PDA

View Full Version : How important is a championship to you, as a fan?



Young
05-19-2008, 12:25 AM
Ok this has been on my mind for a while. I'm sure that many of you think Iím really stupid for asking this. I mean duh, every fan wants their team to win a championship.

But really, what is the greatest thrill in sports? Is it really the end of the race or is it the steps you took to get to the end?

Take the Colts for example. Would that championship have been so sweet if there werenít upsets and disappointments along the way? From getting beat by the Pats to losing to the underdog Steelers didn't the heartaches make that championship that much better? I remember more about the Colts Superbowl season than I do about the Superbowl game itself.

You look at the Pats this past season. I mean yeah it sucks to win every game but that last one. But does that really mean that their season was a failure?

This really started to get on my mind with Bruce Pearl. I remember his name being brought up for IU's job and there were IU fans saying "oh you can't win a championship playing like that" and stuff like that. And you know what, I really don't care. Especially in college basketball it is very tough to win it all.

Billy D wins two national championships in a row and all of a sudden he is one of the best coaches in the country. Before yeah he was good but after those two titles he is in the elite category. Sure, winning those two was very special but does anyone really think that Billy D made major changes to win those two titles? I doubt it. I think he was just as good of a coach the year before they won the first one as he was after they won the second one.

I did not follow the Pacers in the 90s, or the NBA for that matter, but let me ask those who did this. Would you trade those years for say one championship followed by 4 lottery team years? Is being the one team to win it all really that much better than being there year after year.

We talk about how hard it is to draft well and it is. One year you might get Tim Duncan and the next it might be Michael Oloawakandi. That could be the difference between winning 3 championships and winning none. That is the difference between being in the playoffs year in and year out and being the lottery year in and year out.

I ask this because with this Pacers team I have no hope. I see no real direction. We can't look at this team and say, if we just add this one last piece to the team we might be able to win it all. I don't see us getting lucky and adding a Tim Duncan or Chirs Paul type of player.

So how important is winning the championship to you, as a fan? Like I said, sure everyone has a desire for one I know. But is it really what fans need to look at their teams and call it a success? Would Pacers fans think that much more of Reggie if he had won one here? Would Jazz fan think that much more of Stockton and Malone if they had won one?

travmil
05-19-2008, 12:34 AM
I didn't always feel this way, but I do now. I would absolutely trade every playoff season the Pacers ever had for them to have broken through and won just once, especially when Reggie was here. I used to feel that it was more important to give yoursef a chance to win each and every year. All that did was give the Pacers 15 years of good but not good enough. An NBA title would definitely be more meaningful than that.

Will Galen
05-19-2008, 12:48 AM
How important is a championship to you, as a fan?

Not very. First and foremost I want to like the team and be entertained. Then I want to be competitive. A championship is a by product of the first two, not the end all of everything.

The very best entertainment is to have your team make an unexpected run at the championship, and if they get it, there is nothing sweeter in sports.

Trader Joe
05-19-2008, 12:51 AM
A championship for me for either the Pacers or IU basketball would be beyond words. I enjoyed the Colts Super Bowl win and I took a lot of pride in that, but the first sports team I ever really cared for was the Pacers and now IU basketball also holds a special spot in my life.

P.S. And yes I think a championship added to Reggie's resume would make a HUGE difference.

duke dynamite
05-19-2008, 02:08 AM
I'm making this short but sweet...

Reaching a goal first really is the only reason why we have anything competitive. Duh.

In the case of professional sports, you have to look at the smaller picture (a game/match/race) first in order to look at the bigger picture (tournaments and/or a championship).

You always want to win, there is no reason to compete if there is no desire to win. This is true in anything competitive.

Look at it this way, if you don't look at the big picture, let alone the small one, what is the point of a sporting event?

Will Galen
05-19-2008, 04:10 AM
[quote=duke dynamite;720313]

Reaching a goal first really is the only reason why we have anything competitive. Duh.

I disagree with most of what you said.

For most people it's the fun of the competition, not the winning that's important. I've been in many a bowling league that I knew we didn't have an apples chance in a bakery of winning.

