I Want Purdue To Win Friday Night
Wait, wait, I know. Who among us doesn’t want them to win? Of course I want them to win. But I don’t just mean because I’m a selfish bastard who wants to see his team win.
I want them to win for these seniors. I want them to have been the guys who truly took a program from last place all the way to the Elite Eight or, maybe if we can dream, to the Final Four. I want their ride to continue because the next loss is the last time we see Vincent, Dakota, Isaac and PJ in the black and old gold. I don’t think that’s fully set in yet even though we all know it to be true.
I want them to win for Isaac. I want him to be a part of this team advancing further than they’ve advanced under Matt Painter. I want him to not lie awake wondering what might have been had he not been violently dragged to the floor by a CSU Fullerton player who really didn’t care.
I want them to win for Matt Painter. I want Matt to have an Elite Eight on his resume. When you look at his record on Wikipedia, I want to see that shaded out “Elite Eight” on the right side (or better). I want people to know that Purdue can advance to the final few days of the tournament, which is what winning Friday does – they then would have a max of three tourney days left.
I want them to win for guys who aren’t here anymore but are still linked to this team in a direct way. I want a win for Caleb Swanigan, who is clearly watching from Portland. I want them to win for Raphael Davis, who gave more heart to this program than perhaps anyone since Brian Cardinal. I want them to win for E’Twaun, who still posts to IG about his Purdue days and for Rob Hummel who has been calling games along the way and is still among the most popular Boilermakers ever (and a guy who, if the fates had been kinder, would have been one of the ones to take this program over this hurdle). I want them to win for Chris Kramer, who continues locking down opponents in Lithuania.
I want the three amigos to see a Purdue team go that far. I want Brad Miller to see a team go that far. I want Coach Brandon Brantley to get back there, as he was on one of the two teams since the ’80 Final Four to get that close.
I want Purdue to win for all the loyal fans who reliably sport their Purdue gear no matter what. Who live and die with each and every game. Who jump all over lazy journalists when they write something incorrect or dumb about Purdue.
I want Purdue to win so that they are playing in a game that puts them 40 minutes from a spot in the Final Four. I want to feel that excitement. It’s been 18 years since they were in that position. I want that for all of us. Not just me.
Because I’m a giver, you see.