As an out-of-state freshman sports fan at Indiana University, a burden has been placed upon me to soak up as much information about IU sports as possible, especially when it comes to basketball. When I chose Indiana, it wasn’t solely on account of athletics. Thus, I have found myself in an arranged marriage of sorts, one I have not given complete consent to. Sure, I could totally picture falling in love with IU sports one day. But right now, it’s just overwhelming.
I’ve quietly avoided attempts from in-state students to talk about college basketball history, not wanting them to catch on to my lack of knowledge. For them, though, this is their team. Many grew up wanting to be a Hoosier, aching to sink in that last minute shot against Kentucky or Purdue or whatever other rival IU has had in the past. They’ve all mimicked the infamous Bobby Knight chair-throw in their basement and know the years of every Hoosier national championship victory by heart. This long-standing history is what I lack, though it may not forever inhibit me from warmind to this new-found love affair.
College sports has a certain magic to it; the indescribable passion, from player and fan alike, is truly unrivaled. Only in college can you live with the tens of thousands of people who support your team. Not everyone cares about sports on campus, but they often can’t help but be infected by a little bit of school spirit. Additionally, no place permits you to get closer to players than college. Where else can you sit next to the starting center in class and see him or her at a fraternity party that same night?
Perhaps IU sports and I can reconcile our initial awkward arrangement and make this marriage work. I haven’t completely fallen in love yet, but I certainly think we could be happy together for a long time, through thick and thin, in sickness and in health. Our love has the potential to be one unmatched by my love for other place sin this country, filled by an ache to recapture greatness and glory. Regardless of the final score, at a school as great and spirited as this, I think I can make this marriage work.