Since it's early in the new year and a snow day, I thought I'd take a look back at some of my favorite columns I wrote in 2017. These weren't necessarily the most-read columns, although some of them got a lot of hits, but ones that I particularly enjoyed writing, and now, re-visiting.
It was a year of success and a year of change, as I was in Phoenix for the Final Four in early April and three months later, out of a contract and brainstorming a new venture. If you're reading this, you've followed me from GoHeels.com to Argyle Report, and I appreciate that. It's been fun to be the 'fan proxy' over these years, and I appreciate the opportunity to, in some small way, enhance your own experience.
Without further ado, here we go with columns 10-6.
10. A Sympathy Card
This was before football season went to the point of no return. I was upset at the 'good job, good effort'-ing of broadcaster Greg McElroy. Probably the harshest I've ever been toward a particular sport, and a signal that Argyle Report was not just going to be a cheerleading site.
9. The Long Game (GoHeels)
I don't always root for Roger Federer to win, but damn I admire him, the way he knows how to conserve his energy, to save his body for the long game. This column was written after the ACC Tournament loss to Duke, when Joel Berry got in foul trouble. Here I posit that Berry could learn from Federer. That's not to say Berry should be reined in at all, just that he could pick and choose his spots, save himself for a deep run in March. I'm not smart enough to say whether he did or didn't do that, but there was indeed a good result in April.
I don't know if Nathan Elliott will be the starting quarterback for Carolina this fall. I do know that he handled himself like a professional this past season, as the job bounced back and forth between Chazz Surratt and Brandon Harris. Elliott came in and did the job well, nearly leading Carolina to an upset over Miami, as I wrote about here.
Austin Proehl came back from what we thought was a season-ending injury and played in his final game as a Tar Heel. He didn't have to do that. I've long admired Austin and was glad to have the opportunity to write about him again.
6. Break Your Heart (GoHeels)
My final GoHeels column. I knew going in that my time as a featured writer there would conclude with baseball season. Like you, I was hoping for a College World Series run, for another trip to Omaha. It was not to be, but I did get to write about the fight in the Tar Heels.
This was the other side of Michael Lananna's great work on Davidson for Baseball America. In sports, by default, there are winners and losers. Carolina is fortunate to often be on the right side of that equation. But sometimes they aren't, and that is when these superhuman athletes display human emotion. That's when it gets real.
It was real for me, too, walking out of Boshamer for the last time in that role. I was sad that the run wouldn't continue, but so, so grateful for the experiences had and the memories made.
That's it for part one of our countdown. Tomorrow, I'll reveal the top five. As always, thanks for reading.