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Thread: Monday morning question...

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  1. #1
    Administrator Peck's Avatar
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    Default Monday morning question...

    just to get the old heart pumping.

    Ok, here's the setup.

    We are the # 1 team in the league at the moment. We have consistantly been one of the top 5 (record wise) teams all season long & pretty much have been the best in the east for the entire season.

    We have an all-star powerforward who is a candidate for M.V.P.

    We have an all-star smallforward who is a candidate for D.P.O.Y.

    We have a Center who fits all of the values of our local market. ie. hustler, does dirty work, etc.

    We have a local living legend at the shooting guard spot.

    We have a point guard who has been "born again" & that always plays well with the locals.

    We have a 6th man of the year candidate.

    We have a C.O.Y. candidate.

    We have a Hoosier living legend in the front office.

    Life is good for the Pacers.

    Now the question.

    Why is there no local buzz about the Pacers? Why do our own fans not beleive?

    Forget what you've been reading here on the digest or other internet sites. Even with the teeth gnashing & wrist wringing that is being done here we are still more enthused about the Pacers.

    The last game I could attend was the Toronto game, actually now that I think about it that was our last home game (I think) & I will tell you straight up.

    We just came off of a great roadtrip. First time we have ever swept the west & the place was just over half full.

    The lower decks were full, as usual, but the entire upper corners were barren & there were plenty of seats in the end zones on both sides.

    There is no local talk of how good the team is. No real strutting around about how good the team is.

    Is it because of last years playoffs? Is it because everybody thinks "it's the east so who cares"? Is it overall lack of playoff success for three seasons? Of course people are going to say it's a combo of all of the above.

    But what I want to know is this.

    Is it possible that my theory that I have been putting forth for three years now has some validaty to it?

    The local fans do not identify with this team & have no real emotional attachment to it.

    Before you dismiss me on this, think about it. Think back to all of those 90's teams & remember by this time of year the fans all over central Indiana were getting stoked. The Pacers were the topic, if not now then by the middle of march.

    The big question is, why?

    Why hasn't the local fan base fallen for this team?

    Playoff wins will cure a lot of this, so maybe this question is moot. But I still find it odd that on it's first homegame after a long stretch away being the best team in the east & playing a playoff squad that we couldn't even fill the fieldhouse to 3/4 capacity.

    I won't even mention the crowd reaction it was pathetic.


    Basketball isn't played with computers, spreadsheets, and simulations. ChicagoJ 4/21/13

  2. #2
    Tree People to the Core! indygeezer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Monday morning question...

    It's all been discussed before but it's all that plus:

    the economy Indianapolis has lost a TON of blue color jobs and tey are the people that have historically gone to the Pacer games (and been rowdy)

    The interest in NBA is down all over the league. When stars like Kobe and Webber are being arrested... when there seems to be daily stories about some ego-centric millionaire brat mouthing off about having to sit on the bench...why shouold I shell out $5-0 to watch him play (half heartedly at that_)




    ok now I'm getting strange characters in my typing??????? -0 when I press the zero and _) when I hit the shift right parens ...odd. the the $50- above ok now it did THAT differntly! ACCCCCCCCHHHHHHHHH!
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  3. #3
    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Monday morning question...

    Peck, I would like to know what the TV ratings are, I think that is a better barometer than attendance. There are so many variables besides winning that effect attendance.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Monday morning question...

    It's all been discussed before but it's all that plus:

    The economy in Indianapolis has lost a TON of blue color jobs and they are the people that have historically gone to the Pacer games (and been rowdy).

    The interest in NBA is down all over the league. When stars like Kobe and Webber are being arrested... when there seems to be daily stories about some ego-centric millionaire brat mouthing off about having to sit on the bench...why should I shell out $50 to watch him play (half heartedly at that).

