Paying Our Purdues

On October 17, our plucky Badgers will take on Purdue in 2015’s Homecoming game. This will be the 105th edition of Madison’s October classic, and the 83rd meeting between the UW and the Purdue Boilermakers. A boilermaker, for those who don’t know, is a shot of whiskey served in or as a chaser to beer, making Purdue the only Big Ten school whose nickname derives from a cocktail. Here are a few more facts you should know about our Homecoming opponents:

  • A boilermaker is a beer with a whiskey chaser; if the same ingredients are served in the opposite order — with the shot first and the beer as a chaser — it’s just called a shot and a beer.
  • Purdue’s teams have been called Boilermakers since 1891, when a newspaper story covered the school’s 44–0 victory over Wabash College with the headline “Wabash Snowed Completely Under by the Burly Boiler Makers from Purdue.” Mocking Purdue’s engineering programs, the paper also called Purdue’s players coal heavers and stevedores.
  • The Badgers’ record against Purdue is 45–29–8, and the UW has won the last nine games in the rivalry. Purdue’s last win came in 2003, 14–13. That game was also a Homecoming.
  • The Boilermakers have played in only two Rose Bowls. In 1966, they beat USC 14–13; in 2000, they lost to Washington 34–24.
  • The Boilermakers have not finished a season ranked by the AP since 2003, when they lost the Capitol One Bowl and ended at number 18.
  • The Boilermakers currently have two mascots: a sledgehammer wielding maniac called Purdue Pete and a train called the Boilermaker Special.
  • There have been seven Boilermaker Specials. The current dates to 2011.
  • The first Boilermaker Special, introduced in 1940, combined a Baldwin Locomotive body and a Studebaker chassis.
  • Purdue Pete suffers from mandibular prognathism, or “Habsburg jaw.”
  • Purdue used to have a third mascot called Rowdy. Rowdy was Purdue Pete’s inflatable sidekick. He was deflated in 2007.