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Thread: IBJ: A "real" sports town wouldn't abandon the Pacers

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    Default IBJ: A "real" sports town wouldn't abandon the Pacers

    Here is the Benner's article referenced in Peck's thread about the attendance problem.


    http://www.ibj.com/html/detail_page.asp?content=12223

    SPORTS: In defense of the indefensible blue and gold
    Sat. March 08 - 2008
    Bill Benner
    Special to IBJ


    Yes, I’m writing about the Indiana Pacers.

    Their struggles—and, yes, the scrapes with the law and bad judgment exercised by a few—have exposed an ugly underbelly that says as much about us as it does about them.

    It’s a cautionary tale for those riding-high Indianapolis Colts because (1) Peyton Manning won’t play forever, (2) Tony Dungy won’t coach forever, (3) Bill Polian won’t be the decision-maker forever, and (4) the law of legal averages eventually will catch up to any group of young men making lots of money and spending much of their lives in the fast lane.

    In other words, enjoy it while it lasts.

    As I’ve stated in this space before, it wasn’t that long ago that the Pacers could do no wrong and the Colts were the ugly stepchild.

    The month of May meant more than the run-up to the Indy 500. It meant extended playoff runs; Reg-gie, Reg-gie, Reg-gie; and sold-out, sore-throated crowds at Market Square Arena and then Conseco Fieldhouse.

    Pacers gear flew off the shelves and all the flags that flew from cars were adorned in blue and gold.

    Oh, and Larry Bird was a shrewd hero, not a dumb goat.

    The Colts? They just couldn’t get it right, except for that 1995 playoff burst engineered by Jim Harbaugh. Coaches and general managers came and went. And there was enough dirty laundry (does anyone remember Steve Muhammed?) to keep the non-sports media salivating at the prospect of rich athletes gone bad!!

    When it came to support, they couldn’t sell out the smallest stadium in the NFL.

    Of course, we all know the rest of the story. Jim Irsay became the owner. Irsay begot Polian, who begot Manning and Dungy. The rest of the pieces fell into place.

    The Colts’ ascension coincided with the Pacers’ decline, which became a fall off a cliff on that November night in Auburn Hills, Mich. Ain’t been the same, since.

    Please, do not misconstrue my thoughts about the Pacers. Many of their wounds have been self-inflicted. Yet others also have been circumstantial and, in some instances, things over which they had zero control, starting with an idiot throwing a beer cup.

    Still, it’s a high-profile, high-stakes enterprise where, as I’ve written many times, the bottom line is the one that goes on the scoreboard.

    What frankly irritates the heck out of me is the abandonment of this franchise and the constant pummeling it takes—some of it racially tinged—from folks who simply don’t have a clue about the complexities of running an NBA franchise.

    And some perspective, please. All the Pacers are not thugs (the racist’s favorite code word). For the record, they have 15 players on their roster. Three—Jamal Tinsley, Marquis Daniels and Shawne Williams—have had both serious legal and judgment issues. A fourth, David Harrison, was suspended after testing positive for marijuana (a test the Pacers, by league rule, couldn’t be notified about until he failed it for a third time). Oh, and the two clowns the public demanded be traded—Ron Artest and Stephen Jackson—were.

    In the meantime, the Pacers team has struggled on the floor, largely because it is missing two-fifths of its starting lineup to injuries. Offensively, they’re darn fun to watch, but their defense is a constant liability and their inability to close out games has been a killer.

    Attendance is last in the league. Last. So much for Indianapolis portraying itself as a great sports town. It’s certainly not a great pro sports town. It’s a fair-weather town where the bandwagon quickly empties. Don’t think it won’t happen to the Colts the first time they slip below .500 and have a couple of off-field incidents. And that’s not a question of if that will happen, but when.

    The Simons saved the Pacer franchise when it was nothing. Without them, there is no Reg-gie, Reg-gie, Reg-gie. Donnie Walsh made it into one of the NBA’s finest, regardless of market size. Larry Bird coached its finest NBA moment and now has taken on the task of trying to restore its glory. You think he’s doing it for the money? Please. He’s doing it because he’s one of us and because he’s a competitor. Yet he gets trashed as a bumpkin who doesn’t demand accountability. Nonsense.

