I’m not sure how to handle all the hype related to IU basketball’s upcoming season. Top ten ratings, high projected seeds, and all-American honors make it all seem too good to be true. I drank the Kool-Aid a few years ago with Hoosier football and the water turned poison. I keep expecting a disciplinary problem, recruiting snafu, transfer threat, or “God forbid” serious injury.

I know the talent is there, but through the last two decades, IU has gotten little respect. Now, all of a sudden, it’s through the roof for coaches and players. It feels good to be back in the spotlight again, but I can’t handle more disappointment. It would be better to experience a surprise and witness some proof of success rather than just trust expert opinion. Vaulted pre-season expectations have come back to haunt many a good sports program.

I’m also struggling with the come back capabilities of the White Sox. They have short spurts of success, just enough to boost expectations, followed by a equally bad set-back. Their 10-3 series ending loss to the lowly A’s last night when they could have pulled off the sweep proves my point. It all averages out to the .500 ball they’ve been playing this year despite grandiose pre-season hype. It seems to be the story for all my sports favorites. It’s no wonder I’m such a pessimist!

The Sox can’t seem to get by the division-leading Guardians and are running out of time. IU basketball has yet to play a game, but they’re already expected to win the BIG. To make matters worse, they’ve never won the BIG Tournament and haven’t had a solid run in the Big Dance for 22-years. They have a lot to prove on the court, just like the Sox have to find a way to win consistently on the field. 

IU football has managed to salvage victories in their first 2 games despite the lowest of expectations. The same for my Bears that pulled off a 49er upset and an undefeated exhibition season. I prefer these kinds of surprises instead of the mere hype of what might happen. It’s all too often too good to be true.