Why are you a Butler fan?

Discussion in 'Butler Basketball' started by ItalianDawg, Mar 21, 2014.

  1. ItalianDawg

    ItalianDawg Member

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    Hey, I'm a newly registered member and BU fan from Italy. In another thread I was asked why I am a Butler fan, so this is my story, I'll try to make it as short as I can.

    In 2006 my fellow countryman Andrea Bargnani was the first Italian ever drafted in the 1st round, so I started to watch Toronto Raptors' games. Leo Rautins was one of the voices of the TSN telecast, he was talking about his son Andy in the NCAA and I ended up watching some Syracuse games too. One of them was the Sweet Sixteen matchup against Butler (never heard about them before). When I first saw the Dawgs playing, I instantly fell in love with them because of their smart play, toughness and stingy defense. Since then, I discovered The Butler Way, watched a lot of games (spending a lot of night hours awake to do that), bought and read David Woods' Underdawgs, even named my Court Rivals team after the book (and actually won 2 championship games!)... Well, even if I'm overseas, I feel I'm a Bulldog anyway!

    What about you? I'm sure most of you are either currently enrolled at BU or alumni, but I'd like to know how did you become Butler fans. :)
     
  2. ConnersvilleBulldog

    ConnersvilleBulldog Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    Welcome aboard ItalianDawg! I love that Butler's style of play has earned it fans from all over the world.

    Prior to attending Butler, my fandom began in the late 90's/early 2000's when I was still in elementary school. Always one to root for an underdog, I began following them once when they had their first couple NCAA tournament appearances. I'd have to say the Butler/Florida game in 2000 (damn you Mike Miller!) was what cemented my die-hard fandom of Butler.

    Since then, I don't think I've missed a televised game. I even remember when I was in high school watching the Butler/Mississippi State game (Brandon Miller runner in the lane) on a scrambled feed that my antenna on my tv picked up, because the game wasn't televised.
     
  3. Irishdawg

    Irishdawg Banned User VIP Member

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    I became a fan of Butler because of my sister, who was a cheerleader there and we started going to games in 2005, which was a pretty good year to start watching the team as they went to the NIT that season and then started going to the tournament on a regular basis. I always liked them because they had good kids on the team, and always seemed to play above their individual talents when it mattered most. The Preseason NIT in 06-07 was a lot of fun, because there were tons of people who asked us where Butler was located at, which I thought was kind of funny until I looked back on my own life. Honestly before 2005, I'd heard of Butler and knew where they were located at, but had no idea that they even had a Division 1 program and I grew up about 90 minutes from Indy in Purdue country.
     
  4. UDDawg

    UDDawg Well-Known Member

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    I grew up in the Meridian-Kessler neighborhood, just across Meridian Street from the Butler-Tarkington area. My parents are huge sports fans, so naturally I became one at a very young age, and they would take me to Hinkle all the time because it was so close and affordable and they played such a great style. I've been a die-hard fan ever since; I can remember when I was younger going to games in the late '90s/early 2000s that were so sparsely attended that my friend and I could race each other around the track without anyone getting mad at us. It's just been an amazing feeling watching this program grow as I have grown. Like ConnersvilleBulldog, I don't think I've missed a televised game (at least nationally the last two years because I'm in Dayton for college) in my lifetime. I was at the game when Avery Sheets hit the buzzer beater to beat Milwaukee for the regular season conference championship, I've been lucky enough to go to both Final Fours we made. If I didn't live so close, I most definitely would have gone to school at Butler, but I felt I needed to have the real college experience away from home; but it's done nothing to my love and loyalty to Butler basketball (I pretty openly cheered for Butler when they played Dayton last year in the A-10 tournament.)
     
  5. Insane Dawg

    Insane Dawg Well-Known Member

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    ItalianDawg-Ciao

    I played my first two years at Butler until, like Erik Fromm, my father died. But unlike Erik I lost my direction as a result of that incident. My fraternity brothers and HC looked after me and I eventually pulled out of the spiral and graduated. Butler was not my first choice but glad it became a huge part of my life. Met my wife there. I'll never forget the first time I walked into Hinkle-I got chills. Still get them no matter how many times I have walked into that cathedral.
     
  6. xiuman

    xiuman New Member

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    Great forum thread. Been a fan since the early 60s. I've always enjoyed coming to Hinkle even if Butler is not playing. I love unselfish team play, high academic standards, and recruiting the right way. While I did attend Butler, I graduated from IU, but always rooted for Butler when they met on the court. I will say that I am concerned about the direction I see the program is heading. I'm not talking about wins and losses either.
     
