It looks like Purdue will wear black helmets next Saturday versus aOSU...of course, we have a few thoughts.
First off, it looks like the helmet is based on a design from Purdue student Ryan Rittenhouse (that was in the Exponent in September of 2012). If that's the case, Rittenhouse deserves credit...or at the very least some sort of shout out from the athletic department. According to Rittenhouse (via Twitter), he's gotten no word from the Athletic Department...that's not cool...and really, it's not even legal. Rittenhouse doesn't have to Trademark something to show that it's his intellectual property...he merely needs to show proof that it was his idea. I believe a news article from a year ago effectively does that.
I don't think Rittenhouse has a beef with Purdue's decision makers...in fact, he's probably pretty stoked to see that his design has moved the needle...but he absolutely deserves some sort of tip of the cap from Purdue. Make this right, Burke, Hazell, and co...it'll be pretty easy to do so.
Next, I think the timing of this is a bit questionable. J rightfully posted that he's not sure that anyone deserves treats based on the performance on the field this season. Make no mistake, this is a treat for players...they eat this stuff up; love it. I know a bunch of old guys on message boards and Twitter say it doesn't matter...and honestly, it won't make the difference if Purdue wins or loses on Saturday...but it does matter to players.
I hope the players feel invincible and Herculean as they take the field versus the might 'Nuts...every little bit of psychological cajoling this team can get should be spent. BUT, unless Ryan Kerrigan dresses, it'll be tough to see this Purdue defense stopping the number one offense in the conference. Even more noteworthy, unless Drew Brees and/or Kyle Orton line up with Kory Sheets and Ralph Bolden (pre knee injuries) in the offensive backfield (behind Matt Light, Nick Hardwick, Dennis Kelly and a few other Boiler lineman suit up in the new black helmets, I'm not sure this offense will be able to move the ball too effectively.
I'm not saying that this season is over and the offense can't get better...it hopefully will get much better in the second half of the season. But this offense has shown nary a pulse, let alone the firepower to stick with one of the best offenses in the nation.
Penn State showed what a resolute aOSU team can do...let's hope Ohio State overlooks Purdue. My thought is, since Meyer was taken to the brink last season by Hope, he won't be taking Purdue lightly. That kinda spells doom for the good guys, in my opinion.
So, while most Purdue fans have awaited some sort of alternate football helmet since the craze began five or six seasons ago, I'd bet those same people don't want to see an emblem of a colossal failure resurrected at a later date. Maybe I'm wrong, but I can speak for myself- If Purdue loses big in the new helmet, all I'll be able to think of is the Akers debacle from '88 (the last time Purdue donned black helmets). So I'm not a fan of the timing simply because I used to really like the idea of matte black helmets for my Boilers.
But, if the football gods rain Skittles down on Purdue's sideline next Saturday, and the Good Guys find a way to win, they better damned well wear them for the rest of the season.