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View Full Version : A Christmas Wish: Like 'Em or Not, Support YOUR Team



NuffSaid
12-25-2007, 05:24 PM
I've been a Pacers fan for nearly 20 years.

I can remember the days when the Pacers struggled to become contenders until finally in the early 90's they had their first real inside-outside scoring tandum of Reggie Miller and Rik Smits. I remember how under coach Larry Brown's leadership the team finally broke out of the first round of the playoffs for the first time as members of the NBA. I remember sitting in my living room when I lived in Minnesota watching all six games of the 2000 Finals as the Pacers nearly took the Lakers to seven games. I remember that sunken feeling I had when that Finals team was dismantled believing that this franchise had lost its opportunity to repeat as Eastern Conference champs and most likely wouldn't reach that level of success again for many years because they had essentially gone through a rebuilding phase. I remember the 3 years that succeeded under Zeke's tutelage and his struggles to keep this team on the cusp of contention moreso due to all the personal issues and injuries that ensued making it a real challenge for this team to compete. I remember how everyone was so elated when the Pacers broke a franchise record winning 61 games earning the label as "the best team in the NBA" during the '03-04 season. And I remember how it all came crashing down the following season with the Brawl. Since then that feeling of discontentment continues to fester like a boil with some, but not for this fan.

You see, althought I was born and raised in north-west Indiana and lived there until age 21, all I had heard about were the Bulls. And so, I never knew my home state had their own basketball team until I moved away (military service came calling) and I did a brief shore tour in Indianapolis in the late 80's. I've been a Pacers fan ever since. And so when I read comments from local fans who hope that by boycotting the team in not attending games they somehow hope to pressure mgmt to "fire Bird" or "trade JO or Tinsley" because of their own self-interests, I'm saddened that those such fair-weather fans fail miserably to see the bigger picture. Either they're too young, too naive or too self-obsorbed to remember the stuggles this franchise has gone through to appreciate the fact that they are trying extremely hard to move in the right direction and put the days of the Brawl, as well as the more recent events (i.e., the three night club incidents) behind them.

And so, it's on this Christmas Day that if this fan had but one wish it wouldn't necessarily be that the Pacers return to the playoffs, nor would it be that they lead their division or become Eastern Conference champs. As a true fan, my one wish for the Pacers would be the most unselfish wish of them all...

...that the local fans would remember the past and once again come to appreciate what they have in this franchise moving forward and come out and support their team. Because when it's all said and done, the Pacers could be as dysfunctional as the Bulls, embroiled in turmoil like the Knicks or going through one of the toughest rebuilding phases I've seen in years like the Timberwolves (something most fans and media know-it-alls wanted by the way), or have many of the right pieces yet still struggle like the Jazz, Rockets or Cavaliers. But instead they hold a 15-13 record which in truth should be more like 20-8 (i.e., 3 games where they blew double-digit leads and 2 games they lost to teams with really bad records overall). And when you really look at how tough their schedule has been to date (and is!) compared to some of the teams in the East who are ahead of them in the standings, maybe then you'll begin to appreciate just how hard this team is trying to turn things around for themselves and for you, the fans. (See the thread, "A Schedule Comparison: Pacers -vs- ??? (http://www.pacersdigest.com/apache2-default/showthread.php?t=35749)" for details)

So, instead of constantly giving this team their lump of coal at every turn, why not come out and give them your support?

Sincerely,

Nuff Said
A Loyal Pacers fan and "A Hoosier Living in Huntsville, AL"

gknjr007
12-25-2007, 06:09 PM
PREACH PREACHER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

andreialta
12-25-2007, 06:25 PM
ENOUGH SAID!

BobbyMac
12-25-2007, 06:47 PM
I couldn't agree more....I saw the first home game in Pacer history and followed the team from the days of Freddie Lewis, Roger Brown and Mel Daniels....I will always support the Pacers....

Alabama-Redneck
12-25-2007, 07:25 PM
Nuff Said
A Loyal Pacers fan and "A Hoosier Living in Huntsville, AL"


Nuff Said, that is exactly how I feel and I have been a Pacer fan since the start of the ABA.

I too, am a hoosier living about 35 miles south of you on Lake Guntersville.
The people in Alabama are some of the nicest people I have ever met but Alabama can be called "The Siberia of Basketball".

As is true with most people, myself included, you don't appreciate what you have until you lose it. If the Pacers were to move, the non-supportive fans would be heartbroken and could never understand how it happened.

I truely hope everything works out and the fans return soon before they become the losers.

PM me sometime and maybe we can get together and watch some games as I have NBATV on Dish.

Alabama-Redneck

:cool:

ABADays
12-25-2007, 08:25 PM
As my name would indicate, I've been around since the beginning. I would agree to a large extent with others but there are exceptions.

