One of the exciting things that happened at Purdue's spring game on Saturday, was the big reveal of the new Purdue Pete. Now Pete has undergone several changes over the years to update his look. He's changed hats, clothes, and expressions to keep him current. The cover story of the January-February Purdue Alumnus magazine highlighted the upcoming change.
The current Pete wears a head made out of some kind of plastic, and either a football or a basketball uniform, and carries a hammer. I'm told he's been seen suited up for soccer and baseball as well. The story is, that there have been reports of him scaring children. I guess that's one of the reasons they wanted to give him a new look.
Well, I personally don't think he is all that scary, and, after all, there are kids that are scared of Scooby Doo, Mickey Mouse, and Santa Claus, and you don't see them getting makeovers now, do you?
I like the football Pete best, of course. I like his hammer, his helmet, his gloves and the sweet cleats he wears on the field and in the tailgate lots before the game. I also think Pete is a smart guy, and if he sees that a little kid is not digging his presence, he will keep his distance. No one likes to make kids cry.
This two-year-old doesn't seem scared at all, now, does he?
Nevertheless, we couldn't stop New Pete from coming, he came. At the spring game, he came, just the same. (Apologies to the beloved Dr. Seuss.) According to reports, he came to mixed reviews. He was met with a little cheering, and quite a few boos. I guess change is hard for all of us. I have heard him compared to a beanie baby muppet Mickey Mouse-ish knockoff of Sparty of MSU with a Jay Leno chin. Critics have questioned his ill-fitting shirt, his belt buckle, his girlish-styled pants, his silver helmet, and his kleenex box shoes. I think I have to agree with the assessment of the shoes. Is he moonlighting at the circus?
University officials say that he's just a prototype at this point, and they are encouraging fans to share their feedback and suggestions. It just seemed to me that, as Old Pete symbolically handed the hammer to New Pete, the Boiler Nation was collectively saying, "Don't go, old friend, don't go."
This video was released as a sneak peek on Friday afternoon, then removed, then posted again after the debut. It shows New Pete in a hallway trying out his new look. So, if there are Boiler fans reading, what do you think? I would love to hear your comments. (Be sure to pause the blog music so you can enjoy the fight song. Boiler Up!)