Same Dance, Different Song - Butler's Sweet 16 Run Has a New Tune

Discussion in 'Articles' started by Jared Grubbs, Mar 19, 2017.

By Jared Grubbs on Mar 19, 2017 at 12:50 AM
  1. Jared Grubbs

    Jared Grubbs Administrator Staff Member


    The Butler Bulldogs are on to the Sweet 16. Again.

    It feels like it's been a long wait. Butler hasn't been here since their famous back to back national title game appearances earlier this decade. But Butler fans are spoiled. Their team is on to the second weekend of the tournament for the 5th time in 15 years. The 3rd time this decade. All but the best programs in the country would be thrilled with that rate. But this is familiar territory for the Bulldogs.

    Except it's not. Not like this anyways.

    Fifteen years ago Butler was a cute underdog story. Seven years ago they became America's team. Everyone loved the feel good story about the small Horizon League school taking it to the big boys on the national stage.

    Those days are gone.

    A famous super hero once said, "You either die a hero, or you live long enough to become the villain." Being the hero is great, but in sports the goal is to become the villain. Take a gander at the most hated programs in sports. The "evil empires". They've all got one thing in common. They win. A lot. Nobody hates the DePauls of the world.

    Butler isn't a villain. But the Bulldogs have relinquished their hero status. The transition is occurring. That's what happens when you win too much. When you leave behind the little old Horizon League and start throwing punches as a member of the Big East.

    All it takes is a glance around social media to see Butler isn't "America's Sweetheart" anymore. Former Indiana mayor Greg Ballard apparently still views Butler that way. He sent out this tweet, one that would have been well received in 2011. But click on it and check out the replies. Butler's won too much now. Other fans have had enough. Win too much and people get jealous.

    You can find similar reactions all over twitter. Like this one. Or here. Or another one. These aren't disgruntled Xavier fans. These are neutral fans, disappointed that Middle Tennessee won't be the next program to capture hearts around the nation.

    Butler simply isn't a feel good story anymore. At least not in the opening round. Not until they get matched up against a perennial college basketball powerhouse, such as a likely meeting with North Carolina next week in the Sweet 16. Then Butler will be back in the familiar role, wearing their traditional black uniforms with all of America cheering them on.

    That's because Butler isn't where they want to be yet. Butler doesn't want to be the underdog. They don't want to be heroes to anyone but their own fans. They want kids decades from now to have a hard time grasping why those Final Four runs were such a big deal. "How could Butler have been an underdog?"

    And it's coming. Some fans already see it. Other's fail to understand how anyone could not respect "The Butler Way". But winning breeds hate. And the Bulldogs are going to continue to do a lot of winning.
    jeff, Sidd Finch, bwesson15 and 6 others like this.


Discussion in 'Articles' started by Jared Grubbs, Mar 19, 2017.

    1. DawgFan14
      Lol, "Nobody hates the DePauls of the world." Damn.
      BBgina likes this.
    2. Irishdawg
      Well put - Go Dawgs!
    3. BulldogsFTW
      Lol. Ballard's tweet has a bunch of replies from butthurt IU fans that are salty about their team's collapse. I don't think the bulk of IU fans ever really supported Butler beyond the thinly veiled, little brother talk they gave during the first two runs. They are genuinely jealous any time an in state school takes the spotlight from them or highlights the mediocrity they have experienced for the better part of the last 30 years.

      Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G920A using Butler Hoops mobile app
      BBgina, HinkleLegend and UDDawg like this.
    4. DawgFan
      Thanks, Jared, for a perceptive, well written article.
    5. HinkleLegend
      IU better hire someone fast so they can have a press conference next weekend to try and distract from Butler and Purdue playing in the Sweet 16.
      LA-OC-IE and BBgina like this.
    6. seadawg
      Nice work Jared. Butler has an ongoing transition with it's program back 2 decades. We do have a culture and a brand that is now recognized nationally.
    7. butlernut
      Thanks for staying up late to get this in Jared!
    8. OldSchoolDawg1983
      Excellent commentary from Jared.

      There are a large # of us Butler alums who matriculated on to IU for graduate or professional school. We are and always will be first and foremost Dawgs. Yet, particularly if we were at IU during the Bob Knight era (and when Butler was irrelevant in the obscure MWC conference), many of us attached to IU basketball.

      With the Dawgs in the big leagues now, our path and that of the Hoosiers now occasionally intersect, and I understand that causes friction with many of our younger generation Dawgs.

      Like many of you, I love what Butler has become on the hardwood. Unlike many of you, I also want the Hoosiers to be successful (except you know when!). I am a bit distraught that they have fallen from the heights the General had taken them, and hope they make a great hire (but not at our expense!).
    9. znelson15
      Love the article Jared
      Thank you
      What a year so far
    10. Staxawax
      Seems to me the hire will come within 72 hours of UCLA's elimination from the tourney.

      Sent from my iPhone using Butler Hoops
    11. BulldogsFTW
      And the Butler Alums that you are referring to are not the ones making the replies that I referenced. The replies to Greg Ballard's tweet were overwhelmingly negative toward Butler's success. I agree that young Alumni (those not alive to see IU's last National Championship) largely dislike the Hoosiers and their fans, but I certainly believe there is room and hope for both to be successful.
    12. Jared Grubbs
      Jared Grubbs
      The IU-Butler rivalry is certainly intriguing because of that overlap. I would say a lot of casual fans like both IU and Butler. Then there is a large part of the hardcore fanbase that hates each other. That makes up a large percentage of the online message boards, so reading online it might feel like the fans hate each other, but I would say overall that isn't true. The hatred has grown over the past several years though, and I think that trend is only going to continue moving forward.
      Hinkle likes this.

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