Without Results, Words Are Just Platitudes
Maybe you feel like me... My Passion Bucket is nearly dry*; my Love Tank is on E**...no, I'm not talking about my wife or my family; this isn't time for counseling on the important stuff. But, my favorite diversion, the very reason for the founding of this site with my pal J, has lost a considerable amount of my attention.
If you've been visiting this site for long, you probably already know that.
The antithesis of love is really not hate; it's indifference...apathy. We've expressed our displeasure in multiple forms on this site- most-recently, J attempted to do so by letting everyone know that he's tired of being patient. His post prompted some sites to repost it under the guise that it was new material...it caused our buddy, Brian Neubert to respond via GBI (even if he didn't name any names)...that's passion...that's a good thing for Purdue sports.
Right now, I'm not feeling it.
I still read about recruiting updates, still notice when current or former players spout off via Twitter or in interviews about the state of things in God's country. I'm well-aware of the pre-season football magazines calling Purdue's last season one of the worst in Big Ten history (how could it not be called that, by the way?). And my lack of sounding off is not because I haven't read about different prognostications for next season in basketball and football for my Boilers.
I've heard Painter talk about change being needed...I've heard players say things are going to change.
I've listened to Hazell eloquently insist that things are going to get better...and heard his players follow up that they can feel that the culture is changing.
But last place is last place. Sub-500 is a cold, dank cellar that the good guys have lived in for two seasons in basketball. Mediocrity has now become an aspiration for the football team...and even in many sports that I don't watch, Purdue has been lurking near the bottom of the conference for a few seasons.
It feels like Burke is waiting to retire until something really good happens in basketball or football...but I'm not sure how long he's willing or able to wait. One thing seems very clear- he's not going to be forced out by the trustees, president or the rest of the administration no matter what happens between the lines on various fields. Championships were a golden ring that were just out of reach seven to ten years ago...then staying competitive became the goal...Now, not being in the bottom third of the conference seems to have become a concept or ideal that's too ethereal to grasp for my Boilers.
In Neubert's response article that I referenced above, he pretty much said that no one should be expecting a quick turn around...Sadly, I think he's right-on about that. We have no logical reason to believe things are going to change in the near future. Purdue has become perpetually youthful in both football and basketball. Experience and depth are at a premium, continuity and chemistry no longer even visit...let-alone live in West La La. Our squads might be a season away from being a season away (if that makes any sense).
So here's where I am- I'm tired of talk. Tired of sound bites. Tired of hoping for youthful potential to be realized. I'm also to the point where anything other more than beating really bad teams...in basketball or football would be a surprise. Beating a ranked team on a big stage in either sport might make my month. My expectations are as low as they've been in my lifetime as a happily-brainwashed nearly-40 year old Purdue sports fan.
Back when Brees or Orton played for Tiller...and more-recently, when Hummel, JJ and Smooge played for Matty, I was constantly looking for a fight with people who dared to disrespect those teams and the programs. The fight was worthwhile and even fun...but now my focus as a fan is much more isolationist. I want the good guys to win now; not so I can win a battle, but just so I can be reminded that it can still be done. The adage of winning one game at a time has been boiled down even further to its syrupy essence...to win just one game that matters should be the focus right now.
I'm positive that many of you will question me as a fan as you read this. I really don't care- My allegiance hasn't wavered in the slightest. But my passion has waned.
I'll enjoy the IndyCar season and root for about anyone but Will Power to win during the next few months. But as open wheel racing holds a bit of my attention, I'll be watching classic Purdue games in an effort to stoke some of the barely-burning Boiler embers as the fall crawls our way.
Even in the off season, talk has become cheap.
*ref. Dan Patrick
**ref. Christian marriage book "5 Love Languages"