Thursday, February 6, 2020
Yesterday was a particularly fun day. After a Tuesday with some difficult memories, Pat and I got to spend the day traveling to Purdue to see the Boilermakers play Iowa. We enjoyed an early supper along the way at Indiana’s famous “Beef House”. We drove into some snow, and the roads became pretty slick about a half-hour out of West Lafayette. We finally arrived at Mackey Arena as the the band was beginning to play some pre-game warm-up music. Soon, we were standing at our row 12 seats, singing “Hail, Purdue”. I must confess to getting a bit sentimental when the entire crowd is singing. What’s that in my eye?
The game began with that massive Iowa center, Luka Garza, making the first basket. But after that, it was all Boilermakers… they reeled off the next 17 points! The Mackey crowd was electrified! And the team did not let up, scoring 61 points in the first half, leading by 25. What an amazing atmosphere in Mackey. Coach Gene Keady used to call it, “reaching the Magic Level.”
There was not a let-down in the second half. At one point in the game, Purdue led Iowa by 39. It just seemed as if they could not miss the basket! Towards the end the most popular Boilermaker sub, Tommy Luce, entered the game…to thunderous cheering. Adding to the special night, Luce popped in the 3-pointer that pushed Purdue’s score over 100, and with under a minute he swished another 3 to make the final 104 tally. At those two baskets, it felt like the rivets that hold the roof on Mackey Arena were breaking loose! Such a monstrous crescendo!
To cap the night for Pat and me, we had a short and pleasant conversation with Big Ten Network basketball analyst Shon Morris. We met Shon in 2017 when we were traveling to Nebraska to watch the Boilermakers play the Huskers in Lincoln. For that story, click here. Since then, we have kept contact with this fine gentleman. It was good to see him and visit in person once again. This just made a perfect ending for a perfect Boilermaker day!
We returned home, 3 hours through the snow, and then the rain. A good day we will remember always.
Thank you to our friend at Bayer, Troy Clawson, for the tickets.
Some photos of our Boilermaker day.
Purdue has always held a special place in our hearts, and as the song says,
“Ever grateful, ever true…”