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mechee89

Why SLU?

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"Why not SLU?"

I figured this deserved its own thread. Maybe one already exists. I couldn't find it. Anyway... What made you a Billikens fan? If you are an alum, what was it that made you decide to attend the University? I would like to get to know some of you better. I'm sure there are others on here that are also curious about one another. Or maybe not...

Again, I apologize if this topic exists somewhere down the long line of threads. Just curious about my Billikens.com buddies. ☺️

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I think we have covered this topic a couple years ago but not a bad idea to revisit.

I am not an alum either.  Simply raised a Billikens fan.

Grandfather was a HS basketball/AD coach at Riverview Gardens from the 40-60s.  SLU gave him seats for scouting local players.  After he retired in the early 70s he and my father shared tickets.  Father took me to games from the time I was an infant.  I've had a season ticket for 15 years, my father has had his for 45 years. 

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Proud graduate of SLU, despite my many issues with the school. To be honest, I became a Billiken because Marquette gave me less money and I wasn't about to live at home if I went to DePaul. Best decision I ever made was to go to SLU. Made me a Billiken fan and gave me some of the best memories I've ever had. 

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I am not an alum of SLU, but I moved to St. Louis after my divorce and met my second wife here. She came equipped with 3 degrees from SLU, a lasting love for the Bills, and season tickets of long standing. I had never been a fan of sports but got to like watching the Bills playing and got to share her love for SLU, and the Bills, and here I am. I guess I could be called a fan by marriage, but my connection with the Bills has become real and is my own, not hers any longer.

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I was a Bills fan well before I get my degree from them. Shortly after I graduated I became a season tickets holder until I left St. Louis in 1996. I follow the team from my home in Florida, and did make it in for the Butler game. I will be anxious to see the schedule next season and try to make it to another game at Chaifetz Arena.

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St. Louis is my dad's hometown and where me and my older brothers were born. I came along pretty late and was little when my dad was transferred by his employer. I grew up learning about St. Louis from my family and returning back for vacations. My parents would take my brothers to Billiken games in Kiel. My mom tried to describe the inside of Kiel to me when I was a kid talking about the high seats and the attractiveness of the place, but it turns out my image of it was way off as I finally saw pictures of the inside a few years ago. We followed the Hawks, both Cardinals' teams, and caught some baseball games on trips back the last two years they played at Sportsman's Park, as my Dad called it. Saw Willie Mays hit two homers there one day.

Back in the 80s, I could catch Billiken games at night on fuzzy broadcasts from KMOX. I knew we could get that station from listening to Cardinal games back in the 60s when "Hoot" Gibson was the best pitcher in baseball. So, I adopted SLU as my 1-A favorite college team and over the years, they've become my prime favorite team.

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Not an alum was taken to my first game by an alum named Tom Skinner.  Tom had seats on the floor and I still remember the that game was against Loyola of Chicago when the Bills were in the MCC.  Rheditt Hudson was the center pee wee Lenard, Dale Renken, Ted Mimlitz and Jim Roder was on that team I also remember Andre Moore being the big center on Loyola.  Tom and I got to see games in the West Pine gym which I still think was a great place to watch a game.

Douglass, Gray, and Bonner days were so fun then after Grawer was fired then coach Spoon how could you not be a fan.

In a good way I have always been envious of those that went to SLU because of my appreciation of the school.

I like the idea of student athletes that graduate and if we ever make it to the final four then SLU did it with student athletes.

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I’ve always been a basketball fan and went to all the games as an undergrad at Western Illinois. When I came to law school in here in 78 I loved the step up in quality and the big time competition. Seeing Louisville, Marquette, Memphis state, Cincinnati,and the rest of the league come in to play was a treat. There wasn’t a lot of winning going on in those Ecker years, but we had David Burns and he made it competitive. I’ve been going to all the games ever since and have indoctrinated my wife. She is always up for the games or a Billiken road trip.

