In 2011 Purdue tried to re-design Purdue Pete. They spent $25,000, did a focus group, and tried to say Pete was frightening children.
It sucked and barely lasted a week before Pete Classic was returned as is right and proper.
Remember kids, tradition cannot be focus-grouped. It is often organic and builds up over time, like “IU Sucks”, and people get pissed off when you mess with it.
Other people don’t seem to learn, as West Bromwich Albion, a soccer club playing in the Championship over in England (think Triple-A to the Premier League’s MLB) took our popular “Boiler Up” tradition (grown organically by Arnette Tiller) a little too literally:
A man dressed as a combi boiler, who fans on social media were quick to name Boiler Man, was introduced to the Hawthorns crowd on Saturday as the Baggies lost 2-1 to Bolton.
In May, West Brom signed a sponsorship deal with a boiler firm.
Supporters unsure of the move can rest easy though; Baggie Bird will remain the club’s main mascot.
What. The. Hell. England is not immune to silly mascots for soccer clubs. They have a monkey, a hornet, The Jolly Green Giant, a Quaker, Pilgrim Pete, and several others. An actual Boiler, however? This is odd.
West Brom has been in the Premier League as recently as last season when they were relegated after finishing dead last. They have already qualified for the Promotion Playoffs starting this Saturday against Aston Villa and will be relying on Boiler Man to get them back in the top flight.
Boiler Man also took over for a perfectly fine mascot in Baggie Bird:
So does this mean Purdue fans have a team in English soccer now? I have always thought we were closer to Newcastle. They are a perpetual and solid Premier League team that always bounces right back when they are rarely relegated. Everyone once in a while they challenge for Europe, but inevitably fall back. They also have a tortured history, having not won the top flight since 1927 and Purdue hasn’t won a basketball championship since 1932.
More likely, Boiler Man will probably go the way of New Pete. Then again... West Brom = Jeff Brohm?