After a disappointing football season and back-to-back tough losses in basketball, I thought this might be a good regrouping topic.
Why are you a boilermaker? Obviously, most of the people on this site are alums or current students, but I'm curious about what made each of us start/continue supporting Purdue. Let's be honest - we are not a "popular" school, even in Indiana, with two in-state rivals that the at-large public see as steeped in tradition in two different sports.
So what keeps us coming back? Why do we keep hoping/praying/spending time & money on teams that are usually good, but not quite good enough?
For me, it starts with my older sister, who started at Purdue in the fall of '97. We were living in Wisconsin at the time, and she likes to joke that she picked Purdue because it had the shortest application. The university was only too happy to accept some out-of-state money. I helped my parents move her into Windsor and we usually came down for 1 football game a year, watching the rest on tv, with these kids named Billy Dicken and Drew Brees constantly pulling out late comebacks.
She went to the rosebowl her senior year and watched as Drew again mounted a late surge, falling a bit short this time. I watched on tv and remember screaming myself hoarse. She and Drew had the same major (management) and so I got to see both he and my sister graduate that spring.
By the time I was ending high school in 2003, the family had moved to Iowa and Sis had settled with a good job in Chicago. As I went through my college search, my mom (as a lot of mothers do) put this restriction on me - "Any school within 6 hours, and Purdue." WL is 8 hours from where we lived, but my parents were familiar with it and Sis had come through okay, so that was a safe choice in their mind. Every time I went on a college search, including to our mortal enemy Iowa, I always found myself thinking back to what I had seen/experienced when visiting Purdue, and I always found every other school coming up short. I sent in my application before the official start date for applications - I got accepted in early September (they love that out of state money).
I got to live through the Kyle Orton era. I went to ESPN College Gameday before the Wisconsin game and started a "Corso sucks" chant. I witnessed the 12-0 loss to Penn St. my senior year. I didn't get to many basketball games, because it was the end of Keady and we seemed to be drifting aimlessly. I met people that have been some of the best friends I've ever made. I graduated and ended up getting a job back in Iowa.
I'm a boilermaker because it's what I love. I love it because we are not a popular school, so I don't have to worry about douches sporting our gear. I love it because when I see someone with Purdue gear on, it's a 99% certainty that they actually attended the school. I love it because no one thinks about us, or gives us any respect - any time we win, we're taking it from them. I love the best of our players that go on to the next the level are respected as tough workers (Brees, Light, Landry, Keller). I love that I can come to a site like this and see a huge commitment from people all over the country to teams that constantly try our faith. I love that when I say where I went to school, people generally say "Wow." I love that our programs do things the right way. I love that our basketball coach will be dead and buried before he plays a zone defense. I love that the tunnel in Mackey doesn't say "Play like a champion" but rather "Get ready to play hard."
That's why I'm a boilermaker - what about you?