clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

10 Fun Facts About... Purdue

The series returns with tales of the Football Team that totally exists. I think.

New Purdue coach Darrell Hazell. Not pictured? A mustache.
New Purdue coach Darrell Hazell. Not pictured? A mustache.
Kirk Irwin

Sorry I haven't been completely diligent on this series, guys, but we're back on the road. We're going to West Lafayette. Because it's at this point that conference play starts. The Purdue Boilermakers are first on the agenda. And sandwiched between a tough road game and the Ohio State game? It smells of trap.

But history's bade well for the Badgers in this game since the magic of Scott Starks down in Ross-Ade Stadium. And before they have to travel to Columbus? The Badgers get another visit from Purdue. And we get 10 fun facts.

Note: The Giant Drum is not a fun fact. Giant drums are not fun.

1. Before Drew Brees became the superstar that he is? The best quarterback Purdue ever developed was Bob Griese. He became famous as the color commentator to Keith Jackson's play by play for ABC Sports. He is most famous to Wisconsinites for his consistent mispronunciation of Wisconsin's name.

Protip: There were no Wesleys are the formation of Wisconsin.

2. You know what Purdue dominates? Space. They were the Alabama of NASA. First man to get launched into space? (Gus Grissom). First man to walk on the Moon? (Neil Armstrong). The most recent man to walk on the moon? (Eugene Cernan). All Purdue graduates. In fact? One in three manned space missions, brought a Purdue graduate with them.

3. Purdue is one of the few programs that does not subsidize its athletic program through the university. No opinion. Just that's kind of legitimately awesome. Even if it does have a tendency to put the major programs behind the eight ball.

4. Did you know Purdue has a breakfast club? It's true! Only this isn't a tale of five mismatched teens that come together one Saturday and learn that there's no real difference between Artists and Jocks and Princesses and Judd Nelsons. It's a tradition where a bunch of college kids dress up in costumes and pregame before the pregame. It can start at five or possibly six AM. For a bunch of engineers. It sounds pretty fun.

5. Did you know Purdue has a connection to the greatest Shreveport based football game of all time? Every company needs a spokesman. And you know who Advocare gets to, you know, advocate? America's favorite quarterback with a facial flaw. That's right, Drew Brees.

6. We all know about the Old Oaken Bucket. That's the bucket that the winner of the Indiana-Purdue game gets, But one of the more underrated rivalry trophies is the Purdue Cannon.  See, in 1905, a group of Purdue students brought a cannon to Champaign in anticipation of victory. They did win 29-0. But Illinois students got to the cannon and spirited it away before it could kaboom down the hallway. It wasn't until a 40-21 win for Purdue in 1943 where they got their cannon back. And how can you not get fired up to win a weapon?

[Ask Minnesota. They don't seem to want an axe bad enough.]

7. I will give you another interesting Purdue football fact. There have been seven times the number one team in the country has faced Purdue and been beaten. It doesn't seem that impressive, right? Well how about I tell you it's good for third. The only teams to take down the #1 team more often were Notre Dame and Oklahoma.

And a November 2nd game at Ross Ade against the Buckeyes might be a chance for Purdue to get it to eight.

8. Jokes for 12 year olds.

"You know who went to the University of Purdue?"
"Earl Butz."

If you're telling a parent then you'll probably nearly get punished for insolence. But then you shout "He was Nixon's secretary of Agriculture and kind of racist." And they're like "did you learn that at school?" And you'll be like "Nope, I learned that from Bucky's 5th Quarter."

You're welcome.

9. One of my favorite comedians is Jim Gaffigan. He's consistently funny and somehow maintains that reaching a broad audience. He also has a family van when he tours the country telling comedy to the people. Also, he's a Purdue graduate.

10. The Wisconsin Connection? Well you have to look to the stars for that. See, Jack Horkheimer was the man who taught astronomy before Neil DeGrasse Tyson rolled up and ruined Pluto for everybody on Public Televsion. Horkheimer went to Purdue.  And you know what? He was born in Randolph, Wisconsin.

Next on the series is another big one. Ohio State. It's coming.


More from Bucky's 5th Quarter: