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BREAKING (fake) NEWS: Purdue to Host Alumni Game To Help Boost Attendance for Iowa Game

In an effort to boost ticket sales, Purdue will be hosting an alumni game immediately following the Iowa-Purdue game Saturday.

Purdue is set to host an alumni game vs. Iowa Saturday, including Drew Brees, a number of former Hawkeyes, and probably some fans.
Image via

Despite already matching their season total for conference wins from a year ago, fanfare for our most hated rival, the Purdue Boilermakers, has been pretty limited so far this season (and every season, really, since ever). In an effort to attract a couple hundred home fans to Ross-Ade Stadium (ugh) this weekend, Purdue athletic director Mike Bobinski announced today that the school will be hosting an alumni game with Iowa immediately following the 11am contest on Saturday with the Hawkeyes.

In an exclusive interview with The Pants, Bobinski had the following to say:

Originally, we wanted to host the alumni game Friday night or before the game with Iowa Saturday, but we were afraid people would come and then leave before kickoff. So we decided to have a meet and greet with the former players ahead of the game and then play the alumni match immediately following the finale.

It’s a bold strategy, Cotton, let’s see if it pays off. The early indications are this could be rough. Tickets to Saturday’s game can still be had for less than $20 on StubHub and there are plenty available even after the typical strong following of Iowa fans have bought up several thousand tickets.

Note that even StubHub doesn’t think you get a great value by paying more than $20 to see Purdue play football.
Data via

According to Purdue’s press release, each school will attempt to field a full team with alumni from this millennium (anyone who played for either school since 2000). Iowa has released their starting lineups for both offense and defense. They are listed below:

Iowa Offense

WR - Marvin McNutt

WR - Derrell Johnson-Koulianos

RB - Shonn Greene

QB - Brad Banks

TE - Dallas Clark

TE - Scott Chandler

RT - Bryan Bulaga

RG - Marshal Yanda

C - Bruce Nelson

LG - Brandon Scherff

LT - Robert Gallery

Iowa Defense

CB - Amari Spievey

CB - Shaun Prater

SS - Bob Sanders

FS - Micah Hyde

DE - Adrian Clayborn

DE - Matt Roth

DT - Jonathan Babineaux

DT - Mike Daniels

LB - Chad Greenway

LB - Abdul Hodge

LB - Pat Angerer

When asked about choosing a starting lineup, Iowa’s alumni coach, Hayden Fry, said it was difficult to decide as there are so many talented players who were excited to play. Given the enormous depth at some positions (LB, DL for example), the plan will be to rotate guys quite a bit and keep everyone fresh.

Green Bay Packers v Arizona Cardinals
Mike Daniels will man the middle for the Iowa alumni defense Saturday.
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

As we transition to the Boilermakers, the story is quite a bit difference. To date, Purdue has actually only released one starter. Drew Brees will be leading the offense. While Brees is a fantastic place to start, one has to wonder how effective he will be without anyone playing alongside him.

Purdue’s alumni coach, Joe Tiller, was asked about filling out the roster and had the following to say:

We really struggled with this, you know. Purdue has a long history of producing a football team that is on the field. Unfortunately, the players on that team aren’t typically very good. We’ve sent out a request to basically everyone that’s played for us since 2000 and Drew is the only one who wanted to play. I think there is a real concern about being beaten to a pulp by this Hawkeye alumni group. At this point, we will allow anyone wearing Purdue gear on Saturday to join Drew on the field, provided they sign a liability waiver.

New Orleans Saints v San Diego Chargers
Brees will try to make history by playing offense entirely on his own this weekend.
Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Here is a closer look at that roster:

Purdue Offense

WR - Random Fan

WR - Random Fan

WR - Random Fan

RB - Random Fan

QB - Drew Brees

TE - Random Fan

RT - Random Fan

RG - Random Fan

C - Random Fan

LG - Random Fan

LT - Random Fan

Purdue Defense

CB - Random Fan

CB - Random Fan

SS - Random Fan

FS - Random Fan

DE - Ryan Kerrigan

DE - Random Fan (Rob Ninkovich was slated to fill this role, but is still serving a suspension for cheating at football)

DT - Random Fan

DT - Random Fan

LB - Random Fan

LB - Random Fan

LB - Random Fan

When asked for his comments on the alumni game, Purdue head coach Darrell Hazell had this to say:

We are really just focused on our game with Iowa. I think anything Mike wants to do to try and get a couple people to watch our game is great. But right now, we are just focused on Iowa. That said, I’d like to commend former coach Tiller on a fantastic mustache. I’d also like to follow his lead and invite anyone at the game Saturday with any NCAA eligibility left to please sign in at will call when they enter the stadium if they have an interest in suiting up for the Boilermakers. We need warm bodies.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen Purdue make a concerted effort in boosting attendance. Just this week we learned of plans to update Ross-Ade Stadium to include a functioning steam engine with full turntable in the south endzone. I have to commend the new AD on his thinking outside the box.

Hawkeye fans wanting to see the carnage of the alumni game are encouraged to drink less and purchase an official sarcasm meter.