Ever Grateful, Ever True

Ever Grateful, Ever True

The Mindset of a Lifelong Boilermaker Football Fan

James and Christine Fisher birthed their first son, Connor James Fisher on December 22, 1997. This child came out of the womb a Boilermaker and became approximately the 20th member of his family to attend Purdue University beginning in the fall of 2016. Not only did this child come out of the womb a Boilermaker, he came out of the womb a sports fanatic and enthusiast.

Yes, this is me. In this same year of 1997, Joe Tiller had just led Purdue to a Bowl Game in his first year as Head Football Coach of the Purdue Boilermakers. Little did I know how in love and attached I would be to Purdue sports and Purdue football. Although I was too young to recall the spirit and energy around the football program at the time, I have seen evidence of passion and high energy around the program at this time through videos of a sold out Ross-Ade Stadium and by asking students who attended the University at the time. This season of winning football set a standard for Purdue football. This standard included many details, but was centered around three words: Passion, Energy, and WINNING.

At the same time, Coach Tiller and the Boilermakers were able to continue the tradition of attaining some of the best quarterbacks in college football, allowing the University to maintain the nickname of “the cradle of quarterbacks.” Things continued to go well for the Boilers between the years of 1997 and 2007. The Boilermakers kept up with the expectation of winning by making 8 straight bowl games from 1997 – 2004. The highlight of the Joe Tiller era occurred in the year 2000, when the Boilermakers made an appearance in the Rose Bowl, led by NFL Hall of Famer, Drew Brees. All was good until fans began hearing rumors near the end of the 2008 season about a potential retirement of Head Coach and Purdue legend, Joe Tiller. The rumors stood true as he sadly departed the program to move onto the next chapter of his life, retirement. Little did avid Boiler fans like myself realize the dreaded drought and disappointing stretch of football that Purdue was about to begin following the departure of Coach Tiller.

The Boilermakers hired Danny Hope to be its next head coach later that spring. Although fans were depressed about Joe Tiller leaving the program to retire, there was still a sense of optimism for fans, especially the die-heart fans like myself who have not missed a Purdue football game on TV or in person since they can remember. That optimism quickly turned to doubt as the next four years of Boilermaker football was not only hard to watch, frustrating to support, and difficult to remain loyal to, but quite frankly was a failure in terms of the standard that Coach Tiller set in his 11 years as Head Coach. These four years went by incredibly slow and depressingly as the Boilermakers combined record over this time period included 22 wins and 27 losses. After the firing of Danny Hope and hiring of Darrell Hazell, we thought we had hope as fans, but once again our dreams were crushed, just even further this time. Coach Hazell led the Boilers to an abysmal 9 win, 39 loss stretch over the years of 2013 – 2016. Petitions to fire the coach were spiraling around the community for a few years as anger built up, until finally the new Athletic Director, Mike Bobinsky, finally got rid of in my opinion, the worst Purdue coach of all time. It seems embarrassing to say this, but the day that Hazell was fired may be one of the happiest days of my life because I had a gut feeling that this was the time that Purdue football got back to its standard of PASSION, ENERGY, and most importantly WINNING. Rumors began to spiral about hiring some of the hottest names in college football and the excitement level of fans began to build. Then, Athletic Director, Mike Bobinsky, announced the highly praised hiring of current Head Football Coach, Jeff Brohm.

“Let’s Play Football!” That is the motto that Jeff Brohm has carried with him into Purdue. Fans were optimistic, but nervous. Although the record right now is 4-6, the Boilers have competed in every single game, with its biggest loss by 18 points to highly-ranked Michigan. Jeff Brohm made it clear to Boilermaker fans that this is finally the year that the tide is turning and that no matter how talented the opponent, the Boilers would come out and fight until there is not a single drop of sweat, blood, or tear left inside of each and every one of those players.

I feel that Boilermaker Football is back on the railroad going in the right direction. According to ESPN, Purdue’s Fan Happiness Index has increased 99 points since last season. This proves that I am not alone through the numbers. Also, Ross-Ade Stadium has increased average attendance by nearly 15,000 people in just one season. PASSION, ENERGY, and WINNING. It is back. The expectation is being met and the future is bright.


Cover Image Credit: Rob Dupre

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5 Ways To Make The Winter Olympics Way More Entertaining

A few ideas on how to elevate the 2022 Winter Olympics.

'Tis the season for the best of the best to gather for the 2018 Winter Olympic games and display the epitome of athletic ability.

Although they are undeniably impressive, the couch potato in me wonders how teenagers are winning gold metals while I’m on day two of sweatpants and shoving food in my face.

While I watch, I can’t help but think of a few ways the Olympics could be a bit more amusing and, even if it’s just me, a bit less of a harsh reality check.

