Happy holidays from all of us here at the W&M Sports Blog! As we reflect on the past year that was W&M sports, a lot happened. The Tribe hired a new Athletics Director, won conference championships, and discussed the near-future renovation of the program’s crown jewel asset, Kaplan Arena.
For us here at the Blog, it was another big year as Kyle and I added two members to our staff in Sophia and Collin (big shout out to them for helping us generate content!). But with 2022 soon approaching, we take a moment to look back on our most-viewed articles from 2021.
Some will surprise you, some won’t — but I’d certainly recommend jumping back into these articles for a quick read if you haven’t done so already or if you want to be reminded of the contents therein.
So counting down, here’s our top-5!
#5: 5 Names Confirmed for W&M AD Interviews – May 2021 (article link here)
Can you name all five? Right before W&M hired its new AD Brian Mann, rumors swirled regarding who’d land the head job. With multiple W&M alums and others connected to the gig, we at the WMSB had you covered. The article is still worth a read, because these W&M alums and W&M-connected sports business executives could land another AD job somewhere else at any time; it’s always good to keep tabs on members of the Tribe!
#4: Why Are Sports Losing Younger Fans? – November 2021 (article link here)
In a piece that dives deep into a growing macro trend, we looked into some of the fundamental reasons why younger generations do not seem to be following sports as much as prior generations. This affects the NFL / NHL / NBA / MLB as much as it does William & Mary athletics, and as such, the article is certainly worth a read if one wishes to better understand some of the major issues currently facing sports execs across the country.
#3: REPORT: JMU Leaving the CAA…W&M Implications? – October 2021 (article link here)
In October, it was reported that JMU would jettison the CAA for supposed greener pastures, moving to the FBS’ Sun Belt Conference; soon thereafter, this report was confirmed. With 2021 now the last year that JMU will be in the CAA, questions remain for W&M’s own conference alignment. This article goes into depth on that very topic, describing what JMU’s departure could mean for the Tribe’s future in the CAA.
#2: 2021 CAA Football Stadium Rankings – August 2021 (article link here)
Always a fan “favorite” (if “your team” is highly ranked), we love looping in opposing CAA fan bases to get their reactions to this one — as you might imagine, some of the reactions aren’t pretty. W&M fans will be happy to know that Zable Stadium ranks highly this year, but we’re sure fans will be surprised with some of our other rankings. Keep in mind, this was a highly scientific (read: subjective) take on stadium rankings, and should be treated as such — nonetheless, it’s always a fun read!
#1: Should W&M Join the Patriot League? – April 2021 (article link here)
Interestingly, this article came “way back” in April, the earliest of any on this top-5 ranking. Even before W&M hired its new AD and far before JMU even thought of announcing their leave for the Sun Belt, we at the WMSB were already starting to see the writing on the wall regarding potential future conference realignment across the country. Specifically as a result of new Name / Image / Likeness (NIL) laws now allowing college athletes to be paid by “sponsors” (read: rich boosters at big time sports schools), the gap between schools that are considered the “haves” and the “have nots” has grown significantly. In this article, which certainly gained a lot of traction, we explore the possibility of W&M landing in the Patriot League. And we asked you, the fans, what you thought in a poll; those results can be found here.
Again, happy holidays and a happy new year from all of us here at the W&M Sports Blog. LET’S GO TRIBE!
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