Observations from Lucas Oil
Sure, this is a couple days late, but this is our site and not yours. So take that. Also, it took a couple days for us to get the stink of Notre Dame fatboys (like fanboys, but fatter) off of us. Some observations, with no particular structure...
- First off, big thanks to Chad, a regular reader and friend of Boilerdowd who was kind enough to invite us to his and his boss’ tailgate right off the Southwest corner of Lucas. They had Chik-Fil-A as part of their spread, so what more do we need to say? Also, good vodka. Get a little Ketel One and Chick-Fil-A into Boilerdowd and you know it’s gonna be a good night. (Incidentally, we’ll be writing more about Chad at some point… his streak of consecutive Purdue football games will astonish you.)
- We had a row of what I would guess were high school aged ND fans behind us. Mix of male and female, all looked like entitled brats. And if we needed any illustration of this, they provided it by failing to remove their caps or even to stand up during the national anthem. We kept looking at them but they seemed to not even gather that this was something they should be doing. Screw you, children of our future. And I’m so glad you were wearing Notre Dame garb. Your level of respect is perfect.
- Being at a game against Notre Dame is rarely fun, mainly because of their awful fans. It’s exponentially worse when it’s effectively a Notre Dame home game. The majority of the tickets were allotted to ND (and the stadium was not filled – nice work, Domers!) and we definitely felt surrounded.
- If you’ve ever attended a game with B-dowd, you know he’s… loud. It’s not so much the loudness as it is the jarring nature of it. You’ll just be sitting there, watching the game, and he’ll screech into a tribal scream that will make you snarfle your beer. He also punched me repeatedly when Cottom lowered his shoulder and actually used his size for what felt like the first time in his college career. My arm still hurts.
- Notre Dame’s uniforms looked like something out of the MAC. Yet every Domer we asked said they loved the unis. If you guys are so into tradition and history…why would you like a uniform that looks like Toledo? I mean, the truth, of course, is that Under Armour and ND want to make more money, so additional jersey sales can accomplish that. But if it was all about having an alternate uni, why not just break out the green alternates they already have and have had throughout their history? Say what you want about ND (and we often do), but their alternates are unique and are brought out very rarely. Kind of perfect for this kind of event, really. Let Under Armour do their own take on the green jersey with gold numbers.
- Speaking of uni weirdness, Purdue remains wimpy in their all white look. However, this was the first time the all white had been paired with the black helmet. Of course, being that it was effectively a Notre Dame home game, they gave very few sh-ts about the Purdue helmet being correct on the graphics.
- There is a lot of jabber on the message boards and even some in our comments section about how awful Etling was. We know he threw two INTs but if you think they lost this game because of Danny Etling, you’re kind of being silly. Purdue was in this game because of Etling. In fact, if the defense could have held for 3 minutes at the end of the second quarter, Purdue would have had a 14-10 halftime lead.
- Related to that point, there was also a lot of anger on twitter and elsewhere on the webnet about Purdue football in general, as this game was winding down and afterwards. But beforehand, all of us were expecting a drubbing! And now, when Purdue does show up, compete and work hard… you get mad at them again? Look, I know it’s frustrating and I know the whole “you can get up for this game but not for CMU” thing is annoying, but it is what it is. If you’re still a Purdue fan and are still looking for glimmers of hope, you should have been smiling pretty big late in the second quarter when Etling and Yancey connected on a spectacular pass play. To the people who are mad at Purdue losing after putting up a good effort, I just want to ask… were you expecting them to win this game?
- There was some carnage in this game. Jalani Phillips was helped off the field at least two or three separate times. The first time he went down, he literally looked unconscious, as his arms were splayed out to his sides for a good 20-30 seconds without movement. In fact, he didn’t move until the trainers were over him. I sincerely hope he wasn’t put back into the game after getting his “bell rung.” Frankie Williams also looked roughed up at one point and Etling took a helmet-to-helmet hit from a ND safety who was ejected for targeting.
- Right before the teams came out of the tunnels, we could see Darrell Hazell in front of his troops, hopping around. We kind of loved seeing him so hyped. The sideline also seemed to have more energy and was explosive when good things happened for Purdue. There have been many times during the current program malaise when sideline energy was severely lacking. Seeing the guys going nuts after turnovers by ND or touchdowns by Purdue was fun to see.
- Notre Dame fans are dumb. We had a fat, bearded one in our section who didn’t like us clapping. That’s right, clapping for our team. I can’t remember what it was that happened – maybe the fumble deep in ND territory – but he came running over to obnoxiously clap at us. Both of us immediately went back at him with variations of “Hey awesomedude, is it okay with you if we cheer for our school?” I loathe people like this. They’re not there to support a school they went to – because 90% of them didn’t. They get their rocks off getting into other people’s faces. Smart move, when you’re fat, old and stupid.
- Notre Dame fans are dumb, Part II. Many of them got particularly mouthy in the fourth quarter when it was clear Purdue wasn’t coming back. So yeah, sure, your juggernaut program beat a team that is 2-13 over their last 15 games. But it wasn’t a cakewalk and Purdue hung tight for more than a half. In fact, they were within ten points with the ball in the fourth. And yet the smack talk begins? How about you guys just deal with the fact that Purdue played ND tougher – far tougher – than Michigan did. Nope, it’s time to stand in front of Purdue fans and mock them. You guys remain the personification of ignorance.
- We’ll say it again here… we’re not at all confident that these two teams will wind up playing again in 2020. Jack Swarbrick is an ass (perfect for ND) and has already jerked around Morgan Burke and Michigan’s David Brandon. There is little upside to Notre Dame to continue playing Purdue. Sure, it’s an in-state rival but they don’t believe (and they’re correct) that they need to worry about pounding Purdue into submission in order to land recruits. And if they lose? Well, they hear about it relentlessly (as they deserve) and that’s just not something any of them can take. So I am becoming more and more convinced that this rivalry may not ever see regular action again.
- The comment people make about effort is true – if Purdue put forth this level of effort and energy every week, they would have no trouble picking up some Big Ten wins. However, as we’ve all seen, that’s easier said than done. B-dowd’s brother commented to us that he doesn’t understand how a college football player can’t be “up” for every game, given how few they really get to play in the long run. This again makes logical sense, but those of us who remember being young and stupid remember that nothing seemed as urgent then as it does when you get older. As the saying goes, “If youth but knew…if old age but could.”
We’re happy not dealing with Notre Dame for the foreseeable future. Sure, that’s probably colored by our recent experience listening to them run their mouths. But while there is little upside to their team in playing Purdue, there is also little upside to Purdue fans in our teams playing. Even if Purdue wins, there is still mouthing off and excuses made. They never shut up and so as in life, simply going in another direction sounds like the best course of action.