Below is something I wrote in January of 2009. 1979 was quite a year for the Indiana State Sycamores and for the city of Terre Haute.
The above picture is of the the arena at Indiana State University and taken during the glory days of Larry Bird and the Sycamores.
Just some thoughts:
To win the game is greater…
But to love the game is the greatest of all…
Plaque in the lobby of the Palestra Basketball arena in Philadelphia
Being from Indiana I have been a witness to and have heard many stories over the years that illustrated how much people in Indiana have a love and a passion for the game of basketball. I was told a story I had never heard before.
In 1978 Indiana State University was hosting Wichita State, and the game was the first game to be nationally televised featuring the legendary Larry Bird. Al McGuire and his cohorts would be broad-casting the game on a prime time major TV network. A few hours before game time, a major snow storm set in over Terre Haute, Indiana, where the game was to be played. Snow began to accumulate on the roof of the ISU arena, and the roof began to leak down on the playing floor. Big problem!
If this snow continued and the roof kept leaking, it could hamper the playing of the game. A couple hours before tip-off, the problem was announced over the arena’s loudspeakers. Another announcement followed, “At this time, we are asking for volunteers to go to the roof of the arena and help with the snow removal.” Yes, you heard me, “Go to the roof and help with the snow removal.” Hey, folks, it isn’t 70 degrees outside. Have you ever been on top of a tall building with the wind blowing and a shovel in hand throwing snow off the roof? It is the dead of winter and they are asking for volunteers to do that. Are they nuts?
The snow was removed, the storm lessened and the ball was in the air at the scheduled tip-off time. Folks in Indiana like their basketball, and they will go to great lengths to see that it is played.
“I had heard folks in Indiana loved basketball but this is truly amazing. Maybe even crazy.” The words of Al McGuire.
The picture below is of the Palestra in Philadelphia another great place to see basketball.
“If all you care about is winning, then you aren’t really a fan.”
January 2, 2009