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Thread: How you became a Zag fan

  1. #1
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    Default How you became a Zag fan

    There was an amazing thread that I'm unable to find where people told their Zag "fan story". If anyone can find it, it would seem like a great one to bump today to let newer board members add their stories.

  2. #2
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    My roommate at DeSmet Hall was a player during our freshman year in the Class of 61...

  3. #3
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    I started working at GU during the 1998-99 season. For something to do after work, I would go watch games in the old Kennel when you could just walk up, show your ID and go sit anywhere in the bleachers. Because of me, this magical run 19 years ago started

  4. #4
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    Married into it. Father in law played for gu. Wife and sister in law are both alumni. Hence the username since they are my adopted school

  5. #5

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    Dad took me to Scottsdale to watch spring training in 1999.. being the big basketball fans we were he asked 11 yr old me if I wanted to go to the west regionals which just so happened to be in Phoenix at the same time. Iowa state, Florida, Uconn and some team named Gonzaga was playing. Seeing the way Hall, Santangelo, Fraham , Calvary and Eaton competed against Florida, and watching Casey too in the buzzer beater then the next sat, give eventual national champs Uconn all they could handle, we were hooked. Im so grateful for the Zags and how much closer it has brought my dad and I. We were always close but the zags have made us best friends. All started in Phoenix, let's win this thing in Phoenix

  6. #6
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    my dad played at Gonzaga as a point guard in late 60's (reborn)!!! My mom also attended Gonzaga and my mom and dad met at Gonzaga and for me the rest is history lol. Obviously as a kid growing up, the John Stockton Olympic trials were a real neat moment in our household because of the connection of my mom and dad to Gonzaga and Stockton. Then of course in high school obviously the career of Stockton for the Utah Jazz brought attention to Gonzaga on a SMALL level. I remember when I was in college at Oklahoma State University Gonzaga made the NCAA tourney in 1995 and I was PROUD. Then in 1997/1998 season I remember watching espn sportscenter during thanksgiving weekend and seeing that Gonzaga beat Mississippi State (I believe it was the following year after Mississippi State had made the final 4) and Clemson in the Great Alaska Shootout. I COULDNT BELIEVE IT. I WAS SO PROUD. I WAS BRAGGING BIG TIME THAT WEEKEND. I remember also seeing on ESPN sportscenter later that season Gonzaga BARELY lost to Michigan State that season. Then I remember watching a Gonzaga game on television that season, it was a conference game and I COULD NOT BELIEVE HOW GOOD GONZAGA LOOKED. They had a GREAT post player named Bakari Hendrix, they had this freaky athletic kid in the low post named Casey Calvary who was a freshman but I remember Calvary blocking a shot against the wall at what was basically a high school gym at the old Kennel. The television announcer I remember made some reference to the fact that for a freshman Calvary was setting some kind of record for blocked shots by a freshman (or something like that). I couldn't believe how athletic and GOOD Gonzaga looked on television. I remember for the rest of that season telling all my friends = "HEY WATCH OUT FOR GONZAGA, THEY ARE REALLY GOOD AND COULD SURPRISE SOME TEAMS THIS SEASON." Well as we all know we DID NOT make the NCAA Tournament that season and that was a let down and I felt kind of disappointed because I couldn't tell my friends "I told you so" if Gonzaga made noise in March Madness. But then next season was the magical season. so from just a fan standpoint I would have to say the Great Alaskan Shootout in November of 1997 was the beginning for me

  7. #7
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    I first heard of Gonzaga in the 80s when I saw a highlight of Stockton on Sportscenter when I was in the AF and living in Great Falls, MT. I didn't really hear from them much until they started showing the WCC finals on ESPN in the early or mid 90s. I followed the 95 team with Rillie into the NCAA tournament. The 99 run made me a Big fan because it's always fun to root for an underdog. I was living in SW Washington at the time and I remembered Richie Frahm as a local Battle Ground Little league baseball All Star player from a few years earlier. Santangelo was from Portland so there was another local underdog to root for. I have followed them ever since as other SW Wash/Portland players like Gourde, Dickau, Raivio, Hart, Williams-Goss, etc. joined their ranks. Rem Story: I was screaming at a referee at a WA playoff game when Rem's dad Bill was coaching for Toledo HS. That was a few years before Rem was born. I was rooting for the other team, but Bakamus probably thought I was NUTs! I have to admit I was a bit nuts that day.

