Howdy. I'm Matt Todd. My wife and I have four kids and a dog,. I'm passionate about orphan care. I'm a die-hard fan of the Evansville Aces, the Indiana Hoosiers, and Star Wars. I'm trying to live life by the Todd family motto: "It behooves us to live!"

Happy 200th Birthday, Indiana!

Flag map of Indiana

OK, it’s not quite Indiana’s birthday. But it’s close. It’s only a few days away. December 11, to be exact. That’s the date Indiana was admitted into the Union in 1816. So we’re celebrating 200 years of being a state!

While there are many things that frustrate me about Indiana, I also have a deep, deep appreciation for the Hoosier State. I will openly criticize my home state, but I will defend Indiana with all my heart if you aren’t a Hoosier and try to say something negative about the State I love. That’s probably a fault of mine. But I’m OK with that because I really do love our state. Honest to goodness.

I have been to many parts of Indiana over the years and here is much to love about our state. As we celebrate Indiana’s 200th birthday, I want to share with you some of the great things that make our state amazing. There really is more than corn in Indiana. There’s also more to this state than a race track. Amazingly enough, there are some people who don’t really care that much about the Indianapolis 500, even though it’s been part of the state’s story for more than 100 years.  And although basketball has a pretty special place in our collective consciousness, there’s more to Indiana than just basketball.

Indiana is a special place. And I want to relish in its specialness. So, in celebration of Indiana’s 200th birthday, I’ll be publishing several posts during the month of December that will hopefully remind us how great this state can be. Because that’s what happens when you wander Indiana. You find some great stories. You also find some pretty amazing people and some beautiful scenery. I hope these things are reflected in our journey through the Hoosier State. I also hope that I’m able to figure out a way to share a heapin’ helping of Hoosier Hospitality as we wander through the state together.

Beat Kentucky

I just have one request for the Cream and Crimson today. And I think it’s a pretty common request from basketball fans around the country: Beat Kentucky.

So I crafted a well-reasoned, passionate, and motivating post for the Hoosiers squad as they take the floor today.

Beat Kentucky

I don’t think I’m asking too much.

Do it for Indiana. Do it for the glory of old IU (“IU!“).

Do it for the fans.

Do it for yourselves.

Do it for your coach.

Do it for me.

Do it for the rest of college basketball. I’m pretty sure they’ll be joining us in cheering for you. You’re bringing the world together like few other organizations can.

And my kids. Don’t forget about my kids. In fact…

Do it for the children! ALL of them!

Do it for world peace. And puppies. You like puppies, don’t you? They’ll be happy if you win. Do it for them. And rainbows. And sugar plumb fairies.

Just get the job done. Please. Pretty please. With whipped cream and a cherry and chocolate sprinkles on top. Unless you like rainbow sprinkles. Then we’ll top it with rainbow sprinkles.

And thank you.

Go Hoosiers!
Beat Kentucky!

It’s just the right thing to do.

No pressure. Just have fun. And do your best. Because, as I keep telling my kids, it’s important to do your best and have fun. That’s the real reason we play sports. So play your hearts out today.

Oh, and beat Kentucky. That is all.

Are you looking for 'Stevie Shoot a Three Pointer'? You won't find it here.

This post may use affiliate links. Learn more in my Disclosure Policy.

Steve Alford image via AP
This AP image is from NWITimes.com

Indiana Hoosiers gear at Fanatics.comThere’s been a spike in traffic to my site. I guess you could call it a March Madness spike? I don’t know what to call it. It should probably be something catchy because it happens every year during the NCAA tournament. This year, however, saw a much larger increase in traffic to posts about one topic in particular. It’s probably because of UCLA’s return to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2008. During the month of March, people stumble upon my blog because of this song:

Stevie Shoot a Three Pointer

Apparently I’m not the only person who remembers this song. I’m not the only one who loved this song. I’m not the only one who wants to hear the song again. Because a lot of people searched for it this March.

It used to be online. I even linked to it. But now it has disappeared. I’m sorry if you’ve stumbled upon my blog in an effort to find the song. I’ll do what I can to find another copy of it. And when I do, I’ll be sure to share it again for all the world to hear when they start searching for it again next March.

In case you had forgotten, this song generated some controversy when local stations played it on the radio.

Indiana Hoosiers gear at Fanatics.com

Stevie Shoot a Three Pointer is such a great piece of local sports and radio history. I sure hope I can find a copy of it again.

#TwitterTuesday

A wrap-up of some of my favorite tweets from the last two weeks…

I understand.

https://twitter.com/LeilanMcNally/status/332638159538098176

Thanks again to everyone who shared and voted during our campaign! In case you missed the news, here’s where we stood in the voting.

