NWI Parent

A Brief History of the Place I Now Call Home

March 17th, 2010 - By Jamie Bissot

It occurred to me that if I was going to do this “new resident to the State of Indiana” thing right, I needed to have a basic understanding of this place I now find myself calling “home”.  I got from the get go that I lived in a highly agricultural area – but I had a feeling there was so much more lurking beneath the surface.

Northwest Indiana

I realized, I had a few questions.  Like, what exactly is a “Hoosier”?  and  “Gee, Basketball is like all the rage here, huh?”  I felt I really needed to dig deep and know what all this meant.

Let’s start with Hoosier.

To say that I was literally clueless about this is an understatement.  I had a vague understanding that it had something to do with Nick Nolte and a basketball movie, but was quickly informed (by my lovingly patient husband) that I was indeed clueless (and it was Gene Hackman).  So, I went to the internet (isn’t that why God invented Google?)

Turns out – by just researching this one term, I became quite familiar with Indiana history and found an awesome website – The Indiana Historical Society, as well as the Indiana Historical Bureau on IN.gov.  Want to beef up on your state history, start there.

So, back to the “Hoosier” – what is it? I expected to find a simple answer.  I didn’t.  But I did find many great possible explanations – like these from the Indiana Historical Bureau.  Nothing short of fascinating.

Now on to basketball.  I like basketball, I do.  In fact, if I had to pick a favorite sport – well, it would be very high on the list.  But you see, I hail from the state of Alabama and my alma mater is  The University of Alabama.  So, we kind of eat, sleep and drink football.  From an early age you learn all about National Championships, Bear Bryant and Big Al.  Basketball is well, well, it’s not football.

But it turns out, basketball is HUGE around here.  Yay for me!  That means I get to watch an indoor sport!

In order to understand the nature of “basketball-love” here, I again, turned to Google.  Turns out there’s even this statement on Wikipedia

“The states of Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky are particularly well known for their residents’ devotion to high school basketball, commonly called Hoosier Hysteria in Indiana; the critically acclaimed film Hoosiers shows high school basketball’s depth of meaning to these communities.”

Hoosier Hysteria! Sign me up!

AND – A ha! I was kind of right about the term Hoosier, basketball and a movie being like the six degrees of Indiana.  Well, sort of.

*For homework, I’ve Netflixed (what? it’s a verb, right?) Hoosiers.  I can’t wait to check out Gene Hackman (how did I get Nick Nolte?)

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