On Being A Fan

I love to watch sports of all kinds, and am a casual fan of many teams. I like cheering for the Phoenix Suns in the NBA, I like Gonzaga’s basketball team, and in the NFL, I’ll root for anyone who can beat the Patriots.

As a fan though, my true passion is split between two teams: the Atlanta Braves and the Arkansas Razorback basketball team (I cheer for the Razorback football team as well, but not on the same level as the basketball team).

In the early part of the 90s, these two teams served me well. Arkansas generally went deep in the NCAA tournament each spring, winning it in 1994, while the Braves were the dominant force in the Major Leagues, winning the World Series in 1995.

Things declined a little in the late 90s, as both teams continued to consistently qualify for post-season play, but began to be eliminated in earlier rounds.

Since 2000, the situation has continued to deteriorate to where now, I spend all season worrying and hoping that either team will just qualify for the post-season (the Razorbacks have done so the last two years, while the Braves haven’t).

This year though, with the Razorback basketball team, I thought I wouldn’t have to worry. Returning six seniors and the SEC Freshman of the year from a team that lost in the SEC Championship Game and qualified for the NCAA tournament last March, along with a new and, in theory, superior coach, I thought we were set. No longer would I spend the final minutes of each game in gut-wrenching agony as the Hogs win or lose at the very end.

Of course, the operative word in that last paragraph was thought.

So far, the Razorbacks this year have proven eerily similar to last season’s bunch. An early season loss to Providence and a shameful home loss to Appalachian State had fans such as myself reeling, when all of a sudden, the Razorbacks pulled out a surprising road victory against a good Baylor team, and then started SEC play at 2-0 for the first time in years by beating Auburn (on the road!) and Alabama. Things were starting to look good.

Then last night happened, when we lost to South Carolina, perennial SEC doormat, at home.

Looks like it’s going to be another one of those seasons.

Hmm, maybe the Braves will be good.


Andy Shupe 1/17/08, 1:03 PM  

As a lifelong fan of Kentucky basketball which, last I checked, is 7-8 (1-1 in the SEC) and lost to Gardner-Webb, Houston and San Diego, I don't have too much pity for you.

Paul Murphy 1/17/08, 6:34 PM  

Don't trash my Gamecocks. Its just a rebuilding year. And last I checked we have more basketball championships in the last 5 years than Arknasas.

Luke Dockery 1/18/08, 5:28 PM  


That's a decent point. I guess I just got spoiled in the 90s (but then again, so did you).

Luke Dockery 1/18/08, 5:29 PM  


"Rebuilding year" is a euphemism for "bad team". And what championships do the Gamecocks have in the past 5 years? The NIT doesn't count…

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