WEST LAFAYETTE, IND. (WLFI) - It's more than just an old oak bucket; it means state bragging rights.
"It's a big deal for us because the bucket has been here the last five years and we want to keep it going. We lead the series 70 to 36 which is almost twice as many wins for IU," said Purdue Band member Brian Foss.
This November gameday marks 86 years of the Oaken Bucket game. IU fan Kevin McKinney said this is the only season game that counts.
"It really doesn't matter if the teams are good or bad. It's an Indiana thing. You see both teams, the majority of their players are from Indiana, and you look forward to it," said McKinney.
Purdue Fan Frances Williams said, "It's just a tradition that we beat IU. It's a given."
And some traditions die hard but a new one will bring both schools together for the greater good. Both Purdue and IU ROTC organizations, ran together Saturday morning, carrying the respective schools' flags with the names of fallen Indiana service members. Together they completed the 110 mile route from Bloomington to West Lafayette to present the game ball to Coach Danny Hope.
Bryan Morris is the Vice President for the Student Veteran organization at Purdue University.
"They met about 34 miles away from Bloomington. They just did one mile intervals each runner and once we got to Cloverdale the Purdue ROTC took over and they ran their 34-mile section," said Morris.
He said the Oaken Bucket Game ball run is a fundraiser for "Operation Bedding". Morris said "Operation Bedding" sends basic necessities like sheets, pillows and baby wipes to service men and women overseas. The idea for "Operation Bedding" came from Mary Conboy of Philadelphia, whose Marine son asked for items for his entire company.
"He said, 'Whatever you send, you need to send me 40.' I said, 'why,' and he said, 'I just want to make sure all my buddies have the same as I do,'" Conboy.
Conboy's son, Lance Corporal Adam Conbo,y died in Iraq days after he made the request. Mary Conboy thought to send a donation of sheets in lue of flowers. Now four years and 10,000 boxes later, Mary Conboy is at the Oaken Bucket Ball Run.
"We got a phone call and heard that these local veterans were doing a fundraiser for us and I'm just a strong believer in supporting them and I thought it was just important to be out here to just encourage them and to thank them, not only for their service but for their time and effort it took to put together," said Conboy.
Morris said it cost about $600 to send one shipment. He said they plan to send two or three packages.
Eskenazi Health hospital will officially open for business in downtown Indianapolis on Saturday while nearby Wishard Memorial Hospital will begin to close.
State police say a southern Indiana man has been arrested after a six-hour standoff that began when he fired several shots at family members.
Numerous crashes and slide-offs have tangled traffic in southern and central Indiana after several inches of snow.