By: Max Wolpoff
Imagine yourself sitting at home on a peaceful day. Perhaps you are watching something on TV and enjoying a sporting event or your favorite drama. Perhaps today is a day to catch up on neglected housework from a busy week at the office or in the classroom. A fresh glass of whatever you want is on a coaster, you have your cozy slippers on, and nobody will call you today.
You are content that today is for you, and nobody else.
There is a knock at the door. Curious, you see through the peep hole that it is a man in a suit with a manilla envelope in his hand. You open the door cautiously and ask if the man needs some help. He announces that a bunch of people on Twitter think YOU are the perfect candidate to be the regional manager of Home Depot. He has your contract in his hands, and expects you to show up to work at 9 a.m. the next morning.
They are prepared to give you everything you could ever ask for. Want five weeks of paid vacation? Book those cruise tickets! Do you want to give your sibilings title-only jobs without any real responsibility? You got it! Do you want to assign hosting the office Christmas Party to your least-favorite employee every year? Get the miseltoe ready!
There is only one, small problem: you do not want to be the regional manager of Home Depot. You are quite happy with the job you currently have, and do not want to leave. The man pays no mind to this, thrusts the contract in your hands, and reminds you to bring it to him, signed, tomorrow. He leaves before you have the chance to tell him no.
If the above scenario sounds ridiculous, it is. Sadly, it is also a dramatization of what happened to Purdue football head coach Jeff Brohm.
Brohm led the Boilermakers to a 6-6 record this season, including a demolition of potential conference champion Ohio State. Following Purdue’s win over Indiana in an underrated college football rivalry to end the regular season, and the firing of Bobby Petrino at Louisville in November, online speculation ran rampant that Brohm was destined to be the Cardinals’ next head coach.
Brohm went to Louisville Trinity High School, was named 1988 “Mr. Football” in Kentucky, and was the starting quarterback at Louisville for two full seasons, including a 9-3 team that won the 1993 Liberty Bowl over Michigan State. He coached at his alma matter in varying capacities for six years in the early 2000s.
To the pontificators and press wizards, this was the perfect match. Scott Frost had just done a similar thing when he opted to leave UCF and join Nebraska for this season. It was a match made in heaven, “everyone” seemed to agree.
Then Brohm announced on Wednesday that he would not leave his position at Purdue.
Louisville football fans did not take this news well. The replies to Rick Bozich’s column for the local FOX affiliate were enough to make me cringe. One fan got so angry he burned the jerseys of Jeff’s little brother, Brian, and sent the video proof to a local ESPN writer, who put it on Twitter. Why this person decided to use an aerosol spray can with an open flame is beyond my understanding.
Sadly, those are par for the course in reactions to bad news in college football. What sent this one over the edge and into lunacy territory was when Brohm’s high school, Trinity, cancelled classes due to a threat made, as said in an official release by the school, “due to Jeff Brohm deciding to remain at Purdue.”
Really? Your favorite college football team did not get the head coach you wanted them to hire and, as a result, it is therefore approrpiate to threaten the lives of those who attend the high school he went to in the 80s? How does that logic make any sense?
When did college football become something more than “just a game”? I must have missed the part where my favorite sports team’s success in a three-month season suddenly makes everything else in life fine, AND makes me better than you.
It is helpful to consider these events as Boston University approaches a “rivalry week” of its own when both hockey teams get chances to play Boston College. Sure, these games can get rough. Yes, a win for either team means a lot for the season and might give an extra bounce in the step for fans of the winning side the next day. The teams should still shake hands at the end of the game, and everyone should be able to go home safely without any trouble.
These are games, not warfare. At the end of the night, nobody should be dead or threatened to be dead as a result of the on-ice action or in-crowd fan involvement.
Jeff Brohm made a personal decision to stay at Purdue. He did not kick the city through the barbershop window in an act of betrayal against his hometown, his alma matter, and “everyone” in Louisville. Leave him alone.