I'm not sure when my Pacers' fanhood started. I was eight years old when we lost in the Conference Finals to the Knicks, and I remember that series well.
Regardless of when it began that series in 94 is when I fell in love. The next Christmas I got my first jersey. Number 31 in blue about 34 sizes too big.
So I'll just say I became a true Pacers fan in 1994. From 1994 to 2006 I watched the Pacers in the playoffs every year but one, and the Conference Finals 6 times.
I was spoiled and I never knew it.
I was disappointed every year that we came up short of a title (rightfully so) but never truly appreciated the beauty of watching your team battle deep into the playoffs.
Because of that success I am restless now. I have watched the 2010 playoffs unfold, and have thoroughly enjoyed it. I just can't help but thinking about how great it would be to see the blue and gold out there each night going for the title.
Being so far away from that level makes it even more difficult to watch these good teams go to work. I'm just begging for something, anything to happen that will give me hope we will some day be back.
I can't stop thinking about trade scenarios, cap room and draft picks. I try to talk myself into believing that Eric Bledsoe will be Russell Westbrook and that something is going to click in Brandon Rush's head this year and he will come alive.
I will write soon about what needs to happen for the Pacers to get better, but for now I'm going to try to enjoy the rest of these playoffs. And fans of the remaining teams: enjoy this while it lasts.
Hopefully some day soon I can put on my #31 (I'm 6' 175 and it still fits. seriously) and get jacked up for a big playoff game.
Until then I'll just be waiting for something to happen.