The first game of the season is tomorrow and, after another summer of our discontent, college basketball is finally back. I'm going to assume for a moment that if you are reading this site, you are a Xavier fan and that is the crux of this article.
Full disclosure: I didn't go to Xavier. My cheering interests generally lie with my beloved Cleveland up here on the shores of Lake Erie. When I was born, though, my dad put a basketball in my crib and from my very earliest memories, I've loved the game. That love of the game, combined with an only middling aptitude for playing it, took me to the NAIA. (Incidentally, former Xavier player Adrion Graves and I played for the same school, albeit at different times and with different levels of success). Despite never playing for Xavier I remained a fan of the Musketeers and traveled to games as often as I could.
My fandom, and that of fellow Banners writers Joel and Bryan D, comes from our father, who was a huge fan of Pete Gillen. When Pete and the D family both landed in and around Cincinnati, our allegiance was forever sealed to Xavier. I grew up pretending to Gary Lumpkin while Joel was my sweet shooting Lenny Brown. As we traveled south to pursue our athletic careers, Xavier basketball created some great memories for us, including one memorable night spent surrounded by friends in a dorm lobby that at first hounded us over the pronunciation of our favorite team and then slowly swung to our side as we knocked off Texas. I still don't want to talk about the Duke game.
After leaving college Joel and I corresponded at length about the Musketeers during the season. That led to a site where we simply transposed our emails for the world to see, which eventually led to Banners on the Parkway. Bryan was a natural addition to our team, and West Coast D'Artagnan has come on board this season. I'll let them tell their own stories.
What I'm curious about as we wait for the tip of this season is how everyone else came to cheer for a small school in a flyover state. Whether alumni, current students, or just aficionados of the game who recognize a good thing when you see it, I'd like to hear what brought you here. So drop a line in the comments and let us know how you ended up cheering for the kings of the Queen City.