After treating me to 8 weeks of basic training in the Texas summer heat the United States Air Force extended the misery by subjecting me to Indiana University football. In 1963 the Air Force stationed me in Bloomington to learn Hungarian. First they gave me a Top Secret Security Clearance. Silly me, I thought the reason was to keep secrets from the Soviet Union. I discovered the only secret being protected was that there are two halves to a football game; I.U. often plays only the first.
From my first IU football game in 1963 through 7 years on campus up to last night, August 31, 2017, I have repeatedly had my hopes raised in the first half only to see them crushed on the shoals of reality. At least IU has often been inventive and original in finding ways to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
My most painful memory is the game we lost after it was over. Yes, over! What happened was Indiana went ahead with less than thirty seconds left to play and was so excited, and surprised, to be ahead the team started celebrating during the kickoff and the other team ran the kickoff back for a go-ahead touchdown as time ran out. That was the first IU game I saw. It was an omen, a harbinger, a curse.
On the other hand I have watched numerous football games where we led at half time. What is it about IU football and the second half? We often play well and smart and tough the first half then have to invent a way to lose in the second. Perhaps our approach has been misguided.
Indiana University is a fine academic institution with a beautiful campus and generous support from Hoosier taxpayers. We have smart students and even smarter professors and we require our football players to go to class. Maybe we should demand a rule change based upon the empirical evidence. I suggest we simply walk off the field at half time and not come back. Then such debacles as 13 (Ohio State) to 14 (IU) at the half will no longer turn into 49 to 21 at the end.