My Top Ten Pictures of the First Five Years of the Junkie

A couple of days ago I posted about this site being five years old. I am sort of proud of the fact that I made it this long. I don’t consider myself a sportswriter, and I am far away from being a sports photographer. For some reason (a fact that boggles me) people come to this site to read what I have to say and to look at my pictures. If you take enough pictures over a five year span you are bound to accidentally take a few good ones. Here are the ten pictures that came to mind when I thought of the ten best in that span. I may have left a few out so if you have a favorite that I missed let me know.

Drey Mingo leaves the court with the WNIT trophy just before her illness

10. This may not be the best picture that I have ever taken, but it is one of my favorites nonetheless. The Purdue Women’s Basketball team was on a high note last season when they beat Depaul at home to win the WNIT preseason tournament. The team was on cloud nine thinking about how good things could be, and also the great trip ahead of them over the holiday weekend. That all came crashing down when Drey Mingo was diagnosed with meningitis. I had a seat right by the tunnel in Mackey so I got to see the players as they left the court. Drey was hugging the trophy as she left, and I thought it would be a great picture. When her condition was unknown a couple of days later I kept looking at this picture pondering how quickly things can change. For that reason it makes it onto this list. Continue reading

A Good Start to the Holiday Weekend

Tonight I decided to stay in town and watch our local high school football team in big conference showdown against Valparaiso. The Vikings have always been tough. They are the school that put out Jeff Samardzija after all. For the first 23 minutes of the game nobody could break out. Both teams kept misfiring at inopportune times. With just under a minute left in the first half though the Vikings scored on a long touchdown run. The Slicers went into the half down 7-0. I saw a lot of heads down on that walk in. The Slicers came out firing though and scored on their first possession. Valpo then returned the kickoff right away to go back up by seven. The Slicers badly needed a score, but could not get it. They held the Vikings though so that they could tie the game up on the run shown to the left by quarterback Dustin DeMuth. He scored two more times on the night for the Slicers who won the game 28-21. This was a game that was hard fought the entire way. It was only when the first half was nearly over that the battle moved into the end zone. The Slicers will travel to Chesterton next week to take on the Trojans. It is kind of funny that we have the same amount of wins as last year in the first three weeks. We need to keep it going. Next week will be yet another test.

Game Preview: Purdue v. Toledo

I love to put my predictions on here if nothing else then for me to laugh at after the game is over. I will start again this year without really knowing what is going on more than usual. The Boilers are an unknown at this point. They have a lot of questions on offense that will decide what will come of them this season. Will Joey Elliot be the answer at quarterback while we wait for Robert Marve? With the offense that we have he will be the key. We have what appears to be several good running backs so that doesn’t appear to be too much of a concern. The receiving corps though could be. There are not too many guys there who have any experience at college receiver. We will need some guys to come from nowhere to make this season bearable. I have talked a little about the offense, but I feel the strength of this team is the defense. Of course the last time I felt this way was in 2005. We all know what happened that season. So without knowing too much about this team yet I will make the usual prediction that is way off base.

Prediction: Purdue 35 – Toledo 21

Not too much to write home about for most of the game. The Boilers will make the fans squirm a little before taking the win. To dig a deeper hole here is how I think the team will do this season.

Season Prediction: 6-6

I think that we can do enough to make a bowl, but that is looking at the schedule in a very optimistic light. I still think the Sox can make the playoffs after all. The play of the unknowns will determine how excited I will be to travel to West Lafayette every week.
As an added bonus I will include a pick of our local football squad. The LaPorte Slicers will face a very tough challenge this week. I think that the home fans will go home happy.

LP Football Pick: Slicers 31 – Valpo 28

Game Preview: LaPorte Slicers @ Penn Kingsmen


I have not been to many Slicer games this year. Things have gotten in the way. I may have to travel to Mishawaka tomorrow night to see the Slicers take on Penn. This is the second time in two years that the teams have met for the sectional title. LaPorte took the first one, but they were a record setting team that was on its way to history. This year’s team is a little different. They have had setbacks all season long. Those setbacks led to a regular season that saw just one win. Well in two weeks of sectional play they have already doubled that total. Can they pull off the major upset and win tomorrow night? Sadly I don’t think so. I think that they are outmatched on paper. Thank God that games are not played on paper. The weather may be a factor, and I think that a cold rain is just what the doctor ordered.