Another example, which is more fun? Beating your five year old little sister at basketball, or playing a neighbor where you are so evenly matched that it was nip and tuck all the way and you had a ball, win or lose?

You always want to win, there is no reason to compete if there is no desire to win. This is true in anything competitive.

You don't always want to win, For example, what if your team has locked up it's position for the season and is just waiting for the playoffs? You know they are going to rest their players so you bet they will lose? What if your tanking for a better draft position?

Have you seen the poker movie, "Lucky you?" The guy threw away a winning hand because he didn't want to beat his dad.

As for there being no reason to compete if there is no desire to win. There's always desire to compete even when you know you can't win.

Putnam
05-19-2008, 08:07 AM
My dad died in the fall of 1986. He had been a Bears fan all his life and he got to see McMahon and Co. win it all just a few months earlier. It made him happy.

I want the Pacers to win an NBA championship in my lifetime. It doesn't have to be this season or next, or even the one after that. But I want them to win a championship. I want the Pacers to be entertaining and to represents Indiana well every season. That is necessary. But it isn't sufficient. I want them to win it all at least once. I'll die a chump if they don't.

count55
05-19-2008, 08:30 AM
My dad died in the fall of 1986. He had been a Bears fan all his life and he got to see McMahon and Co. win it all just a few months earlier. It made him happy.

I want the Pacers to win an NBA championship in my lifetime. It doesn't have to be this season or next, or even the one after that. But I want them to win a championship. I want the Pacers to be entertaining and to represents Indiana well every season. That is necessary. But it isn't sufficient. I want them to win it all at least once. I'll die a chump if they don't.

I agree with pretty much everything here but the "die a chump" part. I want the Pacers to win a championship, and I'm disappointed every year that they don't, but...I don't know how to explain it.

I was a fan in the '80's, when it was horrible...when reaching mediocrity was a cause for celebration. For me, it's all somewhat unconditional.

I guess to re-phrase the question: "If somebody told you, with absolute certainty, that the Pacers would not win a Championship in your lifetime, would you stop cheering for them?" I would answer, no. I will always be a Pacer Fan...I will always hope for the next win.

A championship is important. It is the pinnacle, but it's not the only thing. I felt the same way about the Colts prior to their Superbowl.

Would I trade the 15-16 years of playoffs, including the 7 or 8 years in there where we were actually contenders for one title? I honestly don't know. I'm sure the title would be fantastic, but I remember how horrible those early '80's were.

D-BONE
05-19-2008, 09:07 AM
Well, the one thing I want first and foremost is to feel that the franchise is commited to the larger goal of contending/winning a championships and executing the steps necessary to put themselves in position to attain it.

I don't doubt the commitment is not there, but the execution part the last 5 years or so leaves me with an empty feeling of bumbling and poor decisoins.

The Pacers winning a championship would be squarely atop my sports wishlist as a fan, way outdistancing anything else. In fact, it's really the only personally meaningful, long-term want I have for any team of which I am a supporter. Everything else pales in comparison.

However, I have to add that despite that one fervent desire, their winning a championship in my lifetime is not some make or break issue as to my happiness or fulfillment. Of course I love it, but it's still just sports.

At this point, I'd just be happy to see TPTB make some moves that convince me we are simply moving things back in the right direction towards being able to compete at the elite level sometime in the relatively near future.

Twes
05-19-2008, 09:34 AM
The journey does have value in and of itself. But winning a championship exponentially makes the journey sooooooooooooo much sweeter.

Putnam
05-19-2008, 09:39 AM
The journey does have value in and of itself. But winning a championship exponentially makes the journey sooooooooooooo much sweeter.

Yep. Robert Louis Stevenson said, "To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive."

He was wrong.

Kstat
05-19-2008, 09:41 AM
The championship is what gives the journey its meaning.

Without it, it's like an epic story without an ending.

My two favorite teams on earth are the Detroit Lions, and the Detroit Pistons. So I know what it's like to be on the polar opposite ends of the spectrum.

