Dear Maryland and Rutgers, Welcome to the B1G

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Once upon a time, Nebraska was the new guy in the company. I think we have finally settled in, and now that we're no longer the guy-who-has-to-go-get-coffee-for-everyone, I'd like to pass on some words of wisdom to our Terpy and Jersey friends. You know, just to help you figure things out a little bit. Consider it an orientation.

[Ed Note: This is a blatant ripoff from Ted Glover's introduction to the B1G when Nebraska joined. Ted isn't here to rip off his own piece, so I'm taking that honor. Sorry, Ted. I'll try to tiptoe across your lawn as to not disturb it too much.]

Dear Maryland and Rutgers,

Well, the day is finally here. I hope you've figure out the office situation. I've heard we're moving a branch a little bit closer to you, which should help. I'm still a little annoyed that the winter company get-together will be out in Washington DC, but I guess we'll all just have to adjust to the change.The last time we had to write an orientation letter was when they let us Nebraska folk in the door. So far, things seem to be going mostly well for us, but with two of you coming in, I think you deserve to get a little insight into all of your new coworkers. After all, you'll be spending a lot of time with everyone a somewhat arbitrary half of them.

To start, let's talk about Ohio State and Michigan. I'm sure you've heard of both of them, and if you haven't, they'll be quick to tell you all about themselves. When I started, I knew who they were, but now I wish they'd just shut up a little. I mean, we need both of them because that filthy B1G lucre doesn't just grow on trees, and they definitely both do their part, but they like to tell you all about their rivalry. Sure, they've both had their heydays on top, and right now Ohio State is that guy who everyone secretly wants to be, but we all know this 'rivalry' is a front. I heard that Michigan is an, um, well... how do I put this. Let's just say Michigan is a lady of questionable repute. That being said, I'm pretty sure those two are in love and are just trying to front the rest of us so we don't catch on.

Oh, and while we're on the case of Michigan, just smile when they talk about how great they are. I mean, I like having them around and all, but we've been telling them they need some personal coaching changes, and a diet wouldn't be so bad. Last year, they even had a couple times where it looked like they could only go backwards. We don't like to talk about it, but it's probably time they saw someone about that. Truth be told, I think everyone is okay with them being like that right now.

Moving right along, Michigan State is another new friend of yours in the eastern expanse. I'm still trying to figure them out. Last year, they finished as the top employee. In fact, it was a really impressive performance despite going into the year looking like quite the train wreck. But, our Spartan friends couldn't just stop there. Remember how I said the Michigan guys like to talk about how great they are? Apparently everyone from that state does that. A fun game we like to play is to tell them something absurd, like that they're all-galaxy or something, and watch their little precious faces light up with joy. It's like they don't even know we're making fun of them.

Next is Penn State, and you both know him pretty well. He's had some ups and downs, but seems to be doing alright. I'm pretty sure that he's half the reason you're here anyways, so I'll just move on. Indiana finishes out your division and we're just happy they are here. Last year, we really expected big things from them, but they finished just short of quota. When we joined, they were the lowest guy on the totem pole, but they're moving up. On that note, they do like to diversify their skills to the company. Maryland, I think you two might get along just fine. You seem very similar.

In the other company division, you'll definitely meet up with us. Nebraska is kind of a weird thing right now. It's not like we're not successful, but we are awfully obnoxious about it despite being kind of just top half instead of, you know, greatest thing ever. If Nebraska tells you two something about FIVENATIONALCHAMPIONSHIPSRAWWWRRRR, just remind them about those four losses every year and drop the mic. Makes things easier. Just next to us is our dear friend Iowa. They seem to be good enough to beat you year in and year out, and probably bad enough to lose to you year in and year out. No matter, just don't think you can walk right over the Hawkeyes. It will only end in you feeling the disdain of their PR team, and it's a hell of a PR team. No worries on either of us, though. I think we're so far apart that I doubt we'll hang out all that often.

Just up from Iowa a little bit is Minnesota. Those guys are pretty great, but they call casseroles, "hotdish" which is super weird. Even more obnoxiously, they keep the A/C on year round. It's like they live for the cold. Similar to Nebraska, they might remind you of their SEVENNATIONALCHAMPIONSHIPS, but that was a book of business they inherited. They've been getting better again lately, but we'll have to wait and see if they keep that up. Just to the right of them is one of their nemeses, Wisconsin. They've been top dog in our division for a while, and if it weren't for consistently making a few boneheaded mistakes, they'd definitely have won a lot of respect from the national organization. No matter, they like to have fun, drink beer, eat cheese, and keep cardiologists in business. If you see them jumping up and down to Jump Around, just smile and nod and let them do their thing.

(By the way, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, and Nebraska kind of hate each other now. In fact, some of them even have bets with the winner taking home things like pigs, axes, Hy-Vee trophies, etc. It seemed weird to us at first, too, but I think you'll find that this is a pretty awesome thing.)

If we keep moving around the room, you have Illinois and Northwestern sharing the same space. Northwestern has a DePaul do most of his work so you might see him running errands. Anyhow, these two continue to fight over who deserves to call dibs on the Chicago office. We're pretty sure the answer is Iowa because they use that office more than both of them combined, but we'll let them have their little argument. Northwestern has been pretty great, but they keep telling us the company only started in 1995. I think we might have broken their psyche last year. They thought they had secured a deal against Nebraska, but we pulled a hail mary at the end. It was pretty great.

As for Illinois? Well, we're still waiting to see what is wrong with them. They've been generally terrible for a little while now, but that seems to be their thing. Apparently they can't have nice things... Anyhow, I wouldn't be surprised if they make a run at employee of the year pretty soon. That would be typical Illinois.

Rounding out our little introduction is Purdue. Honestly, when I started here, I wasn't sure they exist. Apparently they do, but only barely. Last year, they would've been fired if that was something we do. Thing is, a lot of former Purdue guys move on to the next level. They like trains... like a lot. Remember Indiana? Well, those two hate each other. I guess the boss felt like he should split them up because of that.

So that's that. I'm sure you'll be getting to know everyone a lot better. We look forward to eating your food at the next company tailgate, and hope you find your way. Good luck this year! Off Tackle Empire is damn glad(ish) to see you.

-Jesse, representing Nebraska, representing Off Tackle Empire

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