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Thread: How you became a Zag fan

  1. #26
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    Was a student in the late 80s, have stayed involved with the school in various capacities since, and love college basketball (always have), so a no-brainer. Also lived across the hall (3rd floor Desmet) my sophomore year from three awesome guys named McPhee, Spradley, and Delaney.
    Your children have been placed in the custody of...Carl's Jr.

  2. #27
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    Born near Seattle. Raised in Spokane. GU was the first college sport team that I ever really watched. Been an avid fan since I was a kid in '99.

  3. #28
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    I don't remember if I posted in the original thread, but I was a Stockton fan first (since middle school, prior to that I can only blame distance from the team and a lack of cable TV for not admiring his play sooner). Then the NBA lockout happened when I was a high school freshman and one of the sports magazines mentioned that he was working with his old team. Needing a basketball fix, I watched a very late night GU game and really liked the team, months later when the tournament came around I was already rooting for the Zags. And because they always have amazing student athletes on their team, I'm still a fan all these years later.

  4. #29
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    Began looking at Gonzaga in '86 for school and attended 88-90 -- enjoyed my time there and was drawn back into the excitement with our '95 team dancing in Salt Lake where we were beat down by Maryland.

  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by gueastcoast View Post
    Was a student in the late 80s, have stayed involved with the school in various capacities since, and love college basketball (always have), so a no-brainer. Also lived across the hall (3rd floor Desmet) my sophomore year from three awesome guys named McPhee, Spradley, and Delaney.
    Attended around the same time. ('85-'90)
    "And Morrison? He did what All-Americans do. He shot daggers in the daylight and stole a win." - Steve Kelley (Seattle Times)

    "Gonzaga is a special place, with special people!" - Dan Dickau #21

    Foo me once shame on you, Foo me twice shame on me.

    2012 Foostrodamus - Foothsayer of Death

  6. #31
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    How Former1dog became a Gonzaga Bulldog and Fan(atic) of all things Gonzaga, the long version.

    I started at Gonzaga as a student in the fall of 1988. I attended based on couple of factors. First, I got an ROTC scholarship that provided the means to afford it and secondly (most importantly) was that when my Dad found out I was interested, he was in full support... that was enough for me as my Dad's opinion meant everything to me. Dad had attended Gonzaga for a year, but left because there wasn't a pharmacy school there, but always loved the place. I also had an Uncle attend, lots of cousins and a few folks from my hometown (I'll come back this point in a minute).

    When I arrived at GU, I very much wanted to try out for the cross country and track team as I had been a decent distance runner in high school but had not come close to accomplishing my goals in the sport. I showed up for the first practice and a love affair began that continues to this day. I participated in 11 seasons of competition at Gonzaga, 4 years of Cross Country, 4 years of outdoor track and 3 years of indoor track. I'm proud to say that along with my teammates, my four years as a Gonzaga student athlete were successful, rewarding and memorable. I still follow and am in contact with the XC and Track teams to this day and follow them closer than the basketball team. They are doing amazing things with the leadership of the legendary Pat Tyson as the coach.

    My athletic days at Gonzaga link me in a few ways to the team today. First, I mentioned I only did 3 indoor track seasons. Well, that was because I hurt my ankly terribly in January of 1989 and had to miss indoors that year. As I started to recover and get back into shape, I could run but not quick enough to keep up with my teammates. Coach Tom Lyons didn't want me to train alone, though, so he assigned me a training partner from the women's team. Fellow freshman Marcy Laca got the assignment. Despite my overwhelming geekiness, Marcy was kind to me and helped me get back into shape. Marcy was a great student and was a tremendous track athlete, but had other interests and that spring was her last on the track team. Marcy has gone onto great things one of which was to marry Mark Few. Yep, that Marcy (Laca) Few.

    The second interesting way I'm linked to the team is a rumor, which I happen to think is true. The rumor in 1989 ish was that the NCAA wanted to drop Gonzaga out of Division 1, as we were such a small school, didn't sponsor a lot of sports, and weren't competitive in the major sports (basketball team won 4 division 1 games that year, 8 total). The rumor continues that a letter was written at the behest of Dan Fitzgerald to the NCAA. The letter essentially pleaded for Gonzaga to remain in Division 1 and (here's the kicker) justified our status by reminding the NCAA about how competitive our Cross Country team was in the WCAC conference (we had strung together several 2nd place finishes to power house University of Portland).

