Guest Writer: Jordan Baker
Are you a Pacers fan? If you’re an AU student, your answer should unequivocally be yes.
Now, I’m not saying that you have to only be a Pacers fan, but you should carve out a small place in your heart for them at the very least. Whether you are from Indiana originally or not, you are living in Indiana while attending AU.
Why does this matter? Indiana is known around the world for its love of basketball. Fourteen of the 15 largest high school basketball stadiums are in Indiana, with number two, The Wigwam, residing here in Anderson.
Indiana University boasts an impressive resume with their men’s team winning five national titles, tied for fourth most all-time. For women’s basketball, Notre Dame is a perennial powerhouse who won the National Title last year, tying them for second most all-time.
Basketball is a big deal in Indiana. What do Indiana high school basketball and Indiana college basketball have to do with the Indiana Pacers, a professional team?
The Pacers are the forgotten child of a state where high school basketball, college sports and the Indianapolis Colts reign supreme. I believe that it is our duty as full-time or part-time Indiana residents to change this and restore fandom equality to the Pacers and show them the respect that they deserve, because it is the right thing to do.
So, in order to be an official Pacers fan, here’s what you need to know: You love Victor Oladipo. He’s the best player, and he went to IU for college. The Pacers have never won an NBA championship, but this year is the year. That statement applies every year. Lastly, you know that the Pacers are underrated and are going to prove people wrong. This applies every year as well.
Once you come to grips with these simple truths, you can start saying “we” when talking about the Pacers. Again, you don’t have to be a die-hard fan; you just have to be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have in the Indiana Pacers.
If you’ve read this far and you’re not buying that it is our duty as Indiana residents to support the Pacers and restore balance to the state, then you’re in denial, but there’s another reason why you should support the Pacers that you might be able to get on board with.
Jack’s Donuts is only a four to five-minute walk from AU’s campus, as I am sure you already know. What you might not have known is that Jack’s Donuts gives away free donuts after every Pacers win. The Pacers play 82 games a year, not including playoffs. That’s 82 chances to get a free donut.
You could be thinking, “That’s cool, I’ll get a donut if they win, but I don’t really care about the Pacers.”
I would like to challenge you on that. I believe wholeheartedly that being even a semi-invested fan can improve the success of the team. You may not care about the sport of basketball, but caring about and rooting for the Indiana Pacers for the sake of free donuts is still being a fan.
So, buy the $1.99 Pacers shirt at Goodwill. Throw on the Pacers game for an hour while you do homework. If you’re feeling extra inspired, buy a $10 ticket and go to a game.
AU students: you should be a Pacers fan, plain and simple. I implore you to show integrity support your Indiana Pacers. For the sake of state pride and free donuts. God Bless, Go Ravens (and Pacers, too).
Jordan is a senior business marketing major from Anderson, Indiana.