Today was pretty much an epic fail by all accounts. Purdue was supposed to hold its annual spring football game. While we don't have the rabid fanbase of an SEC school desperately wishing to see a glorified scrimmage, The spring game is always fun. it is usually one of the first outdoor activities of the year after a long winter. Naturally, Purdue had a full day planned around it today.
Weather was a factor. We knew this going in. When a storm system the size of Illinois is bearing down on West Lafayette we can expect a little rain. Like most sensible people, we were prepared. However, we get to Ross-Ade, go up to the Shively Stadium Club (thanks to BoilerPaulie) and see that the game is cancelled. Instead, a scrimmage was held inside the Mollenkopf with only former players and press allowed.
Boilerdowd summed it up best:
In hindsight, I have little problem with the game being moved inside and being made private since there are no stands in Mollenkopf; any chance of lightning made it a bad scene for the fans. And I really understand not being able to stay and watch the game...but why there are so many toolbags with poor tact around events and in security at my alma mater makes me scratch my head.
I drove an hour each way to see the Spring game (much less than many who were there) because I really like watching Purdue football...and this guy acted like I had broken into a private party...and the fact that I had a 5 and a 6 year old fan with me didn't seem to matter much to him either. Whatever. It's par for the course. The same athletic department that brings you throngs of empty seats in the lower arena at Mackey that are never allowed to be filled...tone-deaf e-mails and mailings directed at the people who fund the Athletic Department...and an SID that treats alums who run blogs as if they're terrorists to the university; It shouldn't be surprising that they would hire and direct crowd control to treat fans and alums like crap. I shouldn't expect more, I guess...But I do.
I don't agree with the SID comment about blogs, as I have enjoyed a much warmer relationship of late, but like many people, I was pretty upset on the way things were handled. It trickled out that in Bloomington, where the weather was worse, the fans were allowed to view the game once it was moved indoors. I was in West Lafayette from about 12:30 until 3:30. There was no thunder or lightening, and aside from the rain picking up for brief periods, the weather was far from horrible. It should say something that the baseball team tried longer to get in their game than the football team.
Then again, there were other fans there that were, shall we say, less than thrilled. I am specifically calling out the fan that, according to Mrs. T-Mill, complained about the crowd int he Shivley club because, "They let in a lot of people that aren't normally in the Shipley Club," as if the riff-raff let in had the plague or something. Maybe that is why the uber-expensive seats are always so empty. We can't have rubbing elbows with the high and mighty. I can imagine that 100 years ago these people would have been perfectly fine with denying regular folk like me a seat on a Titanic lifeboat.
The thing is this: Purdue is a school where only the diehards and long-time fans are going to come to something like the Spring game. When something like this happens, it does not bode well for working to gain new fans.