Without a doubt, the championship is the most important thing. Using the Lions as a reference point, time as a Pistons fan would have felt so much more empty without that 1989 championship.

idioteque
05-19-2008, 09:47 AM
To me it's all about a championship. Yes, the 1990's up until 2000 were very fun times to watch the Pacers, but they ended in failure ultimately because we didn't win it all.

But, as Will Galen said, entertainment value is very important as well. I remember the playoff runs from the 1990's much better than I do the ones from the 2000's, because the teams in the 1990's were much more entertaining for me. The 2004 team was great, but I was never a fan of Carlisle's style of play, JO, or Artest. Now, if we had actually won it all in 2004, things may be different, but it's really hard to say.

But yeah, in my view, the season is basically a failure if you don't win it all. No owner is going to sign a guy to a max deal without a championship in mind.

JayRedd
05-19-2008, 10:42 AM
A championship is not the only thing, but it is far and away the most important thing.

I don't know how I'd feel about being the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, for instance, and have essentially a horrible, horrible history of fanship followed by four good years and one title only to fall back into obscurity (presuming they're going to be bad for another 10-12 years).

Then again, I'd probably take it. And since we've been as consistently above average as any team in basketball since 1990, that's not even an issue aside from the hypothetical.

So yeah, at this point, a title is pretty much the end-all, be-all for this franchise seeing as we've done everything else you can do.

And if Reggie had ever won one, he'd leap from being a Pacer immortal to an Indiana god. His whole schtick was being the uber-underdog who was 5-foot-nothing, 100-and-nothing without a shred of athletic ability and still able to do magical things on the court. If he would have been able to pull off a championship in that style, it would have been a historic David and Goliath tale (and yes, obviously he could only have gotten one with the help of some of Jalen, Mark, Davis, Davis, Rik, Mully, Byron, McKey, et al).

count55
05-19-2008, 10:47 AM
The championship is what gives the journey its meaning.

Without it, it's like an epic story without an ending.

My two favorite teams on earth are the Detroit Lions, and the Detroit Pistons. So I know what it's like to be on the polar opposite ends of the spectrum.

Without a doubt, the championship is the most important thing. Using the Lions as a reference point, time as a Pistons fan would have felt so much more empty without that 1989 championship.

I agree completely with everything you say here, but, again, ask, are you going to stop being a Lions fan any time soon?

My earlier way of putting it was a little disingenuous. I guess, as a Pacer fan, there's no way that anyone could ever convince me, with absolute certainty, that the Pacers would never win a championship.

I would always hold that hope.

However, I also may be assigning some motivations to the OP that might not be there. When I hear the discussion about "winning a championship", it tends to be, on this board and RealGM, in the context of the Pacers being content with making the playoffs and not really seeking a championship. This is one of the main arguments of those who believe that the team should hit bottom, tank, before they can win a championship. That the only way to get a title is through the next Superstar.

I don't for one second believe that the Pacers organization "settled" in the '90's. In fact, I think the Pacers organization is in the state that it's currently in because they took a huge risk with Ron Artest because Artest (at his peak) was the type of player who made this team a serious championship contender. Had we made the Peja deal prior to the brawl and self-immolation, we would have been a more consistently good team, but we would not have been that grind-it-out nasty team in 2003-2004, or the team that was just dominating Detroit on the night of the brawl.

They went all in, and we got beat. I can live with what happened because, in my mind, it was an acceptable risk.

However, I don't believe that tanking is an acceptable risk. It is too long term, and relies on too many if's. People talk about needing top 5 picks to have a shot. Here's a history of the NBA Top 5 picks (I think it's all of them, but I may have missed somebody) that have played for the Pacers:

Drafted by Pacers - Rick Robey (#3), Steve Stipanovich (#2), Wayman Tisdale (#2), Chuck Person (#4), Rik Smits (#2), and Jonathan Bender (#5).

Drafted by Others, played for Pacers later - Bill Garnett (#4), Sam Perkins (#4), Byron Scott (#4), Reggie Williams (#4), Mike Dunleavy, Jr. (#3)

Of 11 players, that's four bona fide busts (Robey, Bender, Garnett, Williams), two arguable busts (Stipo & Wayman), three solid pro's (Chuck, Rik, Junior), and two excellent pros (Perkins, Scott), but no superstars. No difference makers.

