Welcome to the refreshed Brew Hoop! To celebrate the new look and feel of our sports communities, we’re sharing stories of how and why we became fans of our favorite teams. If you’d like to share your story, head over to the FanPosts to write your own post. Each FanPost will be entered into a drawing to win a $500 Fanatics gift card [contest rules]. We’re collecting all of the stories here [https://www.sbnation.com/why-we-are-fans] and featuring the best ones across our network as well. Come Fan With Us!
It was a common refrain in my household. "Well that's a travel,” my pops would say, referring to whatever feat of athleticism the NBA player onscreen just accomplished. And for many years, I went right alongside him. I prayed at the altar of Bo Ryan's Wisconsin swing offense, believing his deliberately paced game was the bastion of basketball beauty. What could be more intriguing than putting guards in the post? I mean, who else did that, it had to create a mismatch! All of this is a long-winded way of saying I grew up slightly sidestep of the NBA.
I always paid attention to Milwaukee, particularly during that 2001 run. I was distraught when Big Dog missed that bunny that could've beat Philadelphia. I lost it when the Bucks traded Ray Allen, someone of whom I'd creepily collected over 100 basketball cards of, most of which I'm guessing are worth more as kindling than as assets today. I couldn't believe the paper (I promise I'm not 84, I just only had dial-up) when Milwaukee jumped to the number one spot to snag Bogut. So throughout it all the Bucks were there, they just weren't always RIGHT THERE for me growing up. The NBA playoffs were always a must watch, but this hasn't exactly been the best stretch of Bucks basketball history to have your fandom burgeoned by a robust playoff run.
A lot of that changed with Fear The Deer. Something about that team (probably that they were winning) roped me in. I remember finally having cable to watch the games, and pouring over the local papers whenever they wrote columns about the Bucks surprising climb to the playoffs. Finally, something was happening to this moribund franchise, and dammit I wasn't gonna let some ingrained highlight truther in me prevent me from enjoying the ride.
When I got to college, my fandom coincided with an uptick in my basketball media consumption (thanks high-speed internet!), and the proliferation of interesting voices out there helped me gain a far greater appreciation of the game than I had before. I’d started watching most nights, and that fandom grew to the point that on the day of the Brandon Knight trade and Game Six against Chicago, I couldn't even work I was so hype. When Knight got traded, I literally shut my office door and started calling people in my phone that didn't even care about the Bucks just to tell them what happened. I think there's a camaraderie that comes along with suffering, and the small victories are even more joyous in those moments. I was also one of those people adamant about the arena, watching Joint Finance Committee hearings for the first (and hopefully last) time in my life. Even then though, when I told people my favorite team was the Bucks I'd get a drunken, guttural response: “The Bucks!” Yes, the Bucks, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Bucks fandom is incredibly welcoming, and even though my history may not be as intriguing as many on staff, or as deep-seeded as some of our commenters, I feel fortunate to be following the wacky trajectory of this basketball club.
Have a distinct path into Bucks fandom? Let us know in the comments below, or better yet, write a FanPost to enter for a chance to win some sweet, sweet cash!
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