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39 minutes ago, billikenbill said:

St. Louis is my dad's hometown and where me and my older brothers were born. I came along pretty late and was little when my dad was transferred by his employer. I grew up learning about St. Louis from my family and returning back for vacations. My parents would take my brothers to Billiken games in Kiel. My mom tried to describe the inside of Kiel to me when I was a kid talking about the high seats and the attractiveness of the place, but it turns out my image of it was way off as I finally saw pictures of the inside a few years ago. We followed the Hawks, both Cardinals' teams, and caught some baseball games on trips back the last two years they played at Sportsman's Park, as my Dad called it. Saw Willie Mays hit two homers there one day.

Back in the 80s, I could catch Billiken games at night on fuzzy broadcasts from KMOX. I knew we could get that station from listening to Cardinal games back in the 60s when "Hoot" Gibson was the best pitcher in baseball. So, I adopted SLU as my 1-A favorite college team and over the years, they've become my prime favorite team.

where u @ now?

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59 minutes ago, CBFan said:

Not an alum was taken to my first game by an alum named Tom Skinner.  Tom had seats on the floor and I still remember the that game was against Loyola of Chicago when the Bills were in the MCC.  Rheditt Hudson was the center pee wee Lenard, Dale Renken, Ted Mimlitz and Jim Roder was on that team I also remember Andre Moore being the big center on Loyola.  Tom and I got to see games in the West Pine gym which I still think was a great place to watch a game.

Douglass, Gray, and Bonner days were so fun then after Grawer was fired then coach Spoon how could you not be a fan.

In a good way I have always been envious of those that went to SLU because of my appreciation of the school.

I like the idea of student athletes that graduate and if we ever make it to the final four then SLU did it with student athletes.

I remember the bespectacled Hudson from my first Billikens game also.  

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Didn't attend SLU but older brother did.

What got me was seeing SLU & David Burns lose in OT by 2 points to Mizzou & Stipanovich at the old arena.

Also liked seeing them play during Grawer era at the old Kiel. Like Ford's push in getting good STL talent and calling this the city's team, it's about time....getting back some of that Grawer-era vibe.

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Graduated high school at 17.  Never got to travel much growing up, so I was dead set on attending college outside of Iowa.  I applied and was accepted to SLU and Creighton.

Omaha or St. Louis?  Well, St. Louis had National League baseball and Budweiser beer.  My college visit sealed it for me when I visited St. Louis for the first time.  Being a place where the Midwest meets the South, it was unlike any place I had ever been.

When I arrived, I heard about Spoonball and all the hype surrounding Larry Hughes.  I decided to buy season tickets and my first game at the Kiel Center sealed it for me.  You can buy beer and liquor at the basketball game??!!  Free shuttles to the Kiel made things very convenient as a student.  With no football program, Saturday mornings (or evenings if the Blues were on the road) were highly anticipated.  I went to rugby and soccer matches, as well as swim meets while at SLU.  However, basketball was and is my first love with Billiken athletics.

From 17 - 21 years of age, SLU and the city of StL allowed me to see Roger Maris's HR record broken, Kurt Warner and the Rams championship, the Blues President's Cup win, a NCAA soccer Final Four, two NCAA tourney appearances and a victory over UMASS, Brett Hull's last season on the Note, Albert Pujols rookie season on the Redbirds.  And that is just sports.  The nightlife was just as much fun.  The Madrid campus was an invaluable and unique opportunity as well.  SLU cost me a bundle but I can't really put a price on all the great experiences I had.

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4 hours ago, Matty Light said:

Graduated high school at 17.  Never got to travel much growing up, so I was dead set on attending college outside of Iowa.  I applied and was accepted to SLU and Creighton.

Omaha or St. Louis?  Well, St. Louis had National League baseball and Budweiser beer.  My college visit sealed it for me when I visited St. Louis for the first time.  Being a place where the Midwest meets the South, it was unlike any place I had ever been.

