The Evolution of a College Hoops Fanatic

8 Oct

We all have things that we are passionate about and it is a good bet that we remember the moment or moments that ignited that passion and those moments when we realized that passion was more like a raging inferno.  The following is my evolution as a college basketball fan.  When did you know you were extra passionate about your team, your sport or your cause?

In April of 1985 I was eight, I remember wanting to stay up to watch the National Championship game between Big East rivals #8 Villanova and head coach Rollie Massimino taking on John Thompson and the #1 Georgetown Hoyas.   I popped a tape in the vcr and the next morning watched the Wildcats pull off one of the monumental upsets in NCAA Tournament history capturing the national title.

After that game I would yearn for March to come in order to drown myself in brackets, seeds and upsets for the three greatest week on the calendar.

During my latter years in high school each November I would take a notebook and sit in front of a tv and watch game after game after game jotting down notes on all the top teams so that I could look back on them as the season went on.  Even then my main passion was still the NCAA Tournament and seeing such great moments as Indiana’s Keith Smart in 1987, UNLV destroying Duke in the 1990 final and the Blue Devils returning the favor derailing the Runnin’ Rebels shot at an undefeated season in ’91, UCLA winning the title in 1995 and then getting upset by Princeton in the first round in 1996.

As I entered college in 1996 I began buying season preview magazines, pouring over and over them trying to absorb as much information as possible as I also began a new tradition, trying to predict who would make the NCAA Tournament before the season began.

Each year I could be found in the lounge of my dorm with my magazines and notebook taking notes, but come March there would still be brackets strewn all over my room.  With this new tradition I began to watch more games between more teams as I knew more about them from the magazines.

As I watched more and more games I began to realize it didn’t matter which teams were on the floor I enjoyed watching the game.  After graduating from college I wanted to do something to keep busy and to share my love of college basketball with more people.  So I learned about HTML and developed my website, College Hoops Haven that was loaded with information on every college basketball team (standings, rosters, rankings, etc.).  In 2004 while sitting in my apartment I was watching early-season tournament games as I usually did, then I found myself up at 3am listening to the internet radio feed of a game between Furman and Alaska-Anchorage at the Great Alaska Shootout just because there was a game going on.  It was then I realized my passion was more like an obsession.  With the number of division 1 basketball teams growing to over 345 the website was more and more difficult to keep up with.

Not knowing how to evolve the website into something more controllable and still share the scope of my love for the college game with people I was at a standstill.  During the pre-season of 2011-12 I was listening to a CBS Sports podcast with Matt Norlander interviewing Rob Dauster and Troy Machir founders of the blog Ballin’ is a Habit.  I was shocked that there were people out there that loved college basketball as much as I did, and that’s when I decided to turn the website into a blog where I could share my thoughts on the sport.

Over the last two years I have been doing just that and in doing so preparation for the season now begins in September turning what began as fun hobby during the three weeks of the NCAA Tournament nearly 25 years ago into an eight month labor of love that has allowed me to talk to players and coaches from across the country and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Every fall I feel like a kid waiting for Christmas, I can’t wait for the season to tip November 8th!

That is my story, what is yours?


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