Seeing as how today is Back to the Future day it only seems right that we take a look at the moments we all wish we could change. There's an interesting scene in Knocked Up where the main characters discuss what they would change about their lives if Doc Brown showed up in the Delorean and gave them that chance. It's very nice and P.C. to say you wouldn't change anything because you like who you are and who knows what changing one little thing would do to you. Maybe if you went back and dumped that crazy ex before things went off the rails you wouldn't have met your spouse and instead met a person crazier than your ex.
As Purdue fans we know all about heartbreak. We know how much one moment in time can change things. With the Purdue football program currently in the tank I imagine Doc Brown would pull up in the Delorean and, instead of screaming about something needing to be done about my kids, he screams about saving Purdue football. I don't know about you but I would get in that car and I would have some great ideas about what date and time to go to in order to fix the
future present past umm...let's just say fix Purdue football. Without further ado here is my list. Let's hear yours in the comments.
Oct. 16th, 2004 - The Fumble
Maybe I suffer from recency bias, or maybe it's because this is when I was a student but this is the first one that jumps out to me. If given the chance I would go back in time and warn a couple of people here. I would warn Kyle Orton not to take any chances and just to make sure he slides rather than tries to play hero. I'd talk to Kyle Smith and make sure he was ready to make an interception if it came down to it. I would talk to Mr. Subway Diet (no not THAT guy) Ben Jones and make sure he practices a little bit more. If #5 ranked Purdue wins this game, Orton doesn't get hurt, and the season progresses who knows what could have happened.
Nov. 15th, 2003 - #10 Purdue loses in OT to #4 Ohio State
This was another game that could have meant the difference for Purdue football. Obviously Purdue had just played in the 2001 Rose Bowl and had struggled the next season. 2003 was different though. 2003 Purdue had another chance to win the conference. Despite being trounced by Michigan 31-3 in one of the ugliest games I can remember Purdue had a solid chance to rebound and defeat Ohio State and take a lead in the conference. Going back in time I would chat with good old Ben Jones once again. Jones missed two field goals in this game. I'd do what I could to give him confidence and help him make that third quarter kick that would have prevented OT from even being necessary. With that win Purdue finishes the season at 10-3 (7-1) and in a tie for the conference title with Michigan. Michigan would hold the tie breaker due to their trouncing of Purdue but a conference title is a conference title regardless of if it's shared.
Oct. 11th, 2007 - Preventing the Hiring of Danny Hope
This one is a bit tougher date-wise. There's no actual evidence of when the decision to hire Hope was officially made. We know he was officially introduced at a press conference on Jan. 11th, 2008. My thinking is giving myself three months of time would allow me to prevent Morgan Burke from hiring Hope in the first place. If instead Purdue hires Brock Spack or anyone else really it would have been (probably) better for Purdue. I know there's a bit of revisionist history that says clearly Purdue should've hired Kevin Sumlin but that simply wasn't going to happen. Now, if I have a time machine perhaps there's a way for me to make that happen by convincing Joe Tiller to retire one year earlier and thus getting Sumlin before he takes the Houston job. With a time machine anything is possible. Does anyone really doubt that if Purdue had looked elsewhere things would've worked out better long term?
So there you have it. My big three dates in Purdue football history that I would go back and change if given the opportunity. What would you choose?