Return Of The Bucket

Return Of The Bucket

I've never seen this before.

I mean, yes, I've been to Bucket games, and yes, I've seen Purdue win the Bucket. But I've never seen the Boilers get to dash to the IU sideline and take it back. To be fair, it's uncommon - it's only happened 7 times in the last 50 years - but it never coincided with when I was at Purdue, or even when I was a kid and going to games in Memorial Stadium. (I never even saw IU take it back from Purdue; that happened in West Lafayette in '76, and by '81, when they did get it in Bloomington, we weren't going to games anymore.) 

BS' Oaken Bucket 2017 coverage:

I had the opportunity to see three Bucket games when I was in school. One was in '86, a 17-15 Purdue win. We ran on the field, because that's what you do, although to be honest once you're there, there's not a lot to do. But we did it anyway because how often do you get to do that? (Foreshadowing.) One was in '88, and that one sucked. Let us never speak of it again. Finally, my third senior year, 1990, IU got to take the Bucket back. I was so disgusted, I never went to a game as a student again. (I trust you'll get the joke.) 

Unfortunately, I do have proof I was at the '90 game. I don't know why I didn't go to the Michigan game - Purdue won their home opener against Indiana State and stole one at similarly-awful Northwestern in November, but that was it, so I assume it was because six years of bad football was too much to take. Maybe also because we'd only paid half price for student tickets for a couple of years, and half price for that? Not really worth it.

 You can tell this was a long time ago because there were actually letters in my signature. Good luck trying to forge my current one!

You can tell this was a long time ago because there were actually letters in my signature. Good luck trying to forge my current one!

I did go to one or two Bucket games in Bloomington after I graduated, and it's possible one was 1997, but it's not the same when it's not your crowd. Today ... it was our crowd.

Like bdowd, and like at the other games this season (especially in Indy), I was high-fiving strangers, including one of two brothers or friends who were part of a group of four in front of me. The other younger guy was an IU fan - not the obnoxious kind like bdowd reported, although he did have an unwise moment or two, but perhaps it was the surroundings, or perhaps it was the feeling we've had ourselves all too frequently in recent years, the feeling that something nice would be taken away at any minute, maybe by an official review. 

 It was a little chilly when the sun dipped behind the press box. Winning warms you up all over, though.

It was a little chilly when the sun dipped behind the press box. Winning warms you up all over, though.

I was also kind of enjoying a full stadium - something I'd rarely experienced after the student tickets became full price, and even then only if the opponent traveled well. I say "kind of" because even though Purdue never trailed and controlled all but the tail end of the game, I felt a bit more concerned than I may have posted on Twitter.

But in the end, it was totally worth it. This is why I got season tickets for the first time since I graduated (unfortunately, financial reasons prevented me from doing it during the Tiller years): one game of Brohmball was enough to make me believe that at least for the foreseeable future, Purdue football would be exactly what he promised it would be. 

Purdue is known as the Cradle of Quarterbacks, and that history is very enticing,” Brohm said. “We will play a brand of football that features the quarterback’s strengths. Our style will be wide open and exciting, and we think the fans will enjoy watching us play.

I'm looking forward to one more game this season, and as long as it's not in NYC, I might actually go to it. (Sorry, J. New York around Christmas ... not a trip I want to make.) Next year, though ... tell me you aren't going to be excited when 6-0 Purdue hosts 7-0 Ohio State on national TV. 

Laugh if you want to, but remember ... for all the duds I put up in our Predictos, you've got to admit I got a few right. 

What he’s saying now: KOOL-AID MAN! Purdue’s going to be 7-6 this season.
What he said Aug 31: Is a rivalry game that doesn’t involve Notre Dame ever really an upset? If so, I’m picking Indiana. Massey has the Hoosiers as a 2-to-1 favorite right now, but give Purdue’s offense 11 games to get the lead out and wrap Indiana’s offense in plastic for 11 games, and you never know what might happen. Sure would be nice to have two trophies at once ... and the Boilers haven’t taken all three since 2004. (They took the Shillelagh from the Irish 9/29/2007, and had the Cannon and Bucket from 2006, so the span between that win and the November loss to IU is the last time they held all three.)

What he’s saying now: Shoot. Minnesota did fall, but the Boilers were favored anyway, so nyah-nyah to those guys. Of course, the same could well be true for Indiana; the Boilers are on track to give points for the Bucket game. So I guess I’ll take Iowa. The Hawkeyes under Ferentz have become a team that can keep any opponent in the game, and Purdue has become exactly the type of team to make you pay for that (see the Minnesota game, for example).

Photo credit: me. Look, any fool can take a half-decent picture with their phone these days.

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