It was a pretty standard day of work over Winter Break. I had just gotten off a ten hour shift at the meat shop back home and was absolutely drained from being on my feet all day long and dealing with customers. I walked into my parent’s house, plopped on my favorite couch, and tuned into the Purdue vs. IPFW basketball game that had just started. I am notorious around my household for being the only person who really REALLY cares about sports. They think I’m a little off my rocker for how much I love sports, especially basketball. I won’t argue that.
It was a solid beat down on IPFW. My sister was nagging me to change it to something not sports relate; per usual. I’m exhausted, and the last thing I want to hear is some 12 year old try to not convince me to watch a Purdue game, so naturally I turn it up. A few moments later, Kelsey Barlow drives in, tries to make a quick layup before the half ends, misses, and then out of nowhere Robbie Hummel jumps up and slams it down like nobody’s business. I lost it.
I stand up and scream like I’ve been shot, pumping my fists and doing my infamous leg kick move that I do when I’m excited. My little sister jumps back, and my mom runs in the living room thinking that my little sister just pulled out a knife from the kitchen and is trying to stab me.
After I settle down, my sister gives me the most confused look and asks a question that blew me away: "Why do you care so much about sports?"
I sat there for a bit, really trying to process that question. My initial response was "How can you not like sports?", but obviously that didn’t fly with her. I think I eventually said something like "Cause I just do".
A few weeks ago, I was offered an internship from T-Mill to write for Hammer & Rails. I took it without blinking an eye. But trying to figure out what to write about for the first time ever took me a bit. And while trying to figure out what it was going to be about, the question my younger sister asked came back to me: Why do I care so much about sports?
The answer isn’t that simple, nor do I believe it can best be summarized in a few sentences or even a post like this. It’s a long, continuation of reasons that even at the age of 22 I’m still figuring out. But here are some of the reasons to why I believe sports are some of the greatest things man has done; along with beer, brief nudity in movies, and HBO.
I love sports for the passion. Passion from the players, fans, coaches, broadcasters, recruiters, office staff, owners, the overall passion that everyone feels when they are affiliated with a sport that they love in some way.
I love sports because we see people react in ways that they wouldn’t normally in their daily lives. We see people rally together as a team when they are down, and work together to come back for a win. We watch as individuals push themselves to a limit that physically and emotionally drains them, and then celebrate with them when they win, or morn at their loss.
I love sports because once in a while a player like Robbie Hummel will come along and change the face of a team, a program, and a school. He can have such an impact that we worship the ground he walks on, respects every single thing that comes out of his mouth, cheer for him even when is put into tough situations, like torn ACLs and playing with a team lacking size and experience, and be so unbelievably proud of him for what he is done that he is almost like a member of our own family.
I love sports because they take us on such an emotional roller coaster that they bring us to tears, make stand up and scream, can ruin our days, or make us the happiest people on the planet.
I am thrilled to have this opportunity to be writing for Hammer & Rails. I love everything about Purdue University, especially the basketball program. I was born in raised in Bloomington, Indiana, so basketball has always been a huge part of my life….except I was rooting for the wrong guys for a good part of my life. I was born and raised a Hoosier, but by the grace of God I became a Boilermaker. So don’t worry, you couldn’t pay me to root for the dirty south.
As far everything else sports and Steve Landrey:
- I love the Bulls, White Sox, and enjoy watching The Blackhawks and The Bears. But I really am not into the NFL and am just now starting to get into hockey, and it’s awesome. I also love the Atlanta Braves. I grew up watching them on TBS as a kid and loved Chipper Jones
- I see Purdue winning a national championship in basketball within the next 5 years
- I was born and raised in Indiana, but the only team in Indiana that I root for is Purdue. I grew up idolizing Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen. After that I just found myself rooting for Chicago sports in general.
- I could sit in a bar anywhere in the world, have a good beer, and watch basically any sports and be content.
- The Wire is the best show ever. Games of Thrones is a close second with Dexter coming in third.
- Some of my favorite writers are Malcom Gladwell, Bill Simmons, Michael Wilbon, and basically anyone who writes for Grantland.
- The NBA Finals and March Madness are the best sporting events known to man. World Cup is also awesome too, but I know basically nothing about soccer. I just love rooting for USA and seeing the competition and the passion behind it.
- I love international basketball. The physicality is great and that’s how the game should be played. Sadly, flopping has become a big part of the NBA and college.
- Monopoly is a great game to be played at Harry’s Chocolate Shop
- Harry’s Chocolate Shop is easily one of my favorite places on God’s green earth.
- I hate IU and Ohio State.
- Hanna Storm is still the hottest anchor on Sportscenter.
Throughout the year I hope to inform and entertain readers about Purdue with my sarcastic and passionate style of writing. I’m not a sports writer by any means. I’m just a guy who is crazy about Purdue and sports.