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What Saturday’s Big Ten Championship Game Means To Me- From The Fans

Boiler faithful speak up on the impact Purdue football has had on them

NCAA Football: Purdue at Indiana Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

Like many of you, Purdue holds a special place in my heart. I don’t know if it was the warm brick buildings as we drove in for freshman orientation, all the students gathered in the bookstore getting ready for classes to start, or the sign outside Lambda Chi that read “Free Swim Lessons for Freshman” accompanied with a baby pool. But the moment I stepped onto Purdue’s campus, I knew I was home. I had siblings, cousins and uncles who also attended Purdue so the Boiler blood runs deep with me. As someone who grew up playing and watching sports, it was only natural I fell in love with Purdue Athletics.

While we may not have had the best seasons when I went there the excitement over game day was still evident. Students dressed up in crazy costumes lined up at Harry’s, friends outside playing cornhole, and tailgates full of alumni and future little Boilers running around. We all bled Black and Gold no matter what happened on the football field.

One of my earliest memories of Purdue Football is of course the Rose Bowl. My sister was a Freshman at Purdue that year and I remember watching the game excitedly at home. I don’t know that I really knew how big of a game that was at the time, but a future Boilermaker was born that day. Winning the bucket my senior year, rushing the field during the notorious Tyler Trent game, beating #2 Iowa last year and of course the OT win in Nashville are all times when the taste of victory just seemed so sweet. And what happens when you get a taste? You want more.

Coming into this season I think most of us had high expectations. And while we may have stumbled a little along the way and with some help from the Cornhuskers (who would have thought we would be saying that?) we managed to reach our goal of winning the West. But now, I want more. I say, let’s win the whole damn thing. Because why not us? I know, I know, Michigan is #2 but if we’ve learned anything as Purdue fans; #2 ranked teams aren’t unbeatable. But to win the Big Ten, something that we have never done before- monumental.

So what does this game mean to me? It’s the opportunity to see my beloved Boilers secure their bid to play in the oldest, most prestigious college football bowl game; the Rose Bowl. The opportunity to know that Joe Tiller would be looking down smiling on his Boilers heading to the game that he last led them to 22 years ago. That the Danny Hope and Darrell Hazell eras were not for naught, because sometimes the path from point A to point B isn’t a straight line. And to know that we can finally bury the curse of “The Fumble”.

But of course, I’m just one fan. And there are a lot more of us out there, so I asked some of my followers on Twitter to send me what this game means to them. Here are some of the responses;

So I don’t know about you but I’m going to ignore the spreads, all the statistics stacked up against us, the naysayers on twitter and all the experts who say we don’t stand a chance this weekend. I’m still going to be cheering loudly for our Boilers knowing that while everyone else may not believe; my fellow alumni, fans, students, players, and all the future little Boilers will be believing with me. Just as we’ve always done.