momentous occasions over the past couple of years.

I do want to give some thanks and shoutouts as well. First and foremost I have to thank Matt. He issued his thoughts on starting this blog a couple of weeks ago here. It’s vintage Matt, as you are now used to at Hoya Suxa. He’s always been hilarious, but he’s also a really nice person, devastatingly funny, and very sharp. I’m grateful he had enough faith in my so-so writing abilities back then to let me come aboard and then take over. It was against most of his inclinations I’m sure. I also want to thank John Brennan. We were acquaintances in high school and became great friends and roommates at Syracuse. He’s become the person I bounce various blog ideas off of and usually the one I’m at a game with. I couldn’t have continued with Orange::44 without his occasional and vital help and for that, along with the time since 2001, its thanks. I have to give it up to Sean at Nunes/Magician who has become an excellent blogging ally and occasional partner in crime. It started with mutual respect, turned into a weekly back and forth, and now a podcast. But he really is the best around right now and I’d like to think that our blogs complement each other well. I’m glad he didn’t tell me to take a hike when I first e-mailed him. To the other SU bloggers out there a big thanks. I’m looking at you Idiots, Cuse Country, Jameson, Cuse Orange, The Fizz, Chuck, Poncho, and all the others that have come and gone. You fine folks make it fun to banter, argue, and write in our orange world. Keep it up folks. Big thanks to Axe and Matt Mc not only for having me on their programs but just being cool people. I’ve talked to Axe many times in person and electronicly and he never had to be nice to me, John, or our little blog but he is and we thank him for that. Same with Matt. He had me on his show for lacrosse in the beginning. Not exactly a giant ratings getter. Thanks for continuing to have me on. I look forward to the live broadcast from Baltimore in May. Thanks to all of the Twitter followers out there who follow me, respond, and interact. It continues to make things entertaining, just to have fun talking to people about sports and Syracuse things. Finally thank you to the readers of Orange::44. Your time is valuable and that you take even a minute out of any of your days to stop by our little notebook and read what the hell I have to think about something a trivial as a basketball game or a coaching change at Syracuse University is humbling and amazing. I never got into blogging for the recognition but it is certainly much appreciated. To anyone else that has stopped by or I may have forgot, thanks for joining us and thanks for making this blogging thing interesting. Finally, thanks to all the crying children out there. You keep us in business every football season.

I got into blogging because I was bored and wanted to be more creative. I never thought it would evolve to what it has become today; an almost daily occurrence in my life. Occasionally I need to step back but I have yet to run out of things to talk about or do in terms of this notebook so I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. The original and continuing mission is to chronicle the daily disaster that is Syracuse University Athletics. We all know that isn’t stopping so neither will we. Another five years is too much to guarantee, but we’ll still be here, plugging along, doing it for free, advertisement free, and for little recognition or appreciation. That’s the way we like it. It’s a good time and a way to be creative and vent frustration. That’s all I ever wanted it to be. I’m grateful for all the extra that’s come along with that though. Thanks again for joining us here. UConn… you suck! Georgetown still sucks. And as always GO ORANGE!

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