Hoosier Hysteria is not what it used to be. The question many are asking lately is: Can it ever be that way again? The question we ought to be asking ourselves is: Should it be that way again?
Personally, I miss the old system. One great tournament producing many great moments, and one great champion. It was special.
But I can't definitely say that just because I miss the old way...that it's a better system than the current four class regime.
Better attended? Certainly.
More exciting? No question.
The envy of sports fans in the other 49 states? Absolutely.
Better for high school basketball players?
I don't know.
Is a one class system better for the roughly six thousand kids who play each year?
You can't tell me that schools like Triton and Oregon-Davis haven't benefited from the chance to play for state titles in recent years. They certainly have. The experience of winning a state championship is unparalleled. And when those kids talk about their high school careers, they won't say, "We were the Class A state champs." They just say, "We were state champs." And they were.
That works great for the 60 kids who win a state title every year. And I'll concede that for the 60 or so who finish runner-up, the four class system is pretty great too.
But what about the thousands who don't?
I didn't go to Clay High School, but I remember their state title run of 1994 vividly. I'd played with or against many of those kids at various levels and felt like a championship for Clay was a championship for all of South Bend.
Sadly, underlying all of this is the fact that I don't think anything's going to change as a result of the state-wide dialogue we've participated in over the past few weeks.
I miss Hoosier Hysteria. And I know a lot of you do too. But I don't think it's ever coming back. Not like the way it was.