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When/Why Did You Become A Billiken Fan?


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I feel like this board could use a bit more positive energy. We usually ask about who everyone is, where they're from, their relationship to the program, etc, but we never really ask WHY they are a Billiken Basketball fan. I talked about this in another thread a while back, but every single person on this board is on it because they are a fan...and they had a moment, an experience, or a revelation that changed something inside of them to say, "I am going to be a Billiken Basketball fan for life."

MY QUESTION: WHAT WAS THAT MOMENT/EXPERIENCE/REASON FOR YOUR DEVOTION TO BILLIKEN BASKETBALL OVER ALL OTHER BASKETBALL PROGRAMS??

MY ANSWER: 1st regular season home basketball game in November 2003, sitting in the 2nd row of the Blue Crew, looking around halfway into the first half and thinking to myself, "This is the coolest thing I have ever seen."

WHAT SEALED THE DEAL: Breaking my nose when rushing the court after Drejaj hit the game winning 3 at the end of the first round NIT 2004 game vs. Iowa.

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1959, eigth grade in Maine. Watching them play the Providence Flyers in the NIT. don't know why, just liked them. then in one of life's little twists ended up going to SLU in 1968 and hardly ever missed a home game at the old arena, or the Kiel. Polk was the coach and a good one. Not sure why we lost him....think he went to Rice.

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I was 5 years old. It was 1991. I went to a Vashon game. I saw a jersey retired #54. I asked my dad who it was. He said, his name was Anthony Bonner. He had just got recently drafted out of SLU and was SLU's all-time leader in scoring, rebounding and steals. He said he was a great player at Vashon, probably the best ever. He said he was the best Vashon big man since Randy Reed who played at Kansas State after being a JUCO All-American at Forest Park. From then on I was enamored with the Vashon and SLU programs. It was always a natural progression from Vashon to SLU for me. I was also told that a coach, I think Ron Coleman coached at Vashon and then moved on to coach SLU.

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freshman year 1978. the team wasnt good, but i was always under the impression a college student is supposed to go to all the games. even sitting with 3 other students under the basket and waving to the other 149 fans scattered throughout the arena/checkerdome, it was still the best.

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I don't exactly remember, but I probably went to my first Bills game around 1982-83 - when I was in the 7-8 year old range. My dad would take me to a few games every year, and I remember listening to them on the radio and watching them on TV whenever I had the chance. I remember getting autographs at the autograph sessions they used to hold at the Kiel Auditorium and collecting a the freebees they used to give out to the kids. I was looking through some old stuff in my parents' basement recently and found ticket stubs from Detroit and Loyola games in the mid 80s (back in the MCC days) and a stub from one of the NIT games.

Growing up, I was probably slightly more of a Mizzou fan, just because of the success/exposure they had at the time, but ever since I decided to go to SLU during my senior year of high school, I've been a fan of only SLU.

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1967-68 season. I was in grade school, my old man was on the faculty. We'd just moved here from Notre Dame, and the old man had the ND mentality of always supporting your teams. I can't remember back and forth, but it seems like the first year or two -- Joe Wiley, Tom Thomas, with Jimmy Irving coming on the next year and Ed Tabash in there somewhere -- we were in the Arena. Then sometime after that we moved back over to Kiel, 'cause I can remember some guy in the student section (which was at center court in the lower level) who wore lumberjack flannel shirts and led the "We Don't Mess Around" cheer every game.

My old man was stunned by all the fond memories about the Ed Macauley days as late as the 1960s. Some things remain the same indefinitely, I suppose.

P.S. I still mourn the loss of hockey. A few of those games rocked the Arena moreso than any hoops game.

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highschool junior year girl I dated had a brother who attended and father who kept getting tickets I think we got some he couldn't use in 1962. We got married 15 years later and have

our own season tickets-we went to a lot of highschool bb games as I always had trouble tansitioning from football to something where you were not supposed to block-coach hated

that I wouldn't melt away for the first string center or forward and would take those charges.

I probably could've made the team with less impact.

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I became a fan when I was a freshman in 1963. John Bennington was coach. If I remember corrrectly the Bills were ranked in the top 10 early in the season but Coach Bennington was quoted in the Post saying "we are not that good".

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I couldn't tell you when my first Billiken game was because I was probably 2 months old. Mrs. willie says I ran onto the court during the middle of a game at the old Kiel as a toddler. I'm sure she embellished that. I do however recall running onto the floor in 89' as a 7-year old when we beat I think Depaul to move onto New York in the NIT.

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1977 or 1978 .... I think it was Bird's first year at Indiana State after transferring from Indiana. game was at Old Kiel. Teams came out of lockerrooms, across stage, down aisle through student section to court. Visiting teams took plenty of abuse. I remember standing next to Bird thinking "what's all the fuss?" Same year, I think Cincinnati came to town. Ranked pretty high in the polls. Starting center was Bobby Miller from Louisville. My old roommate was from Louisville and considered Bobby a traitor for leaving Lullvull and going to school in Cincy. Got pretty hot and heavy and Miller and UC wanted a piece of all of us. Said this is where I need to be.