    My last significant connection to the basketball team and the reason I became a huge fan was because of Felix McGowan. Felix and I have known each other since about the fourth grade. We went to school together and played all sports together in our tiny little north eastern Montana town. We both did well in sports, but Felix was a stand out in basketball. He was the star of our team and was an All Stater. He was the only native Montanan to be recruited and to sign with Montana State the year we graduated high school. The problem, the coach at Montana State had no intention of giving Felix an actual opportunity to play. Disillusioned, Felix decided to transfer after a redshirt year at MSU to North Idaho College. Felix thrived there and quickly became the star player in his 2 years at NIC. Great for me because I got to as many games as I could. I knew Felix would be a great asset to Gonzaga, so I dug out my high school year book and went to the Gonzaga coaches (might have been Billy Grier and Mark Few, I can't quite remember) and showed them photos and stats from Felix's high school days and told them they needed to check him out at NIC. Well, its likely they already knew about Felix. He was recruited and came to play for Gonzaga.

    Felix played behind Jarrod Davis in his first season. Memorably though, he came in on a couple of late game situations because Fitzgerald liked that he could create his own shot. He did that for the team and managed to make a couple of last second game winning shots. It was at this time that I became permanently hooked as Gonzaga Fanatic. Those teams that Felix played on with Jeff Brown and others were really the start of this great run.

    So, thats the long version

  7. #32
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    I was a high school coach with a mother who was a total basketball junkie. I was staying with her one night. I got there late and she was watching the Zags with Adam Morrison. She said I was going to love the way this team played. She was right and have been a faithful fan ever since.

  8. #33
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    Fitz. suggested I try to walk on.
    Learned very quickly 5'10" pretty small for D1 ball.......people generally don't understand how good a D1 player is. I don't care what school they are from.
    Met Mrs. CoolhandZag in Literature Class.
    Snuck Spink into Shenanigans.
    Attempted to incite riot of regional ASCE meeting in Corvallis.
    Cherished the "old" Bulldog.
    Graduated from GU in '97.
    Zag ever since and always will be.

  9. #34
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    Don't know that I watched more that a minute of college basketball from birth through high school graduation - so boring!

    Then I was a Frosh at GU for the 98-99 year. The R.A. and C.D. in the dorm getting everyone to go to some basketball thing called "Midnight Madness". I rolled my eyes and went along. I went and I was hooked: Santangelo, Frahm, Dench, Calvary, Q, and others...From there, I'm pretty sure I could count on 1 hand the amount of home games I missed those 4 seasons at GU. I always feel a special connection given that this current tournament streak started my first year at GU. So many fun memories. Thank you GU and Thank you Mark Few!

  10. #35
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    I attended a small high school outside Spokane and started following the team in '95 when Blanchette was writing about them in their run up to making the NCAA tournament. Fell in love with the campus when I visited it for a week in the summer of 96 for business leadership camp of sorts for high schoolers around the state. Knew I had to go there for the academics and for basketball. Only school I applied to. My family didn't have a lot of money but GU got me enough financial aid to barely scrape by. My dad thought I was crazy to attend GU and work multiple part-time jobs to help pay for room and board when I could have gone to state on a full ride. I didn't care, I just wanted Gonzaga.

    GU is one of my true loves
    Last edited by rennis; 04-03-2017 at 10:34 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Coach Few
    We are not here as a #%$&%&! Courtesy!!!

  11. #36
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    I became a Zag when I accepted my scholarship to play basketball at Gonzaga. I played in enough games there to have had an infusion of Zag Blood into my soul. Most of you don't know about the 1966-67 Gonzaga team that finished #20 in the AP poll. They never made it to the NCAA Tournament because the tournament was very small in those days. That team was awesome, and Kennedy Pavilion was often packed and big time crazy. I remember the WSU game most of all that year (I was a freshman). The lower level of Kennedy was packed with students and they all had these wooden blocks that they'd pound together in what was the best and loudest cheer ever. I loved how I felt that night as I listened to that sound of wooden blocks beating a pure sound of Zagness! I began to feel like what it meant to be a Zag that night. Even though we didn't have an idea yet what a Zag was. We were still Bulldogs!

