When you think of Purdue football traditions, what comes to mind first? The gold and black striped overalls? The rivalry between Purdue and Indiana University?
Students at Purdue know a lot about their own football traditions, but what about their rival?
Both schools share game day traditions involving bars. Breakfast club is a stand-out example.
Breakfast club is a tradition where students head to bars early Saturday morning before every home football game as early as 7 a.m. at Purdue and 5 a.m. at IU.
“Me and my friends generally go to Where Else (bar) or Harry’s for breakfast club,” said Sloan Stewart, a senior in the College of Health and Human Sciences and Krannert School of Management.
Harry’s doesn’t participate in breakfast club, and some bouncers even deny access to people in costumes.
Costumes or onesies are a trademark of Purdue’s breakfast club as students start their early endeavor.
The most popular bars at Purdue are Harry’s Chocolate Shop, Brothers, and Where Else. Lines can be a determining factor for students deciding between these hotspots.
“I usually just go to Brother’s bar because of the long lines at other bars,” said CJ Anderson, a senior in the College of Engineering.
A few bars at IU offer students free t-shirts and sweatshirts. The most popular bars are Upstairs Pub, Brothers, Kilroy’s and Nick’s English Hut.
An infamous IU tradition at Nick’s English Hut is the “Sink-the-Biz.”
“It’s a game where everybody has plastic cups, and we pour beer into a bucket of beer with a glass in the middle of it, and you have to pour into it without the cup sinking. If it sinks, you drink,” said Tristan Jackson, a senior in journalism at IU.
Whether or not you enjoy football, student sections and tailgates make the games worth attending at both schools. For most students, home games can be a great social event.
Student sections at both schools show school spirit at games by jangling keys before a kickoff and donning red and white striped pants or gold and black overalls. There are always students who show up in costumes.
“I think it’s really important to go at least once just to get in the spirit,” said Emma Nguyen, a freshman in the College of Health and Human Sciences. “Because I really do not like the sport of football, but I think the spirit of the game is so fun.”
Tailgating at IU is generally observed in a large field or the parking lots near the stadium.
“I have a group of people I can tailgate with beforehand. I play a lot of flip cup, which is fun,” said Carly Smith, a senior in anthropology.
Daria Schaffeld, a graduate from IU’s class of 1995, said she never missed a home game in the four years she was there.
“I vividly remember the Purdue game and tailgating with my then-boyfriend and all his buddies,” she said. “We were back behind the basketball stadium for this tailgate, and Purdue actually brought a Boilermaker train and were driving it through the parking lot.
“I have a picture somewhere of my boyfriend and all of his buddies laying down in front of it like on railroad tracks and not letting the train pass. It’s one of the funniest memories I have.”
Even though Schaffeld graduated from IU more than 20 years ago, she said traditions have generally stayed the same. Ava Colias, an IU freshman, said her experiences at home games hold the same energy.
“The most iconic thing we have is our candy cane-striped trousers, but everyone wears some type of IU merch at the games,” she said. “I like going to home games because it’s great to be with a big crowd of people to enjoy the game, and it’s fun to celebrate and cheer on the rare occasion we get a touchdown.”
Despite the many similarities, not all traditions are the same. For example, Purdue has Purdue Pete as the face of the football team, while IU has Hoosier pride and no mascot.
“A Hoosier is more of an idea, it represents pride in Indiana,” Schaffeld said. “It’s not really a tangible thing so there’s no mascot.