Face of the Program

On ESPN.com, they've decided to ask everyone who the face of their school's athletic program is. Now, while Purdue takes a lot of crap for not being a powerhouse, there are probably far worse situations out there. (For example, would you like to figure out the "face of the program" for, say, SMU?)

Anyway, the Purdue discussion board for the Face of the Program chatter is....apathetic. Thirteen posts in three weeks.

So I'm going to rattle off some candidates as the face of Purdue Athletics. It's kind of a dumb contest (though not as dumb as "Who's Now" or "The Greatest Highlight [Ruined By A Fat Slovenly Windbag]") since most schools don't have a Woody Hayes or a Joe Paterno. But hey, it's May, football season isn't for more than three months, so what the hell?

Away we go, in no particular order.

Candidate: Drew Brees, QB, '98-2000
Why He Qualifies: Took Boilermakers to only their second Rose Bowl ever. Is most fondly remembered Purdue football player ever. Wasn't afraid of any team, ever.

Candidate: Joe Tiller, Head Coach, 1997-2008
Why He Qualifies: Took Purdue out of the doldrums and made program respectable again, peaking with 2000 season Rose Bowl.

Candidate: Mike Alstott, FB, '93-'96
Why He Qualifies: All-time greatest rusher at Purdue, was a force even though team was terrible. Probably second most beloved Boiler ever, behind Brees.

Candidate: Purdue Pete, Mascot, Forever
Why He Qualifies: Even casual fans recognize him; strong chin; can beat up your mascot.

Candidate: Bob Griese, QB, '63-'66 (also baseball pitcher and basketball guard)
Why He Qualifies: Led Purdue to first Rose Bowl appearance; two-time All-American; funny name.

Candidate: Leroy Keyes, RB, '65-'68
Why He Qualifies: Two-time All-American; Probably greatest running back in Purdue history; goofy picture cannot be beaten.

Candidate: Brock Spack, Defensive Coordinator, 1997-Present
Why He Qualifies: Defense was in top 3 in Big Ten -- including conference-best in 2002 -- from 2000-2004; Confused look is priceless and frequent; mustache is soup strainer quality.

Candidate: Jim Colletto, Head Coach, 1991-1996
Why He Qualifies: He doesn't, really. But he has a face. Okay, well, he recruited Mike Alstott, Billy Dicken and many other members of Purdue's first bowl team (1997) since 1984.

Candidate: Stu Schweigert, Safety, 2000-2003
Why He Qualifies: "If Stu didn't stop you, he didn't want to."

Candidate: Rick Trefzger, QB, 1993-1996
Why He Qualifies: Lefty; almost beat ND in 1996; Did upset #9 Michigan in 1996.

Candidate: Rod Woodson, DB, '83-'86
Why He Qualifies: Broad shoulders; chiseled features; dominating DB

Candidate: Len Dawson, QB, '53-'56
Why He Qualifies: One of the first of the "Cradle of Quarterbacks"; ageless like Dick Clark.

Candidate: Chris Jim Everett, QB, '82-'85
Why He Qualifies: Laser Rocket Arm; Beat up Jim Rome (sort of).

Candidate: Glenn Robinson, Forward, '91-'94
Why He Qualifies: Best Boilermaker basketball player since John Wooden; took Boilers to Elite Eight despite Gene Keady's coaching; beat Fab Five in Michigan, making Gene Keady skip for joy.

Candidate: Gene Keady, Head Coach, '81-'05
Why He Qualifies: Possibly most recognizable Boiler-related sports figure out there; the famous combover.

Candidate: Rowdy, Mascot, '97-'07
Why He Qualifies: Far less imposing than Pete; bounced on his head sometimes.

Okay, well those are just some suggestions. Did I miss any? Who would you vote for?


Indy Gets Super Bowl -- Steak-N-Shake to Provide Locker Room Buffets