(H/T to KC_Hawkeye's FanShot)
For years, Our Most Hated Rival (OMHR) has been represented in their sporting endeavors by a giant-domed man known as Purdue Pete, presumably because they were too cheap (or too unimaginative) to go to the lengths of creating an anthropomorphized train to serve as a more representative mascot. In any event, Purdue Pete was, truth be told, kind of a badass:
GRR! BOOM! LOOK AT HIM CRUSH THAT FOOTBALL WITH HIS HAMMER! RRRRRAAAARRRRR!
Of course, Purdue Pete was only a part-time badass -- but he was a full-time creep. Seriously, he was really, really creepy:
He'll steal your kids:
He'll steal your wife:
No, really, he'll steal your wife -- even on your wedding day:
Honestly, he was just a creepy, creepy bastard. Mostly because of those dead, soulless eyes that were ALWAYS STARING AT YOU:
But apparently it wasn't just rival fanbases who found Purdue Pete to be a creepy avatar of impending doom -- many of their own fans did too (especially children):
that while some kids "just had big smiles and could not wait to touch you ... others did have fear in their eyes."
So it was decided that OMHR needed a new Purdue Pete -- a kinder, gentler Purdue Pete. What they came up with was... this:
WHAT THE FUCK. SERIOUSLY: WHAT. THE. FUCK.
Okay, so the soulless dead eyes are gone, as are the too-red lips. The chin and the nose are no longer quite so pointy. Everything about this new mascot feels rounder and safer; he's been focus grouped into squishy, inoffensive blandness, from the silly silver hat (silver? really? I must have missed all the silver on OMHR's uniforms over the years), to the drab, sickly old gold oversize t-shirt he wears, to the fuzzy muppet arms he now sports in addition to everything else.
Oh, OMHR, what have you done? We have hated you before, despised you with every fiber of our being, loathed the mere mention of your name... but at least we could respect -- even fear, a little bit -- a mascot that was comprised solely of high-octane Nightmare Fuel. Now you have this... thing. Frankly, if we weren't sworn to despise you, we'd almost pity you. No school deserves a mascot that lame.