10 years ago, things were different.
Back then, there were questions going into the season, but not the kind of questions we have today. We wondered if redshirt freshman John Navarre could carry the reigns until Drew Henson's stress fracture healed, pondering if that would be what stopped us from winning all of our games. Because we used to think like that. Not a season was started where we didn't feel like we had legitimate chance of beating everybody on our schedule. We didn't think in terms of bowl games, because they were an absolute given. We didn't wonder how many wins it would take for Lloyd to keep his job, we only bitched about his offensive playcalling. It was a time just before recruiting coverage got out of hand, so we were mostly blind to the shortcomings of our secondary, and we didn't care, because we knew we had enough, because we always had enough. We were in the midst of the longest streak of being in the top 25 in the history of college football. At this time of year, we would complain because our ranking was too low. Now we wonder if we will crack the "other's receiving votes" paragraph at the end of the list.
Our team was full of nationally recognized names: David Terrell, Anthony Thomas, Steve Hutchinson, Drew Henson. Some of them were even Heisman trophy contenders. We spent half of 2000 in the top 10, only falling out after the Drew vs. Drew debacle in West Lafayette. I was 24 years old, Purdue overcame that 28-10 halftime deficit, and I heard my dad drop an F-bomb for the first time.
Ahhh, the memories.
Tailgates were different back then too. I didn't really know these people...
I remember feeling left out when they did this. I wasn't quite in the family yet. And take a look at this pic...
Seriously, click on it to zoom in and look at the food in the background. We used to eat fiddle faddle and fruit salad. A simpler time indeed. Now we do this...
Also, Captain Michigan used to leg wrestle...
...now he doesn't do shit except sit around and make people feel sorry for him because he's gotta drink root beer and regular rum by doctor's orders. Just kidding...I love you Larry.
Anyway, as we make our way to the new tailgate space at Pioneer for our season opening Luau this Saturday, we will reach a milestone. A milestone that I'm particularly proud of, and that I'm pretty sure nobody else has crossed...
10 years of tailgating exploits plastered all over the internet.
Sure, I could have realized how much people enjoyed pictures and commentary on those pictures, and then went on to invent facebook...but I didn't, and that's good because I would have been one of those really pompous asshole rich people. I would have had Zingerman's bring the food in every week for the tailgate, and I wouldn't have invited any of you poor folk.
So ya, there's that.