Hazell-Themed Gumbo

Welcome back, everyone, and we sincerely hope you had a great holiday. We're clearly on a reduced schedule here at BS for the moment, but have no fear -- we'll be on the stick for Purdue and Kent State's bowl games, as well as whatever lies ahead for Purdue basketball during the Big Ten meat-grinder season.

Etling Just Wants a Good Man as His Coach

Today, I just wanted to comment on a few things, including the clip Bdowd posted in his gumbo post from earlier this month where Danny Etling talks to WLFI in Lafayette about maintaining his commitment to Purdue and to Coach Darrell Hazell. 

I liked hearing Etling and what he had to say about things. I also like that he wants to compete for the starting job immediately, and that Purdue told him that he'll be able to do so. And if he wins the job, that's great, too. No knock on Rob Henry, but having a guy start as a freshman means that by years 2-4, he'll be a seasoned veteran. I think it's safe to say all Boiler fans are craving some consistency at the QB position. I can't imagine it's that different in the locker room.

I also found it interesting to hear his thought process on committing to Purdue and then maintaining that commitment. His first comment about Coach Hazell was that he's a great guy. I think it's also fairly well-documented that despite being a bad football coach, Danny Hope was a great guy also. His players loved him and as a man, many of us liked him, too. So it sounds to me like Danny Etling wants a coach who is a good man, first and foremost.

While this may sound like common sense to many of us, the world of big time high school and college athletics is a minefield of sharks and leeches who will talk out of both sides of their mouth and basically act like a whore to slime their way to better results. Maybe Mr. Etling is wise beyond his years. Maybe he just wants to play at a place where it'll be an enjoyable expeirence and he won't have to worry about shady happenings that paralyze his football program. Or maybe I'm just interpreting things in my own way. Regardless, I've liked what he's had to say so far.

Hazell Remains a "Rock Star" at KSU

The always-good Mike Carmin has a nice article from a few days ago in the J&C regarding Darrell Hazell still being a rock star at Kent State and the locals lining up to say goodbye. As he frequently does, Carmin tossed in a couple of well-placed jabs to let the reader know how he feels on certain subjects:

This wasn’t Tommy Tuberville accepting the Cincinnati job in the middle of a recruiting dinner at Texas Tech. This wasn’t Bobby Petrino placing a four-sentence farewell in each Atlanta Falcons player’s locker when he bolted for Arkansas in 2007. They appreciate Hazell’s character and demeanor in how he’s conducted himself and run the program. They genuinely wish him nothing but success with the Boilermakers.

Carmin also mentions that Hazell plans to have most practices at Purdue -- as he has at Kent State -- open to the media, something that Carmin points out was not the norm under Danny Hope. Which reminds us all... if Hope had let everyone see what he and Gary Nord were seeing at practices, maybe everyone would have understood the decisions being made. Yeah. Maybe.

Another Positive Review of the Hire

On the subject of Coach Hazell, if you're looking for additional reading, the gent who runs Madtown Badgers did a take for Bloguin on the hire of Hazell and had some nice things to say. Again, seems to be a consistent take that this was anywhere from a very good hire to a home run. Hopefully, everyone turns out to be right.

Remembrance of Kent State Interactions Past

It seems to have gone largely unmentioned, but Kent State football seriously irritated Morgan Burke and some of the Purdue faithful just a couple of years ago. For the 2011 season, Purdue was scheduled to host the Golden Flashes in Coach Hazell's first game as KSU coach. However, a mere ten months before that game, Kent backed out of the agreement because they got the opportunity to get waxed by Alabama.

We never felt like you could blame them for wanting more visibility, but you could blame them for the last-minute (by scheduling standards) way they booted Purdue from their schedule.

I remember at the time, bdowd's brother Bill saying that if he were Morgan Burke, he'd call Kent State's athletic director and tell him that any and all future athletic contests scheduled with Purdue were now null and void and would not be honored by Purdue.

This means nothing in the overall scheme of things but I found it to be an interesting footnote.

Two Tickets to Paradise (Or the Heart of Dallas Bowl)

BS Trivia Contest Day 3: Win Tickets to Heart of Dallas Bowl