Jump to content

Your Evolution As A Fan


5fouls
 Share

Recommended Posts

Thought this might be a good discussion based on some of the conversation in the post-game thread.  Basically, I'm interested in hearing how you have seen yourself change as a fan over the years.  What were the triggers to cause a change in your fandom (good or bad).  Hopefully, we can do this and be non-judgmental to each other.

And, don't feel like you have to limit yourself to IU and/or college basketball.

My story:

I was spoiled as a fan growing up in the mid 70's.   My first love was baseball, and being from Southern Indiana, that meant the Cincinnati Reds, aka the Big Red Machine.  You absolutely could not have put a baseball crazy 10-11 year old in a better situation than being a Reds fan in '75 and '76.

But, it wasn't all about baseball.  I also had the Hoosiers basketball team.  I didn't really follow them in '75, but in '76 my interest took off.  Dad and I walking around the house with the portable black and white tv with aluminum foil on the antenna trying to get good reception for Channel 4 is one of my fondest memories from childhood.  When the wind was not right, that meant listening on the transistor radio.  

The Reds and IU.  Those two are my passions.  Those are the ones that still hurt when things go bad.  The highs and lows are obviously higher with IU basketball because of the number of games.

The Reds first let me down in the late 80's, made a bit of a revival in the 90's, but have been a disappointment for most of the last 25 or so years.  Even their playoff teams have crashed and burned memorably in the postseason (blowing a 2-0 lead in a best of 5 by losing 3 straight at home, getting no-hitted by Halladay, and then last year's failure to score a single run).  I'm at the point where I still ove the Reds, but I'm used to what they are.

IU has been even tougher on me than the Reds,  It's in part because, as I mentioned above, each game matters more in the shorter season.  But, it's just not that.  Maybe the hardest was being unable to overcome the Henderson injury and losing in the '93 Regional final.  That's still my favorite all-time IU team. But, they didn't win it, so they are not remembered by the history books.   My interest in IU probably waned the most during the tail-end of the Davis years.  We were mediocre and had some players I just did not care for.   This group, unfortunately, is approaching that status.  I do like this group more than last year, so maybe the tide is turning positive again.

Each and every IU game still creates a tremendous high or low of emotion, depending on the outcome.  I hope I don't reach the level of acceptance I have now with the Reds, but I'm afraid I might if things don't turn soon.  

How about you?

  • When/Why did you become a fan of (whatever team)?
  • How has your interest evolved over time?       
Edited by 5fouls
  • Like 4
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was very young in 76 but do remember different things about that team.  The 81 team was my favorite to watch especially by the end of the season.  Once Turner came around and RMK let IT loose it turned around the season.  The 87 team was so much fun to watch because how they played offense is the way I think offense should be ran.  Calloway and Smart were so good at the.mid range game.  Alford is what you think of when it comes to what you invision an IU player to be.

The way I have changed as a fan is that I don't let losses eat me up and stress about it for days.  I act a lot better during games than I use to. People hated to be around me when my favorite teams were playing.  What finally turned me around is having young kids and not wanting them to he like me.

 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I grew up in Kokomo, Indiana watching every game with either my brother and mom or my dad (they were divorced).  We almost never missed a game.  Both sets of grandparents were also huge IU fans.  At a very young age, I would sit and keep track of how many points each player for IU scored.  When they won the championship in 1987, I was 14 years old and on vacation in Gatlinburg, TN.  My brother and some friends, and I went screaming down the hall of the hotel we were in and jumped in the pool with all of our clothes on and celebrated.  I continued to watch every game as I went to college at IU.  Would attend games I could get decent tickets for or watch them with my friends at someone's house or Yogi's.  After graduation I continued to watch all of the games and recruited my wife to join me when we married in 2000.  When my boys were born, they obviously became IU fans living in NC which is tough.  Our family continues to watch every game no matter how bad or how good we are.  We pretty much base our schedule around the games.  IU football was never relevant, so my dad had me singing the Notre Dame fight song when I was old enough to read the seat cushion we had with the words to the song on it.  Rocket Ismail, Tony Rice, Jerome Bettis, Tim Brown, Lou Holtz, I have almost never missed a Notre Dame football game for about the last 40 years.  Lastly, I am sadly a self made Cubs fan.  I watched as many games as I could growing up on WGN and became hooked with Ryno, the Sarge, the Penguin, Bull, and Co.  I loosened up watching as many games as I used to when my sons were born, but starting in 2014, pretty much started watching nearly all of the 162 games every year and still do.  The Cubs will be awful this season, but I'll still be watching almost every game.  

