We've all had moments in our lives, experiences perhaps, that we thought would last forever. Things that we thought would provide us with good memories forever. Maybe that something was high school, maybe it was college, maybe it was a man or a woman you loved, whatever it was it invariably let you down. There are so few things in life that live up to their potential. So few things in life that never let you down. When you find one of those things you have to hang onto it because they don't come around often. More than likely that thing, or feeling, you thought would last forever doesn't. That relationship ends. College passes you by. Whatever it is, it almost certainly will end. The problem with us humans is we get nostalgic. We remember the past through rose-colored glasses. We highlight the good but forget the bad. Things are always better in retrospect. For those that think Ronnie Johnson coming back to Purdue is a good thing I say you're suffering from a bad case of graduation goggles.
Ronnie Johnson was a solid player at a time when Purdue sorely lacked solid players. He wasn't a star by any means, and he certainly had flaws. He was a piece to a puzzle that never came together. When Ronnie Johnson announced last week that he would be transferring, yet again, from Houston and seek to play his graduate year elsewhere invariably a small minority of Purdue basketball fans on the internet started asking if maybe Ronnie Johnson should come "home" to Purdue. To these fans I say no. For me it's always been hard to get over the transfer of certain players. Honestly, I'm a big enough man to admit that the transfer of Scott Martin still bothers me. He had so much potential but just ran away instead of staying to fight. I know there are other circumstances involved in these transfers but the perception is often times more important than the reality. That's sad but true. Ronnie's transfer was another one that bothered me greatly. He got to play with his brother while Terone was here and seemed to enjoy it, so much so that he seemed to exclusively pass to him. Eventually though the thrill of that began to fade and as Purdue's sauce level started to fall the animosity between Painter and Ronnie seemed to rise. Purdue wanted to focus on getting the ball into the post. Ronnie wanted to focus on Ronnie being saucy. It just wasn't a mix that was going to end well. So I guess in that regard I can't hold it against Ronnie for transferring somewhere that would better accommodate his skill set. Fandom isn't rational though and it's bothered me to this day. Each time he tweets about Purdue it annoys me. He tweeted about a player de-committing from Purdue and former players jumped on his case giving him crap for dumping on Purdue. It was a good time.
I'm doing my best as I get older to do a couple things. One of those is to realize that Purdue sports, and sports in general, are just a distraction. They aren't my life. I don't need to get so upset when Purdue loses that it ruins my day, and thus my wife's day as well as I mope. I need to realize that a game is just a game in these cases. I might be happier if Purdue won but I can't let a loss bring me down. The second, and more important one, is to not think about what might have been. We can't get caught looking to the past to see where our lives might have taken us. The past wasn't as great as we remember it. Some of us got picked on in high school but look back fondly. Some of us have a crazy ex-girlfriend or boyfriend who we look back on and wonder what they are up to. Some of us perhaps look back on choices we didn't make and paths we didn't take and wonder what may have been. When Purdue fans talk about Ronnie Johnson coming back to Purdue they are romanticizing a past that wasn't that romantic at all. Ronnie Johnson wasn't good for Purdue basketball. We don't have to wish him ill but we have to remember the bad times just as we remember the good. Ronnie Johnson isn't the answer for Purdue basketball and it would be a mistake to let him back in our lives. Good luck to Ronnie Johnson in his future. I just hope our paths don't cross again because the past is the past and it wasn't as great as we like to remember.