Joshua Schwader / Gus
I would not say I am the biggest fan if I looked at just my pictures either. You would call me the underdog story if you will. It all started in the early 2000s. I am 24 years old. I reside in a very small town in Missouri with just over 1,500 people, and I am a diehard Gonzaga Bulldogs fan.
How did this all begin? I am not really sure to be honest, maybe its when Gus Johnson so deliberately called Gonzaga "America's Team", or when my first NBA trading card was that of John Stockton. I am not 100% sure.
Anyway, I can remember 100% crystal clear from March 2007. Since then I have gotten a Gonzaga wedding ring, worn a piece of Gonzaga apparel or clothing for over 7 years straight. Even when worked at my job at the local Jack-in-the-box I was always disobeying the rules and wearing my Gonzaga hat, yet my managers decided not to worry anymore, and I was the only one never wearing a Jack hat. (This is pictured here in picture number 3) - however since cameras were not allowed in the building while on the clock, this is the only picture I have. (I believe this is circa 2009, I actually remember the day quite well)
THE EARLY YEARS: I spent most of the early years of my fandom watching the gamecasts from my computer. Ya know, the stick figures with heads? Yeah, when they weren't on TV I did that. Now I have DirecTV, which all Zag fans know you must have to watch all your games.
AS TIME WENT ON: I take every Gonzaga game way more serious than most people, and I have over 20 shirts and possibly around 10 different hats, but that probably wouldn't impress with the small meager size of my collection, however I have not been the source of much money either. I made a Gonzaga Wall of Fame poster that sits in my living room and it only has letters on it. I have added to it the past three years (and you can tell too, haha)This includes names like Jerry Vermillion, Jean Claude Lefebvre, Bill Quigg, John Stockton, Adam Morrison, Robert Sacre and most recently Sam Dower.
Nobody can deny that I am the biggest Gonzaga fan, as I have skipped multiple weddings, countless family events, called into work, and even missed a couple funerals. Most specifically I remember missing my best friends wedding for the Gonzaga vs Ohio State tournament game in 2012. I called into work last year for the Gonzaga vs Chaminade game last season. It really doesn't matter what game it is, I watch Gonzaga basketball.
I am not a graduate from the university, have never been to the Kennel, but boy I tell you what, nothing runs in my blood more than Gonzaga Basketball. Not. A. Thing. I know all the chants, I jump up and down like crazy, just like the Kennel Club at home. If they lose, there are times I wake my wife up (and that's when I settle down haha.
Picture 1: The day Gonzaga received their first #1 ranking in school history. Was wearing my Gonzaga shades, and wedding ring. The frohawk (yuck!) was when my wife begged and begged me to do the frohawk and get a picture taken. I told her if Gonzaga won @BYU, @San Francisco, and @San Diego AND got the number one ranking I would do this for her. And when the polls were announced at eleven thirty or noon as reported from the text to my phone, I immediately went home from work and we got started.
Picture 2: Me and my wife (Who hates sports, two separate spectrums here)
Picture 3: Me and Nicki. Remember I told you I work my Gonzaga hat at my fast food restaurant. Refued to wear their silly stuff.
Picture 4: Me and my new Gonzaga shirt in 2011 (bought right before the WCC tournament that year)
My life as a Gonzaga fan will never be complete until I go to the Kennel, but I tell you what, there is no bigger fan of this team in the state of Missouri. Book it. I rad the message boards, I give my dogs treats after every win, and sing the Gonzaga song. I swing my child back and forth and chant "Score Zags Score" in the middle of July.
I know a few Gonzaga fans in the area, but nobody takes it as serious as I do. I am not a pictures guy, and I really don't take good pictures and the pictures will show that, but my story is unique and one of a kind. Its a work of beauty and pure art.