So, I get leery when I get asked "How important is a championship to you?". It is of paramount importance, but no fan should be considered a chump if they cheered for the team they loved and that team made good faith efforts to win a title but came up short...either through luck or bad timing.

If that 1998 Pacer team had peaked just one year later, would there have been a banner in Conseco? What if they hadn't called continuation on that Larry Johson 3 in 1999? What if Travis had hit the jumper at the end of regulation in Game 4 in 2000? What if Reggie had hit his 3 at the end of OT in the same game? What if they don't call Dale for that mystery loose ball foul in Game 6 2000? If Jordan had stayed retired, would the Pacers have multiple banners hanging? If Jordan hadn't retired, would we be talking about Hakeem as the greatest player without a title?

As long as the Pacers lack an NBA title, there will be something missing from our experience. But, does that mean it's a completely empty/meaningless experience? I can't and won't accept that.

duke dynamite
05-19-2008, 10:54 AM
[quote=duke dynamite;720313]

Reaching a goal first really is the only reason why we have anything competitive. Duh.

I disagree with most of what you said.

For most people it's the fun of the competition, not the winning that's important. I've been in many a bowling league that I knew we didn't have an apples chance in a bakery of winning.

Another example, which is more fun? Beating your five year old little sister at basketball, or playing a neighbor where you are so evenly matched that it was nip and tuck all the way and you had a ball, win or lose?

You always want to win, there is no reason to compete if there is no desire to win. This is true in anything competitive.

You don't always want to win, For example, what if your team has locked up it's position for the season and is just waiting for the playoffs? You know they are going to rest their players so you bet they will lose? What if your tanking for a better draft position?

Have you seen the poker movie, "Lucky you?" The guy threw away a winning hand because he didn't want to beat his dad.

As for there being no reason to compete if there is no desire to win. There's always desire to compete even when you know you can't win.
What is the point of competing without the desire to win? "Oh yeah, man, I was aiming for second place."

There is a major difference when it comes to playing with someone and making them feel good by letting them win. The NBA or any part of this discussion isn't about friendly competition.

Yes, obviously playing a game or participating in a sport is fun, that's why kids start at a young age (unless their parents are controlling nut jobs), but having that desire to win keeps the fun in the game. No kid that likes baseball ever likes to play for the losing team, they want the big trophy at the end of the season instead of the little one.

Anyway...

When it comes to after successfully securing a playoff berth, that most likely means you had somewhat a successful season. Now your eyes are looking at the bigger picture.

That was just a movie, and no, I didn't see it. It was made to make you say, "Aww, that was sweet, he loves his dad."

Even if you know you can't win, doesn't mean you don't want to win.

Sports are nothing without the desire to win. The entertainment factor is the hope to see your team, player, driver perform well and hopefully make it one step closer to the ultimate goal, a championship.

Rajah Brown
05-19-2008, 10:59 AM
On a scale of 1-10, it's a 9.999. If I figure out what the other
.001 is, I'll let you know.

Hicks
05-19-2008, 11:20 AM
It would be special, but I don't put it on a pedestal so high that I can't really see the top of it. I think I might have used to do that.

I think my dream is to watch a team develop into a contender, a piece at a time, until they can slug it out with the established elite, and hopefully get the best of them a time or two. Basically, think the Reggie teams with a happier ending in the late 90's.

Shade
05-19-2008, 12:54 PM
Extremely important.

The NBA Pacers have done pretty much everything but win a title. I've watched my two other favorite teams (IU and the Colts, though the former was 21 years ago now) win titles. It's time for the Pacers to complete the trifecta.

Shade
05-19-2008, 12:58 PM
The championship is what gives the journey its meaning.

Without it, it's like an epic story without an ending.

My two favorite teams on earth are the Detroit Lions, and the Detroit Pistons. So I know what it's like to be on the polar opposite ends of the spectrum.