    Yes, a few knuckleheads have run them through the muck. Yes, some personnel decisions have blown up in their faces.

    But a real pro sports town wouldn’t give up on them like Indy has. If nothing else, fans would show up just to boo ’em.

    Mark my words, these times shall pass for the Pacers and, yes, for the Colts. •

    Benner is associate director of communications for the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association and a former sports columnist for The Indianapolis Star. His column appears weekly. Listen to his column via podcast at www.ibj.com. To comment on this column, send e-mail to bbenner@ibj.com. Benner also has a blog, www.indyinsights.com.
    Last edited by Putnam; 03-11-2008 at 11:39 AM.
    And I won't be here to see the day
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    It is ka Thankee sai Major Cold's Avatar
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    Default Re: IBJ: A "real" sports town wouldn't abandon the Pacers

    I believe the Pacers need their fans more than the fans need their Pacers. As soon as the Colts well runs dry (if the well is capable of drying) what will we have?

    And if anyone says the Purdue Boilermakers I am going to puke?

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    Default Re: IBJ: A "real" sports town wouldn't abandon the Pacers

    If you can get past the wagging finger, there are some valid points.

    However, I suspect very few are going to get past the wagging finger.

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    Default Re: IBJ: A "real" sports town wouldn't abandon the Pacers

    Oh, but the "real sports town" comment is bogus.

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    Default Re: IBJ: A "real" sports town wouldn't abandon the Pacers

    Rip me all you'd like, but for what it's worth this is pretty much exactly what I've been saying for the bulk of this season. Especially the part about a few members of the team dragging the rest of the team through the muck. I still think this city would follow these guys ("thugs" and all) if we were winning. I might be wrong, but I really do believe that. On a related note, I really don't like the word thug. Granted, I have used it from time to time, but I really don't like it.
    Passion. Pride. Patience. Pacers

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    Default Re: IBJ: A "real" sports town wouldn't abandon the Pacers

    I know everyone is going to blast him for daring to expect fans to support the team, but there is a MASSIVE KEY here...

    2003 Manning, Harrison, Dungy and Edge called, they wanted to talk about some blacked out games issues.

    And that, friends, is why I never, ever want to here it in support of the fanbase. They already choked, many times over. They couldn't fill it up to watch Reggie till AFTER a couple of ECF runs, they couldn't keep 5000 Titans fans out of a HOME PLAYOFF GAME, again featuring Manning.

    The fact that they would bail on a losing Pacers team isn't surprising in the least. Is it worse because of incidents, sure, but don't kid yourself into thinking that if it was Reggie, Dale and Jax out there winning 30 that you wouldn't have empty seats....because it's already happened. It's not theory, it's history.

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    Default Re: IBJ: A "real" sports town wouldn't abandon the Pacers

    Quote Originally Posted by Naptown_Seth View Post
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    I know everyone is going to blast him for daring to expect fans to support the team, but there is a MASSIVE KEY here...

    2003 Manning, Harrison, Dungy and Edge called, they wanted to talk about some blacked out games issues.

    And that, friends, is why I never, ever want to here it in support of the fanbase. They already choked, many times over. They couldn't fill it up to watch Reggie till AFTER a couple of ECF runs, they couldn't keep 5000 Titans fans out of a HOME PLAYOFF GAME, again featuring Manning.

    The fact that they would bail on a losing Pacers team isn't surprising in the least. Is it worse because of incidents, sure, but don't kid yourself into thinking that if it was Reggie, Dale and Jax out there winning 30 that you wouldn't have empty seats....because it's already happened. It's not theory, it's history.

    Excellent post!!!

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    Default Re: IBJ: A "real" sports town wouldn't abandon the Pacers

    Quote Originally Posted by Naptown_Seth View Post
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    I know everyone is going to blast him for daring to expect fans to support the team, but there is a MASSIVE KEY here...

    2003 Manning, Harrison, Dungy and Edge called, they wanted to talk about some blacked out games issues.

    And that, friends, is why I never, ever want to here it in support of the fanbase. They already choked, many times over. They couldn't fill it up to watch Reggie till AFTER a couple of ECF runs, they couldn't keep 5000 Titans fans out of a HOME PLAYOFF GAME, again featuring Manning.