My Prediction: Slicers 34 – Penn 30
Here is how I did lasts week:
Last week 3-3 (7-5 in 2008)
Purdue 12 – Michigan 20 (L)
Central Michigan 31 – Indiana 21 (W)
Michigan State 38 – Wisconsin 21 (w)
Minnesota 23 – Northwestern 17 (L)
Iowa 35 – Illinois 10 (L)
Bonus Pick: LaPorte 28 – South Bend Adams 27 (W)

This week I am just going to go with one bonus pick. The matchup between the Spartans and the Boilers. I am picking Purdue. That way my season record will be an even .500 after the two losses.

Purdue Boilermakers 30 – Michigan State 28
Here it is Friday afternoon, and I just realized that the Packers and the Vikings play this week. I guess that I have to pick that one too. Here goes.
Packers 24 – Vikings 10

Game Preview: Purdue 2-6 (0-4) v. Michigan 2-6 (1-3)

This is a hard game to call. Michigan is down. Way down. We should be able to mop the floor with these guys. The only problem with that is the fact that we are way down as well. Michigan is getting beat, but at least they are scoring points. We are not scoring. Maybe the Michigan defense is what we need to get better. We just need to score to win. The defense is playing alright. They are not dominating, but they are getting the job done. Last week we managed to put six points on the board. Granted we had a quarterback that did not know the offense all that well at the helm. That is no excuse for scoring six points or less in three of the last four weeks. Painter is still a question mark as of this writing. Does that really matter though. In my opinion he is a Matt C. Matt was a kid who was the star in fifth grade at my school. He was 5’7″ at that time, and towered over the rest of us. He never grew another inch, and was passed by quickly. Painter came in with talent, and if he could grow just a little he would be great. He never has really gotten any better than he was in 2005 when he took over for Kirsch. He seems like a good guy, and I wish him nothing but the best. If he is healthy I would love nothing more than to see him lead us to four straight wins. His health is the question though. After last Saturday’s game Coach Tiller questioned why he didn’t want to play in the second half. He said that most people would have played through the pain. Siller was alright at quarterback, but he did not have all the plays under his belt. He also did not look too comfortable running the offense. He did however show some great playmaking ability. If he can build on that…damn…it is starting all over again. Painter took over for Kirsch at homecoming in 2005. Maybe this is where he loses his spot.

My Prediction: Purdue 12 – Michigan 20

I can explain this score a little better here. Purdue has not been very good at scoring touchdowns so four field goals is a very likely scenario. They also have been missing PAT’s, so this is likely as well. They will be without an experienced quarterback against a team with some highly regarded players. They have not played up to expectations, but have been playing better lately. I gave Michigan 20 because of the fact that we have been holding teams down lately. Just to the point that we think that we can still win this thing, but then we just continue to shoot ourselves in the foot.
Last week I did alright with won – loss, but was way off on the scores. Maybe I can redeem myself this week. Here are my other predictions for this week in the Big Ten:

Last week 4-1 (4-2 in 2008)
Central Michigan 31 – Indiana 21
Michigan State 38 – Wisconsin 21
Minnesota 23 – Northwestern 17
Iowa 35 – Illinois 10
Bonus Pick: LaPorte 28 – South Bend Adams 27

