It’s a seasonal tradition for millions of disloyal Indiana residents: The changing of the college sports seasons from football to basketball. Each November, after yet another disappointing Notre Dame football season, mindless Hoosiers begin their perennial migration of fandom to focus upon Indiana University’s basketball team. The move completes a continual cycle of denying current disappointments of one team while referring to past accomplishments and unbridled expectations of another.
With exception for those who actually attended a college in Indiana, Hoosiers flock each year in accord with the state’s most treasured motto: “Well, I’m a Notre Dame football fan, but an IU basketball fan.” The phrase is known to disgust alumni of each institution, as well as other in-state schools, such as Purdue or Ball State.
The annual event has become a day of celebration for 64-year-old Bert Renquist of Hanover.
“Each year, me and my boys sit down over a case of cold ones and talk about Lou Holtz’s 1989 football squad and how awesome the Hoosiers were in hoops back in 1987 under Bob Knight,” Renquist said between belches and belly scratches. “We just can’t get enough disappointment.”
The only recent break in the tradition occurred when Butler reached two consecutive Final Fours in 2010 and 2011. Droves of Hoosier/Irish “loyals” made their way to local Walmart’s to purchase Butler garb and swear their allegiance for two weeks. It’s rumored that the event prompted Indiana coach Tom Crean to actually recruit basketball players.
Meanwhile, Purdue coach Matt Painter expressed his displeasure at the tradition.
“It’s hurtful for the Boilermakers,” said Painter. “I tried to write countless Hoosiers to explain how they should take pride in one institution, and how that could be us. But then I realized: These people can’t read so why bother?”