    It's always a joy to follow the Zags and their men of high character.

  8. #8
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    Ronny Turiaf and his big fro got me loving a Gonzaga.

    Became diehard in 2007 with the Raivio led team after Heyvelt and Theo got suspended. (That's not whybi became diehard though haha, that was still Ronnys doing. His carachter love for life and coming back to senior night with Michaelson was priceless.

    I was a diehard as of 2007 because that's when I found out Gonzaga had games on ROOT via Directv. I started watching everything. 2008-09 was such a joy and the shot by Meech!

    Really made Gonzaga my #1 priority over NFL when Steven Gray came along. He gave me so much pride in this team. Marquise Carter didn't hurt either in 2011. Winning WCC after being down 3 games and winning the conference tourney and beating St. John's will always be near and dear to my heart... Rob Sacre and his gleeful personality and talking to Reggie Miller and joking before the 2012 team was superb and brilliant.

    I love Sam Dowers shot from January 29, 2014 @SCU. Stocktons spin in later that year in conference tourney and Drainos block on MacArthur was SWEET!

    So many many many many more memories but those I hold so close because our backs were to the wall and we had to do something. Last year was awesome too.

    But it all started with Turiaf and I've not looked back since. Every time my favorite player leaves I can instantly get a new favorite on the current squad because this team is a family. A band of brothers that will never quit.

    Go damn zags!
    21 Straight Big Dances

    11 Straight Round of 32s

    10 Sweet Sixteens (5 Straight)

    4 Elite Eights

    2017 FINAL FOUR

    2 Winningest Players in college basketball history (Karnowski 137, Perkins 134)

    The Best Point Guard to ever play the game: John Stockton, most assists, most steals.

  9. #9
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    My true story is not as heartwarming as some, but that does not mean I am not a life-long Bulldog Basketball fan. The Lovely Mrs. '75 and I met early in our freshmen year at GU (fall of 1971). Fast forward a few weeks and we wanted somewhere to be alone other than Mission Park, which was getting pretty cold at night. And since each of us had a roommate and since our coed dorm Catherine-Monica was at that time under the very, very watchful eye of the Dorm Mother - Mrs. Hutton, we needed a better place to make out. And so we suddenly discovered on a very cold evening in late October or early November of 1971 that we could go to Kennedy Pavilion while the basketball team was playing and due to the attendance of 750 people (on a good night) there was virtually nobody on the upper level. And so I was introduced to my two favorite lifetime hobbies, Gonzaga basketball and sex, right there in the darkened upper levels of the GU arena.

    Go Bulldogs!
    Do not go gentle into that good night,
    Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

  10. #10
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    My dad took me to my first Gonzaga game sometime in the mid-90's against LMU. I asked him if they would score 100 and he laughed and said probably not. They did and I've been a fan ever since.

  11. #11
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    Workmate was a GU Alum. He drove staff crazy in 1986 with how great Gonzaga was at basketball. We used to roll our eyes. He invited me to some games and then the Calvary came to town with the others who made that Elite 8 in the late 90's. The pride of Spokane was bolstered greatly by that beautiful wild run and I was smitten with Gonzaga Basketball. As I learned who Mark Few really was and admired him so much as time went on I just became devout in my fandom. Now I have been the guy that makes people roll their eyes with my enthusiasm and belief in this program. I too have made converts to Zagnation and am so excited to see this program become a powerhouse. This year solidifies my belief in MF and devotion to the program. My wife jokes about how much I know about each kid that has played over the years. That is because of this great GU Board and the great folks in it. The program makes Spokane a better place to live for all.
    To Fish & Game: Keep streams stocked well for Mr. Few!

