It wouldn’t be a new football season without a different field design, and it wouldn’t be that without someone doing something ridiculous. Purdue decided to make Ross-Ade Stadium rather extra ahead of Thursday night’s opener.
When fans watch the Boilermakers take on Big Ten Conference foe Northwestern to kick off the 2018 season, they will see a new grass paint job and train tracks for sidelines.
That is not a joke. The athletics department, in addition to actually giving the opponent’s locker room air conditioning, has swagged out the sidelines with train tracks.
Whatever happened to the traditional white sidelines? Why does out of bounds have to look so futuristic?
Then again, one could argue this is one the most creative things in the nation. It sure is different than a blue field, for instance.
This is far from the only change to the 94-year-old stadium in Lafayette, Indiana, but it certainly is the most drastic.
Ross-Ade Stadium has a new brick facade around the stadium, a new paint job on the concourses and new signage at both ends.
Oh, and it has a train horn on top of its big video board. Fitting, right?
With Jeff Brohm at the helm, the Boilermakers program is on the rise after defeating Arizona 38-35 in the Foster Farms Bowl and with an offense capable of putting up points.
The first year with Brohm, who arrived from Western Kentucky, was a success in many ways. Purdue had its first sell out in a decade and its first victory over in-state rival Indiana since 2012.
Add in the bowl victory, and there is a reason why some believe Purdue is a sleeper in the Big Ten West and maybe the entire league in 2018.
If all else fails, though, at least the Boilermakers have a new field design with train tracks on its sidelines. That alone deserves some credit.