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Thread: A couple questions for the old timers

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    Default A couple questions for the old timers

    Alright so here goes. Basically this is the worst stretch I have ever witnessed as a Pacer fan. My questions for those who were around in the late 70's and 80's is this...

    Would you say the fan base was more depressed about the Pacers now or back then?
    Would you say you are more depressed now or back then?

    The reason I ask is this, back then we were barely able to scrape together 20 wins, but at least we had several young players to look to. Now we are winning slightly more games, we're even in playoff contention, ( ) but the team is the laughing stock of the league due to all of the distractions.

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    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: A couple questions for the old timers

    You are so young. Living through 4 straight seasons in the early 80's of between 20 and 26 wins will toughen any fan. And when you average less than 4000 (paid) fans per game - yes things were much worse back then.

    But it was also a different era - the NBA in the early 80's is nothing like it is today - back then there was real talk about the league as a whole not surviving.

    It was worse back then. I don't remember any young players that gave us much hope back then - not until Chuch Person. Oh sure Wayma Tsdale came in with a ton of hype - but it became very clear that he was not that good

    Telethon just to save the team - strong rumors about the team leaving - in fact it was all but a done deal for the team to move to San Diego. Curtains drawn in the upper reaches of MSA.
    The local media back then either ridiculed or simply ignored the Pacers.

    No it was worse back then.

    get back with me on this question in about 4 years if things are still as they are currently - then maybe we can consider this for real
    Last edited by Unclebuck; 03-07-2008 at 04:04 PM.

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    Default Re: A couple questions for the old timers

    UB, I didn't mean to offend you. Cause it kind of seems like I did...I was very curious as to what those of you who were around back then thought of this situation compared to that. I was obviously not around then so the only way I can learn to gage the situation is by asking those who were.

    I wasn't trying to compare the two. I was merely trying to ask you to compare the two.

    As far as saying young players, maybe that was the wrong way to put it, but there was at least the hope of a high draft pick.

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    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: A couple questions for the old timers

    Quote Originally Posted by Indy View Post
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    UB, I didn't mean to offend you. Cause it kind of seems like I did...I was very curious as to what those of you who were around back then thought of this situation compared to that. I was obviously not around then so the only way I can learn to gage the situation is by asking those who were.

    I wasn't trying to compare the two. I was merely trying to ask you to compare the two.

    As far as saying young players, maybe that was the wrong way to put it, but there was at least the hope of a high draft pick.
    No, you did not offend me at all - it was a good question and I enjoyed answering. Sorry if my response came across as though I was offended. Actually I am sure some will disagree with me and think it is worse today than back then

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    Boom Baby'er ABADays's Avatar
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    Default Re: A couple questions for the old timers

    They are both bad for different reasons. Bad then for all the reasons UB cited. Bad now for all the reasons the situation exists.
    Unfortunately, I feel like it is worse now.
    Last edited by ABADays; 03-07-2008 at 04:03 PM.
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    Default Re: A couple questions for the old timers

    I feel worse now than I did then. Woeful as they were the city did identify with them. Now the city seems to want to acknowledge them only as the idiot uncle that's kept hidden in the attic.

    Losing was one thing but losing with "criminals" is a whole 'nuther game.
    I think it's obvious that Indy doesn't wish to be associated with the "criminals".
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    Default Re: A couple questions for the old timers

    I would have to say it is worse now.

    Back then the Pacers, while they did have a couple good players, overall
    simply didn't have the talent to compete with the NBA's "big guns". And
    there was flakey ownership and management...Sam Nassi in particular.

    Fans back in the late '70s and early '80s certainly felt let down from the
    glory of the Pacer's ABA dominance, not unlike how many may feel let down
    now after being a top contender for so long during the '90s.

    But in spite of the Pacers being the league whipping boys, there were
    never any rashes of incidents or players constantly getting into trouble
    to "urinate" off the fan base like now. Never that I can remember.
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    Default Re: A couple questions for the old timers

    Boy, back then in the 80s were awful. I remember clearly I was just finishing up college, and I remember the bad taste of defeat year after year. Ah, those were some awful times.
    Don't ask Marvin Harrison what he did during the bye week. "Batman never told where the Bat Cave is," he explained.

