I don't care if you're a Purdue fan or not.
It really doesn't bother me.
But I'm going to write about Boilermaker basketball all year, and I dare you to come along for the ride.
Some of you know me from college football coverage. Hopefully I've done a decent job finding storylines and anecdotes that interest you in my "Carrying On" columns, even if they're not about your favorite team.
Some of you love college basketball, but you're not Purdue fans.
Some of you bleed "Old Gold and Black" like me.
Some of you just clicked on the headline because you like a good challenge, and the word "dare" grabbed your attention.
I don't care who you are—I want you to enjoy this column, and I plan to work hard to make sure you do.
"Carrying On about Purdue Basketball" is a weekly series that will be published on Bleacher Report this winter, bringing you game previews, recaps, exclusive quotes, interesting storylines, and everything else about Purdue University basketball.
To catch some of you up, Purdue is a preseason Top 10 team made up mostly of talented sophomores and juniors. Coach Matt Painter trains his squad to smother opponents with in-your-face halfcourt defense, and his style has led Purdue to surprising seasons and the NCAA tournament second round in back-to-back years.
Now the Boilermakers have the maturity and experience to challenge for a Big Ten championship and chase a Final Four berth.
Even if you don't like Purdue, I want you to get one toe on the bandwagon. Learn to appreciate the Boilers' defense and the individual storylines in a season that could be special.
If you're a Duke fan, reading about Purdue will help you know what to expect from the huge Big Ten/ACC Challenge game.
If you're a Davidson fan, you'll get a preview of a huge showdown in Indianapolis in December (and you're experienced with bandwagons already!).
If you're a Big Ten fan, you'll have a better understanding of one of the league's elite teams.
If you're a college basketball fan, you'll gain an appreciation of a hard-working group of guys that will be all over the ESPN and CBS airwaves for the next few months.
If you're a sports fan, I hope to tell a good enough story that you can enjoy reading this column each week, even if college basketball isn't "your thing," and if/when Purdue makes a magical run into March, you'll already know all the characters.
Let me beat Jim Nantz and Clark Kellogg to the punch.
You see, I'm one of those guys that loves a good "behind-the-scenes" book about an interesting team. Whether they win it all or not, I like to get to know more about the players and coaches I'm watching.
John Feinstein has entertained me through countless plane rides and lazy afternoons with his stories about sports teams that I thought I understood, until I found out what really made them tick.
I'm not John Feinstein. Not even close.
And to be honest, I don't know yet how "behind the scenes" I'll get. Only time (and Bleacher Report's media contacts) will tell.
But I'm curious to see what happens if I write about Purdue basketball, not knowing how the ending will turn out until we get there. Consider this a season-in-review book that is getting published chapter-by-chapter before the season is ready to be reviewed.
The final chapters may not play out for four months in front of a national audience, but the story starts now.
I dare you to come on the ride for a season to remember (wow, it's hard to cross my fingers AND knock on wood while typing!).
I dare you to read about 2008-09 Purdue basketball.
The bandwagon is open.
Carrying On About Purdue Basketball is a weekly column for all sports fans...not necessarily limited to college hoops junkies or the Boilermaker faithful. The goal is to write an in-depth story about the 2008-09 Purdue season, with a new chapter coming each week. COAPB will usually be published each Friday on BleacherReport.com. Contact the writer, Tim Cary, at firstname.lastname@example.org.