This post is sponsored by EA Sports NCAA Football 2011.
I didn't grow up a USF fan. Heck, I didn't even know USF existed until I visited the campus for a competition in the 5th grade. Growing up in the metropolis that is Titusville, Florida, you were basically forced to pick one of the Big 3 schools and that was that. I went with the Gators (yep I'm sorry) for the fact that my grandfather graduated there, and because I really had no other choice because that's all my family watched on Saturday afternoons during the fall.
I did start to follow USF though once I did visit the campus, and in particular when I was able to go inside the Sun Dome. I walked on the court and started to think that this was the big time. The relatively new NCAA banners fluttering up in the rafters showed me that this was a BIG TIME university and that they were ready to make the next jump. The only thing that bothered me was why they had a goat for a logo when USF was the Bulls. Still, it did put USF in as my 2nd favorite team, and whenever the Bulls popped up for a C-USA basketball battle on ESPN2, I would stop what I was doing and watch the rest of the game. It also helped that the jerseys during the Seth era were awesome.
The part that slowly moved the Bulls over the Gators in my mind was the recruitment of three players from my high school, Chris McBee, CJ Lewis, and in particular, Derrick Sarosi. To see three guys get picked up by Coach Leavitt makes you want to root for them, and the fact that all three are great guys helped out a ton. I wanted them to succeed because I had an emotional investment playing with them.
My fandom was signed, sealed and delivered after being accepted into the university, and I can still remember my first game in 2003 against Nicholls State. Coming down the stand to find that there were probably 10K fans for the opener at Raymond James that year. I told my roommate next to me that its great that we are on the ground floor on this, and he looked at me like I was an idiot. After the 2003 Louisville Double OT thriller, I told him the exact same thing as we were rushing the field and he started laughing. I think I made the right decision all along.
So the question of the day is "Where did your Fandom come from?"
Voodoo will be back tomorrow with Part 2 of our 6 part series.