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Sunday, November 18, 2007

They Won It For Hep!!!

I think most people who frequent this blog probably know that I am a big sports fan. When it comes to college sports I am an Indiana University fan.

IU is known more of a basketball power in the Big Ten, but it's the IU football team I want to write about today. IU football hasn't been to the Rose Bowl since 1967, and haven't been to any bowl game period since 1993.

Now there is nothing special about those facts, but here is what is special. Three years ago IU hired a new coach Terry Hoeppner and he made a promise to fans when he was hired to take the team to a bowl game. Nothing really special about that either, new coaches make promises.

"Hep's" new motto was "play 13" which would be the 12 regular season games plus a bowl game.

Season 1 - no 13 games.

Season 2 - no 13 games, but got a little closer.

2007 was to be the year Hep lead the Hoosiers to playing in 13 games.

There was something that got in the way though. Prior to the beginning of the season Hep had a serious medical problem and passed away at age 59.

How could the team overcome such a devastating obstacle. They played the entire season with an interim coach. Who would have thought poorly of them if they folded their tents and use the excuse of losing their beloved "Hep" ?

Well after 11 weeks, IU had a record of 6-5, which made them "bowl eligible". However with the way things are working out this year, it looks like it will take 7 wins to get a bowl invite.

The only thing in their way, their arch rival Purdue. No problem right? Well if you consider Purdue has won 9 of the 10 previous games against IU, you see a big problem.

In what is called the Old Oaken Bucket game, IU started fast and looked good. In the 3rd quarter, it looked like the Hoosiers had the game under control. Purdue wasn't having any of that though, and late in the 4th quarter the Boilers tied the score 24 - 24.

What happens now literally made this old preacher man cry. IU came down and with 30 seconds left in the game, Adam Starr (pictured above) kicked a 49-yard field goal giving the Hoosiers a 27 - 24 victory.

Hep's wife was on the sideline with the team, and when they showed her after the team and fans stormed the field, it was one of the best moments I've ever had as a sports fan.

IU won it for Hep!!!!! Now they are going to "play 13". Way to go Hoosiers.