Because I am an addict for all things Purdue (or a masochist) I skim through every comment that comes through on the site. It was easier in the early days, but you guys are just so awesome at generating discussion that it is truly hard to keep up at times. One thing I have noticed lately is that the comments have taken a very dark turn. It's not hard to imagine why:
- The football team just completed a 6-6 season that redefined the term "mediocre"
- We've seen our men's basketball team, long the pride of the site, blow two double-digit second half leads in gut-wrenching losses.
- Our biggest rival is having a resurgence, putting fans in an even more foul mood because those of us in-state often have to deal with their fans.
- Half of our football fans want the head coach placed in a canoe and shoved down the Wabash. The other half just want that for his coordinators.
- The women's volleyball team, after a promising season, "pulled a Purdue" and had their worst game of the season at the absolute worst time.
The volleyball thing seemed to be the tipping point. Some of the comments following their loss to Florida State in the Sweet 16 were just downright mean-spirited. Seriously, go take a look at them from Juan's Open Thread.
Yes, it is very rough to be a Purdue fan, but we all need to take a step back and calm down a little. That is what I plan to do after the IPFW game later this week. Simply put, we're better than this, guys. Yesterday people were saying some pretty nasty things about Ryne Smith and Travis Carroll. I understand the sky was falling after the loss, but that is no reason to make personal attacks of our players. Travis Carroll botching a layup is a mistake made in a basketball game. It is a lot different than Dwayne Beckford getting himself drunk and driving at 4 am. If you read some of the comments, however, Carroll's offense was much worse. Actions like Beckford's deserve a "dumbass" comment. Carroll botching a layup is frustrating, but it is hardly a reason to attack the kid's character.
What these players need right now is our support. Things are never as bad as they seem, and really, we're not that far off from being an 11-1 ranked team right now. There is still time to put things together. Things haven't panned out exactly as we hoped, but as fans we shouldn't want to run players off like some other schools do.
Yes, this team may not be as talented as some in the past, but that is no reason to write them off and attack players like Carroll. Remember, just four years ago we were coming off of a loss at home to Wofford of all teams and people were questioning the Baby Boilers. That team damn near won the Big Ten, so things can improve drastically. That team also had a lack of depth in the post and went for long stretches (Missouri, anyone?) without scoring.
I created this site as a forum for a thinking man's discussion about Purdue sports. I have received many compliments about how the discussion is above the fray of your typical message board. Most of you readers bring great insight into conversations, and even opposing fans like JustAJ participate with well thought arguments that are greatly welcomed. It is one of the things that I like most about what we have going here. I know I am guilty of this attitude as well because I have been questioning some of my own actions of late. I invest a lot of myself into these games, and I found myself seething and in a bad mood for a good few hours after yesterday's loss. In football, I have been accused of being one of the most negative in-game fans, and I apologize for that.
Yes, things are very rough right now, but let us always remember that we are better than the mean-spirited, "the sky-is-falling" attitude with every loss. As I said last night on Twitter, we can really do two things: Piss and moan or move on and get better. For now, let's all take a step back and enjoy the Christmas season with our families. I consider you all an extended part of my family, so let's have a good week leading up to the bowl game.
Let's all remember the words of Ed Kowalczyk: "Light up a cigarette and calm the f*** down." from Live's Voodoo Lady.