    I agree on both points. I attend several Pacers' home games each year (I don't live in Indy), and I've noticed the crowd has become more "corporate" and subdued over the years. People seem to be on their best behavior because, from what I can gather, a lot of companies buy blocks of seats and use them to entertain clients. So what you have are a bunch of knit shirt and khaki-clad ninnies in the lower stands who aren't as emotionally invested in the team as the lifelong, diehard fan. Those fans are being pushed up into the upper levels to seats even they can't afford anymore. But that's becoming the case everywhere. Big business is taking over sports.

    Plus, as Indy becomes a more service-industry city and imports more white-collar jobs, the population itself becomes more transient. You don't have as many fans in the seats who have followed the team their entire life. You have more of the fair-weathered-type fan instead—those who "adopt" the Pacers as their team when the skies are blue. I lived in Atlanta when the Braves came into preeminence in the 90s and this was certainly the case. Attending a game at Turner field was like attending a big company picnic. It was kinda pathetic, actually.

  5. #5
    Administrator Peck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Monday morning question...

    Peck, I would like to know what the TV ratings are, I think that is a better barometer than attendance. There are so many variables besides winning that effect attendance.

    Local ratings or other?


    Basketball isn't played with computers, spreadsheets, and simulations. ChicagoJ 4/21/13

  6. #6

    Default Re: Monday morning question...

    The Pacers have never been a sizzling item in Indianapolis, except, perhaps, for the Bird years and the first year of Conseco. And those years weren't perfect in terms of fan support.

    In the Larry Brown era when the Pacers first made their move to respectability, there were plenty of empty seats in MSA and it was very easy to get a playoff ticket.

    The typical Hoosier bball fan is just getting acquainted with this group of young warriors and a good playoff run would increase long term interest substantially.

  7. #7
    Administrator Peck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Monday morning question...

    The Pacers have never been a sizzling item in Indianapolis, except, perhaps, for the Bird years and the first year of Conseco. And those years weren't perfect in terms of fan support.

    In the Larry Brown era when the Pacers first made their move to respectability, there were plenty of empty seats in MSA and it was very easy to get a playoff ticket.

    The typical Hoosier bball fan is just getting acquainted with this group of young warriors and a good playoff run would increase long term interest substantially.
    You are 100% correct.

    However I guess I didn't do a very good job of making this point. It's not just attendance I'm talking about here. You could get good floor seats at M.S.A. up until the E.C. finals the first & second year.

    However, the Pacers were the TALK of the town. Maybe it was because it was new or something else.

    I just don't get the Buzz like feeling around here anymore. Unless you knew somebody who was a Pacers fan you wouldn't know they were a Pacers fan.


    Basketball isn't played with computers, spreadsheets, and simulations. ChicagoJ 4/21/13

  8. #8
    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Monday morning question...

    Peck, I would like to know what the TV ratings are, I think that is a better barometer than attendance. There are so many variables besides winning that effect attendance.

    Local ratings or other?
    Local





    In the Larry Brown era when the Pacers first made their move to respectability, there were plenty of empty seats in MSA and it was very easy to get a playoff ticket.

    Sixthman, you are correct tickets were available, howver each of the playoff games in the 1994 run were sold out by game time

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Monday morning question...

    Simply put, if and when this team advances in the playoffs, and especially if it makes it to the Conference Finals and/or NBA Finals, the crowds will come, cheer hard, and come back in more force next season.

    Assuming the team stays at this level or better for the next several years, this season's playoffs will kick-start another wave of fans.

  10. #10
    Administrator Peck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Monday morning question...

    Peck, I would like to know what the TV ratings are, I think that is a better barometer than attendance. There are so many variables besides winning that effect attendance.

    Local ratings or other?
    Local





    In the Larry Brown era when the Pacers first made their move to respectability, there were plenty of empty seats in MSA and it was very easy to get a playoff ticket.

    Sixthman, you are correct tickets were available, howver each of the playoff games in the 1994 run were sold out by game time
    If they sold out at game time, it was right before game time.

    There were still seats available up until 1 hour before the Orlando game in 94 because a buddy of mine bought two in the upper decks.


    Basketball isn't played with computers, spreadsheets, and simulations. ChicagoJ 4/21/13

  11. #11

    Default Re: Monday morning question...

