Every true Boilermaker knows that the Boilermaker Extra Special is the true mascot of Purdue. However, in the words of Jerry Seinfeld, what is the deal with Purdue Pete? Well, The Black Sheep is here to explain the man behind the mask and how he’s developed into the beloved, yet hollow-eyed, mascot he is today.
The Original Purdue Pete, circa 1956:
The original Purdue Pete was a 36-pound papier-mache head. Sporting a goofy-guy smile and anime eyes, Purdue Pete looks less intimidating and more like a lovable (yet no less creepy) cartoon character.
Big-Head Pete, circa 1963:
For some reason Purdue decided that Pete’s head need to be bigger and better. However, much like Apple’s IOS9 update, it wasn’t necessary. It also looks like a creepy possessed toy from a scary movie. Walking in the Stewart tunnels alone and seeing this guy would be terrifying.
Angry Pete, Circa 1980:
After going though the free-spirited 70s, Pete must have become a bitter and empty adult. Suddenly, he starts sporting some serious angry brows and the lipstick smile is wiped off his face – replaced with a pretty wicked frown. It’s like he’s channeling the bouncer at Where Else and no one would want to get into a bar fight with this Pete – he’s seen some stuff, man.
Not “On Fleek” Pete, circa 1983:
For some reason angry Pete’s reign was not long, and soon came a bushy-eyebrowed Pete. It’s like Purdue decided to explore the world of texture and gave Pete “actual hair.” However, up until now Pete sported a square-looking hat instead of his beloved construction helmet.That way he could cover up his messy locks.
“Started from the bottom now we’re here” Pete, present day:
Now this is the Purdue Pete current students know and love today. With a more chiseled face and waxed eyebrows, Pete will dance into your hearts and lead Hail Purdue at Ross Ade. Just make sure not to make prolonged eye contact when you see him on campus – the longer you stare the creepier his empty eyes look.
Regardless of creepiness, Purdue Pete is still a lovable Purdue treasure. He’s also way better than not having a mascot at all (ahem, IU) or a cheap-looking Buckeye nut. More importantly, Purdue Pete is more badass than a Leprechaun and would totally win in a Big Ten mascot fight (no way could a badger beat a hammer). However, the ladies of Purdue are all hoping that the next Purdue Pete upgrade will just be a shirtless buff dude with a hammer (and no creepy head).
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