Also like Roy believed it was my constitutional duty to support the team. Same for the Canucks on the ice for the Bills.

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While in High School I went to see SLU and Depaul in '82. Depaul was ranked #1 in the nation. The majority of the fans were there to see Depaul and rooted for them. I have always disliked when visitors' fans outnumber the home fans. I rooted for the Billikens even though they got trounced. I started to follow them after that and it wasn't long until Gray,Douglas, and eventually Bonner showed up and the team was pretty good. I always thought Charles Newberry was a good player...no one ever mentions him. I followed them throughout the years since and then my son and I attended Sodorberg's father/son camp. The way Josh Fisher and Anthony Dejaj treated my 5-year old son not only left a tremendous long lasting impression on a youngster, it made me a Bills' fan for life.

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I can still see my dad sitting in the kitchen listening to Harry Carey broadcasting the Billiken games in the early and mid 50's. He would get very animated, which was very uncharacteristic for him and sometimes funny to the rest of the family. I'm certain his passion wore off on me.

My mom babysat for Dr. Roy Wolff up the street, a big booster of that time. He bought an extra seat for his big windup siren until the league banned it. Maybe once a year we'd get his tickets and it was always quite a treat for this younster.

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>1967-68 season. I was in grade school, my old man was on the

>faculty. We'd just moved here from Notre Dame, and the old

>man had the ND mentality of always supporting your teams. I

>can't remember back and forth, but it seems like the first

>year or two -- Joe Wiley, Tom Thomas, with Jimmy Irving

>coming on the next year and Ed Tabash in there somewhere --

>we were in the Arena. Then sometime after that we moved back

>over to Kiel, 'cause I can remember some guy in the student

>section (which was at center court in the lower level) who

>wore lumberjack flannel shirts and led the "We Don't Mess

>Around" cheer every game.

>

>My old man was stunned by all the fond memories about the Ed

>Macauley days as late as the 1960s. Some things remain the

>same indefinitely, I suppose.

>

>P.S. I still mourn the loss of hockey. A few of those games

>rocked the Arena moreso than any hoops game.

Thanks to Kevin White's hiring of Jeff Jackson, you just might be able to see Notre Dame in the Frozen four in a couple of weeks.

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Big Al 1 has me beat by about a decade as it was the latter part of the 50's when I became a Billiken fan. Heck back in those days Harry Carray did the play by play. A few years later I worked at what was then Kiel Auditorium during my High School and college years. I graduated from the SLU business school in 1971. I have seen a lot of ups and downs with our program. My favorite years were the NCAA teams of Spoon where I figure we were one decent big man away from making some noise in the Tourney. I still have two tickets in my name even though I live in Palm Harbor, FL. I am looking forward to seeing a game when we open our new arena.

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Moved here in '90 and started going to a few games, then it turned to Billiken Club membership and season tickets in '93.

Official Billikens.com sponsor of H Waldman

Official Sponser of the Stemmler and Ahearn could and would have helped club.

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February 18, 1969. Saw the Bill's led by Joe Wiley beat North Texas State and Lee Winfield at the Arena. I was eleven and have been addicted for thirty-eight years. I'm happy to say I've spread this addiction to four children and eighteen nieces and nephews.

I can remember the date because I ran across the program in my home office on Sunday.

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I was a billiken fan as a kid, my father got me hooked.

My first vivid memory was when I was 11 for the 85-86 season the freshman seasons of Roland Gray and Monroe Douglas. Competing in the midwestern collegiate conference against Xavier. My favorite player on those teams was Pee Wee Leonard. Does anyone know what happened to him?

My Biggest thrill as an Eighth grader was the game against SIU inthe 89 NIT when we blew them out of the water.

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My collegiate choices were between DePaul, Saint Louis, College of the Holy Cross and San Diego, but having lived in St. Louis as a kid when my father was working on the dealer side of Caterpillar at Fabick, St. Louis always had a home feeling for me. Making my visit as a senior in high school, I ran into at least five kids who were freshman at SLU who were friends of mine in high school, so I realized that while I was leaving home, I was close enough at SLU -- no regrets about that.

When I was a junior in high school, a buddy of mine was wearing an old "What's a Billiken" t-shirt in the weight room before football practice and that was my first true recollection of being curious about Saint Louis. My experiences with Billiken basketball will always be from working with Terry Elmore in events staff for three years when we were in C-USA and getting pictures with Huggy and Pitino and Calipari; rushing the court sophomore year after upsetting Louisville. Being a life-long sports fan, I knew I would dive head first into being a fervent supporter of the Bills. As I'm sure you all know, sometimes I can be a pain, but all I want is for our program to be as successful as Georgetown, BC and Marquette. It can happen - we just need a change of direction.

My re-birth into being a Billiken fan will be when that happens.

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