Game Day Observations: Purdue
A dominating win at home is one thing, but demolishing a team on the road is on another level of satisfaction. There’s nothing like watching home fans leaving their stadium dejected in the middle of the 3rd quarter after taking a romping from your team. That’s exactly what happened on Saturday afternoon in West Lafayette, and now, I’m going to tell you all about it!
- “What a strange featured image you selected for this post, Kevin! That man has his shirt off!” you must have already remarked by now. That’s actually Penn State strength and conditioning coach Craig Fitzgerald before the game during warmups doing the worm at midfield. Shirtless. It was 37 degrees. He didn’t seem to notice.
- By far, the tradition the Purdue Boilermakers cherish most is the “Breakfast Club,” which is a sight to behold. Every bar opens up at 7 a.m. on game day (imagine how that one would go over in State College) and fans are expected to wear costumes. It’s like Halloween, except the costumes are much better and more elaborate because Breakfast Club happens eight times a year, so people reuse them. It looks just as you would imagine:
- I’m convinced a large portion of the Breakfast Clubbers didn’t even go to the game:
- Which was a shame, because the atmosphere inside Ross-Ade Stadium is the worst in the Big Ten (we’ll just ignore Minnesota). Part of it had to do with the fact that Penn State won by 4 touchdowns, but it was dead from the beginning. The students didn’t care, most of the other fans didn’t care, it was cold, but the hundreds of Nittany Lions fans that made the trip didn’t seem to mind. The place was just dead.
- Ross-Ade Stadium itself is fairly non-descript. It’s old, it looks like a bowl, and there is nothing remarkable about the place. There are no tunnels for the teams to come out of, and the locker room areas are merely a shack behind the bleachers.
- On the other hand, Mackey Arena, located just outside the stadium, was top notch. The Drew and Brittany Brees Student-Athlete Academic Center was also in the same complex, which was pretty neat.
- Every single timeout, there was a tribute to the military. We must have saluted each branch a dozen times before the game was over. Granted, it was Military Appreciation Day (including a flyover), but I have never seen a more patriotic stadium.
- Oh, Purdue also boasts the biggest drum in the world. Who knew?
- The bar scene was actually better than I anticipated. Harry’s Chocolate Shop — the chocolate part was used as a front during Prohibition — seemed to be the Purdue version of the Skellar (read: lots of old people). The campus and town were both very nice and quintessentially Big Ten.
- I’ve always had an affinity for Hail Purdue! I can’t explain it. I’m not sure I want to explain it, either.
- Purdue fans need a little more confidence…It was only 3-3! I guess that’s what negative 70 passing yards — or a faulty scoreboard — will do to you.
- Purdue Pete is absolutely terrifying. I’m talking crazy murder clown see-him-in-my-sleep scary.
That’s all until next weekend when Penn State ventures into Lincoln to take on Nebraska. The Nittany Lions will have a chance to knock off its second ranked team of the season in front of a packed Memorial Stadium.