Last night I decided to reach out to new athletic director Mike Bobinski. if he wants everyone on boards to help Purdue succeed I might as well throw in our support. Here is what I wrote:
On behalf of the staff of Hammer & Rails I welcome you to Purdue. We are one of the top fan communities for Purdue on the internet and we have been active for over 10 years now covering Purdue sports and generally being a sounding board for the fans. With almost 10,000 Twitter followers and a community of 5,500 members we represent a passionate group of Purdue fans eager to be on board to you.
Personally, I am a 2002 Purdue graduate that has been a Purdue fan my entire life because of my dad, a 1975 Purdue graduate. I have had season tickets to football since 1987, I went to the 2001 Rose Bowl, and in a few weeks I will add Maryland as the 12th Big Ten stadium I have seen Purdue play in. I created Hammer & Rails as a personal blog in 2006 and joined the SB Network in 2009. SB Nation has blogs at your previous schools of Xavier (Banners on the Parkway) and Georgia Tech (From the Rumble Seat). I like to say that I write like a fan who has incredible access when I am credentialed at events, and it is truly a privilege to have the following we do. My staff and I are all alums and we do this not because it is a job, but because we love Purdue.
That is why I am writing you today. I agree with your call for an all-in commitment. Personally, I have been a John Purdue Club member since 2002. While we are critical of Purdue, it comes from loving our university and wanting it to succeed. If there is anything we can do to help, please let us know.
Surprisingly, he responded this morning:
Thank you for your note and the quick briefing on Hammer & Rails. In my short time here, I have come to realize that people like you are fanatical about Purdue Athletics, and that passion is both exciting and refreshing.
There are a lot of good things in place, but we won’t be satisfied with the status quo. As we look ahead, I ask that the extended Purdue family stay together, get involved and remain supportive. An all-in commitment will lead to an extremely bright future.
Thank you, too, for your support of the John Purdue Club – what you do for our student-athletes is something special!
So, it is a small thing, but it is good to see that our community is recognized as one that definitely supports our alma mater and wants to see it succeed. I just wanted to share this with you as a small step towards improving Purdue sports.