When I arrived, I heard about Spoonball and all the hype surrounding Larry Hughes.  I decided to buy season tickets and my first game at the Kiel Center sealed it for me.  You can buy beer and liquor at the basketball game??!!  Free shuttles to the Kiel made things very convenient as a student.  With no football program, Saturday mornings (or evenings if the Blues were on the road) were highly anticipated.  I went to rugby and soccer matches, as well as swim meets while at SLU.  However, basketball was and is my first love with Billiken athletics.

From 17 - 21 years of age, SLU and the city of StL allowed me to see Roger Maris's HR record broken, Kurt Warner and the Rams championship, the Blues President's Cup win, a NCAA soccer Final Four, two NCAA tourney appearances and a victory over UMASS, Brett Hull's last season on the Note, Albert Pujols rookie season on the Redbirds.  And that is just sports.  The nightlife was just as much fun.  The Madrid campus was an invaluable and unique opportunity as well.  SLU cost me a bundle but I can't really put a price on all the great experiences I had.

Where at in Iowa are you from? Are there any other Iowans on here?

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7 hours ago, Matty Light said:

Graduated high school at 17.  Never got to travel much growing up, so I was dead set on attending college outside of Iowa.  I applied and was accepted to SLU and Creighton.

Omaha or St. Louis?  Well, St. Louis had National League baseball and Budweiser beer.  My college visit sealed it for me when I visited St. Louis for the first time.  Being a place where the Midwest meets the South, it was unlike any place I had ever been.

When I arrived, I heard about Spoonball and all the hype surrounding Larry Hughes.  I decided to buy season tickets and my first game at the Kiel Center sealed it for me.  You can buy beer and liquor at the basketball game??!!  Free shuttles to the Kiel made things very convenient as a student.  With no football program, Saturday mornings (or evenings if the Blues were on the road) were highly anticipated.  I went to rugby and soccer matches, as well as swim meets while at SLU.  However, basketball was and is my first love with Billiken athletics.

From 17 - 21 years of age, SLU and the city of StL allowed me to see Roger Maris's HR record broken, Kurt Warner and the Rams championship, the Blues President's Cup win, a NCAA soccer Final Four, two NCAA tourney appearances and a victory over UMASS, Brett Hull's last season on the Note, Albert Pujols rookie season on the Redbirds.  And that is just sports.  The nightlife was just as much fun.  The Madrid campus was an invaluable and unique opportunity as well.  SLU cost me a bundle but I can't really put a price on all the great experiences I had.

Good story. 

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22 minutes ago, almaman said:

Free shuttles to the Kiel made things very convenient as a student

I think you might be the only person to believe that from this era haha 

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My Dad is from Webster but went to college out east. When he moved back to St. Louis in the mid-80s, he bought SLU season tickets. He started bringing my brother and me to games in the Romar era when we were little. I became quickly obsessed and convinced him to take me to the CUSA Tournament and eventually A-10 tournament; I think I went to ~6 of those tournaments before I got to high school which effectively cemented that I’d be a lifelong fanatic. Favorite early billikens included Marque Perry, Reggie Bryant, Anthony Drejaj and Tommie Liddell

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We moved from Escanaba, MI in Novemeber of 1960. I was a Sophmore in high school. First day at my new school in Centralia, IL,I  went to  the gym an sat down to watch a basketball team during practice. There was also a junior college on the high school campus.I had just had a growth spurt and was now 6' tall, and wanted to play. As I watched player after player slam home dunk after dunk I turned to someone seated near by and asked if that was the college team. No the replay was that's the Centralia Orphan team. They lost two games that year. The last one in the super sectional game at Salem, IL against The undefeated Collinsville Kahoks.

I have been a basketball fan ever since.

I attended Centralia Junior College after high school. (Now Kaskaskia College)  The college team averaged 113 points per game (no 3 point line era), and had 2 of the top scores in the nation. Russel Coleman and Donald Duncan, both former Orphan players. The team finished 7TH in the nation.

When I moved to St Louis I adopted the Billikens as my team to follow as I was a basketball fan.

 

 

 

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Listened to Larry Hughes on the radio in grade school during NCAA tourney. Pretty much hooked after that. 

