I’ve been to Lafayette, Indiana, and the Purdue campus many times to work sports broadcasts. When I think of Purdue, I think of two things:
1) Gene Keady’s hair.
2) A dreary, featureless campus and city straight outta an early ’70s Buddy Ebsen-starring sitcom. (Thought about early episodes of Rockford Files. Too contemporary.)
One of the few, if not only distinctive things about Purdue has always been its mascot, Purdue Pete. So I was perplexed by the school’s recent announcement that it planned to “update” the look of perhaps the best campus caricature in college sports.
The reason? Cue Purdue assistant vice president for external relations Chris Sigurdson:
“Purdue Pete is not going away, but it is time for an updated image. It’s been 25 years since the last one. Modern fans, new century, probably deserve a little bit more modern Purdue Pete. But, the old Pete will still be around.”
So does being a Georgia Bulldogs fan classify me as prehistoric? Or just woefully out-of-style because we would never conceive of messing with our mascots?
Now that you’ve heard the carefully-crafted p.r. statement from Purdue on why the mascot will be overhauled, time for the real reason. Read more…