Chris Kramer's mom is a reader of Hammer & Rails. She admitted this to me last week when I met her during the Northwestern game. Maybe this article gets in front of the players because of that. Maybe it doesn't. Maybe the rest of you readers see and get inspired by it to turn the collective karma in our direction. Who knows? If it has a positive effect for this basketball team I'll do whatever it takes.
You see, the media has quit on this team already. We'll be lucky to win a game. We shouldn't even bother going to Spokane because Siena is going to beat us. If we get lucky we certainly have no hope against Texas A&M or Utah State.
But I still believe.
It seems like there are only three places where you still people believing in Purdue: Here, Boiled Sports, and the Purdue basketball blog. Everyone else has resigned that we are losing and we shouldn't even be seeded as high as we are. The committee handed this region to Duke anyway, so why bother to play the games?
But I still believe.
I still believe because we have E'Twaun Moore, a.k.a. Smooge, the Assassin, The Red Button. E'Twaun is more than capable of single-handedly taking a game over.
I still believe because we have JaJuan Johnson, a player that creates mismatches against nearly every team in the country.
I still believe because we have Chris Kramer, who would bleed for this team if it meant a win. The Secretary of Defense has given, and will continue to give, every ounce of himself for this team. We're not done with Kramer Moments yet.
I still believe because we have Keaton Grant. He has been saving himself for this moment. I think he has a big tournament as a grand finale to a great career.
I still believe because I am not supposed to.
I still believe because of Matt Painter, who won a Big Ten championship and 27 games while only having his projected starting lineup for 7 of 32 games.
I still believe because they keep score, so we might as well go win this thing.
I still believe because of Mark Wohlford, who is headed to law school and is simply living the walk-on dream as a senior.
I still believe because of D.J. Byrd. If anyone can step up, he showed he can against Minnesota.
I still believe because of the Walk-On WhiteOut, a group of guys that may never see competitive minutes, but they still give what they have to make everyone better.
I still believe because of Kelsey Barlow. I think he can make a big leap in this tournament give us at least a few positive GDB moments.
I still believe because of John Hart. The Hitman may have saved the season at Illinois when we broke the three game losing streak and got back into the Big Ten race.
I still believe because this team will fight, scratch, and claw until its last breath.
I still believe because I love pissing people off, and there is nothing more I would like to write on Sunday night than another We Are Still Here article.
I still believe because this is still a damn fine basketball team without Robbie Hummel. If we can take an absolutely loaded Florida team three years ago to the final minutes with an undersized power forward, a senior 3-point specialist, and a couple of freshmen we can handle Siena, Utah State, and Texas A&M.
I still believe because our toughness is nearly unmatched.
I still believe because they have put us in this tournament, therefore we still have a chance. Tell me, what are North Carolina's chances of repeating with all their McDonald's All-Americans? Right now, they have less of a chance than Arkansas-Pine Bluff, and the Golden Lions might play Duke closer too.
I still believe because I have never quit on this team, and neither should you. I may get mad at them like did after Michigan State, but I won't quit on them.
I still believe because of JJ's Twitter videos.
I still believe because Danny Hope taught me to during football season.
I still believe because I kept the first weekend in April free specifically to go the Final Four, and I certainly don't want to wish I was in Florida that weekend.
I still believe because of Kramer's mom, who is everything that a fan should be.
I still believe because we as fans have emotionally invested ourselves in this team for months and we're not ready to quit, so imagine how much the guys have put into this. They're the ones that can actually do something about it.
I still believe because I choose to.
Enjoy the first round games today. I'll see you all tomorrow at 2:30 sharp.