    The fact that they would bail on a losing Pacers team isn't surprising in the least. Is it worse because of incidents, sure, but don't kid yourself into thinking that if it was Reggie, Dale and Jax out there winning 30 that you wouldn't have empty seats....because it's already happened. It's not theory, it's history.
    So is the legal trouble, the losses, the image of youngsters straight out of high school making more money than my family combined will earn in 3 lifetimes, so is the loss of jobs at

    Ft Ben
    Ford
    GM
    Chrysler Foundry
    Western Electric (long ago admitedly)
    Jenn-Aire

    plus now the insecurity of those that do have jobs. It is a perfect storm of facts that have led to this. But to blame it on the "fickleness" of the average fan earns a great big FU from Indygeezer. I have the right to determine where my entertainment dollars go. I do not pay my money to see a bad movie just because Sandra Bullock is in it, and I will not allow anybody to degrenate me because I don't choose to spend my money supporting something that has become so detached from what I value. I AM spending money to go see good basketball at Hinkle tonight. That is a value judgement, I get more entertainment for my dollars there.
    So for some HACK to write that I owe it to the Pacers to spend my few entertainment bucks on them is extremely hypocritical IMPO. The author, afterall is hardly impartial....his brother is associated with the Pacers PR department.

    EDIT: I agree with Peck 100%. I will always love the Pacers but I make value judgements too.
    Last edited by indygeezer; 03-11-2008 at 12:08 PM. Reason: CYA
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    Default Re: IBJ: A "real" sports town wouldn't abandon the Pacers

    Quote Originally Posted by indygeezer View Post
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    So is the legal trouble, the losses, the image of youngsters straight out of high school making more money than my family combined will earn in 3 lifetimes, so is the loss of jobs at

    Ft Ben
    Ford
    GM
    Chrysler Foundry
    Western Electric (long ago admitedly)
    Jenn-Aire

    plus now the insecurity of those that do have jobs. It is a perfect storm of facts that have led to this. But to blame it on the "fickleness" of the average fan earns a great big FU from Indygeezer. I have the right to determine where my entertainment dollars go. I do not pay my money to see a bad movie just because Sandra Bullock is in it, and I will not allow anybody to degrenate me because I don't choose to spend my money supporting something that has become so detached from what I value. I AM spending money to go see good basketball at Hinkle tonight. That is a value judgement, I get more entertainment for my dollars there.
    So for some HACK to write that I owe it to the Pacers to spend my few entertainment bucks on them is extremely hypocritical IMPO. The author, afterall is hardly impartial....his brother is associated with the Pacers PR department.
    For me it's not so much attending the games, at least, not working class people doing so.

    Many people I know can afford seats in the lower bowl and canceled their season tickets never worked at Ford, their jobs at Ice Miller aren't in jeopardy. They've just simple started supporting the Colts exclusively when at one time they were doing the same with the Pacers. It's fickleness IMHO. Whatever happened with sticking with something through thick and thing? If there is an economic necessity that comes about, okay (I don't really see that accounting for too much), but if you've got the money to keep going to games, how can you just turn on something you once professed support for so strongly?

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    Default Re: IBJ: A "real" sports town wouldn't abandon the Pacers

    Quote Originally Posted by dcpacersfan View Post
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    For me it's not so much attending the games, at least, not working class people doing so.

    Many people I know can afford seats in the lower bowl and canceled their season tickets never worked at Ford, their jobs at Ice Miller aren't in jeopardy. They've just simple started supporting the Colts exclusively when at one time they were doing the same with the Pacers. It's fickleness IMHO. Whatever happened with sticking with something through thick and thing? If there is an economic necessity that comes about, okay (I don't really see that accounting for too much), but if you've got the money to keep going to games, how can you just turn on something you once professed support for so strongly?
    Without a doubt there is a lot of that. As U.B. stated, this town really is not a good NBA town. Growing up it was always I.U. first last and always then somewhere in there you had the Reds and the Cubs (remember this is back before the Colts)

    But I'm telling you guys and I know very few of you want to believe me, there are certain members of this area that are punishing the team for what they consider being co-conspiritors in the character department.

    Yes, I know people who are not going to the games because they feel that the owners and the team did not take any kind of responsibility for Artest till after the atom bomb was dropped.

    I want to also float out there an unsustantiated rumor that I have heard from several people. I want this to be known right up front I have only heard rumors of this (although from more than one source) so take this with a bag of salt.

