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F this team: Purdue

With apologies to our esteemed publisher, Mr. Seth Fein, who often proudly displays his Purdue fanship on his chest, this is the article I’ve been most looking forward to writing.

Fuck Purdue.

The state of Indiana lends itself to hatred because it sucks so much. And while all Indiana universities are worthless, none of them are quite as bad as Purdue. When you’re the safety school behind Notre Dame, Butler, and Indiana University how good can you really be? Hell, I’d probably put Indiana State ahead of Purdue, too, just because they had Larry Bird. I mean, what’s Purdue better than, something called IUPUI?

The university is named for John Purdue, a fat white guy who never really understood how to tie a bow tie. Before founding a university, Purdue was most famous for his money, gained primarily by selling dry goods during the civil war, and losing twice to the same opponent in a congressional race. Now he’s honored with a university simply because he put up some money and land so the damn thing could be founded.

Purdue is located in West Lafayette, but most of the campus wasn’t officially annexed into the city limits of West Lafayette until 2013 because, I don’t know, the town officials had better things to do in the 125 years between being incorporated and annexing all of Purdue. The fact that this annexation took place so recently is even funnier in the context of how important Purdue is to West Lafayette. The university employs about 12,000 people, most of whom live nearby; the population of West Lafayette less than 30,000.

Among the famous people associated with Purdue are President Benjamin Harrison (trustee), who ranks 30th in C-Span’s presidential rankings, behind notable screw-up Jimmy Carter and president-for-80 days James Garfield; Amelia Earhart (faculty), whom the university actually helped by funding the plane she was flying when she disappeared, so I think we know who to blame for that; and Neil Armstrong, whose inability to find life on the moon can be directly connected to the end of the Space Shuttle program in 2011. The current president of Purdue is former Governor Mitch Daniels, the man responsible for the layoff of 18% of the Indiana state workforce during his tenure and for driving state representatives to hide out in CU to keep right-to-work legislation (which he later signed into law) from being voted on.

As far as team nicknames go, Boilermakers is fairly ho-hum. It arose as a straight-forward description of the student body, most of whom were studying engineering to make, you guessed it, boilers and other metal machinery. But the official mascot of Purdue is a truck that kind-of resembles a locomotive. How can a truck be a mascot, you might be asking yourself. The short answer is it can’t, Purdue is stupid; however, the team also has Purdue Pete, who is just a dumb-looking caricature of a white dude with a hammer. So, there’s that.

In athletics, Purdue used to be pretty good at basketball, but since Gene Keady and his astonishingly absurd haircut rode into the sunset, manchild Matt Painter has failed to live up to his predecessor’s lofty standard. Women’s basketball has surpassed men’s as the more successful unit and lesser sports, like women’s soccer, golf, tennis, and men’s swimming, have fared better than any of the marquee sports in West Lafayette.

Purdue was footballing powerhouse in 1890s. Since then things have been a bit more pedestrian. In total, the Boilermakers have been to 17 bowl games, coming out slightly ahead with an 9-8 all-time record. This despite having had players such as hall of famer Bob Griese and future hall of famer Drew Brees come through the ranks of Purdue football.

Last season (1-11) and once again this year (2-3), Purdue has been the laughing stock of the Big Ten. Among all FBS teams in 2013, the Boilermakers were 122nd (out of 124) in total offense and 93rd in total defense. The team’s lone win came against Indiana State, who also finished 1-11 last season (in the Missouri Valley Conference of the FCS subdivision).

I guess things are better this year, because Purdue has 100% more wins and is up to 94th in total offense, but they’re also down to 95th in total defense (Illinois 37th and 106th, respectively). But don’t be fooled: Purdue is no good. They’re terrible, godawful, and miserable, actually. In the most recent statistical breakdown, Illinois has a 71% chance of beating Purdue and the Boilermakers have an 18% chance of not winning a single conference game. 

Over at the Purdue-specific SB Nation site they’re calling this game a must-win, not just for bowl eligibility–which it absolutely is for Illinois — but for the entire Darrell Hazell era at Purdue. This game is obviously important for the Illini, but when you put it in the context of a coach’s job it’s hilarious (I would totally do this for Coachin’ Timmy Beckman, to be clear, but I’ll save my calling him out for the recap). I hope Illinois obliterates the Boilermakers and Hazell cries at midfield after the game.

Illinois versus Purdue kicks off at 11 am on Saturday. For some bizarre reason tickets are no cheaper than $19 (as of this writing) on Stub Hub, so you should definitely save your money and watch this one on TV. ESPN2 is carrying this game because apparently all of college football sucks this weekend. If you don’t get ESPN2, patronize a local bar, you’ll need the alcohol anyway. If you want to follow along or chat during the game, I’m on Twitter @chris_d_davies.

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