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fell in love with IU basketball in first grade during the 84-85 season.  Even as my frustration has gone up and up the last three years, my passion has not waned.  As frustrated as I am, I can't imagine intentionally missing a game.  That's me though, I get those who do.   

IU basketball was always something I watched with my dad.  Some of my best memories are our trips up Hwy 37 to games where we'd solve all of the world's problems.  He passed two days before the start of the 18-19 season.  I'm still doing the dad/son thing with IU basketball, except now I'm the dad.  My son, Little Keet, is 7 and is in his fourth year of following IU basketball.  Poor kid doesn't know what it's like to see IU good or even above average for that matter.  I really want to see them good again soon for his sake, and so that we can enjoy being good together.  

I can't ever imagine the day where I'm not in front of my TV or in person for every single game.  

Outside of IU, I'm a big Colts fan and my other first sports love besides our Hoosiers is not a team but rather an event, the Indianapolis 500.

Edited by Parakeet Jones
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, Parakeet Jones said:

Fell in love with IU basketball in first grade during the 84-85 season.  Even as my frustration has gone up and up the last three years, my passion has not waned.  As frustrated as I am, I can't imagine intentionally missing a game.  That's me though, I get those who do.   

IU basketball was always something I watched with my dad.  Some of my best memories are our trips up Hwy 37 to games where we'd solve all of the world's problems.  He passed two days before the start of the 18-19 season.  I'm still doing the dad/son thing with IU basketball, except now I'm the dad.  My son, Little Keet, is 7 and is in his fourth year of following IU basketball.  Poor kid doesn't know what it's like to see IU good or even above average for that matter.  I really want to see them good again soon for his sake, and so that we can enjoy being good together.  

I can't ever imagine the day where I'm not in front of my TV or in person for every single game.  

Wow your first year in 84-85 was probably RMK worst year.  After going to the elite 8 the year before and then having a bad year was not usual.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, IU Scott said:

Wow your first year in 84-85 was probably RMK worst year.  After going to the elite 8 the year before and then having a bad year was not usual.

Yep.  I didn't know any better at the time.  It was all I knew.  I was riveted by the NIT run that year, because like I said, I didn't know any better.  My son's second year following was the year we went to the NIT quarters.  I got to relive that again through him because at the time he didn't know the NIT wasn't great.  That probably helped me be really into the NIT that year.  Of course I thought at the time it was going to be a springboard to a better tomorrow.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, Parakeet Jones said:

Yep.  I didn't know any better at the time.  It was all I knew.  I was riveted by the NIT run that year, because like I said, I didn't know any better.  My son's second year following was the year we went to the NIT quarters.  I got to relive that again through him because at the time he didn't know the NIT wasn't great.  That probably helped me be really into the NIT that year.  Of course I thought at the time it was going to be a springboard to a better tomorrow.  

At least we got to the final of the NIT before losing to UCLA and Reggie Miller

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, IU Scott said:

Another thing about watching IU games were that it was on local TV with IU announcers.  I love the opening when Martha the mop lady singing the IU fight song.  You always had those Farm Bureau commercials promoting IU basketball

If that commercial came on today before the next IU game I would still get chills.  It was that good.  

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

A big thing with me is how much I 'invest' in a player.  My first favorite player was Mike Woodson.  I would almost always have one up until Guyton graduated.  After that, even the run to the Final in 2002, I didn't have that player until Crean started winning.  Vic finally broke that drought, though Watford eventually earned a spot on that list with the WatShot.  Yogi came after them.  But, since then, nothing.  Romeo would have been natural considering I followed him in high school, but he wasn't around long enough and was misused while he was here.   A couple of guys on this year's team could get that status if we start winning.   

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cubs, Bears, Pacers...But first and foremost IU basketball....

It's the one thing I rarely miss...

It was a bond between me and my father, even through the difficult teen/young adult years. He passed away in 1988 (ALS) about a year after our last championship. I was glad he got to see that.

