To my Indiana University Hoosiers,
The concept of rivalry is something that we are taught from a very young age. You're not supposed to like your opponent. You're supposed to despise them with every ounce of your being. When it comes to competition, we're taught that our ultimate goal is to come out on top and in order to reach the goal of winning. We can't subject ourselves to the weakness of friendships with the enemies. In my own life, I've been taught that the IU vs. Purdue rivalry has a certain level of importance. I was born a boilermaker and I followed in the footsteps of my great-grandparents, grandparents, uncles, and parents by deciding to become an official boilermaker last fall. I've had the hatred for IU implanted into my brain and ever since I was young I knew that IU was the enemy.
So how do I have such good friends who go to the rivalry school? Do I have a secret level of hate for the ones who are closest to me?
The truth is, I don't. Do I hate your stupid "cream and crimson" candy-striped pants? Of course. Do I hate the fact that people are always claiming that your school is the Indiana school for basketball even though Purdue has consistently beat IU since Cody Zeller left? You bet I do. Do I hate the fact that you're always bragging about your banners? No doubt. I hate everything about your school.
But do I don't even hate you to the slightest bit.
The truth is, you guys are the best friends I have ever had. You look out for me. You care about me and always make sure I'm okay. You tease me like siblings. You allow me to be my very best self. I love the times we spend together because I'm always on the flooring dying from laughter. There's no rivalry on earth that could make me not want to spend the weekends with you guys, staying up until 1 am and going to Mcdonald's or laughing about stupid inside jokes. You have shaped into being a better person and you have allowed me to enjoy every single moment of life. I don't know where I would be without you guys and our friendship. Without you guys, I would be incomplete.
All the time I think about the things I am going to tell my kids about when they ask me to tell them stories about when I was younger and when I am living out moments with you guys, I know that these are the stories that I'm going to tell them about. I'm going to tell them about all the fun times we've spent at both of our schools. I'm going to tell them about the amazing friendship that we all shared and the amazing friendship I hope they find someday in their own lives.
One day, I'll teach my kids all about the pride of being a boilermaker. I'll tell them about the amazing energy you feel as you walk into Mackey Arena. I'll teach them to sing "Hail Purdue" as soon as they can even speak. I'll tell them about the amazing fountain runs that they can do on campus. I'll tell them everything they need to love about Purdue. I'll even tell them to hate IU.
But you know what else I'll tell them?
Some people are worth crossing enemy lines for.