Moral victories suck. But this morning, I find my self embracing one and happy to have the chance to do so.
Sometimes I feel like Charlie Brown to the Lucy that is Purdue sport. Every time I'm convinced that we're beyond hope and due for nothing more than a long, painful rebuilding, she seduces me into thinking we're already there with a 4Q lead over the hated Irish on national TV. Then, just as we're starting to embrace the notion that we can finish the deal, Lucy pulls the ball away - and that old, familiar pain rushes back as we hang in mid-air and wait to crash to the ground.
Are we too gullible? Should we expect more or settle for less?? One thing is clear - true Boilermaker fans are faithful. We've felt this way before - not knowing whether to be optimistic about the future or disappointed about the one that got away last night (probably both). We will feel this way again. Either way, we'll be there.
When the successes do come, they are sweeter because the guy celebrating next to you was also there in the dark days helping to dull the pain of crushed expectations. It's no accident that one definition of our nickname is a very strong adult beverage. I love the fact that I recognize most of the fans at our victory parties. I'm proud that this community supports these kids no matter the result. I consider myself fortunate to be here with all of you.
Few people make it through life unbeaten and untied. Some who rocket to the top don't stay there very long because, in many cases, they cut corners to get there. People who are successful over a lifetime haven't done so by avoiding setbacks and disappointments, they've done it by overcoming them. Brees and Hummel understand this. So did Armstrong and Grissom. It could be that many of our distinguished alumni began developing advanced coping skills on autumn Sunday mornings in West Lafayette. Possibly some of you are doing it this morning.
"It ain't about the fact that you have fallen - it's all about how you choose to get up."
Tee it up, Lucy - I'm really gonna put my leg into this one.