  12. #12
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    It was 1999. I was watching the tournament on television in Austin, Texas and had been following the Gonzaga story. Watched the game and noticed that Mark Few was the assistant and in one of the crowd shots was his Mom and Dad (Norm and Barbara). I called my Uncle after the game and told him that I had seen Norm and Barbara at the basketball game...that following Sunday on his way out of Church my Uncle mentioned to Barbara that I had seen them at the game. Barbara was mad at me for not coming over to say hello not realizing that I had just seen them on television. Later that summer on one of my return trips to Oregon my Uncle and I went by their house to say hello and while we were visiting we talked about Gonzaga and the game, Norm gets up goes upstairs and comes down with a Gonzaga t-shirt and gives it to me. I have been a Gonzaga fan ever since and still have that t-shirt (never worn as it didn't fit then, now it does but it is one of my Gonzaga keepsakes). Anyway, all of my family in Creswell has passed on but I still keep in touch with Mark's mom and dad. On a side note, Norm had a bit of an accident earlier this year and broke his ankle so in Las Vegas at the tournament he sat with Barbara up in the handicap section as he was using a walker to get in and around. Keep his folks in your thoughts and prayers as Norm will be undergoing knee replacement surgery just after Easter. I believe he is 87 years old now so that will be quite a stressful time for him and the family.

  13. #13
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    I applied to Gonzaga my senior year. It was spring of 99. I watched that first run as an incoming student and haven't looked back since.
    Last edited by MTZag03; 04-03-2017 at 05:57 AM. Reason: Phone spelling errors

  14. #14
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    Pretty simple for me: I matriculated at GU in Sept of 72. Lived in DeSmet 3 of 4 years, lived next door to Willie Moss my junior year...never a dull moment. Willie was one of the nicest men you'd ever meet. Last two years, law students took over bottom two floors, undergrads top two. It was a match made in hell. Never could figure out how law students had to live in a dormitory...we're talking about 23-25 year old men. Hell, by the time I hit my 24th birthday, I had been a platoon leader for 3 platoons in Germany (btw, successful with all 3...lol). Shortly after my 25th birthday, I was the XO for a cobbled together 40 man detachment up in Northern Germany, 400 miles from home station, and we were the only Americans for 200 miles. Best summer of my life.

    I only bring that up in comparison to the insufferable nature of most of those law students. During one of several meetings to address "concerns" regarding our rowdiness, Schiff wasn't having any of it, and had several quips that unfortunately I can't recall 40+ years later.

    It took the Zags run in '99 to bring me back. After returning from Germany, I was wrapped up in UTEP hoops from 82-87, then came kids and the move to North Texas in '96. First road trip was the Wyoming game in Albuquerque, would set the stage for future trips. My oldest son was in middle school in '02, last trip to Nashville was a dream for me: both sons (28 & 15) and grandson (6) made the trip. As most of you know, my grandson (now known as Big D on these boards) was part of the halftime entertainment at Bridgestone Arena...a "slam dunk" competition.

    These trips would not have occurred without Zag basketball. I'm with Few: Gonzaga basketball is a journey, not a destination. I hope we never fall into the trap of fan bases such as Duke, Kentucky, or other "blue bloods", where the season is a failure if you don't win the title, let alone sending death threats to referees when you lose.

    O/T, I thought I handled my first meeting with a referee quite well. It was in Albuquerque, at the Marriott. We always made the trip when UTEP played at the Pit. During our second trip, I was at the bar with friends when I was introduced to Fred Carbone, a WAC referee back then. I smiled, shook his hand, and replied, "Oh I remember you! You cost us that game against San Diego St. when you made that BS call in the last minute!"

    The next year, in the aftermath of the "Soup Campbell/Paper Cup" game, Fred was there with his wife...the wives/GFs had their own conversations going, we were talking hoops. He said, "Jimmy Clark thinks you're a legend. I told him about our meeting last year. He thought it was awesome, somebody vividly remembering a call from a couple of years ago." Jimmy was the official that gave "Soup" a do-over when a coke cup was thrown onto the court as the FT was being shot. Both Jimmy and Fred were the kind of referees you wanted to see on the road, and I've always appreciated that. Too bad they aren't available tonight.