    When I was a freshman Billy Suter was my mentor, and he taught me what it meant to be a Zag, and how to be a successfull D-1 player. That guy was was so awesome. Those of you who don't know him have missed one of the great Zags. He infused that Zag spirit into me over the course of that year.

    When I joined the Gonzaga basketball forum, some 15 years ago (it wasn't GUboards at that time), and became a fan, Zag basketball took on a whole new meaning. I was not able to appreciate all the joy of being a fan while growing up because I was a player. I will never forget what it was like to be a player at Gonzaga U. It is deep inside me. I often have had great dreams of still playing there. But for most of my life I have been a Zag fan, and I love it. It is a big part of my life. Being in this community with you on GUboards has really been fun, and have enjoyed this journey with you all. For me it is like being in a family, within a larger community called ZagNation. I'm proud to be a member. So let's celebrate what we've all been dreaming of, A NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP!!!

    Go Zags!!!
    Go Zags!!! The Best Is Yet To Come!!!

  12. #37
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    Elgin Baylor, Seattle U, Seattle U grad, SU drops basketball, I drift, friend a Zag, I get bit, "AND THEN ALONG CAME KARNO"!

    Przemek Karnowski/Gonzaga That's how and why. And why I went from "red shirt" to "zag for life" PDQ.

    Go Zag's! Go Karno! Damn I'm going to miss him!

  13. #38
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    I grew to love Gonzaga basketball as a student there in the late 80s (class of 1990). Our senior year was the year Mark Few mentioned as having just 4 division one wins. But all I remember is that we hung tough with ranked Oregon State and Gary Payton for a half.

    How I first came to hear of Gonzaga is kind of an interesting story:

    In eighth grade Pre-algebra (1982) , I got a new teacher in the middle of the school year. His name was Mr. Baldwin. Mr Baldwin said he had recently graduated from Gonzaga University. He had played basketball there.

    As a basketball fan, I was fascinated with Mr. Baldwin. I got a big smile on my face the day he admonished me to pay attention while simultaneously acknowledging the quality of the sports logo I was drawing in my notebook. Mr. Baldwin took a day off to drive down to Salt Lake City and watch first round tournament games. I made a note to myself that I would need to do that someday.

    I remember my jaw dropping when in the faculty vs 8th grade varsity game, Mr. Baldwin dunked on an alley oop from my soon to be football coach. I lived in Southeast Idaho. Live dunks were rarer than Bigfoot.

    My jaw would drop again sometime a few years later when I realized that when Donnie Baldwin was the starter at Gonzaga, he had a backup named John Stockton.

  14. #39
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    From the first time I saw Reed Schifferman play basketball and saw Sam Cozza play soccer. Poetry.

  15. #40
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    Freshman year watching Goff, Brown, And Dudley. The cool thing about being on campus is many of the players are classmates and that connection extends to my fandom. Never missed a game in person other than my junior year in Florence. From my senior year and our first dance on the big stage to a a national championship run is so surreal. I am more emotional today than any day in my life...what an amazing opportunity Zags!!! Let's do this!!!!
    Go Zags!!!

  16. #41
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    I got to know a couple volunteers at the VA hospital (Lee and Ted) that were huge Gonzaga fans. We would talk about the team about the games and recruits coming in. Lee bought season tickets for the new McCarthey Center but sadly passed away before seeing a game there. It was a very tough time for Ted but thanks to the GUboards I would print out articles of the players and recruits for the team. He couldn’t bring himself to go to any games that first year but the second year asked if I would like to go with him. We’ve been going ever since and both of us appreciate all the information we get at this site. Thanks to all who contribute. GO ZAGS.

  17. #42
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    Always enjoyed basketball. Kid of the late 80's/early 90's so I grew up on Duke, UNC, etc on ESPN. Playing pickup games we all took on 'personas' of the Dukies, UNLV, Fab5, etc.