Growing up, I was the world's biggest Cowboys fan. It is not even debatable. Details can be given if asked. But then along came Jerry Jones and his dismissal of Landry followed by (ee-gawd) Jimmy Johnson and (no please-gawd) Barry Switzer - not to mention a bunch of thugs. Jones, Johnson, Switzer and those players did not represent the ideals of the Landry Cowboys. I wouldn't support that group. I couldn't tell you more than a handful of players who play with Dallas and my allegiance switched to the Colts.

My passion growing up was baseball. I even had the great fortune of working for my favorite team. But then came all the billionaire owners, millionaire players and the drugs. The passion died and I don't even follow the game anymore.

Things can change. There are ideals ingrained in you. Violate those and things become complicated.

Having said that, I can say I have been and remain a lifelong fan of the Pacers. It hasn't been easy. Financial woes and horrific records have been a part of that relationship. But those factors didn't even approach the negative feelings like the post-brawl Pacers have. Again, ingrained ideals. I have waivered but I'm still here - and battle every game to be able to hear Mark and Slick from Iraq.

aero
12-25-2007, 09:49 PM
I know we have our ups and downs but im here for the long haul...i mean sure i get mad about some things but no matter what im still here sporting my blue and gold :D

Isaac
12-26-2007, 12:26 PM
Great post. My teams that I support are one of the central things that keeps me going on a daily basis. I don't know what I would do if I didn't have the Pacers, White Sox, Colts and Buckeyes to watch and discuss.

The attendance issues with Conseco really do hurt me. I am ashamed watching games with friends and hearing the ribbing about all the empty seats, especially because I'm not used to that. I became a Pacers fan at a very, very young age following the first Reggie Miller trip to the playoffs and the Detroit sweep in 1990 so I wasn't around during the dark days of the 80s. Obviously this team is miles better then that and I really hope that we can get back to the mid-90s when absolutely no opponent wanted to play in MSA because that place literally bounced it got so loud.

I love watching this years team, but I really hate watching Jamaal put the ball through someones legs or Dunleavy make a beautiful pass to a backdoor cutter and having my first thought be, man, I wish more people saw that.

odeez
12-26-2007, 12:42 PM
Nice post! Fans are fickle that's all I know. I support the Pacers as much as I can. It is really the only thing I hold on to since I left Indiana. Fans should support this team no matter what. But for the Pacers it doesn't seem that way. I think the Colts might have something to do about that. But it is strange, being the Pacers have one of the best Arenas to play at in all the NBA. You can also look at the off the court stuff and say that is why. I though about this last night watching the Blazers play, they lost a lot of their fan base with all their off the court stuff, and now with this new team they seem to have got their fans back and they have won 11 in a row. Having all that young talent help, huge upside. It might help us if we got together a winning streak longer than 3 games.

Elgin56
12-26-2007, 02:31 PM
This thread brings to mind the statement, if you don't support the war than you don't support the troops. Fans have every right to support the team but not support individual players, ie. Tinsley. They show their disdain for certain players by not attending games. I don't like blanket statements such as "Like Em or not, Support your team". I don't feel that I need to be given a sermon on why I should support the team, I have a brain of my own, thank you.

RamBo_Lamar
12-26-2007, 04:36 PM
Nice post NuffSaid.

These are certainly noble sentiments which I'm sure many posters here
relate well to, and would even agree with. I, for one, certainly do.

And Elgin56, thank you for the reminder that we as a community also need
to support our local Mental Health service providers, for those among us
who are in need of help.

Isaac
12-26-2007, 05:28 PM
As much as I can't stand the ongoing disdain for Jamaal, I agree with what elgin said. As long as people are making the decision to not go to games based on basketball related issues, I'm fine with it. I feel like if that is the true sentiment of people who aren't going, then when the team is good and worthy of attracting a large fan base, it will happen.

Personally, I'd go to Pacers games no matter what. They could go 0-82, and I'd still watch all 82 games and go to 15-25 of them like always.

naptownmenace
12-28-2007, 10:05 AM
I think I know what the problem is... most of the Pacers diehard fans live outside of the state of Indiana!

I have no idea if that is true or not but by looking at the replies in this thread that's what I gathered.

NuffSaid
12-28-2007, 10:35 AM
Naptownmenace,

I wasn't going to say anything because I didn't want to blow the obvious trend of those posters who have responded, but it would appear you're right. And so that makes me wonder if what some are saying about the team's press coverage is true: Is it just the local PR folks giving the team a bad rap and the national media merely covering the team only when something bad happens or is it that the locals are steadfast in labelling the team as just a .500 ball club and the national media refusing to cover them for that reason plus the fact that they're a small market team?

As I listen to local sports talk radio, read the sports section in my local paper or USA Today or even when I watch SportsCenter for that matter, rarely do I hear or read anything about the Pacers even when something uncanny happens like when that fan jumped out onto the court during one of their recent home games right before Christmas. I think the Pacers won that game (someone correct me if I'm wrong on that note), but what I fould strange the following day was how little the media picked up on that incident whether the Pacers won or not. I thought for sure if anything would have gotten the team some press a fan running around on the court surely would! Granted, he didn't do anything, but just the fact that it happened I would have thought would have warranted some national press coverage even in the "this is funny in sports" section.

