Monday Gumbo; Pre-Indy 500 Edition

Big Jay Gets Screwed...Again
Jay Simpson had surgery on his foot recently following breaking his foot a few weeks ago.  In spite of needing surgery to repair the break, his docs still say he'll be available for the trip to Italy with his Boiler teammates. I'd venture a guess though, with two months out of commission, Jay will exhibit some rust come early August.  He says he's currently about 10 pounds heavier than he'd like to be...so getting in shape for the '12/'13 season, while not impossible, will be difficult for Purdue's 6'9" Freshman PF.

This isn't the first time Simpson has had to have surgery on a foot; a few years ago, he had similar surgery on the other foot.

In November, Simpson joins a youthful, but talented frontcourt with fellow Freshman, Hammons and Hale, along with Sophomore, Jacob Lawson and Juniors, Carroll and Marcius.

Still Champs...But...
The Baseball Boilers dropped their first series of the B1G season in Iowa over last weekend.  The sub-.500 Hawkeyes managed to score at least 6 runs in all three games of Purdue's final series of the regular season.  Now, Purdue heads into the B1G tourney as the #1 seed in the conference...but needs to play well in an effort to host a round in the NCAA tourney.

Back on the Team
OJ Ross practiced all Spring without a schollie for the Hope's team after academic problems and enigmatic behavior put the starting behavior in the doghouse.  Dwayne Beckford had another run-in with the law during the winter that forced him out of Spring practice and off of the team.

Both players have had their scholarships re-instated...but make no mistake, both cases aren't the same.

Ross, while exhibiting some laziness, both on and off the field probably should be given another chance to play in the fall.  Purdue's receiving corps desperately needs stability and experience...especially with Antavian Edison's status still a question mark following his arrest in Florida earlier this month.

But, Beckford, in my opinion, has had more than enough opportunities to stay out of trouble, and simply hasn't been able to do so. I think Hope really wants to see the kid graduate...and I appreciate that idea. But, as we saw at the end of Tiller's time at Purdue, letting guys who repeatedly break the law does no good for the program in the longrun...and really doesn't do much good for that individual either.

While Purdue needs help at LB even more than WR, I'd rather not see #3 playing for my alma mater in the fall...but I'm not the guy who makes the call (obviously).

Edison's weapons charge in Florida still has a ton of ways it can go.  Who knows if Antavian was unaware of the weapon in the car, if it was his or if he tried to deflect some of the attention off of his uncle (who is already a convicted felon)...regardless, this seems like a really dumb situation to be caught in...and if he gets off with misdemeanor charges and a plea (which I think he will), hopefully, he never puts himself in this position again.  Unlike Beckford, Edison has never been in trouble with the law before this incident...but if he's charged/convicted with a felony weapons charge, he'll surely be off the team and kicked out of school.

Spake or Steele? Everyone's a Winner here
I'm a big fan of blonde-haired sports reporters with dimples. Weird, I know.

I think Samantha Steele is one of the best in the business...she's knowledgeable and very good to look at as well.  But racing fans, specifically NASCAR fans know Shannon Spake...and probably like her quite a bit.  IndyCar fans have Jamie Little (I'm not a huge fan).

But in a cage match for on-field (or on track) supremacy, who wins- Spake or Steele? Weigh in on the upper right of the page on this week's poll.

No losers in this competition



No-Bump Bump Day
I spent two afternoons at IMS in the last three days...and gathered some more opinions of my favorite form of racing...here are some nuggets.

Bourdais' new paintjob is badass.

-The extra boost used to help make quals and practice faster and more entertaining did exactly what it was supposed to do.  BUT, I don't think it's a coincidence that there were four crashes in that period.

The new chassis, as it's configured now has a ton of downforce and makes it easier to drive.  The combo of additional horsepower and taking out as much wing as possible led to some pretty dramatic wrecks.

-Before a few teams left Lotus to seek some engines that would actually compete at Indy and everyplace else on the circuit, it was tough to find an extra engine in the IndyCar garages.

After a few of those Chevys went backend-first into the outside walls, the engine shortage became an even bigger deal.  The end result was a Bump Day at IMS that had exactly 33 driver/car combos...and four or five drivers left with their hats in their hands as they sought rides to get into the show.  Next year, with another year of development, and hopefully the loss of Lotus and another manufacturer (i.e. Ford or Mazda?) coming into the league, Bump Day should return to where it was in 2011 and before.

-I'm all for safety of the drivers...but let's look at what racing really is at its core: Go as fast as possible and beat your competition.  That principle is no longer in play in any of the major racing leagues in the world.

NASCAR machines were going 205+ in the 90s...CART had cars that would do close to 250 on a straight-away in the 70s and 80s (sure, they couldn't turn at anywhere near that speed) and F1 continues to take away aero advantages to make driving the car more of a challenge (I'm actually a fan of this as it seems much of F1 racing is out of the drivers' hands)...

The point is IndyCar needs to get back to the days in which teams were encouraged to innovate and press for speed. Sure, that idea led to a Buick that went 236 mph...but couldn't hold up for more than 40 laps of race conditions; but isn't that the point? Everything in racing is about risk/reward.

Allowing the teams to change aero packages next year is a good step forward...and hopefully, with another year of development, the Honda and Chevy engines will be able to get closer to 230 again. But the fact that multiple drivers were over 235 mpg 20 years ago, and can barely crack 225 now makes fans like me long for "the good ole' days".

That said, I still love IndyCar and the month of May at IMS.


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