Welcome to this week’s Boilermusings where we talk about topics that I can’t flesh out into an entire article but seem important enough to put out there in their current form.
I know it seems like we say it every year but the NCAA Tournament is crazy. There are always upsets that you can’t predict and this year was no different. It’s never fun to be on the receiving end of an upset as Purdue was this year but unfortunately it’s the nature of a single elimination basketball tournament. It’s not really designed for the best team in the country to win (to be clear, Purdue was not the best team in the country). It’s designed for chaos, watchability, and profit.
If Purdue played North Texas in a best of seven series I’d put money on Purdue right now, but that isn’t how this works. Instead you see teams like Purdue, Kansas, Illinois, Iowa, all out in the first weekend despite having by many other measures a successful season. Now all anyone will remember about this Purdue team may be that they had a disappointing first round exit. It’s terrible that it works this way but unfortunately it’s the reality.
It’s a shame Purdue didn’t get more than 1 full healthy season out of Rondale Moore. The man is a freak of an athlete. Seeing him on the field is one thing but watching his Purdue pro day is a whole other animal altogether.
The official measurement of Moore’s height was 5’7. That’s one inch taller than me. I’m by no means a comparable athletic specimen but I’m a runner, I’m athletic, I’m in good shape by normal mortal standards and I look like a glob of leftover clay next to this man. His athletic ability is off the charts. Don’t believe me? Check out this video of him and tell me you’re not in awe of the athleticism on display.
That’s like a cartoon getting poked in the butt with a needle type jump. It almost doesn’t seem real. I know I’m gushing but it’s hard not to be amazed the pure skill, talent, and athleticism on display. Best of luck to Rondale Moore in the NFL Draft, I just wish we were able to see mo(o)re of you at Purdue.
Ohio State befell a fate much like Purdue did in this NCAA Tournament. An early exit after so much promise. E.J. Liddell is a member of that particular Ohio State squad. He took to Twitter last week to point out how athletes are treated by a certain segment of the fanbase after losses and it made me sick.
Honestly, what did I do to deserve this? I’m human. pic.twitter.com/djXzhSH0q8— E.J. Liddell (@EasyE2432) March 20, 2021
There’s no excuse to treat a fellow human being in this way. Liddell probably missed a shot here or there or made a thoughtless turnover or committed a dumb foul, sure, but in what world does that translate into this? I love sports and basketball in particular. I get stressed when Purdue makes boneheaded plays and I may get angry at players or coaches from time to time but I would never wish them ill or any type of harm. I’m one of those guys that when an opposing player goes down on the court against Purdue I always either think or say out loud “I hope he’s perfectly fine and can play next week, but he should probably skip the rest of the game for safety sake.”
We sports fans are entitled. We think because a player puts our school or our team on the front of their jersey that they owe us something. That they owe us success, victories, and to live up to the expectations we create in our own head. Now, no this isn’t a Charles Barkley I am not a role model situation (though he was right to some degree) but we as fans have to be better than this. And this isn’t just an Ohio State problem. We see tweets in our mentions going after players all the time, nothing this bad as I would imagine the people who do this go after the players directly and not through third parties, but it still frustrates me. Fans have got to hold themselves to higher standards and understand that these are 18-22 year olds who are trying to do the right thing. No one deserves to be treated this way and I would hope that anyone affiliated with the university I love wouldn’t stoop this low though I know that’s unrealistic. We’ve got to be better and demand better from one another. And if that fails, just be kind.