    Gonzaga didn't happen for me (we couldn't swing it financially) so I followed other family to state schools. Family played for GU in eras long ago, so there has always been some affinity (plus, while I wasn't born here, I grew up in the PNW you root for the local guys). I can't really pinpoint it, but at some point I started watching each game (when available in the early days post '99). I remember watching some stream from the Great Alaskan Shootout. I am trying to think the last time I actually missed a game (some were recorded and watched later).

    This place is generally really good. Some curmudgeons, but that's what makes it fun. Lots of basketball knowledge. It's far more organized and centralized than other MBB fourms I might visit. Thanks to S-R for hosting.

  18. #43
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    99 and the Stanford game. I went to Cal so rooted vehemently against Stanford, then fell in love with the little west coast team that could and 'the slipper still fits!' against Florida and almost UConn. I've always coached at smaller clubs and schools looking to grow from pretty much nothing to something and beat the big boys, or at least compete with them, and Few's ability to maintain the trajectory and not flame out, and also to remain and see that he could do it there his way and succeed and maintain his lifestyle, I mean, he's the MAN to me for that. I try to do that at my own level and he's given a lot of us even more reason to believe we can

  19. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChicagoZag View Post
    I grew to love Gonzaga basketball as a student there in the late 80s (class of 1990). Our senior year was the year Mark Few mentioned as having just 4 division one wins. But all I remember is that we hung tough with ranked Oregon State and Gary Payton for a half.

    How I first came to hear of Gonzaga is kind of an interesting story:

    In eighth grade Pre-algebra (1982) , I got a new teacher in the middle of the school year. His name was Mr. Baldwin. Mr Baldwin said he had recently graduated from Gonzaga University. He had played basketball there.

    As a basketball fan, I was fascinated with Mr. Baldwin. I got a big smile on my face the day he admonished me to pay attention while simultaneously acknowledging the quality of the sports logo I was drawing in my notebook. Mr. Baldwin took a day off to drive down to Salt Lake City and watch first round tournament games. I made a note to myself that I would need to do that someday.

    I remember my jaw dropping when in the faculty vs 8th grade varsity game, Mr. Baldwin dunked on an alley oop from my soon to be football coach. I lived in Southeast Idaho. Live dunks were rarer than Bigfoot.

    My jaw would drop again sometime a few years later when I realized that when Donnie Baldwin was the starter at Gonzaga, he had a backup named John Stockton.
    Love this!
    Your children have been placed in the custody of...Carl's Jr.

  20. #45
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    First memory is John Rillie going off in the conference tourney in '95. Then I kind of forgot about the Zags until December '97. I had no real rooting interest in the NW at the time, but I went to the Huskies free exhibition game v a touring eastern Euro team and saw a fr pg for the Huskies named Dan Dickau.

    He played just like any of the great Philly Big Five pg's I'd grown up watching in the 60's and early 70's when Villanova, Penn, LaSalle, St Joe's and Temple were all players on the national landscape. The next day, I went out and bought a general admission season ticket for the princely sum of $97. In December of that year, GU came to town. Santangelo, Frahm were sophs. Bakari Hendrix a sr, Hall a jr, Calvary a fr. They lost to that year's sweet 16 Huskies something like 88-82, but I became a fan that night.

    When I heard he was transferring to GU, I was elated, because I knew what he could do when freed up in GU's system.

  21. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reborn View Post
    I became a Zag when I accepted my scholarship to play basketball at Gonzaga. I played in enough games there to have had an infusion of Zag Blood into my soul. Most of you don't know about the 1966-67 Gonzaga team that finished #20 in the AP poll. They never made it to the NCAA Tournament because the tournament was very small in those days. That team was awesome, and Kennedy Pavilion was often packed and big time crazy. I remember the WSU game most of all that year (I was a freshman). The lower level of Kennedy was packed with students and they all had these wooden blocks that they'd pound together in what was the best and loudest cheer ever. I loved how I felt that night as I listened to that sound of wooden blocks beating a pure sound of Zagness! I began to feel like what it meant to be a Zag that night. Even though we didn't have an idea yet what a Zag was. We were still Bulldogs!

