Obviously, this year's football and basketball campaigns have fallen well short of our hopes and expectations. When football season kicked off, there was real talk that we could sneak into the B1G championship game. I don't think anyone expected the basketball team to win the conference or anything, but still, after the Italy trip, hopes were riding high that this team would gel and be ready to surprise some people. Here we sit all this time later, and they still have yet to gel.
I can't deny that this team seems to have given up. Rather than strengthening their resolve and coming out stronger each game, they seem to be more and more disinterested each time they take the floor. It's frustrating to watch as a fan, and if Painter's ejection last night is any clue, it must be agonizing for a coach.
Many of you are ready to, or have already quit on this team. I can't say I blame you, it's tough to support a team that doesn't care about itself. Still though, I would invite everyone, especially alumni, to remember why we support Purdue athletics in the first place. I'm not a Purdue fan because it's popular, because it's easy, or because I love to brag when my team wins titles. We support Purdue because we love it. Maybe you went there, maybe you had family that went there, maybe you're from West Lafayette. Whatever the case may be, very few people are fans of Purdue athletic teams due to the performance of the teams themselves. Most every fan I know is a fan of the school, not just the team.
I tell you all that to tell you this little story. Right after the IU beatdown in Mackey, we had a "dress down" day at my place of employment. I came in to work wearing a Purdue hoodie. One of the hordes of IU fans I work around saw me, and said, "You must be a true fan to be wearing that today." I pulled the collar down on my hoodie to show that underneath was a Purdue basketball T-shirt. I simply smiled and said, "Ever grateful, Ever True."
Stick with it people. Yeah, the team has struggled through a disappointing season. But odds are that's not why you cheer for Purdue in the first place.
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