There's a great Northwestern site, Sippin' on Purple, that operates on SBN. Read it. Rodger understands irony, sarcasm, and the fact that Northwestern football might have more foibles and oddities than your average Big Ten team. He jumped at the chance to relive Dan Persa's "game winning season ending touchdown injury good God what a way to go out" throw to beat Iowa that made us all love football more and feel another individual's pain at the same time. Enjoy the man's stream of consciousness breakdown and the ensuing OTE poll asking whether Persa's throw was the Big Ten Play of the Year.
I'm still sorta surprised this Iowa thing keeps happening. That said, it was so obvious as we were trailing against the 13th-ranked Hawkeyes, and every little thing possible seemed to hint that NU was headed for a vicious fourth-quarter comeback, it still seemed a little bit too good to be true. I mean, come on: more Hawkeye ownage? On senior day? By a team that couldn't really beat anybody convincingly against a ranked squad? No way the ownage and Io-a - Iowa with no W - stuff wasn't going to pan out.
But there we were, fighting down from 17-7, and there was Dan Persa, lofting a pass - while rolling out to his right with two defenders in arms reach - perfectly to hit Demetrius Fields all the way on the other side of the field, directly at the edge of the end zone. Like, seriously. The collective freakout in the student section left me unaware that Dan Persa was down and motionless for a good, I dunno, 45 seconds, but eventually, it's the type of thing we couldn't help but notice.
Persa carried this team, and we all knew that. We had no rushing game, well, besides Persa scrambling, and yet still managed to establish ourselves through the air thanks to Persa being absolutely ridiculous.
But we had a game to win, field-storming plans to make, and Iowa fans to make fun of.
My favorite was walking down Central Street - always walk home from games, because Evanston isn't equipped to handle even the paltry fans that show up to Ryan Field non-con games, traffic-wise - surrounded by Hawkeye fans, who were not in a mood to handle obnoxiousness of any sort. We kept railing on the same typical points - you know, I wish this is a rivalry, but we keep winning it this year, that sort of stuff - but what eventually got the guy walking in front of us to snap was "man, it must suck having to drive four hours, knowing that all your money for tickets is going into the NU athletics Dan Persa rehabilitation fund" - which, to be honest, I thought was an absurdly weak zing. But this Hawkeyes fan turned around to us and said "you know, I don't normally say things like this, but I hope we broke BOTH of that f*cker's legs" before turning around and continuing to walk.
Why he thought that would make us stop, I don't know - instead, we just started pointing out how bad a move it is to say "you know, I don't normally say things like this" before saying something horrific, like "you know, I don't normally say this, but slavery wasn't THAT bad."
Yes, Dan Persa tore his achilles, and ruined the rest of the season, but, we have that moment: that one play where we disappointed 20,000 Hawkeye fans four hours from home, where everything seemed right with Northwestern. And let's face it, Persa went out in the most baller way possible: if you're gonna tear an achilles, might as well do it while tossing a game-winning touchdown to cap off an upset against your fanbase's least favorite team.