I think KY fan’s reaction to this statement was almost as funny as the tweet itself.

While this is an important reminder every day, it’s pretty fitting for today.

Congratulations, Hoosiers!

Welcome to Twitterville, @LizTodd3032! Kick your shoes off. Stay awhile.

My friend, Mark, also reviewed The Great Gatsby. He’s quite thorough.

https://twitter.com/Ivan_Renko/status/335947031560482816

Well said, Boomstick.

I can’t…I don’t….Wow. Just wow.

Knock ’em dead, Sara! Deep down, my kids will always be Blackhawks.

Feel free to donate to the Red Cross here.

Maybe I’m bad luck for the Hoosiers

I think I can finally talk about this. It’s been a week now. The pain has definitely subsided. Sunday certainly helped ease the pain.

Kevin and I were able to go watch the Hoosiers play at Illinois, thanks to my uncle Dale.

Kevin and uncle Dale wearing their IU red at the Indiana vs Illinois game in Assembly Hall in Champaign Illinois
All smiles. Obviously, this was before the final buzzer.

This game was a lot of firsts for me:

First time I’ve ever been to a college basketball game outside of Indiana or Tennessee.

First time I’ve been to the other Assembly Hall. It was a nice venue. Obviously, I didn’t think it had the history of a Hinkle Fieldhouse or the Assembly Hall, but I don’t think there’s a bad seat in the house. We were as high as you could go in the bowl and we had a pretty good view. It had a feeling similar to the old Rock Roberts days with the Aces. Of course, there’s a larger capacity at Champaign. And they got pretty loud. Would’ve been much louder if everyone in their sellout crowd showed up. I saw quite a few empty seats.

First time I’ve been to an away game for the Hoosiers.

First time I’ve been to a game that involved a team ranked #1 in the nation.

Yes, it was also the first time I’ve witnessed a student section storm the court. And honestly? I wasn’t that impressed. I was kind of expecting a tidal wave of orange surge onto the court, similar to one of my favorite memories. After all, I’ve heard over and over that Illinois fans hate Indiana. I really didn’t experience any of that hatred, but I’ll talk about that more in a minute.

You probably can’t tell from this picture, but this is the post-game celebration. There’s a lot of basketball court that’s visible. It’s nothing like the sea of red seen here.

Illinois fans storm the court after the Illini upset number one ranked Indiana

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not being critical. Just making an observation. And it still hurt to watch. Not because I really care about Illinois all that much, especially now that Bruce Weber’s gone (although the way they treated Eric Gordon left a pretty sour taste in my mouth). In fact, most of the fans were quite cordial to us. The two older gentlemen reached over and shook our hands after the game. Obviously, they didn’t learn anything from their previous coach. But I digress…The fans weren’t nearly as hostile as I imagined they would be.

Well…OK. There was this one guy who started chanting at us as we left the game.

But I shall not repeat it on this blog. It was the name of HeWhoShallNeverAgainBeNamedOnThisBlog. I was very tempted to reply with my own chant:

“Er-ic Gor-don!”

But I didn’t. That probably would’ve gotten me in trouble. I was, however, surprised that I didn’t hear a chorus of “over-rated” being chanted throughout the building. Maybe everyone was just too much in shock.

I know I was. And so were a bunch of other Hoosiers faithful. On the way home, we stopped at the first Arby’s on the Indiana side of I-74. Some guys were already in there and we could tell they had gone to the game. They were wearing red. Their voices were a little scratchy. And their eyes communicated the same thing that we felt: shellshock. Even an hour later.

Then another group of people came in. They had the same expressions while wearing their candy-striped pants. All of us had gone to the game. All of us were still in a haze because of how things had fallen apart. Unfortunately, we could all see it coming. And there wasn’t anything we could do about it except watch in horror.

If I remember correctly, I tweeted this 10 minutes into the second half. That was long before the shot.

Oh, that shot.

For the next 36 hours, I saw that stupid shot go in every time I closed my eyes. It haunted me. It mocked me. It taunted me. Gave me nightmares.

While this game my first for a lot of different things, I’m sorry to say that this is not the first time I’ve watched Indiana lose to a team they should have beaten because of a last-second shot. I have been to a total of four IU games in my lifetime. Of those four, three have been losses. Two were on last-second shots. That other last-second shot hurt to watch, too. The silver lining? I guess I should be happy I saw some pretty exciting games.

I’d rather say I saw a blowout. I’m fully expecting that the next time I get to go to a game.