1. Have the athletes exchange events.

Admittedly, this isn’t an original idea but it’s one of my favorites. What if, at the end of the Olympics, we had all the people that won gold in their event do a completely different event than they have been trained for?

It would certainly make me feel a bit better seeing a speed skater do a figure skating routine. Of course, it would have to be within reason because some of the events – jumping off a large hill and flying through the air, for example – probably wouldn’t be safe without the proper training first.

This idea may be better suited for the Summer Olympics, where we could watch the gymnasts try to doggy-paddle their way to victory.

2. Put blades on the hands of the figure skaters.

I had this thought yesterday while watching the women figure skating qualifiers. They do such an amazing job skating on their feet that I couldn’t help but think that it would

be pretty cool if we slapped some blades on their hands and watched them figure the rest out.

Sidenote: that gif is a French figure skater Surya Bonaly, who was able to successfully do backflips on the ice. Apparently, the move was so dangerous that they had to outlaw it from the Olympics in order to discourage athletes from attempting it.

3. Interview the team speed skaters about their teammates' butts.

While watching the women’s team speed skating, I couldn’t help but notice that every time one player was exchanged for another, the old player gave the new player a boost with a push to the butt.

I know it was probably immature to laugh at, but I laughed anyway. I just really want to have one of the reporters that interview the athletes after their event to ask the skaters about the quality of butt within their team.

I’m just curious…for a friend…

4. Put those flying squirrel suits on the ski jumpers.

This is very unsafe, but I think if we worked on it hard enough, we could figure out a way to make it safer. I know that they get great airtime just coming off the hill, but imagine

if we put one of those wingsuits on them and really watched them go.

5. Make everyone dress the way the curlers do.

This needs no explanation. If you have ever seen a curling team, you are familiar with their

Vogue-worthy fashion statements.

Compared to those horrendous fringed gloves that the US team wore for their walk in the opening ceremony, I think curling pants would have been a better choice.

There are so many ways to make the Olympics a more fun – and also, in hindsight, more dangerous – spectacle. But, in reality, the most captivating part of the Olympics is watching the dreams of people from many countries and age ranges fulfill a life-long dream, regardless of how nice their butts are.

Cover Image Credit: Kevin Pedraja

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Adam Gaudette Has Put Himself On The Hockey Map

The Northeastern Husky thrived on one of college hockey’s biggest stages.

Late round draft picks can be a tossup, but the Vancouver Canucks may have hit on their 2015 fifth round pick, forward Adam Gaudette.

Entering the draft that year, Gaudette was relatively unknown. He didn’t put up big numbers in the USHL, and as a Northeastern commit, Vancouver had to hold out hope that he would develop well enough in college to eventually contribute a little in the NHL. Nobody expected his development to come the far, though.

To the surprise of many, Gaudette has been consistently performing at a high level since he arrived at Northeastern. Gaudette currently leads the nation with 24 goals, rapidly approaching his total of 26 from the year prior. His 47 points overall this season ranks also places him at the top of the statistical leaderboard, where the closest player to him is his teammate Daryl Sikura with 41 points. His 16 multi-point games are also some of the tops in the NCAA this year, and he even became Northeastern’s all-time leader in power play goals with 31 across his years playing for the school. As an alternate captain for the Huskies, he also shows strong leadership skills.

With Northeastern competing in the annual Beanpot tournament, Gaudette finally got the recognition he deserves. The Beanpot is a tournament played in the NHL’s Boston Bruins’ arena in which the four major ice hockey schools in the Boston area compete. Beginning in the 1952-53 NCAA ice hockey season, the Beanpot has been a staple in Massachusetts, mostly dominated by both Boston College and Boston University, who have a combined 50 titles out of 66 that have been played. With Northeastern looking for just its fifth title win, Gaudette scored three goals in the final, completing his hat-trick with an empty net goal to secure a 5-2 win in the tournament. Guadette earned the Most Valuable Player trophy for his performance as Northeastern University won the Beanpot for the first time in 30 years.

Having a big stage only seemed to elevate his play, and with Northeastern in the middle of a successful season currently ranked inside the top 15 in the nation, they could make noise in the NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Championship. The Huskies have never won the Men’s Ice Hockey Championship, and Gaudette is looking to help bring further success to a Northeastern program that has only been to the Frozen Four once.

To add to his resume, Gaudette is also a current nominee in the first round of voting for 2018 Hobey Baker Memorial Award, which is the most prestigious award in college hockey, given to the play judged to be the top player in the nation. Former players who have won the award include Paul Kariya, Chris Drury, Jack Eichel and Johnny Gaudreau. An award win would put Gaudette’s credentials over the top as he nears a possible NHL job.

Regardless if he earns any additional hardware to the Beanpot, Adam Gaudette is certainly higher on the Canucks’ radar as he continues to produce, and he may earn an entry-level contract from them sooner rather than later.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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