Without a doubt, the championship is the most important thing. Using the Lions as a reference point, time as a Pistons fan would have felt so much more empty without that 1989 championship.

As a Pacers and Colts fan, I can relate, though the ends of the spectrum are reversed in my case.

It still pains me to see the Colts lose, but I can handle it much better since they finally got the job done a year ago. You know it's possible to win because they've done it before. The same can not yet be said of the Pacers (the ABA was before my time).

I'd love to see IU win at least one more because I was only 9 when they won their last title. I think I would appreciate it more these days because I understand the game better. I know I was all geeked out in 2002.

Twes
05-19-2008, 01:44 PM
I also think there is a huge difference between enjoying a season that came up short when you know the team was doing everything in their power to get better etc and left it all on the field/court, and a team that doesn't really care if they win championships as long as they are somewhat competetive/entertaining and making money.

RamBo_Lamar
05-19-2008, 01:51 PM
The Pacers winning the NBA Championship would be one of the most special
days in my lifetime.

I too hope to see it before I die and move on to other worlds.

idioteque
05-19-2008, 01:56 PM
[quote=Will Galen;720317]
What is the point of competing without the desire to win? "Oh yeah, man, I was aiming for second place."

There is a major difference when it comes to playing with someone and making them feel good by letting them win. The NBA or any part of this discussion isn't about friendly competition.

Yes, obviously playing a game or participating in a sport is fun, that's why kids start at a young age (unless their parents are controlling nut jobs), but having that desire to win keeps the fun in the game. No kid that likes baseball ever likes to play for the losing team, they want the big trophy at the end of the season instead of the little one.

Anyway...

When it comes to after successfully securing a playoff berth, that most likely means you had somewhat a successful season. Now your eyes are looking at the bigger picture.

That was just a movie, and no, I didn't see it. It was made to make you say, "Aww, that was sweet, he loves his dad."

Even if you know you can't win, doesn't mean you don't want to win.

Sports are nothing without the desire to win. The entertainment factor is the hope to see your team, player, driver perform well and hopefully make it one step closer to the ultimate goal, a championship.

Your posting has gotten much more substantiative (sp?) recently. I've really began to start like reading your stuff alot, man.

JayRedd
05-19-2008, 02:21 PM
As a lifelong Red Sox fan and a lifelong 49ers fan (yes, I know I'm weird), the pain is much easier to deal with if you have that ring first.

As a 49er fan: 2000 - today has been frustrating, annoying and embarrassing.

As a Red Sox fan: Birth - 10/20/2004 were utter agony.

Since86
05-19-2008, 03:25 PM
I think sports are the best because of the competition, not necessarily the outcome. While the let down of defeat hurts, the emotion and the buildup throughout the contest makes it all worth it.

As a player, I would have rather played in a tight game than win big, even if it meant losing. I got the biggest "high" during the last few mins of those back and forth games, it just made you feel alive.

I'm not into that PC crap about everyone's a winner blah blah blah, but I think I'm realistic enough to understand that 99% of teams don't win. Only one team can be called the best. I find no shame in battling at a high level and coming up short. You go out, bust it, and try again next year.

I think the journey makes the desination worth it.

ABADays
05-19-2008, 03:50 PM
I am one of the fortunate few to have experienced all three of the ABA Championships. I have to admit I have been jealous as a fan of the flagship ABA team that the Spurs are now THE former ABA team. Of course I want the Pacers to win the title but even more importantly is to be entertained and competitive in the chase.

If the Pacers followed the path and results of the Colts I would be pretty happy. As one other poster stated I hate when the Colts lose but I can deal with it better now that they have been the champions.

duke dynamite
05-19-2008, 06:33 PM
Your posting has gotten much more substantiative (sp?) recently. I've really began to start like reading your stuff alot, man.
Thank you.

The point that I have made since my start in these boards is that it's Pacers or nothing. Disappointing as it may seem, but watching this team is what I live for. All I want to see this team do is win. I want all this crap from the past few seasons to be a brief, distant memory.

Just as my girlfriend hates seeing the Colts lose and it takes me a day or two to console her, I feel empty when the Pacers lose.

