by Kent Sterling
For many years I have offered my services to Indiana University as a special deputy chancellor for fun, but sadly my phone continues to sit silent.
My first act in that position would be to approve a one-time special waiver to serve beer at the Dan Dakich Gameday Broadcast and Celebration tomorrow. Kegs (lots of kegs) should be tapped to provide the nourishment tailgaters require on the first October afternoon in anyone’s memory where two undefeated teams faced off in Bloomington.
This is going to be a special day. Indiana football fans are well aware that the Hoosiers are very fortunate to be 4-0 heading into Big Ten play, and that Ohio State is the better football team. Football games though are not always won by the better team. Sometimes the underdog finds a way to outscore a superior opponent over the course of 60 minutes, and the Hoosiers might be able to get that done.
Is it likely? Hell no. I couldn’t tell you the last time Indiana beat Ohio State. It might have been in 1945. I don’t know and I don’t care.
So lets focus on what Indiana fans can control – what Indiana fans have always been able to control. Fun. Can Indiana students and alums find a way to enjoy reckless optimism during the pregame festival of hope and laughs that will be hosted by IU students and Indiana grad/ESPN personality/radio lightning rod/party host with the most Dan Dakich?
Hoosiers have always been able to have fun. In that specific realm, Indiana is always favored. No way am I not going to enjoy the hours before the game starts. The memories of my time in Bloomington as a student are still so thick, I can touch them. All I have to do is blink and the years peel away transporting me to a happy psychological state where enjoying myself and the company of friends becomes the only priority in my life.
All behaviors migrate toward idiocy, and laughter flows like beer from a keg – or beer flows like laughter – I’m not sure which comes first.
The game isn’t the thing at Indiana. It’s the laughs and the friendships.
Tomorrow with Dan – a guy with whom I have shared countless idiotic moments – there will be more laughs, moments of grace when the exact right insult is delivered at the perfect moment to a moron whose behavior mandates it, and a brief glimmer of hope that the long moribund football program that so many have tried to pivot toward relevance has finally turned the corner.
Maybe the night brings a celebration the likes of which Bloomington hasn’t seen since the last NCAA Championship for the basketball program in 1987. Maybe not. It’s not why you celebrate – it’s that you celebrate.
All good Hoosiers will be in the house tomorrow ready to revel in our ability to enjoy a party regardless of the result of the game. If the game goes to the Hoosiers, well, we will cross that previously elusive and hidden bridge when we get to it.
In the meantime, the deputy chancellor for fun is ready and waiting for the call from Indiana University elders that will turn a million ideas loose.
By the way, the boobs spoken of in the headline are not those mounds of flesh that protrude from the chestal region of females, but slang for the wonderful students and alums who are going to show up at Memorial Stadium tomorrow, party like hell, and count the successes of the afternoon in the number of laughs had in the parking lot – not points on the scoreboard.