    You know how it is being said that Jackson was traded because the boo's in the fieldhouse? I was told that one of the major reasons this went down was because two very large coperate donors (think local pharmacutical giant and large law firm) threatened to pull all sponsorship, including suites, from the Pacers until he was gone.

    I've known this for a long time but for some reason I just felt like this was the thread that I had to say it.

    Again though, these are rumors only. No facts, no names. For all I know it is total poppycock. However one of the people who said this to me has been dead right about anything he has ever told me regarding the Pacers.

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    Default Re: IBJ: A "real" sports town wouldn't abandon the Pacers

    Quote Originally Posted by dcpacersfan View Post
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    For me it's not so much attending the games, at least, not working class people doing so.

    Many people I know can afford seats in the lower bowl and canceled their season tickets never worked at Ford, their jobs at Ice Miller aren't in jeopardy. They've just simple started supporting the Colts exclusively when at one time they were doing the same with the Pacers. It's fickleness IMHO. Whatever happened with sticking with something through thick and thing? If there is an economic necessity that comes about, okay (I don't really see that accounting for too much), but if you've got the money to keep going to games, how can you just turn on something you once professed support for so strongly?
    Thick and thin is one thing but thick and thin and the Police blotter is a different horse. As to the friends supporting the Colts now. Meh, there are always the bandwagoners in every sport. Unfortunately in a small market the number of bandwagon jumpers can make a HUGE impact on the overall count.
    And....I do not take lightly what Grace said about much larger markets having attendence problems too, there is much validity to the fact that the Phillys and the New Yorks have much larger population bases to draw upon and at least the 6ers are not that much ahead of us in total attendence.

    EDIT....For the average fan...how many times must they see the team they support drag the name of the team and city thru the mud before they are ALLOWED to say ENOUGH!! ???
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    Default Re: IBJ: A "real" sports town wouldn't abandon the Pacers

    Quote Originally Posted by indygeezer View Post
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    I have the right to determine where my entertainment dollars go. I do not pay my money to see a bad movie just because Sandra Bullock is in it, and I will not allow anybody to denigrate me because I don't choose to spend my money supporting something that has become so detached from what I value. I AM spending money to go see good basketball at Hinkle tonight. That is a value judgement, I get more entertainment for my dollars there.

    So for some HACK to write that I owe it to the Pacers to spend my few entertainment bucks on them is extremely hypocritical IMPO.





    Go, geezer.






    (But you're mistaken about the effect of the plant closings you listed. Those jobs have been replaced with better ones 2-3 times over. Indianapolis has more disposable income now than ever before, both absolutely and proportionately.)
    Last edited by Putnam; 03-11-2008 at 12:46 PM.
    And I won't be here to see the day
    It all dries up and blows away
    I'd hang around just to see
    But they never had much use for me
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    Default Re: IBJ: A "real" sports town wouldn't abandon the Pacers

    I've said it before and I'll say it again.......Fair-weather Fans.

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    Default Re: IBJ: A "real" sports town wouldn't abandon the Pacers

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Goldfoot View Post
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    I've said it before and I'll say it again.......Fair-weather Fans.


    I dare you to say that again!!!!
    And I won't be here to see the day
    It all dries up and blows away
    I'd hang around just to see
    But they never had much use for me
    In Levelland. (James McMurtry)

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    Default Re: IBJ: A "real" sports town wouldn't abandon the Pacers

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Goldfoot View Post
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    I've said it before and I'll say it again.......Fair-weather Fans.

    I've said it before and I'll say it again...PERFECT STORM.....(cause and effect)
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    Default Re: IBJ: A "real" sports town wouldn't abandon the Pacers

    Quote Originally Posted by Putnam View Post
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    Go, geezer.






    (But you're mistaken about the effect of the plant closings you listed. Those jobs have been replaced with better ones 2-3 times over. Indianapolis has more disposable income now than ever before, both absolutely and proportionately.)

    Putnam. This is not meant to disparage, I would sincerly like to see the data if available. It would geive me a lot of hope for the future if I could see this for myself. I know Rolls is going ganbusters but who else? We can discuss this in PM if you so wish.
    If you get to thinkin’ you’re a person of some influence, try orderin’ somebody else’s dog around..

