November 16, 2012
Kickin' It With Kitch: The thrill of victory
No Rose Bowl for the Boilers this year (thanks a lot IU). I knew the odds were long, especially since Purdue needed the Hoosiers to beat Wisconsin.
Even after dropping the first five games in the Big Ten season, the Boilers are still in control of their post season destiny. I would certainly love to spend the holidays in Texas. It has been 10 years since I spent them there, however we won't be going back to the west Texas town of El Paso.
I have written before of how a close football game can make you feel absolutely alive. Both feelings of joy and defeat carry a certain something that you feel deep inside. The last five weeks the Boilers have only felt the feeling of defeat. Sometimes you can forget what it feels like to win again. That's why last week's win was so important for the soul of this team. Winning a game is great, but winning on a last-second field goal is unbelievable.
I took some time to really study the faces and body language of this team after Paul Griggs hammered the winner in Iowa City. In the past I have seen a little bit of relief from some members of the team or staff, but not Saturday. This was all about unbridled joy and happiness. This team has worked too hard to not see its efforts pay off with victories.
Coach Danny Hope talked about how banged up we were, but after a win like that injuries seem to go away for a little while. I couldn't help but get caught up in the excitement. Earlier in the game, I had my knee taken out on the sideline and was struggling to put pressure on it, but after Paul hit the field goal I was jumping up and down and sprinting to find Ralph Boldin for the post-game interview. I paid for it a little on the flight back, but it was well worth it. The scene in the locker room was just as great. This team is alive again. I had asked Hope the week prior how he can build team confidence back, and he said through hard work and preparation. I thought the Boilers were focused and prepared, and even after Iowa came back to tie up the game they didn't fold, they played with passion and poise to win the ball game. I am very proud of this team.
The key now is to keep playing with a leave-everything-on-the-field attitude. There is no reason to play tight in Champaign Saturday. One of my first years playing, Coach Joe Tiller put a phrase on the back of our shirts: PLAY FAST, PLAY LOOSE AND HAVE FUN. I want to see our Boilers play like that Saturday. Let's get excited for this team Boiler Nation, so we can all enjoy the holidays!
Follow me on twitter during every game as I will let you in on what I see from the sideline @kelly_kitchel
Copyright, Boilers, Inc. 2012. All Rights Reserved. Reproducing or using editorial or graphical content, in whole or in part, without permission, is strictly prohibited. E-mail GoldandBlack.com/Boilers, Inc.
GoldandBlack.com Mobile for your iPhone | GoldandBlack.com Mobile for your Android
Check out GoldandBlack.com on | |
...More... To continue reading this article you must be a member. Sign Up Now for a FREE Trial