A sad farewell to a helluva baller

I usually blog about the St Louis Cardinals, for today I’m going to stray away from my Cardinals fan-dom to address my other love, and that is Purdue Boilermakers Basketball.  It’s very sad that the Boilers came up short last night vs the 2nd seeded Kansas Jayhawks in the “third” round of the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament’s Midwest Region in Omaha, Nebraska.  Hats off to Coach Matt Painter and his scrappy bunch of Boilers, led by three seniors (Lewis Jackson, Ryne Smith and Robbie Hummel) played, actually outplayed the favored Jayhawks for 38 minutes of 40.  But unfortunately it takes 40 minutes to play a College Basketball game and the Jayhawks mounted a slow and steady comeback last night in what I would say is safe to say was more of a home game for Kansas than Purdue.  The crowd was very much pro Jayhawk, with the sparse chants of “Boiler Up” to be heard.  The Boilermakers made me and all of Purdue Nation proud and I have a heavy heart especially for Robbie Hummel.  Robbie took the team on his shoulder last night scoring 26 points and getting 9 rebounds and 3 assists, while matching up with Kansas standout Thomas Robinson who was frustrated by Robbie and the Boilermakers defense was held to only 11 points.  I feel bad for Hummel, however because of all the kid has been through.  He has had two knee surgeries, a broken back and now a broken heart.  Left behind to red shirt and see former Purdue seniors JuJuan Johnson and E’Twaun Moore leave after last year in what should have been a swan song of three, not two only to see everything end with a failed 3 point effort by Ryne Smith was heart breaking to see. To see a player so composed, hold off tears at the end makes it hard to write this today.  As a loyal Purdue fan, I want to encourage those that have a say to retire Robbie’s number at the start of next year.  I really hope that some NBA team takes a shot on Robbie, if for nothing else the leadership he’ll bring as well as a sweet shot and the heart of a competitor.  To you, Robbie Hummel I say farewell you were a helluva player….Boiler Up!


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