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    Boom Baby'er ABADays's Avatar
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    Default Re: A couple questions for the old timers

    Quote Originally Posted by Suaveness View Post
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    Boy, back then in the 80s were awful. I remember clearly I was just finishing up college, and I remember the bad taste of defeat year after year. Ah, those were some awful times.
    What are you talking about - you're only 17 now
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    Default Re: A couple questions for the old timers

    Quote Originally Posted by Suaveness View Post
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    Boy, back then in the 80s were awful. I remember clearly I was just finishing up college, and I remember the bad taste of defeat year after year. Ah, those were some awful times.

    Yes they were. I can remember all the hope and optimism when the Pacers
    were able to draft Clark Kellogg and Herb Williams, and the franchise was
    going to finally be on an upswing with them to build around. But I would
    have to agree with UncleBuck that is wasn't until the drafting of Chuck
    Person before there was a real glimmer of hope. Someone with ice in his
    veins who wouldn't hesitate to try and take over the game at crunch time,
    and most definately had the shooting touch to back it up.

    Things could have turned out much differently for the Pacers in the late '70s
    and early '80s though if they would have hung onto guys like Alex English,
    or Adrian Dantley. Johnny Davis had a nice run at point guard, albeit a short
    one. The ownership at the time was too cheap, and more concerned with
    how much money they could personally pocket, rather than keeping the
    really good players and putting a top notch team on the floor. Ownership
    was responsible for alot of damage and botched opportunities for the
    franchise back then.
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    Default Re: A couple questions for the old timers

    It's worse now because we know what it's like to win.

    It also doesn't help that now if you say you're a Pacers fan people look at you like you've got two heads. Twenty-five years ago people would have said "What's a Pacer?"

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    Default Re: A couple questions for the old timers

    I'd pose this thought also back then a telethon was able to save the team people were willing to support them and there was a major group of people wanting to keep the Pacers here, but now I don't think anyone would turn out to have a telethon to save the Pacers. If anything I think many people would be glad that the headache was gone. I think you'd have an extremely hard time finding people willing to pay to keep guys like Tins, Shawne, and David here. At least in the 80's people wanted the Pacers here, now we have the Colts. Call me silly, but I think that if there was a push to move the Pacers now it would be more successful than the push to move the Pacers in the 80s because I'm not sure there are enouh people to stand in the way.

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    Default Re: A couple questions for the old timers

    Considering that the Pacers have a pretty cushy arena to play in I think it would be hard for them to leave. I'd only be worried about the Pacers leaving if Herb and Mel weren't in charge any more. Since Herb just said today that ownership isn't going to change I doubt the team is moving anywhere.

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    Default Re: A couple questions for the old timers

    Quote Originally Posted by grace View Post
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    Considering that the Pacers have a pretty cushy arena to play in I think it would be hard for them to leave. I'd only be worried about the Pacers leaving if Herb and Mel weren't in charge any more. Since Herb just said today that ownership isn't going to change I doubt the team is moving anywhere.
    I agree, I was merely speculating that if something did occur to push the team towards moving, I don't think there would be that many standing in the way.

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    100 Miles from the B count55's Avatar
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    Default Re: A couple questions for the old timers

    I agree with Uncle Buck in general. It was worse then, though if we decide to rebuild, it will be probably just as bad.

    Yes, there was a telethon, but there was still very little support for the Pacers. Basically that telethon was done to get 8000 Season Ticket Holders. Despite all that's happened, I'm relatively sure there is still more support now than then. The Simons saved the franchise. I can remember going to a game in '83 where they invited everyone down below the split at MSA. I can remember games in MSA with the curtains pulled down, cutting off the top third or so of the arena.

    There was no hope back then. They made the playoffs, got slaughtered by Philly, then had to let guys like Johnny Davis and James Edward walk. Traded 1st rounders for guys like Tom Owens. Dealt a promising young Alex English for a washed up George McGinnis. I can remember in one the last games of the 1983 season where the fans actually cheered for Cleveland so we'd have a shot at Ralph Sampson. (BTW...we tried to sell the pick to Houston right before the coin flip for $750,000, but the league nixed the deal.) Herb Williams was our best player, and he was largely hated because "he didn't have any passion". Clark Kellogg was marvelous on an awful team. We lost the flip for Sampson and ended up with Stipanovich. We lost the lottery on Ewing and ended up with Tisdale.