If not, I just might have to swear off going to Indiana games altogether. Because I don’t want to be part of the problem. I want to be part of the solution. And so maybe not attending games is how I’ll wind up fighting for the Cream and Crimson for the glory of Old IU.

Then again, maybe I saw the last loss of IU’s season. That would be something kind of special, wouldn’t it?

We’ll just have to wait and see, I guess. March Madness is just around the corner and I can’t wait to see what happens!

Watford for the Win – a year later

This post may use affiliate links. Learn more in my Disclosure Policy.

Watford for the Win
Image via Inside the Hall

One year ago today, Aiden and I “stormed the court” in our living room, celebrating Christian Watford’s amazing shot. We weren’t the only ones who reacted that way.

That shot…that game…that reaction…that moment…

it was cathartic.

It was like the remnants of the HeWhoShallNeverBeNamedAgainOnThisBlog nightmare had finally been swept away. And after years of trying to somehow will the Hoosiers to win during the beginning of the Tom Crean era and experiencing disappointment after disappointment, that iconic shot became an instant harbinger that to Hoosier fans, Kentucky fans, Purdue fans, and all other college basketball fans across the nation: Indiana basketball is BACK.

And we celebrated with reckless abandon.

Christian Watford Signed Framed 12×18 Floorboard & Photo Display Indiana B – $135.99Christian Watford Signed Framed 12×18 Floorboard & Photo Display Indiana B

It still stings that Indiana isn’t playing KY during the season this year. It feels a little bit better that the team that replaced IU on the schedule was Baylor. You know – the team that broke KY’s home win-streak. Maybe it’s a case of “be careful what you wish for,” if Calipari truly was concerned about protecting his team’s home court winning streak. While I will always enjoy watching KY struggle, I would rather see these two teams play each other as the powerhouses they should be. I think it’s great for Indiana. And it’s great for college basketball. You know – like Luke vs. Emperor Palpatine is great for film. And I’ve been saying this for years.

I hear Coach Cal says he wanted to play IU at Lucas Oil Stadium this season because he wants to create “experiences” (as if an electric Assembly Hall or Rupp Arena isn’t a magical experience). Well….Lucas Oil is hosting the Midwest Regional this year.

Coach Cal might want to be careful what he wishes for.

Indiana Hoosiers gear at Fanatics.com

An IU poem from an 8th grader

Calbert Cheaney's sweet jump shop
Image via Crimson Quarry

I recently uncovered this poem. I wrote it as part of an assignment in 8th grade. I think this is the first poem I ever wrote. While not exactly historically accurate, I think it captures some of the iconic images from that era.

Assembly Hall rocks with noise
As the crowd cheers for Indiana’s Boys.
Cheaney lets a three-pointer fly
And Knight’s sweater is rolled about chest-high
They cherish the thrill of victory
As IU beats Michigan 73-70

Still Gives Me Chills…

Christian Watford's game-winning shotI know. It’s been 11 days.

I cannot, however, continue with this blog without sharing these three amazing videos. The first one still gives me chills. It makes me want to rush the court in our Living Room, like Aiden and I may or may not have done when we first watched the shot go in.

The other two videos? Just hilarious.

To my friends and family who are big fans of KY, I’m sorry. To everyone else…

You’re welcome.

It’s Indiana!

Love, LovE, LOVE this video!

[vodpod id=Video.4897893&w=425&h=350&fv=file%3D+http%3A%2F%2Fcdn.row27.com%2Fclients%2Findiana%2Fmbb%2FINDIANA_FINAL.f4v%26amp%3Bimage%3Dhttp%3A%2F%2Fcdn.row27.com%2Fclients%2Findiana%2Fmbb%2Fhero_graphic.png%26amp%3Bfrontcolor%3Dffffff%26amp%3Blightcolor%3Dcc9900%26amp%3Bscreencolor%3D000000%26amp%3Bskin%3Dflash%2Fbekle.zip%26amp%3Bcontrolbar%3Dnone%26amp%3Bautostart%3Dfalse%26amp%3Bbufferlength%3D10]

It’s Indiana!, posted with vodpod

It’s finally time for college basketball season. And I’m excited about the prospects of this year’s Hoosiers team. The I’m glad they’re building on the tradition, but not just dwelling there. After all, tradition doesn’t win ballgames.

And the future? It’s getting brighter all the time. Of course, it can’t get much darker than it was just a couple of years ago – can it?

But with yesterday’s announcement…

http://twitter.com/#!/insidethehall/status/2784566989295616

…things are certainly looking up!