    When I was a freshman Billy Suter was my mentor, and he taught me what it meant to be a Zag, and how to be a successfull D-1 player. That guy was was so awesome. Those of you who don't know him have missed one of the great Zags. He infused that Zag spirit into me over the course of that year.

    When I joined the Gonzaga basketball forum, some 15 years ago (it wasn't GUboards at that time), and became a fan, Zag basketball took on a whole new meaning. I was not able to appreciate all the joy of being a fan while growing up because I was a player. I will never forget what it was like to be a player at Gonzaga U. It is deep inside me. I often have had great dreams of still playing there. But for most of my life I have been a Zag fan, and I love it. It is a big part of my life. Being in this community with you on GUboards has really been fun, and have enjoyed this journey with you all. For me it is like being in a family, within a larger community called ZagNation. I'm proud to be a member. So let's celebrate what we've all been dreaming of, A NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP!!!

    Go Zags!!!
    Thanks for the history lesson. I had no idea about the 66-67 team being ranked. Great post.

  22. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by maynard g krebs View Post
    First memory is John Rillie going off in the conference tourney in '95. Then I kind of forgot about the Zags until December '97. I had no real rooting interest in the NW at the time, but I went to the Huskies free exhibition game v a touring eastern Euro team and saw a fr pg for the Huskies named Dan Dickau.

    He played just like any of the great Philly Big Five pg's I'd grown up watching in the 60's and early 70's when Villanova, Penn, LaSalle, St Joe's and Temple were all players on the national landscape. The next day, I went out and bought a general admission season ticket for the princely sum of $97. In December of that year, GU came to town. Santangelo, Frahm were sophs. Bakari Hendrix a sr, Hall a jr, Calvary a fr. They lost to that year's sweet 16 Huskies something like 88-82, but I became a fan that night.

    When I heard he was transferring to GU, I was elated, because I knew what he could do when freed up in GU's system.
    DD=Steve Courtin?

  23. #48
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    My father went to GU on a basketball scholarship in 1955 out of the Air Force. He was in a bad car accident the summer before and would never play ball again, but Hank Anderson honored his scholarship and took him on as an assistant, his only one back then. My dad got to travel with the team and got an engineering degree. When I was young I remember GU Priests stopping by the house when they were in the area and meeting former players and professors. My dad was forever grateful to GU and Hank Anderson for what they did for him. He stayed on after graduating to help Hank and that's when he met Frank Burgess, who he would stay in contact with the rest of his life. Meeting Frank at the WCC tourney at USD in 2008 with my dad was a thrill of a lifetime after hearing all the stories about him. Frank contacted me after my dad passed, which I'll never forget. Frank passed not too long after my dad, but my photo with him still hangs proudly on my wall. We considered GU when I went to college but I had a few golf scholarship offers in warmer areas, we're in San Diego, and GU didn't have golf scholarships back then (or so we were told), so we decided it didn't make sense for me to go there for golf.

    A lot of people in my community think I went to Gonzaga (I own and wear at least 10 Zags shirts and fly a Zags flag on my house), I tell them I didn't if they ask, and many people in my area that send their child to Gonzaga contact me to let me know. I almost sent a son to Gonzaga last year, but he had the opportunity to go to Cal so he took it. My son is still a Zags basketball fan first and while disappointed he wasn't able to root for Jordan Matthews as a Golden Bear this season he was happy the Zags got him.

    My dad gave me a Zags banner in 2006, which I hung on the door of my family room and we had the ritual of patting the banner before every game. We still pat the banner before every game and one extra time for my dad.

    This is how I came to be a Zags fan for life.

    Go Zags!!!
    It's not the size of the Bulldog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the Bulldog!

    GO ZAGS!!!

  24. #49
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    Listening to the games on the radio with my dad and little brother, then attending games at any cost, before becoming now a long time season ticket holder. It's incredible what this program has become, and where it is still going. Go Zags!

  25. #50
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    Started when I was in college in watching & rooting for the underdog '99 team and as the years went on I got more and more enthusiastic about them. I'd always been someone that picked an underdog in a sports video game and built them up into a dynasty, so it was natural to see the same process happening with the Zags over the years.

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