Welcome to the refreshed Casual Hoya! To celebrate the new look and feel of our sports communities, we’re sharing stories of how and why we became fans of our favorite teams. If you’d like to share your story, head over to the FanPosts to write your own post. Each FanPost will be entered into a drawing to win a $500 Fanatics gift card. We’re collecting all of the stories here and featuring the best ones across our network as well. Come Fan With Us!
So many Georgetown students and alumni come and go without being fans. Sure, they love their school. They bleed blue and gray and it stays with them forever. They may join clubs, go to events, come to a few games, but it means something else to truly be a fan. To be a fan means to let your love consume your life at times. It means getting to the game far too early to sit in a general admission student section. It means taking a trip to see Georgetown play on the road. It means reading a damn basketball blog six months before the next season starts.
SB Nation has asked us to put together a little series on why we are fans. It would be easy enough for one of us to merely say “because I went here” or “because Patrick Ewing was my favorite player growing up,” but it’s much more complicated than that for most of us. Simple reasons like that may explain why we pull for the Hoyas, but your story is probably more complex. I know mine is. Some of us inherited our fandom. Plenty of us found it not long after coming to Georgetown. Even more of us have wrestled with it, asking why we are fans. As my senior year wound down and both the Hoyas and their fan base combusted, I thought about this question. We came just short of a civil war over whether or not a basketball coach should be fired. I got involved. Most regular commenters on here got involved too, as did several newcomers whose rhetoric seemed better placed elsewhere. But, in the midst of this fighting and constant fiery rhetoric, I began to question it. As Frank Costanza so eloquently put it in his explanation of the origin of Festivus on Seinfeld, “As I rained blows upon him, I realized there had to be another way.”
So why do we do it? Why do we let ourselves get carried away in emphatic, often vitriolic debates about coaches’ job statuses or allocations of playing time. What motivates us? I think we love the community. Georgetown University is a community. Hoyas basketball is a community. Even Casual Hoya, in large part because of the way SB Nation describes it affiliate sites, is officially billed as “a Georgetown Hoyas community.” We come to the Verizon Center (or at least, the attendance numbers say a few thousand of us still do.) We ask the bartender to put on FS1, or FS2, or whatever godforsaken obscure cable channel the Georgetown game airs on. We fire up our computers and post inane comments and bizarre GIFs on message boards and comment sections. Why? Because we have a community. All of us, whether we post on Casual Hoya, write on some other message board, tweet, or even just yell off into the distance at our TV set, have an emotional attachment to the Georgetown community.
We’re drawn in by the personalities too. So many of the players we see on the court now and have seen in past years have been given an incredible opportunity and we root for them to do well. It’s part of the tradition that Coach John Thompson started here and its one of his most lasting achievements that Georgetown not only produces athletes who are good basketball players but also great people off the court. To see someone like Bradley Hayes overcome his personal challenges while working his way from the end of the bench into the starting lineup is the kind of feel-good story we all hope for. Georgetown is a school of opportunity. From Michael Graham to Allen Iverson to Jabril Trawick, we’ve seen plenty of guys come in here with the deck stacked against them only to succeed in life after putting on a Hoya uniform. It’s the kind of thing that draws us to this team and makes us want to cheer it on forever.
Georgetown basketball is also one of the most accessible, visible links an alum can have to maintaining loyalty to Georgetown. It may provide us with memories of our own times at Georgetown, or for non-alumni, it can conjure up memories of why you became a fan and of all the good times you have had cheering on the team. For all of us, it can inspire hope or delusion. Those of us who are here have invested plenty of time, energy, and money into Georgetown basketball. We hope that we can reap the rewards of it someday.
I know for me, as the years will pass and my times at Georgetown will become increasingly intangible memories, watching the Hoyas will bring me right back. Even in college, at some of the darkest times in life, I drew strength from cheering on the Hoyas and from being able to throw myself into something as simple and as frivolous as basketball. It was my escape, and it will always be a portal back to the innocent times of college.
I expect to look back on it all and realize how wonderfully stupid it all was. After all, the reason I took the jump into going to games was because some friends of mine dared me to go dance like an idiot at basketball games and I took them up on it. They came up with that stupid nickname that went with it. How could I be so foolish as to run with a nickname as ridiculous as “gyration master?” Why would I sign up to write for a blog that covers lunch at least as much as it covers basketball (and why on Earth would anyone let me ask out an Olympic gold medalist?)
For me, it reminds me of how fun and carefree it all was. Georgetown basketball was and is our little escape from the real world. Many of us have real jobs, families, and commitments. But when our attention turns to the Hoyas, we find a release. We can scream, we can dance, and we can let all of our energy out, and it still won’t make any difference toward the outcome. And win or lose, we can hope it makes it that much easier for us to go back to our real lives and try to pass ourselves off as competent human beings.
In short, Georgetown basketball has become embedded in our DNA. The games, the people, the community—it’s all a part of who we are.
Why are you a Georgetown fan? Feel free to share your stories in the comments.
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