Even Lew Jack has noticed the amount of open seats in the Paint Crew.
While I wrote this, I realized I will get 3 different types of responses: 1) Some sort of mild praise, 2) Ridicule, or 3) I'm just beating a dead horse. But this is stuff I feel that has been address here and there throughout the season, and I just wanted to put it all together before senior night. So here it goes:
As you know, this Wednesday night is the last home game (hopefully) for the men's basketball team (I say hopefully just in case we goof and end up hosting the NIT). This also means that this will be Hummel's, Ryno's, and Lew Jack's last game in Mackey Arena wearing the black and gold. Therefore, I ask Purdue fan to not disappoint our seniors, our team, and to please, show up.
I'm especially looking at you, John Purdue Club and Paint Crew members. Too many times this year, those fancy black and gold seats have been left empty, (case in point: Miami for the B1G/ACC Challenge). I'm no engineer, but I assume that the fabric seems to absorb sound when left empty, and putting a butt in that seat will at least prevent the sound from being absorb as much (please correct me if I am wrong). Luckily, Purdue was smart and did what most schools do by not putting them within camera's view, but our team still has to look straight at those seats from their bench. If the John Purdue Club is suppose to be the "Team behind the team", then show it and show up instead of just shoving money into Burke's wallet. It has gotten better since the Miami game, but I still think they can do a better job.
Lately, the Paint Crew has looked like the Ross Ade Brigade. At times, there were more people sitting behind us in the upper bowl at the women's games then there were students behind us in the Paint Crew. When it came to the Michigan State game, we were actually able to still get lower bowl seats after showing up 45 minutes before tip off, something I have never experienced in my 3 years as a Paint Crew member, even when we played Little Sisters of the Poor, Blind, and Gifted. The only flip side of this is that it shows who really is committed to standing behind the team at all times, and who is only interested in showing up for the big games (IU game, anybody?).
The Team behind the Team
Granted, the Paint Crew may be skim at games because everyone now has general admission tickets, unlike the last couple of years where the first 1,779 people to line up in October received general admission, and the rest got assigned seats throughout the upper bowl. This meant that the people who really cared received the general admission seats and filled them up almost every game. Also, many of you students were here when Lew Jack and Ryno were freshman, and some of you super seniors and grad students were here when the Baby Boilers came to West Lafayette. It should only be fitting to see our boys play one more time, and to wrap up your Paint Crew career as our seniors wrap up their Purdue careers.
I know us Purdue students can be busy with exams, projects, work, etc., I have had to miss a few games this season too because of that. But instead of just throwing out your ticket or just letting it collect dust on your desk, give it to another student who may want to go. I know plenty of Purdue students who are willing to use your ticket while you suffer during your thermodynamics exam. Whenever I had to miss a game, I made sure I was able to give it away to someone who would use it. And if you are trying to make a profit off your student tickets, all I have to say is shame on you for trying to make money off a fellow Boilermaker. You should be proud to give it to them if you cannot go, and just ask that they be twice as loud as you.
So in the end, what do I ask? I ask that every seat in Guy 'Red' Mackey Arena, all 14,000+ of them, be filled this Wednesday by tip-off at 6:30pm, and that everyone stay for the Senior Night Ceremony after the game, no matter what the final score is, win or lose. If you cannot make it to the game, give your ticket to someone who is willing to use it.
Maybe I am just preaching to the choir, considering most of you are some of the most loyal Purdue fans. Plus after beating Michigan, perhaps those casual fans will show up on Wednesday even without reading this. But this was something I had to say, considering it has been a topic of discussion throughout the season.
Be Proud. Be Loud. Show Up. Boiler Up.