I've always been a pretty even keeled person. Never too high or low. I think sports use to be a great way to teach kids how to deal with success as well as failure. To respect your opponent and always leave the game on the field. Sadly, I think much of that has left us. The "everybody is a winner" thing doesn't do anybody any favors. No one wins at everything in life. The "get in your face" and gamesmanship I see now days sickens me. I always laugh when I see a guy hop up and dance after making a good play when his team is on the sorry end of the score. That's just so foolish...

So, no, I don't "live and die" by how my sports teams do. I'm always optimistic, always want us to do well. I was very happy after the 1st half last night. The fact that the kid who I think is gonna lead us back (Khristian) made some mistakes that got Illinois back in it is ok...Part of his maturation...and hearing that he was shooting after the game makes me more sure of the excitement I feel. I'm neither overly giddy when we win, nor unhinged when we lose. I just wait for the next game.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Started really paying attention around 8.  That was the 87 team.  I really hit my stride with the Cheaney/Graham/Bailey/Henderson teams.  I was in middle school at the time and I really think that those 12-15 years are when you are just really are at a peak for sports.

I was die hard through college.  Bob Knight was fired my Senior year at IU.  We had a decent team that year and the following we made a run to the tournament.  I was thinking that maybe things would be ok....then it wasn't.  My enthusiasm started to wane during the Davis years.  I was still watching but would almost be watching message forums as much as the games as the complaining ratcheted up during the Davis years.  Met my wife toward the end of the Davis years, got married, had a child...interest went up with Zeller.  Interest declined as those guys cycled out of the program and family grew.

I think a big part of my decline is being busy and time with family.  The games are a 2 hour commitment and they often leave me feeling annoyed.  It just is not as much fun anymore.  Certainly not enough where you would make it something that you build your entertainment around.  I have taken the kids to a few games here and there and they have fun at those, but they are not as interested in watching.  Can't say I blame them. 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I’ve always loved college basketball and the NCAA tournament growing up. I grew up outside Chicago so I’d passively root for DePaul or whoever I picked on my bracket to win the tournament. I loved the Scottie Reynolds 2009 Villanova team that made the final four and also thought Gonzaga was fun to root for as well. When I got in and decided to go to IU, I was all in on Indiana basketball. I remember being stoked that Cody Zeller was about to be a freshman the same year as me and was pumped to get season tickets and go to any game I could. My dad was a senior at IU when they won in 1987, and was excited to have another thing that could bring us together. 
 

I went to the Watford shot against Kentucky and it was one of my favorite moments getting to storm the court my freshman year. My sophomore year we were ranked #1 most of the season, blew out UNC at home, saw the thriller against #1 Michigan with the Oladipo missed dunk, and I was devastated when we lost to Syracuse in the sweet 16. It was so fun being a fan those couple years, and I still went to games my junior and senior year but the team wasn’t great. 
 

I still love Indiana basketball but I think a huge part of it is cheering for the school that gave me lifelong friends, amazing memories, and helped pave the way for my career. It’s sad seeing the team struggle the last few years, but I have a hard time not imagining a day where I don’t try to clear my schedule, sit down with a glass of bourbon or a beer and root like hell for Indiana basketball. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I touched on it above.  But, the WatShot really rejuvenated my fandom.  It's not that I was being fair-weather.  I still watched or listened to every game I could.  But, I was a father of young children with a crazy workload.  So, other priorities were out there.  I was in the car, about 3 hours into a 4 hour trip, driving up U.S. 31 on the way to South Bend to visit the in-laws.  I remember having to keep finding new stations that were carrying the game as I got out of range of the one I was listening to. 

As Fisch called the play, I had no expectations at all.  Verdell was bringing the ball up.  He, or someone else, was going to throw up some prayer that had no chance to go in, and we would lose.  When Fisch screamed 'Ohhhhhhh, it went in! It went in!', I literally swerved the car so bad, I almost ran off the road.  I was shaking the rest of the way on the trip, and couldn't wait to get there, crank out the laptop, and see what it actually looked like.   

Living where I do in the state, that will likely always be the top memory of IU basketball, even more so than the Championships.  We not only beat UK, and I worked with a ton of UK fans, but at that moment, it honestly felt like we were back.  I was convinced we were on the precipice of being the Hoosiers of 75-94 that I grew up with.    