  15. #15
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    1995, my wife was at GU Law School and my co-worker Dave Tomson at CMHC was the scorekeeper for the Zags (he also designed the dugouts for the new baseball field). He kept talking about John Rillie and how the Zags had a chance to go to the NCAA tournament for the first time. He was so excited. They lost to Joe Smith and Maryland, but I started going to the games after that.

    For the last 20 years I take very first Thursday and Friday of the tournament off work (it used to cost $120 to get the other 3 stations on cable). 16 games on Thursday, 16 games on Friday, 8 on Saturday, 8 on Sunday. The best 4 days of the year, especially when the Zags survive and advance. This year was sooooo much better.

  16. #16
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    My job took the wife and I to Spokane in July 1999. Grew up in the Southeast. Lifelong sports fan. Never heard of Gonzaga. Attended a continuing education dinner and after the drug rep gave his pitch, Leon Rice gave a speech. I was not sure who Coach Rice was or why he was speaking at a drug rep dinner, but he gave a great talk about Gonzaga basketball. We've been following the Zags ever since and four job transfers and two kids later we are family of die hard Zag fans and travel to see them every chance we get. We are so proud of Coach Few and the team! Wife cried after the South Carolina game.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  17. #17
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    My dad took me to a game to see Burgess play. I was around 9 years old and don't remember much, but I have been a fan since.
    My dad wasn't really a basketball fan, but was impressed by the Gonzaga star.
    “People have an uncanny ability to make me think I am smarter than I really am. Human Beings bring me back to reality.” S.T.

  18. #18
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    Started at Gonzaga in 1992 living in C/M. Went to just about every home game while I was there and also followed some road games on this strange new thing called Prodigy.

  19. #19
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    Dad graduated from Zagville and then graduated from law school at Zagville

    Since then 6 of his 8 kids have attended undergrad school participating in crew, softball, rugby, cross country and one was SPIKE

    One sibling also went on to law school at Zagville

    I now have a neice who will be attending in the fall for Masters program in Psychology

    Hooked when I was able to walk up and watch J Stockton play......die hard since

    We even took an all family to Orlando to celebrate mom and dads 50th anniversary
    Basketball...The Toy Department of Life

    Don't mess wth happy...Coach Few

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevet75 View Post
    My dad took me to a game to see Burgess play. I was around 9 years old and don't remember much, but I have been a fan since.
    My dad wasn't really a basketball fan, but was impressed by the Gonzaga star.
    wow Dad fills me full of Burgess stories to this day..........
    Basketball...The Toy Department of Life

    Don't mess wth happy...Coach Few

  21. #21
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    My late aunt, an old maid nurse in Spokane was a huge fan in the 60's & 70's. After moving to Spokane in 1982, my first game at the Kennel I was actually rooting for Idaho. Shortly after, I became a fan following them in the Spokesman Review
    & attending games occasionally. Have attended every WCC tournament since 2003 & first & second weekends of NCAA's 7 or 8 times. Picked up the last season ticket offer folder at a game at the old Kennel & ordered tix to the Mac the next day. Best thing I have ever done. Sure makes Spokane winters more bearable ! Am writing this from my hotel room in Phoenix & can't wait for tonight ! Granddaughter, a sophomore at GU is here & my daughter flew in yesterday to share in this epic event.

  22. #22
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    Mom taught there... I went there... always enjoyed the games. Sorry... kind of a boring story.
    "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

  23. #23

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    I became a fan during "the runner" game. And I've cheered for them ever since. It wasn't until the 2006 UCLA game that I knew how much I loved the Gonzaga program because that game broke my heart into a million pieces.

    Michigan basketball was awful for so long so I adopted Gonzaga. I'll be cheering for both teams til my dying day.

  24. #24
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    Matt Santangelo played point guard just like my son. The rest is history. One shining moment.

  25. #25
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    Can't remember when I wasn't a zag fan. My dad spent time with me if I when running with him, skiing with him, or watching zag games with him. I was his sidekick. Started watching games when I was 9. At age 26, I was an ad exec for KHQ when Lon Lee first agreed to broadcast a number of games in 2001 on both KHQ and PAX tv. I sold the first "Gonzaga Advertising package" to the Swinging Doors Tavern.

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