As the Purdue football team and the marching band head to Notre Dame this weekend for their Saturday afternoon game, a special member of the Boilermakers team will be absent: the group’s century-old Big Bass Drum.
This will be the first time since 1979 that the drum will not accompany the group for a performance.
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Purdue last performed at Notre Dame in 2012, but since then Notre Dame has stopped allowing visiting groups to use the main entrance to Notre Dame Stadium. So why can’t Purdue just drum the drum through the newly created visitor’s entrance? Well, the drum is the “largest drum in the world” at 7 feet, 3 inches in diameter and 3 feet, 9 inches wide. It’s too big for the entrance.
Forget the press stands and new seats – the tiny, cramped and uncomfortable visitor tunnel is easily the best part of Our Stadium’s recent renovations. Instead of charging out of the main tunnel, opponents should carefully exit this architectural masterpiece. ☘️ https://t.co/VzCuHzJYWP pic.twitter.com/841iF5wV35
– Bro. Mike Palmer, SCC (@mppcsc) September 16, 2021
Another issue is that Notre Dame is no longer allowing field access to visiting groups other than for the half-time performances, so Purdue cannot do his typical run on the field before the game.
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The Purdue marching band seemed upset by the decision on Twitter. It was particularly difficult for the group since it is the year of the 100th anniversary of the drum and the team and fans have been accustomed to hearing it for generations.
Other Twitter critics questioned why Notre Dame would be so picky about having a drum on her pitch, especially because it’s such a well-known Purdue tradition. Others wondered if there might be another way to get the drum to pass through a tunnel, or even if it could be dropped by a helicopter (this option seems less likely).
You’d think an engineer or two would figure out how to get him into the stadium. Maybe a helicopter?
– mike kerry (@BadgerMike) September 16, 2021
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With or without the drum, the unranked Purdue is a seven-point underdog to the No.12-ranked Irishman heading into the first clash between the two Indiana teams since 2014. One thing’s for sure: the stadium will be much more. calm than usual. before the game, even with fans back in the stands.