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A Year Offside: TLO in 2014

The staff get together to share their favorite moments from this past year. SPOILER: THAT thread is mentioned at least once...

Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

"It's happening, love...your dreams are coming true!" - The Wife

So, year-in-review things are kind of an obsession for me. Every December, I binge on "Best ___ of 20__" and launch myself into tirades over who/what did and did not make the cut. So, to have been asked to piece together a review of the year on TLO, it felt like a natural fit.

Unfortunately, the writer's block that had subsumed me over the last two months really dug in and as the clock ticked closer to year's end, my page was frighteningly bereft of words. And, the thing is, it's not like I have much to do: the premise here was to pose to staff a simple question: name one favorite moment from this past year on TLO. All I'd have to do is let the discussion take care of itself. Easy. Peasy.

The thing is, though, that I had a hard time working out HOW to do that. Until, I thought about that quote above. My wife has uttered those words more than a handful of times over this year and having a look back over it, she wouldn't be far off. Though at times it hadn't felt like it, a year wherein I finally nabbed a gig as a regularly paid musician (dreamy), snookered the staff to let me join the masthead (dreamier) and married my best friend (dreamiest), it has been a phenomenal year for me.

The common theme? I've experienced these great moments - this greatest of years, if I'm being honest - and got to revel in them with the community here on TLO. I've faced some challenging times with the support of you great people. I've finally had pieces published on LFC thanks largely to the support of TLO community members. And, on my most important day to date, I woke up to messages of support and love from Australia, New York, Ohio, Wales, Washington, Oregon, Ireland and any number of places that TLO-ers call home.

So, before I get to everyone's shares, let me just say that, for me, the 2014 and TLO Venn diagram cross over in a not insignificant way. Thank you for making this year so perfect. You'll never walk alone.

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AJ: It's been a crazy, crazy 12 months for Reds. Between the heights of a title challenge and the doldrums of things imploding, there's lots to talk about - and that's all without going on about a particular talented forward and his penchant for chewing on humans. So, without further ado, let's get cracking with our run down of our favorite moments in 2014. 
My favorite moment would have to be the thread that included the comet-esque flash and burn appearance of ihatejoeallen coupled with the lengthy discussion of NES games (Castlevania?!?)  in an attempt to distract from it. We've got trolls, apologies, Dirty Wizards, Vampires and even references to ancient international treaties that somehow foresaw the internet as well as the need to write-in the protection for people to saw insane things whenever and however they see fit! Thread = All. Timer.

Ed: My favorite moments have been any that don't have to do with that Star Wars TV show.

And while it's not a moment per se, I think the best thing about the blog has been the ability we've had to add staff from the community. It's really, really easy for Liverpool supporters on the internet to instantly be written off (a lot of times with good reason), but for the most part our community has avoided the descent into madness. A couple matchday threads aside, there's been quality contributions throughout, which has allowed us to add to our team from within. The current iteration of the blog started with Noel joining four years ago and the good stuff kept coming with Trev, Eliz, Chuck, Conor, Jake, LTB, AJ, Steph, and Nerf over the past two years. Our hope for the blog was that the community would get to the point that it carried the site through, and that's been the case for going on four years now. Couldn't be happier about that.

LTB: I'd be having a laugh trying to go through and pick out all of my favorite 2014 articles, comments, photos, gifs, references, fanposts, results, players, transfers, music recommendations, film reviews, cooking suggestions, or general moments of irreverence...AND THEN whittling that down to only a few. So, my apologies in advance for breaking the rules of the prompt, but my actual favorite thing about this corner of the interwebs always has been, and always will be the sense of community. There are some legitimately complex topics that have been, if not sorted through, at least discussed in a reasonable way on these threads. It's a futebol blog, ffs, that is kinda special. There is an amazing collection of comedy, and international perspective. We've celebrated people's graduations, and newborns, and marriages, and new jobs, and old jobs, and many things in between. It's gotten to the point where if I ever get into serious legal trouble, I would at least have to consider hitting this place up as a sounding board... That's what's special, it's the people. And it's been there this whole year. May it be there the next, as well.

AJ: Great point, man. I mean, what other footy blog has a community that takes a comment on Daniel Sturridge and nimbly springs into a lively sidebar about hip hop. There's great  stuff on offer here for all folks. Really, really love that we can discuss weighty topics and it's a testament to the community that the comments don't generally devolve into the post-apocalyptic free-for-all that the rest of the internet has become.

Following from that, credit really needs to go to ELiz and CStars for their great pieces on sexual assault and racism. Well thought out and elegantly articulated is always a great place to start the discussion. Feel we're in rare company as far as this community goes.

LTB: Those two walk-offs and anything anyone ever said in support of selling Daniel Agger. Well shot of him...


Chuck: It's been a crazy year for Liverpool in 2014, and this is one corner of the internet where fan discussion is generally level-headed. Most of my moments will be the same as others, but one development I've appreciated is the community seeing healthy disagreement by staff members on players, tactics, and what needs to be done by the club moving forward. We can see that in articles and below the line. Above all, I've been impressed by the healthy and respectful debate conducted by the whole TLO community on some contentious issues that AJ referred to above. The atmosphere fostered by Ed and Noel along with the quality content persuaded me to delurk and become involved with the site. Furthermore, the eclectic nature of the folks around here ultimately bring some of the most interesting tangents, discussions, and jokes. How can you say no to that? Blanca mentioned that we've celebrated quite a bit over the past year, and here's to more celebrations in 2015!

Steph: There are many reasons to love TLO, but this year I think that my single favorite thing that happened here was the rise of the Hendo Hop, which changed my life forever. Did it exist earlier? Of course. In fact, I'm sure the Hendersons have some choice video of little Jordan hopping around the Christmas tree when he saw the new bike Santa brought him, but 2014 was when they really seeped into our consciousness. More importantly, those gifs came to symbolize our whole, insane title challenge. Hendo hopped for me. Hendo hopped for all of us.

Eliz: TLO has grown considerably over the last year, and I don't mean in terms of our site hits and other measurable things (but those have grown too!). Our team has expanded significantly, bringing in five (!) new writers and a new moderator, which I think speaks to both the size of the site and the investment a lot of our readers have made into what we do here. To build on what LTB and AJ have said, I think we have a good group of folks here that allows us to talk about all the footy stuff but also all the interstitial, sometimes more controversial stuff that goes with football. A lot of really great friendships have been formed amongst our readers, and I know I was lucky enough to meet a few of my favourite TLOers in person this year, which was a personal highlight. Aside from that, it's hard to narrow it down to a single favourite moment from this year, so I have provided AJ with a list of many highlights to choose from.

Ed: That comment re: Moreno/Dolphins that Eliz highlighted below was the best ever.

ELiz's Compilation of TLO's Awesome Moments:

And also...

And with that, it's your turn: what was YOUR favorite moment on TLO in 2014?

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