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grew up a poor farm boy but determined to go to college.   knew i would have to work and go to school so that made it necessary to go to a local school   had to be either wash u or saint louis and honestly the price difference made the difference and i was a billiken.  went to school on my days off (schedule was always tuesdays and thursdays and one night class every semester).   i am a sports nut so just came honest that i would check out the billikens, especially since it seemed like a lot of their games fell on my days i was already on campus.  as i have stated a million times, me and bay area billiken were part of the "student section" during ekkertime.   that section typically was about 5 kids, some of the bigger games like louisville we might double that.   

everyone that came to a billiken game during ekkertime sat in the front row (we were playing in the checkerdome and drawing about 1,000 per game).   but we did have david burns.   the kid was electric and worth going to see.  

just kept coming even after i graduated and by the time douglas, gray and bonner came along was a season ticket holder.  

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Tom Pagnozzi.  Tom is the reason I came to SLU.  I grew up playing  baseball in S. Florida and the guy I trained with growing up Wally Horsman was friends with Tom.  Tom had introduced him to the then baseball coach at SLU Bob Hughes.  That intro started the Bucky Dent Baseball school summer camps in St. Louis.  My junior year in high school as I was looking for places to play in college Wally asked me to check out SLU.  I had no idea where St. Louis was on a map but remember watching the Billikens in the NCAA tourney and my dad telling their coach's name was Spoon which I found funny.

So I took a visit to St. Louis on a fall weekend in 1996.   It just so happened to be the day or 2 after (cant recall exactly) the Cards got bounced by the Braves.  Bob picked me up from the airport and went straight to Busch Stadium.  He gave me a tour then took me into the locker room where a lot of the players were emptying their lockers.  I met Tom, Ozzie, Wilie and a bunch of others.  It was pretty sweet.  After that we went to campus for a tour and to take in the team's practice.  That night I hung out with the guys and did a lot of the same the following day.  On Sunday before I was to fly home I called my parents from Bob's office and told them I was going to be a Billiken.   

That's my story and I have been going to games since my freshman year at the Kiel.

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We played at Arena pre Grawer? I always thought are days at the old Kiel was preceded by West Pine Gym?

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8 minutes ago, almaman said:

We played at Arena pre Grawer? I always thought are days at the old Kiel was preceded by West Pine Gym?

SLU played at the then Checkerdome (St. Louis Arena) during the 4 years of Ekker, 1978-82, and also played at the Arena at one point earlier during the Bob Polk Era.

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I grew up in Maine in the 50's - 60s. However, I do remember watching the Saint Louis Billikens on tv in the 1959 NIT against Providence. They lost that game, but, for some reason, I was pulling for them to win. After HS graduation, I spent, or mis-spent, a year at BC. The bright lights of Boston proved too much for a kid from a small fishing town in Maine. Parties, Fenway, and All Girls colleges provided little time for hitting the books. So, after a year of miserable grades, I joined the Navy to avoid getting drafted and playing Army in the jungles of Viet Nam. The Navy is where I really started to grow up and smell the coffee. I came to realize how important a college education really was and was determined to go back after my tour was over. In 1969, I reapplied to BC and was refused. I then applied to Seton Hall and was accepted. My XO,  a Saint Louis U grad,  suggested I apply to SLU. I got accepted but on a probationary status. One year to prove I was college material, or hit the road.

