You smell that? It's gameday...finally!
If you're a college student, this is what you live for. Saturday mornings are special. As a student, your time is limited so you have to make the most of every single opportunity to root your team on.
At Purdue, Saturdays mean wake up calls from the Boilermaker Special, Breakfast Club, Slayter Hill, being an American (I'll explain), Ross-Ade Brigade and shouting. I am going to do my best to highlight all of these truly unique Purdue traditions today.
I thought it might be a good idea to outline what my schedule is today so we can better exchange ideas/tweets/conversations/blogs/smoke signals (okay, maybe we'll avoid smoke signals).
Breakfast Club: No, not the movie. Breakfast Club is the most recognizable football tradition at Purdue. Imagine Halloween every Saturday of a home football game. Now, Imagine Halloween extremely early in the morning and the bars offering super cheap (we're all poor college students) deals on beverages and you have breakfast club. I am going to do my best to display some of the best costumes of the day and show you a little bit of the atmosphere. Follow @B1GMobileTour for pictures and commentary.
Pancake Breakfast: Once a year, Purdue hosts a pancake breakfast. It is quite the show. It features a HUGE griddle, an automated machine that perfectly pours the pancake batter and a set of chefs that flip pancakes with the artistic expertise of Michelangelo (you caught me, that's an exaggeration but you get the point - it's cool). Again, I am going to bring this to you and let you see what this experience is all about. That is, if I can put down the syrup bottle long enough to actually work. Shhh....
Tailgating: Purdue, like any B1G Ten school, loves to tailgate. Coincidentally, one of the major hot spots for tailgating is Slayter Hill. Guess where the B1G RV is going to be? Slayter Hill! Who's the genius in charge of this? If you're tailgating, give me your best effiort and I might feature you as part of the Purdue tailgating experience.
B1G RV: The B1G Mobile Tour RV will be at Slayter Hill from 9:00 a.m. to Noon. Stop by to see the B1G Ten Championship Trophy! It will also be available for an hour after the game.
Game Traditions: One of the greatest and most underrated traditions in all of college football (and I swear I'm not biased) is Purdue's "I Am An American." It doesn't matter if you're a Boilermaker, Hawkeye, Wildcat, Badger or Hoosier (there, I said it), we're blessed to live in this great country and we need revel in it. Again, follow @B1GMobileTour for a video of this great tradition performed by the All-American Marching Band prior to the game.
I will also Shout at you! Well, at least highlight the "Shout" tradition at Purdue. Between the 3rd and 4th quarters Purdue makes a habit out of playing this song and having a Purdue legend waving a Purdue flag from the press box. A great song, a great tradition and a great time to be a Boilermaker.
The W flag. One of the more unknown traditions at Purdue. After every victory, the grounds crew flies a W (you know, for "W"in) high above the south endzone bleachers. Assuming Purdue can take care of business, I will be there helping raise the W!
I feel obligated to do this. That's what sports writers do, right? I am going to make some outlandish prediction, I'll be wrong and then you'll ridicule me for doing this. I just can't wait.
Well, this is an interesting week for Purdue. Coming off a tough loss to Rice (the school, not the food), you would Hope (pun) that the Boilermakers come out a little upset and jump all over Southeast Missouri State early. However, the fact that Purdue's next game is against inter-state rival Notre Dame could complicate things. Are the Boilers looking ahead? Will they take the Redhawks seriously? Is this a trap?
To be honest, this is a game that Purdue should NOT lose. A B1G school should have the talent to make this an ugly game and do it quick. At the same time, this is SEMO State's signature game and you know it's circled on the calendar. Purdue will get SEMO's best punch.
The other interesting wrinkle - SEMO runs the option offense. Something Purdue hasn't seen yet and won't see the rest of the season. How do the Boilers adjust? I don't know (this is where an actual sports writer would offer something beside "I don't know", hey - you get what you pay for here).
What will be the highlight of the game? Funny I ask. The Purdue coaching staff has mentioned that the return of QB Robert Marve is likely this week. Marve is still a bit of an unknown. A highly touted recruit, Marve went to Miami before transferring to Purdue. Unfortunately, he tore his ACL early in the season last year before ever getting to really establish himself in the offensive scheme. This could be a chance for him to get his feet wet before the showdown with Notre Dame in two weeks. A lot of Purdue fans, including myself, are excited to see what level his play is at.
Okay, enough of my blabbering. To the prediction. I just don't think SEMO has the horses (and by horses I mean human football players) to compete with Purdue.
...wait for it...
Purdue 41 - SEMO St. 10
I will be watching from the press box (I work in Athletics Communications Department on gamedays). I like to joke that it is always 72 and sunny where I am sitting. Well tomorrow it really is going to be 72 and sunny with a nice Brees (get it?) outside. Come out to Ross-Ade and support your Boilers.
Check out 2011 Purdue Football Gameday Central for everything you would ever need.
Interact with those in the know by tweeting at @PurdueSports and @BoilerFootball. I will also be tweeting highlights and answering fans' questions at @B1GMobileTour.
The game will be shown on Big Ten Network.
That's all for now. Please reach out to @B1GMobileTour if you have any questions. Looking forward to gameday.
Until then...Ever Grateful, Ever True. Boiler Up, Hammer Down and Hail Purdue!