Purdue will travel to Notre Dame today for the first time since 2012, but will be without a key contributor. Of course, the contributor is the iconic Drum that has been apart of the Boilermakers’ pre-game tradition since 1921.
Two days after the “World’s Largest Drum” celebrated its 100th birthday, Notre Dame put the axe on its scheduled appearance, claiming it’s too big to fit in the visitor’s tunnel.
“According to a communication from the University of Notre Dame, our Band will not be permitted to take the World’s Largest Drum through their tunnel and onto the football field for this Saturday’s game,” said Aaron Yoder, a spokesman for the university’s bands and orchestras. “Notre Dame Athletics has restricted use of their main tunnel to their own football team and band, which is the only entrance large enough for the Drum.
“We have been told that visiting teams and bands have to use a separate tunnel that is much smaller. Our Drum is about 10 feet tall on its carriage and 565 pounds so it doesn’t even come close to fitting in this other tunnel.”
The crux of the issue comes from Notre Dame’s stadium renovations in 2017. Both teams’ and their marching bands used to come through one tunnel before the renovation, so Notre Dame built another one, albeit smaller creating the issue for the Drum. The new design has not caused a stir until now.
Dubbed, “Drum-gate”, it will be the first time the Drum will not feature at a game since 1979. Purdue, however, has found a way around the rules. ESPN’s Mark Schlabach is reporting that the school will still feature the drum outside for fans to enjoy before the game.
The two teams will nevertheless do battle at 2:30 p.m. on NBC. Purdue (2-0) will look to get a huge upset win over the No. 12 Fighting Irish (2-0) and cement its place in the Big Ten this season.