That kind of irked me a bit, so I took the challenge and my new bride and I headed out to the mid west. Neither of us had ever been  west of the Hudson River, except for my brief stint at the Great Lakes Naval Boot Camp. The campus looked a whole lot different back then, but I kind of liked the look of the stately old buildings. I finally knuckled down and hit the books hard. We stayed thru two summers, so I could finish in three years. I loved every minute of being a student at SLU. Made some great friends and have fond memories of attending Billiken games at the old arena and Kiel. Those were the MVC Glory Days, Memphis St, Louisville, Cincy. There weren't any bad teams in the old MVC. Joe Wiley was the star my first year. Then it was Jimmy Irving, Harry Rogers, and Jesse the Ghost Leonard. We even tied for the MVC regular season championship in 70-71 and went to a playoff game against Memphis in Peoria at the old Bradley Hanger gym w/ it's elevated floor. Five guys packed into my Camaro made the trip, but, alas, we lost to Memphis. UL I believe won the playoff and the made the dance, and Memphis went to the NIT. We came home empty handed. The trip was eventful in that we actually lost one of our travelers who hooked up with a Bradley coed that night. He took a bus back to SLU the next day.

Some other highlight games during my tenure were playing Al McGuire's Marquette at the old arena. Al got pelted with pennies every time he jumped out of his chair to scream at the refs. We got trounced. MU was very good then and that team went on to win the NCAA in the early 70s. We hosted ND led by Austin Carr and took them right down to the last second when Carr hit a jumper to beat us by 2. I met him at a golf event years later and he remembered the game well. That was probably the largest crowd I saw at the old Arena. I think there were about 12,000 in attendance. Most games at the arena drew about 5,000 or less. It was not a good atmosphere. Moving back to Kiel in 71-72 was much better.  Saw great games against UL and Cincy. Also, a game against Mizzery at the Kiel in 71-72. I don't think I ever missed a home game and even made some trips to Memphis and Peoria to see the Bills. Bob Polk was a very good coach. We should have found a way to keep him.

I think the reason the Bills had lost the town's sports fans was due to the popularity of the Blues. They were sold out for every game and the town's winter team of the moment. The success of the Blues was the reason Fr. Reinhart agreed to SLU getting into hockey. I only attended a few games, although for a start up program they were pretty good as I recall. I just thought they drew attention and money away from the Basketball Bills and that was a mistake.

Choosing SLU was easily one of the best life decisions I ever made. I am planning on making another trip to the Fetz this upcoming season. That is easily one of the best basketball arenas in the land. And I feel the need for another steak at the Best Steak House. That was a big night our  for my wife and I. A steak dinner with baked potato, salad, and Texas Toast all for $5.95. Man, that was living large.  

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 SLU alumni relations and recruiting should be peeping this thread. A lot of good stories 

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I am a native of Quincy, Illinois, up River.  My Mom lit the spark by once giving me a cartoon clip of the Billiken from the old St. Louis Globe-Democrat.  I remember watching the Missouri Valley Game of the Week, with SLU great Easy Ed Macauley at the mic, that aired at 12:30 p.m. Central on Saturday afternoons.

I visited SLU in 1978, actually was personally present for one of the 7 SLU wins that season (7-20) under One and Done Coach Ron Coleman, was housed by SLU on 5 Clemens, with Metro Conference Player of the Year Ricky Frazier across the hall.  I remember sitting on ramps from the stage at Kiel Auditorium, and being intrigued as the SLU Jazz Band played Three Blind Mice intra-game at the zebras.  (Can you imagine the field day that band would have with the A10 zebras?)

I thought SLU had potential.  A scholarship from SLU ultimately trumped a work study job at Notre Dame and student housing on a porch at Illinois.  

I was SGA Student Athletic Committee Chairman my Senior year at SLU, 1981-82.  My roommate and I lobbied Ekker, who was also Athletic Director, and were able to convince him to let us restore the Billiken Mascot, which Ekker had put in hibernation for 2 years.  AdMan ran Ekker's Band.

Then came 3 more years at SLU, this time at SLU LAW, the first 3 years of the Rich Grawer Era.  Grawer rightly moved the home games back to Kiel Auditorium, former home of the NBA St. Louis Hawks, which was a much better facility for Basketball than the Hockey first Arena.  

After graduation in 1985, I moved to California.  Ms. BAB, whom I met at SLU, is a San Francisco Native.  The deal was that I would come out here for 1 year.  I've been out here for 33 years, about to be 34.  But I will always be a Billiken.  I'm proud of our school and our team.

 

 

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