    If they sold out at game time, it was right before game time.

    There were still seats available up until 1 hour before the Orlando game in 94 because a buddy of mine bought two in the upper decks.
    Those were the good ole days.

    After each of the first playoff games, you could buy good middle- range- priced- tickets for the next game at the ticket window. And as many as you wanted. My friend and I were buying them by the tens and then selling them to friends and to friends of friends. I'd say we went thru several hundred playoff tickets that year and had no trouble selling every ticket we had.

    UB is right. The buzz for the Pacers was incredible. I think much of it was that the expectations were so low.

    When the Pacers get out of the first couple of playoff rounds, it will get crazy again.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Monday morning question...

    A couple of notes. First, I agree with everyone about the playoffs - the fans need to go to the wars with the team. Right now there's no more attachment to these guys than there was to the team in the Bob Hill days - the ".500 team getting booted annually in the 1st rd" guys.

    Second, I think the Colts have turned into a new hot commodity. They have a charismatic, extremely popular leader/player and I think they've stolen a TON of thunder from the Pacers.

    For over a decade when you thought of Professional sports in Indianapolis the first name that popped into your head was Reggie Miller. Now it's Peyton Manning.

    That won't change until the Pacers get to the conf finals. And even then the Colts will be solid competition. That's different from the mid-90's IMO. The Jim Harbaugh years always felt like a fad to me. The Peyton Manning years don't.
    The poster formerly known as Rimfire

  13. #13
    ENABEABLER MagicRat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Monday morning question...

    One thing that might have had an effect is the syndication of the Bob and Tom show. They were doing all sorts of things "back in the day" that really helped stoke the city, with the Boom, Baby song, Just a Bunch of Hoosier Hicks, etc.

    Plus they used to have Reggie on all the time and Chick McGee chasing Spike Lee through the airport....

    Rarely listen to them now, but I doubt they're promoting the Pacers like they used to.

    Just a thought........
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  14. #14
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    Default Re: Monday morning question...

    One thing that might have had an effect is the syndication of the Bob and Tom show. They were doing all sorts of things "back in the day" that really helped stoke the city, with the Boom, Baby song, Just a Bunch of Hoosier Hicks, etc.

    Plus they used to have Reggie on all the time and Chick McGee chasing Spike Lee through the airport....

    Rarely listen to them now, but I doubt they're promoting the Pacers like they used to.

    Just a thought........
    That's an interesting point - I generally stopped listening to B&T once that became a "national" show. When I still lived in town, I would occasionally listen to the "fifth hour" - the local stuff - but because of daylight savings time I only listened to that during the half of the year when it was the 9am hour - I wasn't going to wake up at 5am just to listen to B&T!

    Peck, I wish I had the answer to your question. But if I did, my solution would be on my cover letter/ resume addressed to Mr. Walsh, Mr. Ratterman, etc.

    One aspect that hasn't been mentioned was that when we moved from MSA to The Fieldhouse, some "relationships" ended. Most, but not all of us, that were in the first few rows of the upper level of Aisle 20 moved to Section 222 together. But some of our key "friends" ended up in other parts of the arena. Another family's kids got old enough that they just didn't have time to go to very many games anymore, I think they dropped their tickets because I haven't seen them in two seasons and prior to that I spent seven years watching their kids grow up. Of course, I moved, so I only go to a handful of games now. When I go back, what used to be a very full and rowdy section is now eerily quiet and empty. And the bozos behind us spend the entire game on their cellphones. And since all the regulars are gone, we're now surrounded by fans that are "rookies" and haven't figured out when to cheer, when and what to yell at the refs, etc. (I may 'snap' the next time somebody in our section yells at the officials to call an 'intentional' foul - this ain't college ("semipro") ball.
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  15. #15
    Member rabid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Monday morning question...

    A few other reasons, in no particular order:

    -The Colts. The Colts sucked back when the Pacers were making their '90s playoff runs, with the exception of the fluke year when Harbaugh almost took them to the Superbowl... a lot of fan money is going to te Colts these days, as they are obviously the top local sports franchise around here now.