    It was worse back then, but that doesn't mean it can't get that bad again.

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    Boom Baby'er ABADays's Avatar
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    Default Re: A couple questions for the old timers

    One of the things that really made it tough during the early days of the NBA was what we experienced in the ABA. It was hard to go from being THE TEAM to an also ran. I felt like we were bad during those years but I never felt ashamed or disgusted with the Pacers like I have over the past 5 years. But I have to tell you, I feel a deep sense of sadness for those players who represent the organization well and see nothing but their wheels spinning.
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    Default Re: A couple questions for the old timers

    Quote Originally Posted by ABADays View Post
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    What are you talking about - you're only 17 now

    I am NOT 17
    Don't ask Marvin Harrison what he did during the bye week. "Batman never told where the Bat Cave is," he explained.

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    Default Re: A couple questions for the old timers

    Quote Originally Posted by ABADays View Post
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    One of the things that really made it tough during the early days of the NBA was what we experienced in the ABA. It was hard to go from being THE TEAM to an also ran. I felt like we were bad during those years but I never felt ashamed or disgusted with the Pacers like I have over the past 5 years. But I have to tell you, I feel a deep sense of sadness for those players who represent the organization well and see nothing but their wheels spinning.
    Sir, I could not agree more.

    I would much rather have Stuart Gray than David Harrison.

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    Default Re: A couple questions for the old timers

    I have been a Pacers fan all of my life, I was born the same year the Pacers were btw. So sadly I was to young to enjoy the ABA heydays. While I always watched the games with my Grandpa I never really understood them until I was about 9-10 years old so that would have been in 76-77.

    I have had tickets to the Pacers in one form or another since 1985.

    I got to a few games in the early 80's including the night Big Mac returned and also his last game where he hurt his leg.

    The very bad thing for the Pacers during that time frame was that while they were abysmal, the local college basketball scene was flourishing. I.U. was at the top of thier game, Purdue was above average.

    So what happened back then was that the media did about the worse thing they could do to the Pacers. They ignored them.

    Yes I know many people wish they would ignore a lot of what goes on now, but believe, this was the days before TNT's national program or ESPN. The Pacers were on TV maybe 15 times a year on wttv and that was if you were lucky.

    So when you couldn't see the game or if you lived in a spot that didn't always pick up the games on radio the only thing we could get was the box score the next day in the star and later that day you could read about it in the news.

    Ok, sorry don't mean to give you a history leason.

    I'll answer the question.

    The answer is "I don't know".

    While U.B. is correct 20 win seasons were tough to swallow at least the only shame you had to suffer as a fan back then was having people tell you what a loser you were for watching the NBA period when I.U. or one of the other local teams were doing so well.

    But today there is a real and true visceral hatred for the franchise, the likes of which I have never seen.

    I want to say we are better now but the truth is we are 9 and 21 since the beginning of the year. Strething that out of 82 games and you are in the high 20's for wins for the year.

    So I don't know that we can say that we are significantly better than those teams. It feels like we are better but, well....

    Also I'll just talk on a personal note here.

    I never once attended those games and felt ashamed by any of the actions taken by the players. Don't get me wrong I was ashamed at the ball we were playing often, but not once did I have to hold my nose and applaud like I had to do with Artest (until I could not applaud anymore no matter how good he did).

    I liked Herb Williams. Yes, that's right I said it. I liked Herb. Sure he lacked a passion you would want out a player of his caliber but he was a good basketball player and had a very very very long NBA career.

    I loved Clark Kellogg. You want to complain about the knee pains we have today and how bad they are, this guy was a 20 & 10 player and was taken out before he even reached his prime.

    I was never a fan of Stipo's however he never shamed the franchise.

    Ok, I'm going back to giving a history lesson again. I'm sorry.

    In a nutshell I honestly thing right now it's as bad as it has ever been overall.

    But I also beleive that this should be easier to turn around than it was back then. But time will tell.

