J posted a solid piece of satire last week after toning it down a few times at my request. The first time I read it, I laughed aloud a few times and felt like it needed to be up on the site due to the optics of the end zone seats being demolished. That said, we had an internal disagreement about what should be in the post. Truth be told, nothing he wrote was regrettable or abrasive...it was just kind of unprecedented for us. We really don't like feeling perpetually sarcastic and jaded about the state of the football program...but this is a dark era we're in. Nearly universally, Purdue fans consider the Akers and Colletto's eras as periods of really bad football. Colletto teams came close to respectability, but also represented one of the worst seasons in Purdue football history. Akers teams often didn't compete and had some questionable characters on the team.
But last season was worse than either of those oft-maligned coaches ever led those Boiler teams out of. That historically-bad season has had repercussions...most of them are bitter pills the coaching staff, administration and fans are being forced to ingest...but there is a silver lining.
As the team languishes on the vine, Purdue, Burke and the football program are all trying to do things differently. Hazell has told Gold and Black that he'll have somewhere between three and six helmets. New decals, the black shell back for the second season and some surprises are what we have to look forward to. But as many have said, none of this stuff matters unless they win in their shiny (or matte), new digs.
Along with new helmets, Burke is trying...even though he probably doesn't like it, to do things differently. The Blitzkrieg style of demolition of the stands was a confluence of factors, according to Burke, those outdated seemingly-temporary antique stands were in need of modernization and upkeep. Ticket sales are way down (for obvious reasons), and the plans for that end zone have been in the works for a few years already.
Burke will direct the athletic program to put in some tents in the shadows of the big scoreboard with TVs a possible beer garden and other amenities. On top of that, we supposedly will actually be able to use our cell phones...DURING A GAME!!! Purdue and cell phone providers will work together during this off-season to make texting or tweetering an option as the good guys
struggle play in Ross-Ade. There's even talk of field turf and LIGHTS in Ross-Ade...both firsts for the old venue.
If you're like me, you've been critical of Morgan Burke. But, I'm glad he's not just biding his time as he gets near the end of his time as Purdue's AD. In my opinion though, most of these investigations are very late. As the B1G venues have become palatial and technological marvels with the injection of BTN moneys, Purdue has lagged behind and been left with Northwestern in the cellar of this impossible-to-win arms race.
The facts are simple- when the good guys win, Saturdays in the fall are more enjoyable for me.
Bron Bron Gone (from Miami)?
In his post-loss comments last night, Le Bron James displayed something that I don't see from him very often: Likability. He took responsibility for the loss, even though he really didn't need to and was realistic in his assessment that his Heat team simply wasn't as good as it needed to be to win a third-straight championship.
He also spoke in past-tense about this era...which I also liked to hear. D Wade is a whiny prima donna whose injuries always seem worse when the scoreboard doesn't favor his team. Bosh has been underwhelming when he's been needed and the rest of that cast is tough to like (with the exception of maybe Ray Allen). My hope is that the boss, James of course, chooses to blow that team up...and Spoelstra is exposed as the no-talent asshat that I believe he is.
James is one of the best players in the game...no argument about that. But as many of you know, for better or worse, he's not Michael Jordan and never will be. Jordan didn't lose in the finals.
Purdue's basketball and football teams have both been pretty active on the recruiting trails in the recent past. Rumors are becoming clearer and clearer that Painter will close out the class of 2015 in the next few weeks and in the wake of the elite football camp, Hazell has signed three, four or five players and a few others have made it clear that they're close to making decisions.
All good stuff...I love hearing when young athletes make the decision to play for my alma mater.
One interesting tidbit- one of the players that recently verballed to play for Coach Haze lives across the team from me. Granted, he has no idea that he lives so close to one of the power brokers of the Purdue family...but he does see the motion P flying on the back of my house pretty regularly...so that couldn't have hurt.