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The new Purdue Pete is booed off the stage

Apr 14, 2011, 3:45 PM EDT


Purdue University attempted to update its mascot recently, and the student body was not amused. So the new Purdue Pete (pictured) was ousted in a nearly bloodless coup after only a few days of life, being literally booed off the field by Purdue fans at the annual Back and Gold football game on Saturday. Following a campaign that included a Facebook page dedicated to the old mascot’s return, original Purdue Pete was then reinstalled by the administration. Since I’m no expert in giant papier-mâché heads, and own very few boilers, I’ll pass on this controversy.

The university’s action came Wednesday, days after Purdue Pete’s new full-bodied costume design was greeted with boos during last weekend’s annual spring football game.

The Journal & Courier of Lafayette reports fans overwhelmingly preferred the older outfit that featured a student wearing an oversized mascot head with wide open eyes. That version debuted in 1989 and was retired last week, only to be returned to action this week.

Here’s the old Pete.

The mascot was redesigned because the university said it was scaring children. Indeed, the student inside the costume said that it was necessary to approach children cautiously, lest they start screaming.

Of course as soon as he was reinstated, Purdue Pete celebrated via Twitter:

@realpurduepete I was able to free myself and demand a meeting with Pres Cordova and won her over w/ my big head charm!

Still the creepiest mascot in the Big Ten. Which isn’t bad, necessarily.

Boilermakers fans toast the return of Purdue Pete [WTHR]

  1. purdueman - Apr 15, 2011 at 1:22 PM

    The “new” mascot looks like a construction worker; no wonder it was booed! We’re BOILERMAKERS, not construction workers.

    The reason for the proposed change though was due to the last old mascot casts were just about shot and the Professor responsible for the design and knowledge to make them has passed away. The University though had his drawings on file and turned them over to the architectural engineering school, who then created first a 2D computer model and then refined it to a 3D computer model.

    Due to a lot of new space age materials, it was then determined that the new heads for the mascot could be successfully manufactured for about $2700 a piece (the old ones were made by hand by students out of paper mache’).

    Fun stuff! Glad the Administration quickly recanted and found a way to solve the problem!