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Opening Arguments

Nobody likes us!

Though I lived only eight years in "The Region," I became very familiar with the kind of "Mom always liked you best" paranoia prevalent in northwest Indiana. Tucked away in a corner of the state, just around Lake Michigan from those mountains of conceit Illinois and Michigan, it was easy to think the rest of Indiana didn't know much or care about us, indeed that we'd get screwed every time we dealt with the downstaters. I knew a lot of people only had never been to Indianapolis and were only vaguely aware of the state capital.

Guess that's feeling is still growing strong. Here's a sports columnist for the Post-Tribune, whining about the All Century boys basketball team picked by an Associated Press "panel of experts" to celebrate the state basketball tourney's 100th anniversary:

 That leads to my Region Meathead issue: only one NWI player.

It's a no-brainer that 1991 Roosevelt graduate and Mr. Basketball Glenn Robinson made it.

[. . .]

There are plenty of slam dunks -- Steve Alford, Damon Bailey, John Wooden, Kent Benson, George McGinnis, Clyde Lovellette, Rick Mount, Scott Skiles and Oscar Robertson. But what about one of the players Robertson's Crispus Attucks team faced in 1955 when he won his first state title?

That was Roosevelt and future Purdue standout ... Wilson Eison. Future NBA standout Dick Barnett was also on that team, but Eison was a monster in the tournament -- 31 points against Attucks and a state-record 97 points in his final three games.

Want more region snubs? How about Jim Bradley, who was just elected into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame after leading East Chicago Roosevelt to an undefeated season in 1970. He only averaged 20 points and 15 rebounds that season.

And no one from the 1971 undefeated East Chicago Washington squad? Junior Bridgeman and Pete Trgovich were both pretty darn good.

He concludes with: "Players aside, my biggest problem is not having anyone even close to the region on the panel. It enhances the perception that they care less about us downstate, let alone dislike us." We didn't make the panel, so naturally those other crumbs who were on it picked people from their part of the state!

See what I mean? And such an unattractive attitude is even harder to accept when it's just plain wrong. If I've learned anything in the last 20 years, it's that those downstate jerks reserve most of their scorn for northeast Indiana.

Posted in: Hoosier lore, Sports