This was originally supposed to be a top 10 list, but the overwhelming amount of feedback regardless Paintergate made me add that story as a choice in the poll of the top stories of 2011. Since it was the story that pretty much tripled this sites traffic, I think it needs to default to No. 1. After all, it is not every week that your basketball coach causes everyone to go into a full-fledged panic for four days.
Before getting to that, however, here is how you voted on the rest of the stories of the year in Purdue Sports:
11. Kara Patterson Represents The U.S. At The World Track And Field Championships - David Boudia may be drawing headlines as Purdue's most famous upcoming Olympian, but Kara Patterson, former NCAA champion in the javelin, is likely headed to London in search of gold. In 2010 she set the American record in the javelin with a throw of 66.67 meters. This year she competed in the World Championships in South Korea. There she finished 21st, but her throw of 57.14 was far from her best. To put it into perspective, her 66.67 throw would have put her fourth had she qualified for the finals. If she can duplicate her 2010 form a medal is certainly possible in London.
10. Women's Volleyball reaches Sweet 16 - I have to get to New Castle today for the Hall of Fame Tournament, so I will reference back to Juan's post.
9. Women's Golf Finishes As National Runner-Up - Our ladies were leading for most of the day, but fell off the pace in the final few holes to lose the NCAA Golf Championships to UCLA by three strokes. They very nearly repeated their 2010 National Championship and earned our school just its fourth NCAA Championship ever.
8. Baseball Ties A School Record With 37 Victories - For the first time in ages there is excitement around the Purdue baseball program with the opening of Alexander Field this season and a roster loaded with talent and experience. Most of the lineup returns from a team that tied a school record with 37 wins in 2011, but ultimately fell short in the Big Ten Tournament. The Boilers opened the season with a win over top 10 Connecticut and also had victories over Louisville and Big Ten Tournament winner Illinois. This season an at large NCAA berth is certainly possible with single games scheduled against Connecticut, Auburn, East Carolina, Southern Miss, and series against Wichita State and UCLA. Alexander Field is expected to open March 30th vs. Penn State.
7. David Boudia - Really, Boudia deserves his name only as an entry. In the spring he finished his collegiate career as one of the most decorated divers in NCAA history. He won a total of six national championships in three years and was named the Big Ten's Male Athlete of the Year. For good measure, he then turned pro so he could train for the 2012 London Olympics. He has an excellent shot of medaling, as he won a silver medal at the FINA World Diving Championships this year. He will compete in the 10-meter and the synchronized 10-meter events, and he is expected to contend for a medal in each. He was the first U.S. male to medal at the World Championships in the 10-meter since 1986.
6. Ryan Kerrigan Drafted In First Round By The Redskins - We called him Superman, but Ryan Kerrigan really was a beast for us in 2010. He won the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year Award and was our first unanimous All-American in 30 years. The Washington Redskins then drafted him in the first round, where he immediately won over fans with a pick-6 in his first career NFL game. He has 61 tackles, 7.5 sacks, and four forced fumbles so far this year, putting him in the conversation for Defensive Rookie of the Year in the NFL.
5. Robert Marve Beats Ohio State In Overtime - Robert Marve has his fans and his detractors, but the senior quarterback at least made one memorable play in his Purdue career. After throwing a late interception he came back to lead a touchdown drive in overtime to defeat Ohio State for the fourth time in six tries at Ross-Ade Stadium. Marve made two spectacular third down throws in overtime, then finished the game one a one yard sneak for a touchdown. With all the kid has been through, I am very happy that he got his moment on that November day.
4. Drew Brees Breaks Dan Marino's Single Season Passing Record - My hetero man-crush on Drew is well known here, but with a week to go in the NFL season Drew has already broken one of the most unbreakable records in NFL history. As long as Tom Brady doesn't go completely crazy on Sunday, Brees has a chance to put it out of reach for some time. Is there any question that Brees will someday be both a College and Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee now? He can still add a league MVP and another Super Bowl to his resume this season, and likely has a few more good years left in him. And to think San Diego thought he was a bust.
3. JaJuan Johnson And E`Twaun Moore Drafted By Celtics - The episode of The Journey documenting JJ and Smooge's draft process is one of the finest half hours on television this year. Our boys are all grown up, and over 100 of us are going to see them at Banker's Life Fieldhouse on January 14. Tickets are still available, by the way, as we can congratulate them personally after the game. Now if Doc Rivers would just play them, already. for the record, anytime that episode of the The Journey is promoted on BTN it gets a little dusty in here because I know we are all proud of seeing these guys grow up.
2. E'Twaun's 38 Special Vs. Ohio State - This received the most votes, but I moved it to No. 2 because of the late addition of Paintergate. It was, unfortunately, the highlight of the season before it all came crashing down a few weeks later. Reader Ed Sigo was kind enough to provide a lower bowl ticket to me for free here, and man, am I glad I went. This was a special atmosphere for basketball as it was so loud at times I just closed my eyes and felt the crowd reverberate through my body like a religious experience. We took on the best team in the country and instead of hanging on to win on some last second shot we made them wilt with the combined effort of 14,123 fans. Smooge was unstoppable in this game as he laid waste to the Buckeyes by going into Bad Motherf***er mode for 40 minutes. Jared Sullinger is a beast, but by the end of that game you could tell he wanted to be anywhere else besides Mackey Arena. It was beautiful, and probably the greatest atmosphere I have ever been a part of at Mackey. It was so loud at points it was actually painful, but I loved every second of it.
1. Paintergate - I guess we should ask the infamous Bernie and Dick Weiss how coach painter is doing in his first season at Missouri. For four days we collectively lost our shit as it really looked like we were going to lose coach Painter. In the series of entries over the four days we had nearly 5,000 comments and over 407,000 page views in the month of March total. I'm sure the vaunted Indy Star did much better with their coverage, but the good that came out of the situation is that this site exploded and we got to lock up Painter for quite some time. All in all, it was probably worth the collective heart attack.