The 1967 Rose Bowl Skin
According to Gene Erbstoesser ‘70 (Alpha Upsilon – USC) wagering a skin was a common occurrence in the late 1960’s. So when Purdue and the University of Southern California met in the 1967 Rose Bowl, the Sigma Chi chapters from each university agreed that the losing team would provide a skin to the victorious chapter. A number of Delta Delta brothers traveled to Los Angeles for the game, staying at the Sigma Chi chapter house at USC.
This was Purdue’s first Rose Bowl appearance, and the seventh-ranked Boilermakers were led by Delta Delta’s All-American quarterback Bob Griese ‘67. With less than two minutes to play, USC scored a touchdown to make the score 14-13. USC decided to try for a two-point conversion to secure the win against the favored Boilermakers, but Purdue’s George Catavolos intercepted the pass in the end zone to preserve the one-point victory.
The “skin” from USC still proudly hangs at 202 Littleton.
Purdue’s only other appearance in the Rose Bowl was 34 years later, on January 1, 2001, with the Boilermakers again led by an All-American Delta Delta quarterback Drew Brees ‘01. The University of Washington Huskies defeated the Boilermakers 34–24.
Another Boilermaker Rose Bowl Story
Purdue’s astronaut alumni (Neil Armstrong, Gene Cernan, Gus Grissom, and Roger Chaffee), attended the 1967 Tournament of Roses Parade and Rose Bowl game. Less than four weeks later, Grissom and Chaffee died in the Apollo 1 fire in Florida.