Monday, April 30, 2012

You Play To Win The Game!

"You play to win the game!" - Herm Edwards

One of the most classic and iconic lines from a professional sports coach.  And it really sums up why we play sports and games.  Those of us who have that competitive nature instilled within us find ourselves playing to win at everything we do.

For those of you who know me, I enjoy playing sports (and games but this post is about sports specifically).  And you also know that I am a very competitive person.  I love to win and hate to lose.  For the past six years of my college career I have participated in intramural sports at Purdue but last night I finally won a championship and got my IM Champs t-shirt.  For those of you outside of Purdue you probably won't care.  But as you walk around campus you see the distinct IM Champs shirts and really the only emotion you get is jealousy.  I wanted a championship so bad and I have been close in the past but finally, Team IPPH won 4v4 Sand Volleyball last night.  Look at my past teams...

I have played intramural basketball every year since Junior year of high school.  Starting way back in high school when Team 4.0 (as in GPA) beat the "Dream Team" assembled by now MLB closer Drew Storen, I knew I wanted to win intramural championships.  It is the ultimate who wants it more playground.  And basketball has been elusive for me to this day.  I have been on teams where I was nothing but a bench player who scored one bucket a game, to this last season when I led the team in scoring 15 ppg. But every year something goes wrong.  One year we lost to a team called the "Backstreet Ballers" and every player had nicknames that were Backstreet Boys' songs. A couple years we had a guy named Stu who accounted for 90% of our offense and we thought we couldn't lose if we get him the ball.  Turns out Stu can only do so much when it feels like he is playing 1v5.  Another year we had to play 4 on 5 in the tourney because of exam conflicts.  It just never worked out.

Justin Siller - Purdue QB and WR.
Also, intramural QB and center fielder.
I have also played tablet tennis, walleyball, and ultimate frisbee.  I made it to the finals of the team table tennis championships my freshman year and this last year made it to the final 8 in men's open table tennis. And my overall record in the BPPL (Brownsburg Ping Pong League) was 93-27.  So I take my table tennis seriously but so do a lot of people around here.  Looking back, walleyball and frisbee were just for fun, but at the time I really wanted to win.  I played flag football for four years and had a couple good teams.  My Junior year, my floor team from McCutcheon made it to the semi-finals of the dorm league before being upset on the second to last play of the game.  And my Senior year I played center for a team that had a guy at quarterback named Justin Siller.  Yeah, the same guy who led Purdue to a win over Michigan in 2008 and finished his senior season this last year as the leading receiver for the Purdue football team.  Evidently that wasn't legal for him to play and they waited until the middle of the playoffs to tell us (we were 5-0 and if I remember correctly were beating people by an average of about 30 points).

That same football team with Siller got me the closest I had been to wining a championship in a while the following spring in softball.  I was by far the worst player on the team and currently 4-5 of those guys now play for the Purdue Club Baseball team.  We lost in extra innings of the semi-finals of the Men's Open league. Since then I have been playing more and more softball, and starting this summer I will play in an actual Men's league in Lafayette (read as much more serious with an 18+ game schedule and sponsors and such).

Team IPPH - GFS Champions
That brings me to last night.  Our rag-tag sand volleyball team went undefeated and played a team in the finals that hadn't won a match in 3 years until they won 3 straight to get to the finals last night.  Honestly, there wasn't much drama outside of a 2 hour rain delay.  We handled them from the start and took care of business.  But I finally got that IM Champs t-shirt!  I remember writing about my softball team one of the first posts in the blog.  Well, better late than never, right?

This summer our department here in the College of Pharmacy (IPPH) is going to be playing sand volleyball again, basketball, and softball.  So the opportunity to win is there, but I the pressure is finally off of my shoulders and hopefully that will lead to more wins (and of course more fun).

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