And then there are feel-good article (http://www.pacersdigest.com/apache2-default/showthread.php?t=35782)s like this one posted here on PD after their loss to the Hawks. I'd have expected this one to be in the Indy Star, but according to the thread's originator they didn't carry it at all. Furthermore, there have been other feel-good stories like that one that I've read only online, but NOT from IndyStar.com. They've come from other outside sources, i.e., from Philly, Atlanta, and I even came across one from Phoenix after the Pacers nearly beat them at the Fieldhouse. But I didn't find any such articles on IndyStar.com, my primary source for local Pacers sporting news. So, I'm thinking maybe I should either find another local news source for my boyz or local media folks need to do more than bash this team at nearly every turn while pumping up the Colts (which I don't mind 'cause I'm a Colts fan, too, but dang! Can both teams get some positive spin from the local media types?)

To me the local fans are turned off for two reasons:

1) their local media says very few positive things about the team. Thus, feeding the belief that the Pacers will only be a .500 ball club.

2) The fan's expectations are too high and personal interests too close to the vest to even give the team a fair shot.

Either way, I don't think it's fair because up until the Brawl, this team did a lot to put the city on the professional basketball map in a positive way. And players are still going out doing positive things behind the scenes throughout the city that rarely receives any true recognition. Granted, the fans would rather hear about winning and winning consistently, but given that the team has been labelled with the "th" word, you'd think the local media/Pacers PR folks would want to get as many feel-good stories as possible in front of their fan-base like the one linked above. IMO, they're doing a lowsy job of it.

Elgin56
12-28-2007, 11:19 AM
Naptownmenace,

I wasn't going to say anything because I didn't want to blow the obvious trend of those posters who have responded, but it would appear you're right. And so that makes me wonder if what some are saying about the team's press coverage is true: Is it just the local PR folks giving the team a bad rap and the national media merely covering the team only when something bad happens or is it that the locals are steadfast in labelling the team as just a .500 ball club and the national media refusing to cover them for that reason plus the fact that they're a small market team?

As I listen to local sports talk radio, read the sports section in my local paper or USA Today or even when I watch SportsCenter for that matter, rarely do I hear or read anything about the Pacers even when something uncanny happens like when that fan jumped out onto the court during one of their recent home games right before Christmas. I think the Pacers won that game (someone correct me if I'm wrong on that note), but what I fould strange the following day was how little the media picked up on that incident whether the Pacers won or not. I thought for sure if anything would have gotten the team some press a fan running around on the court surely would! Granted, he didn't do anything, but just the fact that it happened I would have thought would have warranted some national press coverage even in the "this is funny in sports" section.

And then there are feel-good article (http://www.pacersdigest.com/apache2-default/showthread.php?t=35782)s like this one posted here on PD after their loss to the Hawks. I'd have expected this one to be in the Indy Star, but according to the thread's originator they didn't carry it at all. Furthermore, there have been other feel-good stories like that one that I've read only online, but NOT from IndyStar.com. They've come from other outside sources, i.e., from Philly, Atlanta, and I even came across one from Phoeniz after the Pacers nearly beat them at the Fieldhouse. But I didn't find any such articles on IndyStar.com, my primary source for local Pacers sporting news. So, I'm thinking maybe I should either find another local news source for my boyz or local media folks need to do more than bash this team at nearly every turn while pumping up the Colts (which I don't mind 'cause I'm a Colts fan, too, but dang! Can both teams get some positive spin from the local media types?)

To me the local fans are turned off for two reasons:

1) their local media sayes very few positive things about the team. Thus, feeding the believe that the Pacers will only be a .500 ball club.

2) The fan's expectations are too high and personal interests too close to the vest to even give the team a fair shot.

Either way, I don't think it's fair because up until the Brawl, this team did a lot to put the city on the professional basketball map in a positive way. And players are still going out doing positive things behind the scenes throughout the city that rarely receives any true recognition. Granted, the fans would rather hear about winning and winning consistently, but given that the team has been labelled with the "th" word, you'd think the local media/Pacers PR folks would want to get as many feel-good stories as possible in front of their fan-base like the one linked above. IMO, they're doing a lowsy job of it.



Shootouts sell better than visits to local schools, at least that is the way newpapers and the media in general view it.

idioteque
12-28-2007, 01:08 PM
You're preaching to the choir with me here. Although there are definately some people on this board who would disagree with the both of us.

Look, I can understand people not liking Tinsley or whatever, but I am with the Pacers as a FRANCHISE and one or two players coming or going isn't going to change my opinion of what I believe is and always will be a proud franchise with a great history.

I think everyone should stick to their franchise through thick and thin. If you're moving from team to team because of the movement of one player or coach, I see you as a fickle fan. Some people are going to bash me for declaring that I am morally superior in regard to this issue, and that's fine, but this isn't and never will be an issue I will change my belief on.