Basketball is in my blood. Being born in Indiana, it kind of comes with the territory. It wouldn't surprise me tomorrow that a new Indiana state law had been passed forcing 1st graders to take a "proper bounce pass" class as part of their new curriculum.
And growing up with my Indiana family, it's was all about the Indiana Hoosiers. AJ Guyton, Tom Coverdale, Bracey Wright. To non-hoosier fans, these names might not mean a whole lot. To me, as a kid, they were the gods of the sport. But being a Hoosier fan is bitter sweet. On Saturdays in the fall, you are rooting for a grade school talent team that celebrates getting 6 wins and being bowl eligible. College football Saturdays don't mean much to IU fans other than the tailgating and the partying after in Bloomington. The actually games are just the four hour space in between beer 10 and beer 11 for the day.
I was that one type of Indiana fan. Its IU basketball in the winter and Notre Dame football in the fall! I still have my Irish hats, and my green shirts. I still remember getting upset about the "Bush Push" in 2005 knocking ND out of BCS championship contention. But it never felt real to me. It never felt like I deserved to be a fan of that tradition. I was stealing the luck of the Irish.
When the choice of which college to attend for my undergrad approached, I went with the University of Cincinnati. I had attended Bearcat football and basketball games before. I stood in Paul Brown Stadium watching UC almost knock off OSU in 2002, rooting for UC only because I hated THE Ohio State Buckeyes. However it still never felt like I really belonged to a college football family.
My first UC football game as a freshmen was in 2008. When the band began to play "Cheer Cincinnati" and the crowd chanted the famous "Ohhhhhhh Ohhhhh Ohhhh UC!" I knew I was about to become a part of something special. And what a special season it was. 11 game winning season, A Big East Title, And a trip to the school's first ever BCS bowl game! I watched every game, not missing a minuet. I remember being on a weekend trip with my family asking the local restaurant to find the channel that UC was on that night. I was hooked. - Then the famous 2009 season came and I was in love.
I want to take this opportunity to just say thank you. Thank you to the University of Cincinnati for giving me a great education and path towards a promising career (fingers still crossed on that one). Thank you the fellow students, alumni, and UC fans for taking me in when I had nowhere else to go on my sad and gray Saturdays. And THANK YOU University of Cincinnati Bearcat Athletics, for allowing me to feel like I had a team to officially call my own!
I know everyone reading has a short attention span so I will cut to the chase -
I will be writing multiple pieces this season on UC Football. Being from the Brian Kelly era, I have high expectations for the team every year, but I don't think they will disappoint me in 2015. I hope you enjoy my thoughts, analysis and overall passion for Bearcat Football! As all always GO UC!
10 quick facts about Scotty Whitehouse, the new writer for Down The Drive.
- The Office - greatest show on television
- I currently live in Indianapolis (my house is exactly 111 miles away from Nippert Stadium - I could run there if an emergency called for it)
- I am a Chicago Bears fan...pray for me
- The key to my heart is a plate of BBQ pulled pork and corn bread
- Number 4 ^ is extremely important
- I was one of the idiots who ran on the field early during the 2008 UC game against Pitt
- Jameson Irish Whiskey is my drink of choice
- I enjoy anytime Kentucky sports lose - Basketball, Football, Bowling, I don't care! I just revel in it.
- I named my dog Paisley after Brad Paisley, the greatest country singer of our time.
- Last on the list but most important I have 3 amazing girls in my life, my 2 beagle basset hounds - Annie and Paisley, and my sports loving, fantasy football guru, fiancé Lizzie.