BY MATT MERKEL
Ever since I was a kid my favorite team has been the Indiana Pacers. Growing up in Indianapolis my first experience of sports was the Pacers.
I remember going to my first game at the RCA Dome when they blew out the Jazz. It was 1997 and I was hooked for good. I loved watching Reggie Miller sink three after three. To me he was actually Superman. If you were to ask me what my favorite number was I would have enthusiastically answered 31 in honor of Miller. In fact, that’s my first gut response to this day. They brought me a lot of happiness and heartache, but as a child I could honestly say that I was never bored being a Pacer fan. As much as I loved the blue and gold I hated the Nets and the 76ers and the Lakers just as much. None of those teams ever came close to my hatred of the Detroit Pistons after 2002.
My team lost to them too many times for me to respect them. They did not have one superstar but they managed to pull of an NBA Championship while I just sat and watched and wondered when it would be my turn. Even though it was disappointing, I loved watching every game between these two teams. That was until the November game in 2004.
With less than a minute to go in the game with us up 97-82 the biggest fight I have ever seen on live television. Ron Artest threw himself into the Pistons’ stands and beat up on everybody in the area. Anyways, the whole entire team was disbanded and we hadn’t been the same for 10 years. Seriously, we won about 25 games every year for ten years. We could good enough to win games and we weren’t bad enough to build up quickly through the draft.
This all changed however. For the last three years we have been pretty good and have given the Miami Heat two straight years of difficulties in the playoffs. Now we just came off a 9-0 start to our season. This is the first time as an adult NBA fan that I have felt like a kid. Watching my team keep winning like this makes me remember being seven years old at the RCA Dome.
This is why sports are important. This is why we need them. Sports can bring anybody happiness no matter what position in life they are in. With this being my last article as your Sports Editor I want to make sure everybody continues to watch sports. I promise happiness.