As some of you remember from a few baseball entries in April, I am an adopted Canes fan. Mrs. T-Mill is a 2002 grad from the U and happens to be a diehard football and baseball fan. Unfortunately, we are exiled in Indiana. As part of this compromise, we go to my alma mater's (Purdue) games whenever we can and have season tickets. This is actually a compromise within my marriage, as I was told, "if I can't see my Canes we're going to see some college football, so write that check for Purdue season tickets."
Since I run Purdue's SBNation site, you can imagine that it is very hard to write that check every year under duress.
Saturday night, however, we made what has become an annual pilgrimage to South Florida to see the Canes. My first Canes football game was actually the brutal road game at Louisville in 2006. Since then we took in one of the last games in the OB (NC State 2007, which was an affront to the quarterback position from Kirby Freeman) and last year's Senior night game against Virginia Tech. Some observations from our long weekend in Miami.
- Jacory Harris is absolutely the right choice at QB. I will be thinking this as I watch Purdue possibly struggle with Robert Marve the next few years. Please God help me, and say thank you that we took him off your hands.
- Javarris James played like a man. Way to go, Baby Edge. I was proudly sporting his jersey.
- While we watched the Canes fight back Saturday night, we missed Purdue's home coming. Only Purdue can blow a 21-3 lead at home against Northwestern by losing five fumbles and throwing an interception. They turned it over three times in the last two minutes of the first half, giving Northwestern 13 points that might have made a difference in a 27-21 loss. Considering it was cold and rainy in West Lafayette, it was a much better day being in Miami.
- The view from section 424 at Joe Robbie/Proplayer/Dolphin(s)/LandShark Stadium for just one game was like being amongst friends. We high fived, we yelled, we stood on every big 3rd down. Just a great atmosphere. the old Orange Bowl would have been worthy of this game. I couldn't help but imagine how electric the game would have been in Little Havana.
- Thank you for showing me swagger. Everyone was chanting and cheering as we walked out of the Stadium. Even when Purdue beat Ohio State in 2000 to all but seal a Rose Bowl bid I have never experienced that with my team. My fan base laments being fans, as evidenced by my experience at last week's Notre Dame game.
- You stole Shayon Green and now he has a torn ACL. We're recruiting heavily in Florida. Please let us have your leftovers that are just not quite good enough. That will make us plenty good.
- I texted a friend and fellow Purdue blogger as I left Saturday night. All I said was, "So this is what it is like to have a team finish a ballgame." In a related note, Purdue is currently 1-4 and has lost games by 2, 7, 3, and 6 all in the fourth quarter. The two point loss was at Oregon, who is steamrolling teams right now.
- You guys are top 10 on my blogpoll ballot until you lose. No one else in the country has been more impressive.
- Thank you for making my college football weekend a much better experience. I was still raw from blowing a game at home on national TV against the hated Irish. Seeing the Canes eased my pain, and made the Mrs. very happy since she only gets to see them about once a year.
- Our next scheduled Canes game: 9/11/2010 at Ohio State. We'll be there when they come into Big Ten country. You have better believe it. Our first date was the 2002 Purdue-Ohio State "Holy Buckeye" game. They ripped out my heart that day, then cheated the Canes two months later. Eight years is far too long to wait for revenge. Purdue plays 1-AA Western Illinois that day anyway, so I'll gladly give up my seats.