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    Default Re: IBJ: A "real" sports town wouldn't abandon the Pacers

    Quote Originally Posted by indygeezer View Post
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    Putnam. This is not meant to disparage, I would sincerly like to see the data if available. It would geive me a lot of hope for the future if I could see this for myself. I know Rolls is going ganbusters but who else? We can discuss this in PM if you so wish.

    I understand why you would paint the picture that part of the issue is financial...but I don't think that is it.

    Think about this: Michigan has the highest unemployment rate in the country but the Pistons are still the leaders in NBA attendance.

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    Default Re: IBJ: A "real" sports town wouldn't abandon the Pacers

    Quote Originally Posted by indygeezer View Post
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    So is the legal trouble, the losses, the image of youngsters straight out of high school making more money than my family combined will earn in 3 lifetimes, so is the loss of jobs at

    Ft Ben
    Ford
    GM
    Chrysler Foundry
    Western Electric (long ago admitedly)
    Jenn-Aire

    plus now the insecurity of those that do have jobs. It is a perfect storm of facts that have led to this. But to blame it on the "fickleness" of the average fan earns a great big FU from Indygeezer. I have the right to determine where my entertainment dollars go. I do not pay my money to see a bad movie just because Sandra Bullock is in it, and I will not allow anybody to degrenate me because I don't choose to spend my money supporting something that has become so detached from what I value. I AM spending money to go see good basketball at Hinkle tonight. That is a value judgement, I get more entertainment for my dollars there.
    So for some HACK to write that I owe it to the Pacers to spend my few entertainment bucks on them is extremely hypocritical IMPO. The author, afterall is hardly impartial....his brother is associated with the Pacers PR department.

    EDIT: I agree with Peck 100%. I will always love the Pacers but I make value judgements too.
    Geez,

    I don't think the issue in question is any fan's right to spend their money wherever they please. It's a matter of why fans won't come out and support the Pacers even when TPTB are doing everything they can within the guidelines of the CBA while working within a small market to put the best product on the floor they possibly can within the "demands" of the fanbase.

    I do recognize that in today's trying economy it's tough. When the choice is, "Do I spend $35 on gas to get to work or do I spend it on a bag of groceries to feed my family?", you know hard times are a-knockin'! But that still shouldn't keep even the casual fan from attending at least one game all season long even if it's the cost of a $10/20 ticket in the cheat seats waaaaaaay up in the nose bleed section.

    The truth of the matter is the group that has taken up the hardwood has tried hard. Yes, I'm disappointed that they aren't winning, but I see this team for who they are: young and inexperienced. I knew that coming into the season and didn't expect that they'd take the NBA by storm. However, I didn't expect that they'd have all the off-court problems they've had this year either. So, I understand why the local (casual) fan is staying away; it's a form of protest moreso for the character of the players rather than the performance on the floor. But here's the rub...

    The local fans have merged the two and instead of staying away because of the failings of a few they're also staying away because the team isn't winning! The later makes the local fanbase "fair weather fans". A true fan would attend games regardless of their record. But I do understand that most have equated their losing with the poor character (players) and don't want to support a team where as they see it the players are continuously getting into trouble. But that's where the misconception comes in. It's not every player who's gotten into trouble (2 incidents in recent months from the group who have taken the court for the majority of the season), and if you really take a look at the calender it was nearly 5 months before anyone had any off-court issues that involved the police. So, if you (the local fans) are staying away just because of the questionable character issues, where were you between September 2007 and February 2008?

    Truth is your absence is a duality: you're staying away because of the team's off-court troubles and you're staying away because of their losing record, this despite the fact that the group who has represented the Pacers for the better part of the season has tried very hard and has performed fairly well, just not well enough to win more games than they've loss. The majority of local Pacers fans are fickled, they are fair-weathered. If the Pacers were winning and had these types of hardships (off-court issues), you'd still come out to see them. But because they're losing on the heals of all these hardships you're staying away under the banner of "the product on the floor". Well, except for 2 minor incidents, the players who arguably could be labeled "thugs" have either been traded or is on the IL. Except for Williams and Harrison, everyone else have been model citizens. So, aside from their record, why do you continue to stay away?
    Last edited by NuffSaid; 03-11-2008 at 02:15 PM.