New Week, Same Result

Due to other things coming up on Friday nights I have not been to a Slicer game yet this year. I went to the preseason scrimmage, but as I said I have not been back. I have kept up on the Slicers throughout the season though. Who would have known that they would only have one win at this point of the season? They won the first game of the year, but had to forfeit it do to having played an ineligible player. The rest of the season has been a series of close but no cigar games. They have been right in the game, but did not get the plays that they needed at the end to close them out.
The night started out badly for the Wolves. On the way out of the large wolf head one player went down, and then a pileup ensued. I thought that it would be a good omen, but as I said I have not been to a game yet this year. Both teams were trading touchdowns. Adam Harmon and Carlton Austin were carrying the loads for their respective teams. Both players going both ways. The picture to the right shows Austin taking down Harmon. Austin ended the game with 162 yards rushing, and Harmon had 80 something. They both were also playing both sides of the ball as well. I thought that this was were the game would be decided, but I was wrong. LaPorte was down a score at the half, but used a double reverse flea flicker to score on the first play out of the break. They traded touchdowns from there. The Slicers scored with three minutes left to take a four point lead. The two point conversion made it six. City then immediately scored on a long pass play. A celebration penalty pushed them back for the extra point and it went wide left keeping the score tied at 28. LaPorte then had the ball with two minutes to play with. Dustin Demuth then threw a pick that led to the Michigan City score. Demuth picked off the ball in the end zone to deny them the two point conversion. The Wolves then tried and converted an onside kick. That was the second try in a row, and it pretty much sealed the game. After time expired the Slicers lost 34-28. Another tough loss for this team. They still only have one win on the season, and travel to Portage next week. That is never an easy place to win.

History Repeats Itself


I left the stadium in Mishawaka with the same feeling in my gut that I had 14 years ago. LaPorte had the game in hand, but Mishawaka scored a touchdown with 17.8 seconds to go in the game to win it. We had Mishawaka pinned deep with about a minute left, and I could hear people talking about our matchup with Penn next week. We let Mishawaka get to midfield, and then the madness happened. On a 4th and 3 play Mishawaka went 43 yards to win the game. We got the ball back, but could not complete a pass. If we could have shown some imagination on offense we might not have been in that spot. We had a couple of plays out of the ordinary and they worked. Other than that it was run on 1st down, run on 2nd down, run on most 3rd downs (draw). We were a very predictable offense that was easy to defend. When we did pass on third down we put a young kid in a bad situation. What the offense lacked tonight in terms of play calling was made up for by the defense. They took control of the game in the second half and made a win possible. Bryan Willis was all over the field tonight. That includes the sideline for some reason on the final two plays. He played his guts out, and we will be happy to see him back next year. Jawaun Marshall also had a great game going both ways. He made some plays at safety tonight that had me wondering where he had been all year. He was a playmaker that we could have used in a couple close games.

The kids who played their last game tonight are in agony. It is a feeling that I know all too well. They are at rock bottom right now on the bus ride home. It will take some time to pass, but they will leave LaPorte knowing that they were part of the best Slicer football team to take the field. Teams have been fielded by the high school since 1901, and no team played like last years team did. This team did not have a chance. They followed a Cinderella story. I saw a lot of kids not wanting to quit tonight. I saw men fighting to play another week. As they have all year long, the breaks just did not go their way tonight. I wish these guys nothing but the best, and look forward to seeing them in the stands in the years to come. Come sit up next to the press box with us and watch the draw on third and long.

Time to Change History!!


14 years ago I went to Mishawaka as part of a team that was heavily favored to beat the Cavemen in the first round of sectionals. It took a bunch of great plays to get us close, but ultimately a dropped pass cost us the game. That night is still painful to this day. Two years later another Slicer team went to Mishawaka and lost in the first round. This year we have another Slicer team going to Mishawaka in the first round of the playoffs. A lot of these kids were part of the beatdown we gave Mishawaka last year in the first round of the playoffs. That was a much different team then the one that went to Mishawaka on a Saturday this year and was creamed 34-0. I cannot get a handle on this years team. Every time I think that they will win they lose, and when I think that they will lose they win. So based on that fact I will predict that the Slicers will lose 28-27 to the Cavemen. We will score late in the game to get within one, but lose it on a failed two point conversion. I will be there for the first time since I ended my career there rooting this team on. Good luck boys!

Go Slicers!