Sunday, August 24, 2014

Drinking game

A wiseass would say this: Well, of course.

That being the only appropriate wiseass response to Purdue's announcement that it's turning what used to be 6,100 end zone seats in Ross-Ade Stadium into the South End Zone Patio, where craft beers, chardonnay and merlot will go for five bucks a throw this fall. And which will no doubt very popular among diehard Boiler-Up types who (wiseass alert again) would just as soon forget that's been a long time since Drew Brees  graduated.

In his place is a program coming off a 1-11 campaign in which new head coach Darrell Hazel spent most of last fall sweeping up after the unfortunately named Danny Hope Era. Word is the Boilers will be better this year, mainly because they can hardly be worse but partly because Hazell's track record at Kent State suggests a big jump in performance between year one and year two.

In the meantime, Purdue is putting the best face it can on the fact that it can't put glutes in the seats in Ross-Ade the way it once did. That's the headline news here, not the fact Purdue sees officially sanctioned alcohol sales as an eventual revenue stream. It's that the capacity of Ross-Ade just went from 62,000-plus to 57,000-plus because the product within can no longer sustain the former number.

Thus, the South End Zone Patio. Thus, a negative being spun as a positive.

"This is not meant to be a moneymaker this fall," Purdue AD Morgan Burke cautions. "It's not a beer garden."

No, it's beer and wine garden. Plus a food court selling, among other things, a grilled porkchop sandwich.

Which, as someone who was lucky enough to be in Ross-Ade on Pork Day a few times, I can heartily endorse. And which probably will soothe long-suffering Purdue fans just as well, if not better, than a dram or five of Goose Island IPA.

Although there are worse ways to wash down all that delicious pork. 

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