Andrew Rafner is a recently liberated fan and writer from Los Angeles, CA. He owns two Sasha Vujacic jerseys and isn’t sorry about it.

Indiana Pacers, I want to marry you. I want to marry you hard and on bended knee, here is my most humble proposal:

You are like that girl in high school that isn’t super flashy and really sweet, but still totally hot (and GOD you look good in that cardigan). I want to ask you out, but I know you are probably busy at SAT prep group or a bake sale to raise money for Darfur or something.

Indiana Pacers, you are Annie from “Community.” You make me, the Jeff Winger of NBA fans, forever searching for a reason to hate and gripe and complain, want to be a better man.

You’re everything I’ve ever wanted in a mid-market, young upstart-y Eastern Conference team. You challenge what is acceptable of a professional NBA team. You have no definitive superstar. You have a likable bigman (a quality that is often hard to find in this league) and a wealth of combo players whose skills are almost as varied as their roles on the team.

Danny Granger, your rock solid offensive game and double leg sleeves make me yearn for more angular drives to the basket and stiff, almost awkward, jumpers.

Hibbdog — what can I say that you don’t already say every night with your game? You make the center position, a position that has recently been forsaken in favor of springy jumpers and total dickheads (looking at you JaVale McGee and Andrew Bynum), fun to watch again. You channel your Georgetown forbearers, Elders Mutombo, Ewing and Mourning in every way. Jump hook by jump hook, drop step by drop step.

Paul George. Oh, Paul George. You grew two inches at age 21. The fact that you wanted everyone to believe that with little to no regard for logic or science makes you who you are. Plus, you spent 19 of your 21 years on this planet in Palmdale and Fresno, California. God bless you.

To my beloved guards, Darren, George and Leandro, your grace and speedy speed make me weep with disbelief. To slash with such accuracy, to make floaters float as you do, to hit threes in fool’s faces like total Gs. You’ve stolen my heart. I don’t want it back.

And Tyler. You are the blue collar, elbows flying, and eyes popping out of your head white guy Indiana not only deserves, but also BEGS for. You know what you do. Lou Amundson, you’re white too, and you inadvertently won my friend Tim and I tickets to All-Star Saturday Night 2010, so thanks for that, bro.

I can’t live without you, Pacers. You are my world. (Well, you and the Thunder, but we’re not talking about them yet.) I want to be with you until June, so what do you say, Indiana Pacers? Will you marry me for these Playoffs?

Comments (11)

  1. Good to see our Pacers getting some love. Keep up the good work fellas.

  2. Love the piece. They can make a serious run

  3. I love them. They’ll always be my team. But you forgot about how so goddamn frustrating they can be 1/3 of the time.

  4. I have no interest in the Pacers…
    but after reading articles like this one, I may give them a 2nd thought

    we need more content about the “other guys”

  5. You needed to mention Parks & Recreation somewhere in here.

    • DUDE. I missed a great opportunity there. Knope We Can 2012! Go Pacers!

      • Frank Vogel is Leslie Knope: relentlessly positive to the point of annoyance. He once showed his team clips from Rocky to get them fired up, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he carried around a big three ring binder with scouting reports about Jameer Nelson.

  6. you just forgot david west, who’s the difference maker between the so-so pacers from last year and the 2011/12 pacers. That by now are probably the only legitimate contender to challenge the heat for the east (rose out/ ray ray probably done for the season)
    Howevaa (Tas reference) you would have a real chance if larry bird could make the last shots cause I’m not picturing granger hitting clutch shots over wade or james.

  7. All that was missing was the Barry White love songs! You called it before the season began that your love for the pacers would grow and blossom! Dad

  8. Annie from Community? Will I ever see the Pacers do this?

  9. Jeff Foster has always Fostered such feelings.

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