Thursday, June 16, 2005

Unhealthy fixations | by Jay

I originally wanted to include this in the post on Purdue below, but at the time we didn't know if it actually happened. This morning Jason Kelly of the SB Trib confirmed it. Check this out:

Notre Dame had nothing to do with the Sun Bowl, except in the sense that it suffered severe burns from exposing itself to Big 10 representative Purdue's offense without adequate SPF.

As autumn grew colder, so did the Boilermakers, but for one glorious October day in South Bend they radiated heat.

If the memory fails, or the psyche just suppresses it, Purdue turned Notre Dame Stadium into its own private solar system revolving around star quarterback Kyle Orton.

Considering the eclipse that followed, it makes sense that the Boilermakers commemorated that bright, sunshiny day on Sun Bowl rings otherwise clouded with the memory of a loss.

Arizona State -- a.k.a., the Sun Devils, as if this little theme hasn't played itself out -- defeated Purdue 27-23 in El Paso. One final frustration in a season of great promise and bitter disappointment.

Which explains the score of the Notre Dame game and the shillelagh representing the traveling trophy that goes to the winner engraved on one side of the bowl rings.

A cheesy gesture for a regular season game that interrupted the Big 10 conference schedule, a win Purdue barely acknowledged as significant at the time.

Like a photo of a sunset, though, it captured the last spectacular view before darkness fell.

And it etched into precious metal what the Irish have always led themselves to believe. They say playing Notre Dame takes on the significance of a bowl game for many opponents.

Now Purdue has the jewelry to prove it.
They really get up for us, don't they? Last year there was even a "shave the moustache" pledge by Brock Spack if Purdue beat ND, as if their entire season hinged on beating Notre Dame. Apparently, it did.

Do you have a little brother? Did you ever notice growing up that he was way more competitive with you than you were with him? Practicing foosball all day just so he could beat you, that sort of thing? Then gloating for a week after he finally did?

That's Purdue.