After I graduated from Purdue, I got a job in the Boston area. For those of you who have never visited Boston, I highly recommend VISITING the city...not living there. One of the jewels of the city is the North End, especially if you're like me in that you like to eat Italian food.
One night, my fiance (at that time) and I went out to dinner with a couple of fellow Boilermakers at an amazing restaurant called Artu. The wait was kinda long, as it usually is on a Saturday evening in the North End, and the weather was nice, so we waited outside.
After being out there for about 20 minutes, the guy working on the food at the prep table knocked on the window and signaled me in. I came in, he handed me a plate of some good-looking stuff and I headed back out. Everybody took a couple items, and I was left with a plate with some marinated mushrooms on it.
I'm a pretty picky eater, but I figured, if I'm ever going to like a mushroom, it'll be from a place like this. Everything I had eaten there had been delicious. They use really good ingredients, prepare them perfectly...so why not?
Well, with the cook watching through the window, I game it a try. I was wrong, Artu does not make everything delicious. So, I did what any adult would do- I gave a thumbs up to the cook, waited for him to turn around and get back to work, and darted around the corner of the building where I spat the mushroom out and dry heaved for a moment. Yeah, I'm a huge baby, I know.
There's nothing worse than that aftertaste, in my opinion. I wanted to do anything possible to get it out of my mouth and the memory out of my mind. Thank God our table was available shortly after my run-in with that wretched fungus. I quickly ate bread and drank a lot of my water...and looked forward to my meal (which was not disappointing at all).
Our Boilers just ate a mushroom (I know, I went a long way to get here).
I'm not a fan of tuna, mayonnaise or raisins. But I can deal with eating them. That's kind of like some losses. When Purdue lost to UConn in the NCAA tourney a few years ago, I think everyone could understand it- UConn was very talented, had a ton of veterans and a coach that'll do anything to win.
When Purdue lost to Wisconsin on the road last year, just days after Rob went down on...the fans and the players could deal with that.
But, the loss versus Minnesota is a disgusting taste in Matty's squad's mouth, I bet. Every player on that team knows they could have done a few things better and won that game. It was very winnable. And I'd argue, this is the second game like that this season. Richmond also left the nasty taste of fungus on the palate. After squeaking out a road win v. the moderately-tough VaTech Hokies, our Boilers ate some tasty cupcakes and got on a roll to get rid of the memory of that flavor.
Problem is, Purdue now has to face a tougher opponent on the road than they did in the wake of their first loss...and in the following 10 days, Purdue will face two of the favorites for the BT title.
But, in order to get back on track, remove some scrutiny from the media and regain some of the rhythm they had as a team, they need a win in Morgantown. It's by no means a must-win. But, it's another important game.
But I can guarantee you Huggy will remind the Mountaineers about what happened last year in Mackey. They'll be motivated and ready. Plus, they're coming off of a 30 point victory, so they're playing their best ball of the season thus far.
One of Purdue's Big 2 is slumping as badly as he has during his career...and he'll get out of it, probably with an insane performance...eventually. A good game by 33 would go a long way in helping Purdue righting the ship.
Also, Hart has been running full contact in practice...so he might play. If nothing else, his mentality is a good thing, even though his legs might not be quite as lively as they were prior to his injury.
No word on Barlow's injury other than it's going to take time for him to get back to 100%. Until then, Purdue will definitely miss his defensive effort which was greatly-missed v. Minny.
1:30 tomorrow on CBS for our Boilers