  7. kmacker69

    kmacker69 Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    Cousin played for them and met the players and got invested in them, when he graduated I had to keep following the ones I knew. Just kept liking the next set of guys until they are now just my team.
     
  8. Butler

    Butler New Member

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    I have lots of reasons. It started while I was at Wabash College playing basketball and I started dating by teammates sister. Her father played at Butler and is in their Hall of Fame. It was part of my marriage contract to become a Butler fan. Became a season ticket holder in 1997 when I could buy two season tickets and 3 Bulldog Club tickets for my kids for about $400. My kids attended and loved butler basketball camp. I was able to speak with several of the coaches while watching my kids at the camp and learned to like and respect them even more. I worked with and hired several Butler basketball players and they were all top notch employees and good guys. When my son was a High school senior, Brad Stevens took the time to discuss the walk-on program with him (he was never offered a spot, but Brad was great), and would ask about how he was doing whenever I saw Brad after that. My "Fandom" started with family and my experience at games and watching them still feels like family to me. I don't know any of the current coaches / players in any meaningful way like I felt I did in the past, but I still feel confident it will all turn around soon. I see no significant reason to not to continue to support Brandon, Barry, the other coaches, and the players.
     
  9. UDDawg

    UDDawg Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, also, my summer babysitter when I was young played women's volleyball at Butler, so she knew a bunch of the players. This was around the early 2000s, and I believe (if my memory is right) I met a bunch of guys from the first Sweet 16 team. Archey, Lightfoot, Nick Gardner, etc. That was really spurred my fandom. I'm sure I was like a deer in the headlights when I met those guys, but they were all so nice that I just couldn't help but cheer for them.
     
  10. theenforcer13

    theenforcer13 #barlowing

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    Cool thread idea. My parents went to Butler so I have been going to games all my life (late 80s). First real memories of the Dawgs were the Jon Neuhouser, Mike Marshall, Kelsey Wilson, Rolf van Rijn, Jeff Rogers, etc. teams of the mid 90s. It's been fun to watch all the changes over the years. Is it November yet? Can't wait to see how Hinkle will look with all the renovations.
     
  11. MiniLaura

    MiniLaura Member

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    We moved to Indy and bought house just a few blocks from campus in 2009. We've always liked watching basketball, and we were thrilled to find that Butler games were affordable to go to, and (because of our proximity) easy to get to. Of course, our first two seasons of watching Butler were fantastic, and we quickly became die-hard fans. Now we're season ticket holders and have many other connections to Butler.

    I don't consider us to be "bandwagon" fans because we started cheering for them in 2009-2010. It was just good timing.
     
  12. ItalianDawg

    ItalianDawg Member

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    Thanks for sharing your stories, a lot of interesting stuff to read!
     
  13. NCJon

    NCJon Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    Went to a few games at Hinkle as a kid - usually when a big(er) name opponent was in town. Lived in Zionsville in the mid-90s and knew Brad a little. Started paying close attention when he joined Thad Matta's staff and I've been hooked ever since because I love the way Butler teams typically play.
     
  14. GO_DAWGS!

    GO_DAWGS! Active Member

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    Combo for me. Grew up in Meridian-Kessler as well. Used to spend a lot of time on campus, Holcomb Gardens, sledding on the Butler hill(when it was big and cool), let my turtle go in the pond, etc, etc, etc. Got taken to a few games as a kid, and then when I got older would go over to games. I remember in the mid-late 90's I'd sometime listen or watch(if possible) the first half of games on Tv/Radio and then if it was close, drive over and just walk in to watch the second half(best one was watching them beat IU at Hinkle!).

    Always been a huge hoops fan, and really just appreciated the style that started to develop mid 90's on. Played hard, played smart and got the most out of the talent they had. Add that to the amazing place, and experience that is Hinkle Fieldhouse and here I find myself...back in Indy 2008 after about 10 years away, now a season ticket holder, watching every game, and following recruiting.

    Go Dawgs!
     