    -Local media. Someone mentioned the Bob-and-Tom factor, that plays into it, but so does the despicable local sports talk coverage. ESPN 950 talks more about arena football and Butler/IUPUI/Valpo basketball than they do the Pacers - it makes me sick. Star coverage is pretty lackluster as well. This could be one of those "chicken-and-egg" deals though - is the coverage bad because of low fan support, or the other way around?

    -NBA marketing. The NBA has REALLY pushed toward the "urban" market in recent years, and, while I hate to bring up the race issue, let's face it - the vast majority of potential Indiana NBA fans are white. Whereas back in the 90's we had Jordan, who was able to cross those racial barriers in terms of marketing, today we have more emphasis on guys like Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, Carmello Anthony, etc. who are usually presented with the retro-jersey and sneaker-wearing marketing style, which is geared more toward black youth, a market that might be big in Philadelphia or Detroit but not Indy.

    I agree with some of the other posters that playoff success = fan base.

  16. #16
    dryley
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    Default Re: Monday morning question...

    I live in smalltown western Indiana and work in a fairly large plant. I am a pretty avid Pacer fan, but it seems when I talk Pacers other people think I'm a little weird. What I'm saying is most people around here just aren't interested in the NBA. There are a lot of IU fans (though most aren't in a talking mood lately) and they say it's (NBA) not "real basketball", they take too many steps, nobody plays defense, etc... But lately I have noticed more folks jumping on the bandwagon. There were a few people at the golf course today talking about the close games lately. I'm glad to see it, and I think it will be more pronounced as the playoffs get started. As far as Conseco, I've only been once and enjoyed it greatly (You may remember, I parked in the Lilly lot , but I can't afford to go very often. It's my opinion that they have priced themselves up too far for the real fans. As have all pro sports organizations. My 2centsworth!

  17. #17
    White and Nerdy Anthem's Avatar
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    Default Re: Monday morning question...

    Two reasons

    1) Last year. No need to say anymore about that, except what kind of an impact that has on the average fans' psyche.

    2) This team still has done jacksh*t in the playoffs. If they come out and win their first playoff game handily, or win the first two, I think you'll see a return to the "days of old" in terms of the crowd.
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  18. #18
    King Mob
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    Default Re: Monday morning question...

    I agree.

    I suspect the fact that you guys have never really had a rebuilding period is playing into that as well. Here in Detroit we went from 32-50 to 50-32 in Carlisle's first year, won the Division title and made the 2nd round of the playoffs for the 1st time since the Bad Boys last championship. That kind of dramatic turnaround raised eyebrows all over the city and the following season we led, are are still leading, the league in attendance. NJ had a similar resurgance that same year. Cleveland is having one now.You guys have never really been bad, though. You've been at least a .500 team and playoff regulars for how long? To the casual fan, right now you guys are just having a slightly better regular season. Once you get out of the 1st round the general bball fans will really take notice, and if you come out of the East the bandwagon fans will stick their Pacer flags in their car windows too, of course.

  19. #19
    Jimmy did what Jimmy did Bball's Avatar
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    Default Re: Monday morning question...

    I know I get jumped on for this view but I think the fact that the 2000 team was broken up (for whatever reason) pulled the rug out from under a lot of the 'buzz' that surrounded the team. As the new (2000-20001) season wore on, and it looked for all the world like we were heading to mediocrity, I think the bandwagon (that had been filled to the hilt) was emptied fast.

    Those aren't the core fans... or the homers... those are your average Joe's that start to take notice and realize we're on track for a championship. Once they saw the run was over... they bailed.

    .500 basketball, midseason collapses, first round exits aren't going to win them back either. As a matter of fact, once the bar is set high, those things probably prolong the return of the buzz until the team proves itself AND backs it up. I think it will only be at least a second round series win that begins to re-energize the greater fanbase.

    You might call them 'fair-weather fans' or 'bandwagoners' but those are the ones we lost when it was decided that the beginning of an overhaul, not a tweak, was what was required with the loss to the Knicks in '99.


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