Sometimes the fairy tale is just that. A tale. Real life can’t live up to the expectations and stories we read as kids. The good guy doesn’t always win. The dragon isn’t always vanquished. There isn’t always a happy ending. Today was greater than any fairy tale if you’re a Purdue fan. None of the writers on this website picked Purdue to win. Tyler Trent did. He picked Purdue to win. He was right. We were wrong. I’ve never been happier to be wrong.
Some things are bigger than football. Today was one of those things. From the moment of the kickoff and the ‘Cancer Sucks’ cheer everything went Purdue’s way. There were amazing plays from Markus Bailey, a pick six, Rondale Moore, basically everything, D.J. Knox, same, and Isaac Zico, that first touchdown was beautiful. On the defensive side of the ball in addition to Bailey there was Neal getting pressure, and Blackmon stopping multiple drives with deflected passes and great coverage. Everything was firing at 100%.
Purdue never trailed in this game. Following the incredible Isaac Zico catch to put Purdue up 7-0 the team never looked back. Their confidence was high and the coaches put together a perfect game plan to make Ohio State uncomfortable. Possibly the play of the game, the one that broke Ohio State’s spirit, was the fake field goal at the end of the second quarter that Purdue, and Joe Schopper, turned into a first down and then a touchdown. That made the game 14-3 and that’s how the teams went into the locker room.
As Purdue fans streamed onto the field with the game over and Purdue victorious 49-20 I, like many of you, began to cry. Not because of the score, but because of Tyler Trent. I’ve been lucky in my life to not have anyone go through something so horrendous as what this man is going through. One can never know how much time one has left on this Earth but tonight Purdue gave one young man possibly one of his best days of his life as he struggles near the end of such a brief life. We all might not remember the ins and outs of this game in 10-15 years but I know I’ll remember this feeling. I’ll remember the smile on Tyler Trent’s face and most of all I’ll remember how proud I was to be a Boilermaker tonight.
“Unexplainable. That’s Boilermaker spirit right there.” Those are the words Tyler Trent spoke as he was on the field with Purdue up 42-20 just before heading to the locker room. Dreams don’t always come true, life doesn’t always meet our expectations, but today, for just one night, true life was better than fantasy.