  15. Nildogg

    Nildogg Active Member

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    2001 Alumni, and gave it all I had on the baseball diamond for the Dawgs. Started going to hoops games in the mid 90's, but was always drawn to Butler because my Grandfather was one of the first to get a tennis scholarship here. One of my best friend's from HS dad is THE SID legend himself, and ironically I never really knew it until my sophomore year in HS. (??!) We ended up being roommates and teammates our freshman year. Our family are all huge fans - as I met my wife in English class in the one and only Jordan Hall, and we've raised our 4 kids the right way - all having gone to games since just being born. My second and third even attended within weeks of being born (not sure if that was a great idea... ).

    Funny story - my grandfather was recruited to play tennis by an alumni of some sort after winning the city championship around 1950 or so. The guy must have had some connections, because he walked him into Tony Hinkle's office to "tell him" he was going to give my grandfather a scholarship (he was the AD and apparently managed all of their scholarships) and immediately when walking in the room, Hinkle jumped up not knowing who he was, eagerly greeting him - until (as the story goes) he learned he was "only" a tennis player, which at that point my Grandfather explains that he completely lost interest since he wasn't a basketball or football player, and didn't even look him in the eye again (ha!) Hinkle did end up giving him a scholarship, which he claims was either the first, or at least extremely rare in those times, and the rest is history.
     
  16. Nildogg

    Nildogg Active Member

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  17. MIBulldog

    MIBulldog Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    I grew up in New York and attended Butler. I picked Butler, because of the exact sentiment that they talk about in those Butler commercials: Butler IS home. I graduated from Butler in 1987. I went for Radio/Television. I attended lots of basketball games. I got to watch some of the greats back in the 80's. It was 1986-87 when Darrin Fitzgerald set the NCAA record for most 3 point shots in a season (158), which was the first year they instituted the 3 point line in college. I got to witness the greatness of the late Chad Tucker. I remember us beating Notre Dame in overtime at Hinkle and rushing the court like we'd won the National Championship. 1985 we went to the NIT but lost to Indiana in the first round. Despite those highlights, it was tough times for the Dawgs. Joe Sexton was our coach. He would get right up to the line of the coach's box and stamp his foot all the time. I still have my student season pass. I think it was $8 back then. It's probably much more now.

    I've brought my family from Michigan down to Indy and Butler on several occasions. My son and I watched Butler beat MSU in the Final Four in 2010 with friends on the big screens at Hinkle Fieldhouse. I have so many great memories of my time at BU. Having this forum is great. We would have loved this back in the 80's.
     
  18. tyrin101

    tyrin101 New Member

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    Born and raised in Nashville, TN. I wanted to experience a different area and started looking around at schools when Butler jumped out at me. I knew nothing of Butler or their sports. I picked Butler for my college and it was really just a gut decision. I loved my visits and it just seemed right. After graduating in 2004 I became a big fan of Butler basketball. I followed the team while attending of course but after I graduated and moved back to Nashville I found following the team and keeping up with all the forums/websites/etc was a great way to still feel connected to Butler. I've been checking out this site for about a year. Some good info and the conversations can get quite entertaining. Anyway, I've attended one game each year since I graduated though I couldn't make it this year. It was fun wearing my Butler gear around Nashville during the Final Four runs. I couldn't go a day without someone stopping me and asking about the team and the school and their amazing run. Kind of got the star treatment. The pic is the beginnings of a celebration mob after Butler beat Louisville in the 2003 tournament. A great memory from my time there.
     

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  19. Dewars12

    Dewars12 Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    Great idea and great read - basketball is is an amazing game - it allows a kid to play alone in a driveway and allows a community to take pride in its team. My sister went to Butler - lived in Resco and was a pharmacy major. I was few years younger and would visit campus and was lucky enough that she got me and my best friend tix to watch Butler beat Damon Baily, Alan Henderson and co. while we sat in the Pound as a HS juniors - needless to say I thought I was really cool. At her graduation, I got to hear Kurt Vonnegut, my favorite author, speak to the graduating class. If you are a fan of Vonnegut, he references that address in Timequake. To me, Butler bball is more than just winning bb games; it is about people, it is about community and it is about the process of what it takes to be successful. I took my 4 yo kids to the scrimmage this year and it was magical for them and for me - it makes me proud to have such a classy program to support in our backyard. I hope the tradition continues and the the process of being successful doesn't get confused with W/L records.
     
  20. Insane Dawg

    Insane Dawg Well-Known Member

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    Well said Dewars12. To many of us fail to appreciate the real purpose of the Butler basketball team and the university's athletics in general. I understand over 10,000 high school students have for the first time applied to Butler. That is a testament to what doing things right means.
     

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