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    Default Re: IBJ: A "real" sports town wouldn't abandon the Pacers

    Quote Originally Posted by Naptown_Seth View Post
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    I know everyone is going to blast him for daring to expect fans to support the team, but there is a MASSIVE KEY here...

    2003 Manning, Harrison, Dungy and Edge called, they wanted to talk about some blacked out games issues.
    1991 called, it wants that joke back.

    Quote Originally Posted by Naptown_Seth View Post
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    And that, friends, is why I never, ever want to here it in support of the fanbase. They already choked, many times over. They couldn't fill it up to watch Reggie till AFTER a couple of ECF runs, they couldn't keep 5000 Titans fans out of a HOME PLAYOFF GAME, again featuring Manning.

    The fact that they would bail on a losing Pacers team isn't surprising in the least. Is it worse because of incidents, sure, but don't kid yourself into thinking that if it was Reggie, Dale and Jax out there winning 30 that you wouldn't have empty seats....because it's already happened. It's not theory, it's history.
    Indianapolis is no different than any other fan base in the country.

    Did you notice Philly was just a couple spots above the Pacers on the attendance? And Philly has a reputation for being such a hard-core fan base. Not to mention the Philly metropolitan area is one of the largest in the country.

    Indy has supported the Pacers and Colts just fine in recent years.

    I know you harp on the fact that the Titans fans were able to come up and get tickets for the playoff game 9 years ago. Indy fans scalp their tickets, that's just a reality we have to live with. But it sure does happen a lot of other places as well. Look at this article that talks about how Steelers, yes Steelers, playoff tickets were easy to come by. And I thought Pittsburgh was one of the greatest fan bases in the country?

    http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08006/847178-66.stm

    Tickets were available for a Pittsburgh Steelers playoff game up to an hour before the game! The Steelers *are* Pittsburgh, yet they apparently had trouble selling that game out. So it's not that hard to believe that the Colts would have trouble selling out a game 9 years ago, when the Colts were still viewed as not really being Indy's own.

    Let's look at some facts that prove that Indy has been pretty good about supporting the Colts in recent years.

    In 2002 the Colts averaged 56,669 fans, filling the Dome to an average 94% capacity. That year they were coming off of a disastrous 2001 season in which they failed to even make the postseason, so they weren't exactly at the height of their popularity. Let's compare that to the Pittsbugh Steelers, Oakland Raiders, and Detroit Lions, 3 "hardened" fanbases with so-called diehard fans.

    In 02, the Steelers averaged 61,284 fans filling to 94.3% capacity, the Lions averaged 61,217 fans filling to 94.2% capacity, and the Raiders averaged 60,636 fans filling to a 96.2 perecent capcity.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/attendance?year=2002

    Hmmm......

    Looks like Indy is right in line with those "hardcore" fanbases. They all filled their stadiums to mid 90's percent capacity. Looks like Indy was right with those hardened fanbases, despite the fact that the Colts were coming off of an awful year and the fact that the Colts were still viewed as being "foreign" in the eyes of many locals.

    Explain to me how Indy is such a fickle fanbase again? Doesn't look that way to me based on the attendnace figures.

    Now, let's compare the Colts attendance in 2007, a year in which they came off of a superbowl, to 2002, the year in which they were coming off of a 6-10 record.

    In 2007, we averaged 57,304 fans, filling to a 95% capacity. Comparing that to the 02 season, it looks like we gained an average of 635 fans a game. Wow. Doesn't seem like a fickle fanbase to me. I mean, 5 straight division titles and all we gain is 635 fans a game? That's roughly a 1 percent or so gain. The Colts also filled the Dome to a higher capacity in 07 than Da Bears did, despite the fact that Chicago has millions and millions of more people than Indy does.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/attendance?year=2007

    Look at that and look at the capacities that many of those teams fill up to. Indy is right there with Chicago, Oakland, Miami, Dallas and Pittsburgh. All of those are supposedly diehard fan bases, yet Indy fills the dome to roughly the same capacity as those teams.

    The Dome has a listed capacity of 57,980. The Indianapolis 9 county region has a population of 1,984,644. So the Dome represents 2.9% of the Indianapolis extended metropolitan population. If Chicago, for example, had a stadium that represented 2.9% of it's population then that stadium would have to seat 275,666(Chicago metro is 9,505,747)! Think that Chitown could fill that up every weekend? I don't think so!