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fouls i was a massive Big Red Machine fan until the day PETE ROSE was sent to the Phillies. I have rooted against them since that day. Became a Cubs fan from watching games on WGN, loved Dave Kingman. Our amateur partner for 5 years in a row at Pebble Beach was Joe Morgan. He and I would argue about Rose in the Hall of Fame every year, him being against. First shaking his hand at the start of each week seeing him for the first time, it wasnt hello, it was, Pete still doesnt belong. myy IU basketball fandom is being shaken right now with the second coming of Mike Davis on the bench.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 minutes ago, Indykev said:

Fouls i was a massive Big Red Machine fan until the day PETE ROSE was sent to the Phillies. I have rooted against them since that day. Became a Cubs fan from watching games on WGN, loved Dave Kingman. Our amateur partner for 5 years in a row at Pebble Beach was Joe Morgan. He and I would argue about Rose in the Hall of Fame every year, him being against. First shaking his hand at the start of each week seeing him for the first time, it wasnt hello, it was, Pete still doesnt belong. myy IU basketball fandom is being shaken right now with the second coming of Mike Davis on the bench.

My son and I got to meet Joe a few years back during a Reds Caravan stop in Louisville.  Genuinely nice man.  Can't believe he is gone.    

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Witnessed some very good IU steams, including the 87’ team.  Loved the early 90’s teams with Cheaney,  Bailey, Graham, etc.  Bob Knight was the reason for my fandom, loved everything about him.  It was a different era back then and although a lot of the stuff he did was wrong, I’m going to venture and say “most” coaches did a lot of the same.  If I’m being honest I mistakenly have held/hold all other IU coaches to his coaching standards.  I know that’s not fair, but sometimes you can’t control what your mind feels.  Agree with some others that The Watshot rejuvenated my fandom partly because I was there and partly because we as a fan base were starving for anything remotely close to the Knight days.   I’ll always cheer for the Hoosiers but my priorities have changed, my family and faith come First obviously, but IU basketball keeps getting pushed down the totem poll so to speak.  I hope one day my son, who is 8, can understand what I say when talking about “Real IU basketball”.  Sorry for the long post.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Born and raised in Fort Wayne till MS. Moved to Wisconsin and it was such a hard time for me. Outside of finding my wife in HS I never liked it in WI and my truest friends and family remained in Indiana.

while living in Indiana I loved the Hoosiers but it took moving away for it to mean SO much more. It was home to me. It was my connection to my friends. It was having three way phone calls (remember those?) at half times of games I got to see with my two best friends in Indiana (we’d all be watching in our homes so far away)... When the Hoosiers were on...even in Wisconsin...I was home. At 43 years of age I can still remember I’d sometimes get tears in my eyes after games hanging up with my friends.

The history and connection of Indiana HS basketball and IU Hoops has always been so near and dear to my heart and for those of you living in Indiana who have never moved out...I’m sorry but you’ll never grasp what you have there. Being a Hoosier means more to us then being a Badger does to people here. Trust me. Even my wife moved back to The Fort with me after college when we got married. She did lab research at IPFW and I did ministry and then seminary and she experienced Indiana HS basketball and living here only 4 years, and even she admits “being a Hoosier MEANS something.”

So watching IU slowly die has been kind of gradually deeply painful for me. It’s like a piece of our legacy has died or gone to sleep. A piece of who we ARE. And soon it’s not going to matter anymore to anyone coming up and that’s awful to me.

The combination of the divided state of our country and some personal tragedies in my life have been too much for me to keep fighting for IU in my own heart. It’s just one more place that doesn’t bring joy anymore so I’ve moved it further away.

The worst part is my legacy and all relatives living in Indiana...I just had to try and instill that love for IU Hoops in my kids. We’ve tried everything but for kids growing up (15,12,9...now) you gotta win some to get and keep their attention. My oldest son and I shared “The Wat Shot” and no one will ever take that from us. We both had striped pants on and tackled each other to the floor screaming. But I doubt I’ll have anymore memories with my children connected to IU. Talk about getting screwed by the program you love for the memories you’d always wanted as a dad with your most beloved team(s) (UT football also).