  20. #20

    Cool Re: A couple questions for the old timers

    OK, being an old timer I do remember a few reasons for all of the ABA teams to struggle after entering the NBA. First thing is a few players had jumped ship and went to existing NBA teams, second it cost the 4 ABA teams a lot of money for the "right" to join the NBA,third the 4 ABA teams were not allowed to participate in the draft for the first 3 years after they joined . This hampered the growth of all 4 teams that joined the league along with no TV revenue they had no money to play in the free agent pool. So to answer the question I feel worse about the team now than then since there were plenty of good reasons for them to be bad, at least back then the team hustled and tried to win,now we have what 3 -4 players that actually try game in and game out! Sorry for the rant since I lurk more than I post but when I saw a question for the old timers I had to answer!

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    Default Re: A couple questions for the old timers

    The other thing that makes it seem worse now is the presence of a second professional team that has been more than moderately successful in the same period the Pacers have choked.

    This year is also a good year for Indiana college basketball, with 4 teams legitimately looking at some action in the NCAA tournament.

    The HS basketball is no longer the factor it once was. I don't think we quite have to cope with attendances lower than the HS regionals any more.
    BillS

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    The Last Great Pacer BlueNGold's Avatar
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    Default Re: A couple questions for the old timers

    I think it was clearly worse back then. I would not want to go back to the days of the telethon...ever. There was no hope at the time that Indy could hang onto the franchise long term. People thought the market could not support it. It was a scary time to be a hardcore Pacer fan. Scarier than today for sure.

    But some things are very similar. The talent level might be a little better today, but there's not a huge difference with what we can put on the floor due to constant injuries.

    Also, the hope today is the same as it was in the 80's: The Draft or Lottery. Danny Granger came from the draft and is the supposed future of this team. Hopefully he is the Chuck Person of this era...and the next real superstar is on this summer's draft board.

    But some things are different. Now, it's clear the city can support the Pacers if we just play .500 or better ball and stay out of the police reports. BTW, if you think winning only matters, you are not considering the business sector and young families who also buy tickets. The product and reputation does matter.

    BUT, the biggest difference is how the public feels about the Pacers. As one poster said, the public was indifferent in the 80's. Now, they think the Pacers are people that spend most of their time in the city-county building.

    Embarrassment is the best word to describe today's Indiana Pacers. Unknown or unimportant used to be the best word.

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    Default Re: A couple questions for the old timers

    Quote Originally Posted by holmes View Post
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    OK, being an old timer I do remember a few reasons for all of the ABA teams to struggle after entering the NBA. First thing is a few players had jumped ship and went to existing NBA teams, second it cost the 4 ABA teams a lot of money for the "right" to join the NBA,third the 4 ABA teams were not allowed to participate in the draft for the first 3 years after they joined . This hampered the growth of all 4 teams that joined the league along with no TV revenue they had no money to play in the free agent pool. So to answer the question I feel worse about the team now than then since there were plenty of good reasons for them to be bad, at least back then the team hustled and tried to win,now we have what 3 -4 players that actually try game in and game out! Sorry for the rant since I lurk more than I post but when I saw a question for the old timers I had to answer!

    Post more often.
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  24. #24
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    Default Re: A couple questions for the old timers

    The big thing for me that's been touched on here is the community reaction to those who admit to being Pacer fans or going to games.

    In the lean 80s years, I remember being constantly ragged by people here for wearing a Pacers jacket. I mean, at times, it was downright cruel. Only to be harangued about the "great" Boston and LA teams. Of course, tne years later I'm sure all these people had become "fans".

    I've noticed that the "hate" amongst the local populace is returning. Have to hear the same stuff about how bad we suck PLUS all the off-the-court stuff. So I guess in that regard it's worse now because is like the 80s-type hate plus an extra layer.

    Anyway, I'm tired of being ridiculed, laughed at, stared at, whatever for being a fan. Of course, I always try to retort. Usually something like, don't come back when we cycle back around to winning again then. But, it's tough to defend right now.
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    Default Re: A couple questions for the old timers

    Quote Originally Posted by Indy View Post
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    Would you say the fan base was more depressed about the Pacers now or back then?
    Would you say you are more depressed now or back then?

    Back then the depression was the result of despair, whearas right now the
    depression (IMO) is the more the result of disgust.

    Funny how from 1967 until 2004, 37 years, the Pacers managed to not be
    generally labeled as "thugs", then all of a sudden everyone is throwing that
    word around.
    "I've been through the fire, and what the fire doesn't destroy it hardens...
    and I'm hardened!
    " - Baron Von Raschke

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