    Soldier Field seats 61,500. The dome seats 57,980. So Soldier Field is about 5% bigger than the Dome. Yet Chicago is oh, about 79% larger than Indianapolis. Not exactly a fair comparison is it?

    Doesn't seem to me that Indy is that bad of a fanbase after all when it comes to the Colts. Indianapolis over the past many seasons has comparable attendance that is right up there with the most classic franchises in the league. And that is with a tiny metro area and an "imposter" team. And what's so bad about having to build a fanbase up? Rome wasn't built in a day. It has taken years for teams like Pitt and Dallas to build up diehard fanbases. Hopefully our superbowl title will be the foundation to a great fanbase.

    You said that it took a couple of ECF runs before people showed up to watch the Pacers. According to my Pacer media guide, it just really took 1....

    In 94-95 we had 24 sellouts and averaged 15,976 fans (MSA capacity 16530, thats 96% capacity) ....

    The same anaylisis can be used with the Pacers. A Knick fan in a chat once bragged to me about how great the Knicks attendance was and was trashing the Pacers. It irritated me because the Knicks have millions and millions of more people to pull from than the Pacers do. There could be less demand for Knicks tickets and you just wouldn't know it because they still have enough demanded to routinely sell out the place. I don't feel like I need to bore you with the same math again, but I think you get the idea that for the Knicks to have a stadium that represented the same % of pop as the Pacers, it would be well into the 100's of thousands(173,290). I doubt that would sell out 41 times a year.....

    It is impossible to compare Indy with places like NY and Chicago on an even keel. Indianapolis has relatively the same sized stadiums yet has millions and millions of less people to pull from. I'm not happy about the Pacers low attendance, because the attendance has certainly been there before, I'm just saying that Indianapolis is one of the smallest markets in professional sports and that must be accounted for when judging the attendance.
    Last edited by Sollozzo; 03-13-2008 at 04:14 PM.

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    Tree People to the Core! indygeezer's Avatar
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    Default Re: IBJ: A "real" sports town wouldn't abandon the Pacers

    Adam, my hat is off to you. I have been beating that same horse for years. If Indy had the population base of NY then any evaluation would be relevant. But to say we aren't supporting because we draw a few thousand less than they do is ludicrous.

    It is one time I can agree with statisticians.
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    Default Re: IBJ: A "real" sports town wouldn't abandon the Pacers

    Quote Originally Posted by indygeezer View Post
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    Adam, my hat is off to you. I have been beating that same horse for years. If Indy had the population base of NY then any evaluation would be relevant. But to say we aren't supporting because we draw a few thousand less than they do is ludicrous.

    It is one time I can agree with statisticians.
    I couldn't agree more. I have been upset about attendance before, but then I realized that it wasn't fair to compare the Pacers to the rest of the league because of population inconsistencies. We can only compare the current Pacer attendance to past Pacer attendance. Indy obviously isn't supporting the team like it used to, but I think that it's just a natural cycle that most sports teams go through.

    I mean, even the fabled Boston Celtics have struggled with attendance in recent years, and they play in the 11th largest metropolitan area in the United States! They also have 16 championships and are without a doubt one of the 2 most classic franchises in the league.

    To add to my point a tad more...

    In 04-05 for example, the Pacers averaged *more* fans than the Celtics did! And the TD Bankworth Garden seats *more* than Conseco does. It seats 18,624, compared to 18,345 of Conseco

    04-05 attendance for the Pacers: A total of 696,764 and average of 16,994
    04-05 attendance for the Celtics: A total of 656,081 and average of 16,001

    91.9% capacity for the Pacers, 81.6% capacity for Boston

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/attendance?year=2005

    Yes, in that year the Pacers averaged *more* fans than the Celtics despite having a slightly smaller stadium and playing in a metro area with 2 million less people. Not to mention the fact that the Celtics are considered to be one of the most classic franchises in sports with their 16 titles, while the Pacers don't even have 1 NBA title.

    So does Boston have a lousy, fickle fanbase as well?
    Last edited by Sollozzo; 03-14-2008 at 02:45 AM.