Trust me...I know...there are more important things in life. But those were a couple things I’d always wanted to share with my children.

Edited by BADGERVOL
  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Been a fan since birth basically, born in 85.  I wouldn't consider myself a fair weather fan. Will watch a game from time to time but really like listening to Fisch.  There weren't many games growing up because I only had a couple channels so would listen to IU and the Pacers and watch Colts games on Sundays at my grandpas house. 

There is a picture of me and my dad somewhere watching the 87 championship game. We went to midnight madness every year and I attended several Bobby Knight bball camps as well a Jim Crews camp one year. 

We won the 1992 ff4 game ball in a radio contest and went to Assembly Hall to get it autographed. Have alot of great IU memories from the 90's

I was in to all the sports stuff but my interest has waned since my dad died.  So anymore its IU bball and football and loosely follow college sports but that's about it. Alot of it is I just dont have the time I used to have. So I prioritize IU over others. 

Edited by mrflynn03
  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

For the NFL and NBA, I'm more of a free agent. 

I love watching football as a casual fan.  Maybe more so than any other sport.  The Bengals will always be my favorite NFL team, but since the Colts came to Indiana, I've rooted for them as well.  Even as a kid, watching the Chargers with Fouts and Air Coryell was fun to root for at the time.  And, today, I really like the Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes.  That said, I get over football losses in about 2 minutes.  I just don't have the passion that I do for IU and the Reds.  

My NBA loyalties are even more fluid, and is mainly tied to individual players, and not teams.   I first started following the League when Bird went to the Celtics.  I like the Pacers, or course, but don't get worked up if they are not winning.  Was excited to see Romeo go to the Celtics, and thought that my rekindle some love for the Green, but his injuries and limited playing time have drained that excitement.  I honestly have a hard time watching the NBA.  I enjoy going to Pacers games, but watching any game on TV is a chore.   

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 minutes ago, 5fouls said:

For the NFL and NBA, I'm more of a free agent. 

I love watching football as a casual fan.  Maybe more so than any other sport.  The Bengals will always be my favorite NFL team, but since the Colts came to Indiana, I've rooted for them as well.  Even as a kid, watching the Chargers with Fouts and Air Coryell was fun to root for at the time.  And, today, I really like the Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes.  That said, I get over football losses in about 2 minutes.  I just don't have the passion that I do for IU and the Reds.  

My NBA loyalties are even more fluid, and is mainly tied to individual players, and not teams.   I first started following the League when Bird went to the Celtics.  I like the Pacers, or course, but don't get worked up if they are not winning.  Was excited to see Romeo go to the Celtics, and thought that my rekindle some love for the Green, but his injuries and limited playing time have drained that excitement.  I honestly have a hard time watching the NBA.  I enjoy going to Pacers games, but watching any game on TV is a chore.   

 

Yu couldn't lose in 81 in the AFC championship with the Chargers vs the Bengals

Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 minutes ago, 5fouls said:

For the NFL and NBA, I'm more of a free agent. 

I love watching football as a casual fan.  Maybe more so than any other sport.  The Bengals will always be my favorite NFL team, but since the Colts came to Indiana, I've rooted for them as well.  Even as a kid, watching the Chargers with Fouts and Air Coryell was fun to root for at the time.  And, today, I really like the Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes.  That said, I get over football losses in about 2 minutes.  I just don't have the passion that I do for IU and the Reds.  

My NBA loyalties are even more fluid, and is mainly tied to individual players, and not teams.   I first started following the League when Bird went to the Celtics.  I like the Pacers, or course, but don't get worked up if they are not winning.  Was excited to see Romeo go to the Celtics, and thought that my rekindle some love for the Green, but his injuries and limited playing time have drained that excitement.  I honestly have a hard time watching the NBA.  I enjoy going to Pacers games, but watching any game on TV is a chore.   

 

Like you  I am a Reds fan but don't live or die with baseball because there are so many games.  Most teams will lose at leas 70 games a year so your health couldn't make it if you get upset over every loss.  I don't wat h other NBA games except for the Pacers game but f there is a better college game on I will watch it over the Pacers game.  In the NFL until the Colts moved here in 84 I was a Cowboys fan.  After the colts moved here I gradually lost interest in the Cowboys and was all in for the Colts

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...