Rants, ravings, and somewhat sensical opinions following the wild, wacky, and wide-wide world of Purdue sports.
I have gathered y’all here today to talk about Meatloaf. No, not the questionable dinner choice, made of multiple ground meats stretched with bread crumbs to make a soft pillow of disgusting texture-less food stuff (just my opinion!). Rather, I am here to talk about the other Meatloaf. Meatloaf with a capital M. The force of nature.
The beefy, long haired, frenetic ball of energy, who belted out love ballads to the masses… Meatloaf. The voice of a generation.
Full disclosure, I am not the biggest Meatloaf fan in the world. I do not own any Meatloaf albums. I don’t have any ticket stubs, or concert tees. All I have are memories of his wicked, larger than life, borderline humorous songs, and dancing at weddings to “Paradise by the Dashboard Light”, as is tradition amongst my friends and family.
Unfortunately Meatloaf passed this past week, taking his last breath on January 20th.
He left a legacy of wonderful songs, some of which hit close to home with the Purdue family. Songs such as “Bat out of Hell” and “I Would Do Anything for Love (But I won’t do that)” will live in infamy in all of their ridiculous glory. The aforementioned “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” is one of my favorites. One song, however, sticks out this week for me, as the Purdue junkie that I am…
This love ballad was one of Meatloaf’s greatest of his illustrious career. Juxtaposing his lust and addiction to his affection, and his waning love, the song may not relate directly to my Purdue fandom… but the famous titular line absolutely does.
“… Two out of three ain’t bad.”
#4 Purdue 96, #17 Illinois 88 2 OT: Boilermakers go on the road, take down hot shooting and momentum laden Illinois. Led by Sasha Stefanovic’s 22 points, 4 additional Boilermakers scored in double digits. An instant classic, Purdue held off star-studded Illini.
Photo Credit: Corey Adams
#4 Purdue 65, Indiana 68: A hostile crowd greeted the Boilers in Bloomington, as a Super Bowl like atmosphere appeared to rattle Purdue in the first half. A furious comeback was squashed, however, by an uncharacteristic performance from Rob Phinnissee, scoring 20pts while averaging 3.5/game, including a clutch, dagger, last second 3 to lift Indiana to victory. As the Hoosier faithful rushed the court, Purdue fans went apoplectic. Streak over, and for many unhinged Boilermaker fans, the sky fell.
Northwestern 60, #4 Purdue 80: An injured Jaden Ivey missed the game. If that wasn’t bad enough, Purdue also fought against three of the most incompetent officiating performances that the sport of basketball has ever seen. All of that aside, Sasha Stefanovic led the way with 22 points, three other Boilers scored in double digits, keeping the Wildcats at an arms length.
Break it Down:
Yeah, yeah, I get it. Everyone is all stompy-foot over losing to IU. Twenty-one hundred some odd days since the Hoosiers have beaten the good guys. Lets face it, folks, the law of averages plays out.
This IU team is very talented, and they have a competent coach this time around. Couple that with a hot crowd, Purdue playing one of their worst games of the year, and wouldn’t you know it, IU won.
I hate it just as much as the next guy. I wish Indiana Basketball and Notre Dame football would lose, literally, every game they ever play. The dominance that Purdue showed over IUBB is a total rarity in the rivalry. It sucks, but, good for IU. I hated typing that more than you hated reading it. They went out, on a Thursday night, and they beat Purdue. No bad beat. No excuses. IU did what they needed to do.
Here is the bottom line, folks. Purdue currently stands at 16-3. SIXTEEN AND THREE. If I had asked you in October if Purdue was 16-3, with multiple top 25 wins, and having achieved the #1 ranking… would you accept it? Would you have taken that?
Shut your mouth if you wouldn’t have taken that in a heart beat. I don’t care how you slice it. Purdue has lost 3 games, two on the road in tough environments, and one to a top 25 team at home. All three losses have been precluded by career performances from a singular heroic performance. Purdue is an excellent team, and if you thought the Boilers were going undefeated this season, you need a reality check.
Big Man on Campus:
Sasha Stefanovic has been the rock in which this team has been built upon lately. Averaging 17 points this week, and hitting some dagger threes, the Serbian Sniper has lifted Purdue when they needed it.
Lets Talk about Fandom:
Compared to Matt Painter’s basketball knowledge I am effectively a toddler. Basketball was my #`1 passion in life growing up. I played basketball from age 4 to age 15, until it became pretty clear that genetics was pushing me towards football. They don’t make too many 6’3″ 275lb small forwards at the D1 level. I can still hit the open 3, in case anyone was curious.
Anyways, although I have some experience playing basketball, I am by no means an expert. I am employed here, at ISC for two reasons. I am an absurd Purdue fan, and I have nearly two decades of media experience. I am simply a talking head who provides niche infotainment Purdue articles for a few hundred readers.
My opinion, literally, does not matter. Likewise, your Purdue opinion does not matter. We all blast our thoughts on Twitter, Facebook, water coolers, bars, and at the dinner table. It doesn’t matter.
Purdue fans on social media have been toxic as hell lately, and it needs to be mentioned. Following the IU loss, twitter was a cesspool, of which the index-finger typing few, overshadow the coherent thought of the majority of logical Purdue fans.
Now, I am not free from sin, here. Most of ya’ll follow me on Twitter. I try my damnedest to hover somewhere in the Bermuda Triangle of the following: 1) Fan-boy rah rah. 2) Factual statements. 3) Performance art. Mostly sports reporter, occasional rabble-rouser, social media is supposed to be fun.
The concern here on Purdue Twitter, is the apoplectic meltdown, that happens every loss. Calm down folks. Your parents are watching. Your children. The players are reading your tweets. Recruits are paying attention.
Worse yet, are the social media people out there who are such experts that they will throw insults around with reckless abandon. Yes, Mr. Purdue Twitter Guy, I am sure that you are smarter than Matt Painter, whom is nationally revered as one of the best coaches in all of the… world. I am sure that you, and your 18 twitter followers know much better. Thank you for your expert opinion.
Matt Painter is not infallible. Has he made some mistakes? Yep! He also doesn’t miss free throws, turn the ball over, and doesn’t lose the hot shooting guard in the last 10 seconds of the game. Painter built this product, that you go piddle-panties over a few times each week. You’ve built a double cheeseburger. You don’t know jack compared to him.
Your opinion matters just as much as mine does. Pretty much nothing.
A Look Ahead:
Purdue takes to the road, again, to take on Iowa in Iowa City, Thursday. If you remember, Purdue struggled mightily with the Hawkeyes earlier this year. On Sunday, Purdue will host the #19 (as of this writing) Ohio State Buckeyes.
Purdue should be favorites in both games, but every game in the B1G is incredibly important at this point. The road can get rough!
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