“That’s a really big catalyst for the competition that we see in the region – because everybody’s so close together, they don’t want to be associated with the other one.”
Edited by Chris Gere
Transcript for The Region Is a Puzzle
Growing up in the region, there’s a lot of competition, especially in sports. The rivalries, most of all – I remember very distinctly in basketball. At the very beginning of my sophomore year, our coach left, like the head varsity coach left to go to Crown Point. And that quickly became a very, very, very big rivalry between Portage and Crown Point, especially just for women’s varsity basketball, because it was their old coach. And they felt that he had just kind of abandoned them because it was out of nowhere. Like, we did not hear any rumors, anything about him leaving, and then he was gone. I remember going to practice one day, and everybody was crying, like sobbing. And I was like, “Who died?” [Laugh] And they were like, “He’s leaving!” And I was like, “What are you talking about?” I didn’t cry, because he was mean, but it, like I said, very quickly became a huge rivalry. So that is something that you get exposed to pretty early on in your high school career. Especially if you are playing like a Valpo. Valpo versus Portage is also a pretty big rivalry, just because we’re so close. So, like, if we were playing Valpo or Chesterton at a football game, they kind of emphasized going to support the team and all that.
I’ve definitely seen a lot of expansion in the region since I’ve been here. For example, Portage because I live there. There is a new, like, Founders Square Park, in sort of an area that they’re trying to make a downtown area of Portage. They’ve added in a whole bunch of stuff super close to like the little league fields. There’s a bunch of apartments there now, restaurants. It’s kind of, it’s kind of weird to see it like that because, when I first moved here, it was all empty back in that location. And they’re trying to expand it more, which I think is interesting. And it’s trying to attract a lot of people to Portage. And I’ve seen a lot of similar things in, like, Valpo and Chesterton, for example, because they’re pretty close to Portage. In Valpo, that Meijer over by Dicks, and the Cinemark did not used to be there. I remember when that was built. And I think that is a fantastic addition to Valpo, because Meijer is great, and there’s so many things that you can get there that you can’t get anywhere else. But like, that’s, that’s one thing that sticks out to me is like seeing expansion and things like getting added that – I wouldn’t, they’re not necessarily necessities, but like, they’re good additions to the cities.
The thing about the region is that the cities are all like, relatively close together. Like they the edges kind of blur, like little blobs touching each other. But like, every city is different. Like we were talking about the sports identities, I think that that’s a really big catalyst for the competition that we see in the region, is that because everybody’s so close together, they don’t want to be associated with the other one, if they identify. Like, if you identify as from Portage, but you’re like on the outskirts of Portage and Chesterton, you’re gonna go ham supporting Portage, just so people don’t think that you support Chesterton. The region is definitely puzzle pieces, like, every city fits together in a specific spot. And the region would not be the same if one of those puzzle pieces was missing.
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