So there has been much hoo haa over Purdue Pete this past week. The higher-ups decided that we needed to say goodbye to "old" Purdue Pete and welcome in "new" Purdue Pete. There was no welcoming going on when "new" Pete was revealed. People were not happy and made it know by booing him as he ran out on the field.
Purdue Pete needed to be re-made again. Since first taking the field to cheer on the Boilermakers in 1956, Pete has undergone six makeovers. The goal was to make the next Purdue Pete "friendlier" and to communicate "strength, determination and heroism." "We have made a costume change, not a personality change," Purdue athletics director Morgan Burke said. For the first time, Pete will consist of a head-to-toe, one-piece outfit. The skin tone of the 7-foot mascot will be a deeper tan to represent more ethnicites.
Furthermore, the full-body costume will allow anyone regardless of race or gender to play Pete; so far, only white male students have done so. What does it matter what color the legs are?!?!?! Purdue is trying to be a multi-cultural campus so why not have many different ethnicity's wear the costume?
But the fans thought the new Pete looked puffy and fake. I tend to agree. I like the previous Pete in official football pants. Looks more realistic to me!
The cost for the prototype was $7,500. This is not as much as I had originally thought they had probably spent, so I was not awfully upset by the price.
"People love Purdue Pete because of what he represents: the blue collared, hard working Boilermaker," said Steve Solberg, spirit coordinator and head cheer coach. "I believe this new costume will not only make Pete look more like a mascot, but it will actually help him look more like what we all think of when we think of Pete: big and strong."
Over the past 55 years, Pete has sported an over sized head, initially crafted of papier-mâché and weighing 36 pounds, subsequently a 50-pound fiber glass model and, most recently, a five-pound composite materials version. His facial expression has varied, from stern to smile - so too have his ears, eyes and hat.