Today I made my first trip to West Lafayette for the game - and it will most likely be my last. No reason to go back, as game day there packs all the excitement of taking a senior citizen to a grocery store, the post office, then to a doctor appointment. Purdue is the most antiseptic, boring, sterile game day I have ever experienced. The campus was dead before the game, the frats and student housing were quiet, even the Purdue superfans in the tailgating lot outside the stadium were going throught the motions.
Besides for the stadium being 75% full, there were many more M fans than you might expect. The rain made everyone miserable, so I won't comment on the noise or the traditions, because sitting in the rain for three quarters will maketh cranky anyone. EDIT: I take that back. At one point I counted three choo-choos on the field; one blow-up, one large, and one small. Add the big drum, the cutesey names they have for the twirlers and flag girls, and it was certainly annoying.
Ross-Ade stadium is an odd mixture of a new press tower and a seriously outdated seating area. Aside from the tower, this is the stadium of a moderately successful FCS school, or a big Texas high school stadium.
The campus is nice enough; big, midwestern state school with masive buildings, handsome landscaping, and nice quad areas. I was taken with the feeling of "space" on campus - much room between buildings, wide streets on campus, nothing too flashy, just a solid campus. I will probably forget it in two days.
The city was nothing special, the immediate off-campus area reminded me of East Lansing. Bars, sandwich shops, the things you expect to see on a Big Ten campus. None of that magic fun feeling you find in our Dear Old Ann Arbor town, Madison, or even State College.
The fans were resigned to an unpleasant fate of returning to a B10 also ran. In six or seven hours on campus, only one dickish remark from a Purdue fan. Most of their fans seemed too senisble to talk trash, even after a 2 year winning streak over us. I don't think the students and alumni really feel that administration has made a true commitment to field a competitive football program. For all the anguish in AA the last few years, I will take our fan's level of commitment and passion over what I witnessed in WL today.
Go Blue from a seriously rainsoaked, cold, misearble M fan from California.