During these two decades plus since matriculating from Indiana University, I’ve been blessed to routinely visit my alma mater. Football and basketball games have joined scores of other campus events. In recent times, it has been great fun to watch as we climb back to the top of the college basketball heap. The atmosphere in the Fieldhouse has been electric all season. The athletes are giving it all – and so are the fans. My own young boys are caught up in the excitement. When we’re not in Bloomington for the contests, we superstitiously light an IU candle and watch the games together at home.
Like every stereotypical “dad,” I regale them with tales of the good-old-days. “When I was on campus,” I’d boast, “We expected to win every game.” In fact, it is true. For a decade, the Indiana college basketball program dominated. It was a good time to be on campus. And like today, it felt good to be a Hoosier.
On my way to a game with buddy from undergrad, I was transported to the early 1980s. We talked about the same things. We told the same jokes. We experienced the same connection. Even at the game, we watched the students, alumni and athletes playing their roles perfectly. The drama of sport was in full display, only something was different. From my seats to my slacks – even in the fact that I’d bought popcorn and drinks without thinking for a moment about how much it would cost and did I have enough money to cover it – somewhere along the line I’ve changed roles. Even as the place makes me feel young again, it is clear that I’m not a kid any more. I’m really more in the dad category these days. And, I kind of like it.