Another announcement of sorts, it would seem I've made it internationally. After checking my Google Analytics for the first time in a while, it seems I've gained a small following in the UK and in New Zealand. Welcome aboard, folks. I'll admit to knowing nothing about cricket outside of playing it once, so I won't be much help there. I also can't stand to watch soccer on TV.* I suppose rugby would be popular, too. I do actually like watching rugby, but it's not on TV much here, and I'm getting too old to go to the Monon Keg Game these days. So, it's back to the usual baseball, hockey, basketball, and American football.**
*I did play soccer growing up and was pretty good at it. Gave it up when I got to high school, though. It was kind of a dumb decision, but no use in beating myself up over a decision I made at, what, 13? 14?
**I probably won't get into the habit of calling it American football, either, international folks. I do apologize, but I assume you can figure out why.
Anyway, as for my post of the day. I wish I had access to the kind of money it would take to start sports teams and leagues. Not even major league kind of stuff. For example, the post I wrote a while back talking about my idea for the Lafayette Conductors. I still wholeheartedly believe in that idea, but lack the funds. Related to that, the Lafayette metro area is also sorely lacking a true ice rink. Sure, there's a little area for ice skating at Tapawingo Park. But I'm talking one you could play hockey in and keep the ice in year-round. If Danville can support a rink and various teams throughout the years (and they have), Lafayette shouldn't have a problem. Also, building an ice rink would let the Purdue hockey team actually play in town. And who knows, maybe that would lead to it becoming a varsity team, which is something else that needs to happen.
Purdue is currently a club team, and apparently a pretty good one, judging by last year's performance where they won their division. But, it's still a club team, and that's just too bad. The Big Ten just announced last March that they are officially adding hockey as a conference sport, which was long overdue in my opinion. It's a six team league right now with Michigan, Michigan St., Wisconsin, Minnesota, Ohio St., and Penn St. I know the other six schools (Purdue, Indiana, Illinois, Northwestern, Nebraska, and Iowa, for the record) all have club teams that have done well on the club level. It seems like it would make a whole mess of sense to promote those teams to the varsity level. It would likely cut down on travel costs that I'm assuming the school is already covering by sponsoring the club. And you've already got a built in TV platform on BTN. Versus also shows some college hockey games, I'm sure they would pick up some Big Ten games as well. But, I have absolutely no power over anything at Purdue, and they didn't ask my opinion, so I suppose it'll remain a pipe dream for now.
The other side of Lafayette getting a real ice arena would be adding a minor league or junior team. I would definitely go to those games, as Lafayette is easier for me to get to than Indy these days. There are established leagues in the area, which would be very exciting. I would absolutely love, though, to create a more local minor league for hockey. There are rinks around the state in areas that should be able to draw enough of a crowd to support a low level league. Here's a list of ice arenas in the state now. It sure seems like you could pick out a handful of those and make a league that could develop into something big in the state. I know Indiana is a basketball state and that's not changing, but to instill some town pride and have the teams close enough that people could travel to games, I think it would go over well.
Ah, but, again, it's down to a pipe dream as usual. I'd rather have my baseball team, if we're being honest. If some wealthy Bash alum wants to step up and make this happen, I'm all ears. I'm sure we'd get a feature in the magazine, too.