Why have a sports team if your main goal isn't bettering yourself to contend for a championship?

I really like hearing about how much easier it is to grin and bare a loss if you have already proven yourself. Seeing this Colts lose this year was tough, but all I need to do is watch the DVDs from the Super Bowl season and it all feels better.

Putnam
05-19-2008, 09:23 PM
I really like hearing about how much easier it is to grin and bare a loss if you have already proven yourself. Seeing this Colts lose this year was tough, but all I need to do is watch the DVDs from the Super Bowl season and it all feels better.

Ain't that the truth. I will never get tired of watching Reggie Wayne double catch that ball against the Pats. Just absolutely never. I would have already forgotten about it if they hadn't won a Super Bowl... "with a great bunch of guys" and "won it the right way."

duke dynamite
05-19-2008, 10:12 PM
Omg, I still get goosebumps watching that catch.

slyder
05-19-2008, 10:30 PM
Not very. First and foremost I want to like the team and be entertained. Then I want to be competitive. A championship is a by product of the first two, not the end all of everything.

this is where i am. exactly.

SycamoreKen
05-20-2008, 12:04 AM
Having lived through 4 championship experiences in the past 10 years and high playoff expectations as well, I want nothing more as a Pacers fan to experience it with my true team. I really like the Spurs and root for them and even have their gear, but they are 2nd in my heart. When they play the Pacers I root agianst Duncan and Ginobili as hard as i root for them the other 80 games.

I want Indy and the Pacers fans to experience the thrill of the win, remembering where you were when it happens for the first time and celebrating with other fans. To go to the airport and to the parade. To buy Pacers championship gear at midnight.

For right now I would like to have the feeling of going into the season again knowing we are continders and have a shot at it all.

SoupIsGood
05-20-2008, 12:17 AM
Not nearly as important as it once was, since the Colts nabbed a superbowl.

Dr. Goldfoot
05-20-2008, 01:29 AM
Not nearly as important as it once was, since the Colts nabbed a superbowl.

I agree. Also not nearly as important as it was when Reggie was still here. Those late 90's early 00's teams had a great cast of characters and rivalries. Those would have been the most satisfying followed by the JO/Ronnie/Reggie teams. This current group is pretty much ho hum in my book. If they fluke their way to a championship next season I'd feel cheated in a way.

Bball
05-20-2008, 02:09 AM
The quest for a championship is very important to me. The goal of any professional sports team should be a championship. If it's not, they are wasting everyone's time, money, and emotional investment in the team.

The NBA isn't the NCAA... just making the playoffs is not the same thing as making the "Big Dance". The NCAA is one and done and pretty easy for an upstart to go deep if the stars align. In the NBA, it doesn't much matter how the stars align because it's a best of 7 series.

Therefore, I take exception to the statement about the Pacers 'fluking' to a championship next season. IF the Pacers were to get a championship next season, it wouldn't be a fluke because you don't fluke your way to an NBA championship. It would be one of the most compelling sports stories in a LONG time. Nobody would feel cheated and in fact I have a feeling most would be calling for statues of the whole team to be erected (coaches and management too).

IOW... it's a longshot NOW to declare the Pacers could win the championship next season... BUT.... if we fast forward and see that the Pacers DO in fact win the championship, then if we rewind and see how it happened we'd see a team coming together, a star (or stars) rising to levels we can't see right now, and probably a synergy of fans and players coming together as each begins to 'believe' as the season wears on.

Getting to contention is a process. TPTB can't simply be satisfied to make the playoffs. The team goal can't be simply making the playoffs each year. You'll stagnate. You'll create something less than a 'winning' environment around the team and the lockerroom. Some players will be satisfied... some will be frustrated... some will find things other than the quest to be the best they can be to occupy their time.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, if you set the goals too low, what happens when you get there? There's nothing left to achieve and you'll not want to risk messing up that team that is meeting your goals...

-Bball :lurk:

Unclebuck
05-20-2008, 08:43 AM
Pacers have zero percent chance of winning the championship next season. (Of course a year ago right now I would have said the same thing about the Celtics)