Glad to see a couple of blogs here on SBNation dedicated to the Indiana Big Ten Schools. It's still early, but The Crimson Quarry and Hammer and Rails both look to be quality additions.
I'm posting because I am stuck in an awkward predicament. You see, I am something of a College Sports polygamist.
As a child I grew up in central Indiana. I was closer to West Lafayette, but my dad graduated with an Indiana degree. My grandmother (God rest her soul) was an avid Boilermakers fan. I ended up spending most of my formative years in Lafayette, spending all of my K-8 years there. Most assumed this would lead me to Boiler solidarity. Enter my best friend, Clay.
Clay's parents had met while his dad was getting his law degree in Indianapolis, following 4 years in Bloomington. Over many years I grew to love Hoosier basketball. I worshiped Bob Knight (and his foul mouth). I revered Damon Bailey, Calbert Cheaney, Alan Henderson, AJ Guyton, Kirk Haston, Jared Jefferies, Tom Coverdale, AJ Moye, and more recently DJ White and Eric Gordon. Not only did the Crimson and Cream repeatedly put out a good team, I also loved being able to antagonize my Boiler-loving friends and teachers growing up.
But I had a new problem. In about the 4th grade, I discovered football. My first love was professional: I love the Indianapolis Colts. But a young sports fan still needs something to watch on Saturdays! IU has never been known for their football prowess. For that matter, Purdue hasn't always been a great football school either. However, IU was bad enough that the only game that was ever broadcast locally was the Old Oaken Bucket game. Most, if not all, Purdue games were covered.
And so I began my love affair with the Purdue football Boilermakers. They teased at first. Coach Jim Colletto and Mike Alstott led subpar teams with expected results. But then came Joe Tiller and "Basketball on Grass." This is exactly what an Indiana boy wanted to hear and see! I was initially amazed by Billy Dicken, Vinny Sutherland, Chris Daniels and Adrian Beasley's big Alamo Bowl (1997) performance. And then something very incredible happened. Drew Brees, namely. But he wasn't the whole show. There were stars on both sides of the ball: Stu Schweigert, Rosevelt Colvin, John Standeford, Chukky Okobi, Matt Light, Chike Okeafor, Niko Koutouvides, Gilbert Gardner, Akin Ayodele, Dustin Keller, Kyle Orton and Kory Sheets.
This all came to a head during the 1999 season. My brother was an athletic training student at Purdue. That season he was with the football team. He got me tickets to several games, including the Notre Dame game and the closer-than-expected Bucket game. I was allowed into the locker room once. For Christmas that year, I got a Purdue football signed by every member of the team and Coach Tiller. It still ranks as the coolest gift I've ever received.
I have resigned myself to my current polygamist state. It's much too late to switch allegiances or form new ones. So here's my problem: I need a way to sort out information from these two new blogs. I want every detail about Tom Crean's valiant turnaround effort in Bloomington. I'm excited to see what Coach Hope can do at Ross-Ade Stadium next fall. I use RSS feeds for all my blogs. It's nothing personal, as I know some people really like the traffic; but I read a lot of them, and Google Reader just makes it go much, much faster. I need a way to get only football news from Hammer and Rails. I only want basketball news from The Crimson Quarry. I don't know how much you all can help me. Maybe this is a problem that only SBNation has the solution for.
Please let me know if anyone has any suggestions!
Also, I would love to meet/talk to others who have similar problems/stories regarding their own sports loves. Feel free to comment away...