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Looking Back: A 1982 Purdue Football Magazine

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It turns out that 1982 was very 1982.

A few weeks ago I was at my grandfather's house in Kokomo to pick up some tools he no longer needed. He happened to have some old tinker toys for my son, likely ones that I had played with as a kid. In fact, I can likely say that because inside them was this:

Yes, that is a Purdue Exponent football magazine from the 1982 season. Not knowing much about that particular year I wanted to do some research. I thought it would be a decent season, as Purdue had gone a combined 28-7-1 from 1978-80 under Jim Young, so success had previously happened.

Then I got to the first article:

"Boilers Hope to Stop Streak"

As it turns out, this magazine was dated from October 16, 1982. It comes just after a 38-34 loss at Illinois that had Purdue starting 0-5 against the likes of Stanford (with some guy named John Elway) Minnesota, Notre dame, Wisconsin, and the Illini. Purdue had an upcoming game against Northwestern, who had actually won two games after breaking their record 36-game losing streak earlier in 1982. Among the highlights:

"Purdue head coach Leon Burtnett is still looking for his first victory in the collegiate ranks. Purdue now owns the Big Ten's longest overall losing streak at nine."

"The Wildcats will come to Ross-Ade Stadium today hoping to win their first road game in eight years. The last time the Wildcats won in West Lafayette was a 19-14 victory in 1950."

Fortunately, their lengthy streak was not stopped that day. Purdue would win 34-21 and Northwestern would have to go until 1992 before winning in West Lafayette. It should also be noted that this was Purdue's homecoming, and it was not a sell out for the first time since 1978.

There are some other interesting parts to this magazine:

  • There is a feature on Jim Everett waiting to get his first chance to start behind Scott Campbell.
  • In what would become a feature of many losing seasons, the center spread is focused on the band.
  • The Bob Harmon forecast on Page 12 picks scores from all over the country, including Brown-Cornell, Western Carolina-Marshall, Wichita-New Mexico State, and more.
  • The previous week's scores on Page 14 is a deep dive into the hinterlands of college football. Want to know the Yankton-Dakota Wesleyan score? It is there!
  • There is a beautiful full page on the back for Garcia's Pizza, may it rest in memory. There is actually one Garcia's Pizza on the planet still open in Champaign. It is worth going to the Purdue-Illinois game alone.
  • Other ads include a homecoming concert for Henry Mancini and his 40 piece orchestra that night at Elliot Hall of Music and a concert featuring Charley Pride with Texas Vocal Company on November 6.
  • Ads for the following, now defunct, businesses in West Lafayette (aside from Garcia's): For Goodness Sakes!, Arth Family Drugs, Rapp's Downtown, Chico N' Eddies, Let's Munch Out, Four Boys Manner, Levee Liquors (where you could get a six pack of Miller for $1.99 and a case of PBR for $6.49!).

So that is the deep dive. Since this was just after I turned 3 I don't have a lot of memories of Purdue then, but it is always good to look back. Purdue would finish that season 3-8 with wins over Northwestern, Michigan State, and Iowa.