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    Default Re: IBJ: A "real" sports town wouldn't abandon the Pacers

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam1987 View Post
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    I couldn't agree more. I have been upset about attendance before, but then I realized that it wasn't fair to compare the Pacers to the rest of the league because of population inconsistencies. We can only compare the current Pacer attendance to past Pacer attendance. Indy obviously isn't supporting the team like it used to, but I think that it's just a natural cycle that most sports teams go through.

    I mean, even the fabled Boston Celtics have struggled with attendance in recent years, and they play in the 11th largest metropolitan area in the United States! They also have 16 championships and are without a doubt one of the 2 most classic franchises in the league.

    To add to my point a tad more...

    In 04-05 for example, the Pacers averaged *more* fans than the Celtics did! And the TD Bankworth Garden seats *more* than Conseco does. It seats 18,624, compared to 18,345

    04-05 attendance for the Pacers: A total of 696,764 and average of 16,994
    04-05 attendance for the Celtics: A total of 656,081 and average of 16,001

    91.9% capacity for the Pacers, 81.6% capacity for Boston

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/attendance?year=2005

    Yes, in that year the Pacers averaged *more* fans than the Celtics despite having a slightly smaller stadium and playing in a metro area with 2 million less people. Not to mention the fact that the Celtics are considered to be one of the most classic franchises in sports with their 16 titles, while the Pacers don't even have 1 NBA title.

    So does Boston have a lousy, fickle fanbase as well?

    Compared to when Bird et al were there...dern straight!

    Hmmm?? can Bird's impact be equated with Reggie's?

    Can their leaving be equated?
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    Default Re: IBJ: A "real" sports town wouldn't abandon the Pacers

    Pacers attendance isn't far off of philly, who has triple the population to help fill seats.

    That said, I dare anyone to go to a bar off of Broad Street in Philly and shout "PHILADELPHIA ISN'T A REAL SPORTS TOWN!"

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    Default Re: IBJ: A "real" sports town wouldn't abandon the Pacers

    Down below where it lists his accomplishments and current goings on it needs to also say.

    Bill Benner brother to current Pacers Public Relations Person David Benner.

    That does not make his message change one way or the other, if you think he's right he's still right or if you think he's wrong he's still wrong. But in the interest of disclosure anytime he writes about the Pacers this needs to be stated.

    As to his points of view. I'm torn.

    IMO, there is nothing wrong and I mean nothing wrong with the fans punishing the team for it's direction. Please, show up to boo c'mon.

    If that occured belive me we would have post after post after post on here telling us all how wrong that was.

    Also management would be under zero pressure make changes. Oh sure they would like for people to come and cheer but they can console themselves with the revenue from the sold out seats.

    However right now from every single solitary member of management up to the owner himself we have heard that they know they have to make immediate changes.

    Do you think we would be getting this response if the fieldhouse was selling at least 15,000 seats a night? You would like to think yes but I think if we are being honest with ourselves we would all say no.

    So on the one hand, IMO, the fans saying "No more" is a good thing.

    Now on the other hand not supporting the team just because they are not winning this year is a bad thing. Teams will go up and down in the standing that is a given.

    However contrary to what some people on here want you to believe, this fan revolt is not purely about wins/losses.

    Would there be more people in the stands if they were winning at a 50 pace and favored in the East? You bet. But it probably wouldn't be sold out and the support around town would be soft at best.

    So in summery, go Pacers

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    Default Re: IBJ: A "real" sports town wouldn't abandon the Pacers

    I agree wholeheartedly with both the author of this article and Naptown Seth.

    If the Pacers or the Colts leave town due to a lack of support, I won't support Indianapolis sports anymore. It absolutely sickens me to see friends, even members of my family decry the Pacers for sucking when only 7 or 8 years ago they were wearing Pacers gear and saying they would never root for the loser Colts. Now, they're all decked out in Colts gear.

    I love the Colts, own some Super Bowl gear, but the Pacers have and always will be my team. If the Pacers do come back and have success in Indy (I think eventually, at least hope, they will) I know that I'll grin a little bit every time I see ecstatic fans in their Granger jerseys screaming their hearts out in the Fieldhouse, wondering where those fans were 5-10 years ago when we were all here dissecting a 12 point loss to some mediocre team like the Bulls, wondering if the Pacers would would ever return to greatness.

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