So here we are at the end of Northwestern week, and I'm here to play these amateurs off the stage at the Apollo before they get their asses kicked. Don't take it personally, guys, we're just trying to reduce the violence here.
Northwestern week aspires to be Skull and Bones: a bunch of spoiled rich kids with delusions of godhood circle-jerking in a creepy candlelit basement. That whole fraternity thing goes even deeper, because in the fraternity of the Big Ten, you're that brother that keeps failing to fit in long after initiation. And just like that guy, you wonder why nobody takes you seriously even though your membership card defines you as a brother.
We can skip the part where you're a private school with a four-digit undergraduate population. Let's try this: in the whole of your athletic history, your Northwestern Wildcats have two bowl wins and the men's basketball team has never made the NCAA tournament. Everyone knows these damning statistics, but to gain a full appreciation for how damning they are, one must understand that Rutgers has six tournament appearances and Indiana has three bowl wins.
This is the part where the denizens of the dork table [self-segregated not because they're high achievers (that's the geek table) but because they're the only people that care about that obscure low-budget sci-fi show that only airs on fringe channels like ESPNU] stand up and yell towards me, "HEY! DON'T YOU REMEMBER THAT TIME WE WERE ON NATIONAL TELEVISION? OR THAT TIME YOU SAW THE NORTHWESTERN HELMET IN THE STUDIO?"
To the latter, I challenge you to embrace the ethos of the Medill School of Journalism. Is the celebration of Northwestern coverage in the media worth kissing the ass of the Medilldos whose self-aggrandizing nature is the only reason Northwestern is being covered? You don't have to tell me; I don't care whether or not you sleep at night.
To the former, I'll say that yes. I do indeed remember that time you were on national television. Which time was it? Was it that time you got whipped into a frenzy about your pretend claim on Wrigleyville and talked all kinds of shit about College Gameday coming to what was classified as a home game for Northwestern? Good thing you didn't allow Mikel Leshoure to rush for 330 yards or anything. You'd have looked like consummate pretenders.
Or was it that time the college basketball landscape was so confusing that Northwestern ended up ranked #25 by the AP and went to Champaign to allow 31 to Mike Tisdale, then get blown out at home to make sure the AP corrected their mistake?
Maybe you fans are yelling about one of those occasions last year where you ran your mouth at peak capacity about how much virtue you have as fans and how karma is bound to eventually favor those gosh darn plucky 'Cats with the implication that even if it doesn't, you'll be so proud of your boys for not getting blown away on the big stage! (They lost 45-6 and 38-0 in the two games referenced).
Hey! Maybe you're even talking about that time you won the Big Ten and went to the Rose Bowl to face USC during one of the weakest periods of their history with a defense anchored by the future's greatest coach (provided that greatness can be achieved through smugness, this is the correct take) and got 41 points hung on you!
That team was for real though, right? I mean, just look at how our own Twitter described the season:
Basically, this is equated to a once-in-a-lifetime event that nobody could have seen coming and could never happen again. And that's the fundamental difference between the good years Northwestern has versus those of any other Big Ten school. Anywhere else, it's merely a case of everything coming together and the program finally achieving its full potential. At Northwestern, it's a goddamn miracle. It's magical. It's precious. It's adorable.
Congratulations! You won the Big Ten over twenty years ago! Here's a fucksaw, go celebrate with it alone.
You can't have it both ways. Either you're adorably living off the fading memories of that time you fielded a team worth a shit, or you're a real football program and you get judged just like everyone else. Everyone knows you'd take the first door in a heartbeat, because you're Rudy with a trust fund. You're Tiny Tim with a God complex. You're not even the Little Engine That Could, you're the Little Engine That Might Have Been Able To Even Without A Privileged Background. So go ahead and stroke your purple helmets to the prospect of Clayton Thorson completing more than half his passes this year before taking his douche-ass name to intramural lacrosse, because you can't break that glass ceiling separating you from sustained relevance.
I pissed on your field.