Allow me to provide some background here: Yesterday morning I was in the middle of a very long conference call at work. I had already consumed two cups of coffee at home, but as the meeting dragged on I found myself craving another cup. I quietly ducked away to the break room where our Keurig is located (side note, I detest Keurig coffee, but at work I have very few options). I reached into the basket for a trusty K-Cup and pulled out a little white plastic cup marked "decaf" on the top. "Oops", I said to myself, "let me just grab the real coffee". I looked down. To my horror, there was no real coffee. Just an endless supply of decaf.
I pouted my way back to the call. As I sat there, something weird happened. Remember those old Looney Tunes where two dudes get marooned on a desert island and they begin seeing each other as food? The tall skinny guy becomes a hot dog while his portly partner becomes a big ass turkey leg? With football only two weeks away, I began to see the B1G football landscape through delicious warm brown-tinted glasses. Behold: the Big Ten as different types of coffee!
(This is what we get when we almost have football, but there is no football yet being played: just a bunch of rambling about beer and coffee).
(Vote Toppling Goliath)
Minnesota Golden Gophers
The spirit of the Gopher faithful is best represented by cold brew coffee. The brewing process takes a very long time before the product is any good and requires a lot of patience. The end result doesn’t have quite the same bite as other types of coffee do. Likewise, Minnesota fans have been waiting since 2003 for their product to be good again. Patience is for suckers though; let’s just throw some ice cubes in regular coffee and declare it hockey season.
Rutgers Scarlet Knights
You know when you wake up in the morning to make coffee and there’s just a little bit left over in the pot from yesterday? That cold, sour bilge water is Rutgers. It started out as coffee, but if you take a sip you’ll know that it barely resembles the tasty beverage you came for. College football may have been born at Rutgers, but now it goes there to die every Saturday. When you find yourself facing that disgusting, smelly "coffee", you know it’s your job to clean it up and move on to some real coffee.
Quick: when you think of the state of Wisconsin, what comes to mind? If you said cheese, you live on Jim Delany’s beloved east coast and don’t know shit about anything west of Pennsylvania. The correct answer is beer. Wisconsin is a delicious coffee beer....let’s go with Founders Breakfast Stout (Shut up, Wisconsin, I know New Glarus has a Coffee Porter, but until I can buy Spotted Cow outside your borders your votes don’t count). Breakfast Stout is very similar to the people of Wisconsin: it’s heavy, it lingers around longer than you wanted it to, it has a very thick head, it’s alcoholic and it’s frequently drunk before lunchtime.
Purdue is like decaf coffee. It doesn’t really serve any purpose, but it’s always just kind of there. You’d expect the people drinking it to demand some real coffee immediately, but when they realize they’re drinking decaf, most of them say "eh...whatever", shrug it off and ask for another cup.
Penn State Nittany Lions
James Franklin is best personified by Monster energy drink. Monster is loud and thinks that it’s awesome, even though anyone will tell you that coffee is far superior. Monster doesn’t care though, it knows that if you act awesome and hardcore and extreme for a long enough time, people will ignore the fact that you aren’t actually that good and forget about your shady aftertaste.
Starbucks coffee talks a big game, but any connoisseur will tell you it just isn’t that good. Such is Northwestern. Dress it up however you want: foam, pumpkin spice, sprinkles, Gothic lettering and matte black helmets...it isn’t fooling anyone. You can get the same crap at McDonald’s for half the price. Starbucks can put a billboard on every corner and pretend to be Chicago’s coffee shop, but anybody cool can name at least 13 better coffee shops within a few blocks.
This commercial perfectly epitomizes Nebraska football. It’s simple. It thinks it’s charming, though the rest of us are still making fun of it for that time it managed to taste shittier than decaf coffee in it’s own commercial (BAM! Purdue Harbor shout out). Sure this commercial hasn’t been relevant to anybody in almost 20 years, but at least today it serves as a friendly reminder that the 90’s were a thing that existed.
Imagine a family sitting around the kitchen table, patiently waiting for their trusty Cusinart to finish brewing a nice, warm pot of delicious coffee. Oh how happy they’ll be when that coffee finally comes! They’ve been waiting all morning for that delicious coffee, and they’ll wait long into the night if they have to. They see their neighbors sitting on the front porch enjoying coffee of their own. The family imagines how peaceful and satisfying it will be when their own coffee is brewed and they can sit on the front porch and enjoy it too. Oh to have coffee of their own!
What the hopeful family doesn’t realize is that their Cuisinart isn’t even plugged in. Now you understand Indiana football.
Have any of you heard of Kopi Luwak? Kopi Luwak is a delicacy originating in Indonesia, Vietnam and other tropical parts of Asia. You see coffee beans aren’t actually beans; they’re the seeds found inside the cherries of the coffee plant. There are these disgusting little weasels called civets who love these coffee cherries. Their superior sense of smell lets them sniff out only the finest, most delicious cherries off the plants. They eat the fruits whole, march around doing weasel things for most of the day, and then later they poop out the partially digested coffee beans. Foragers go collect the civet poop and sift out the beans, which are then washed and roasted. The civet’s digestive tract breaks down the protein in coffee beans that is responsible for the bitter taste. The resulting product is brewed like normal coffee, but it produces an incredibly rich and smooth beverage. Kopi Luwak sells for up to $600 per pound. Truly, it is the finest of the finest. Kopi Luwak is without equal, and once you’ve tried it you will never appreciate regular coffee again. There are kings who dine on lesser coffee.
Or so Kopi Luwak connoisseurs want you to think. The rest of us know it’s nothing more than a fancy gimmick that’s completely full of shit.
Michigan State Spartans
Nescafé is more or less like regular coffee, except we all know it’s nothing more than a cheap knockoff. Proponents of Nescafé swear that it’s every bit as good as regular coffee. In fact, it’s better than normal coffee. If you set taste aside, Nescafé is superior in every conceivable way: it’s more convenient, it takes less time to make a cup, it’s less expensive, it takes up less space and it has an indefinite shelf life. Any logical being would happily conclude that Nescafé is real coffee and regular coffee is just coasting on the successes of the past (and also Bo "Mr. Coffee" Schembechler had zero national championships and was 5-12 in bowl games). Wishful thinking, Nescafé. You will never, ever be on the same plane as regular coffee. The sooner you realize that there are far worse kinds of coffee in this world than "coffee alternative", the sooner you can move on.
There is no more Iowa coffee than good ol’ pour over. Pour over is as simple as it gets: you put some grounds in a basket, and pour hot water over them so it drips into a carafe below. It’s not flashy. It’s not high tech. It will never be fun to watch. But you know what? It gets the job done just as well as any hyper-expensive $400 coffee maker with all the bells and whistles. Go to the Java House in Iowa City and they’ll happily make you a cup in exactly this manner. You want coffee? This is what coffee is. You want something fancy, go somewhere else.
Illinois Fighting Illini
I thought about making Illinois be half-caf. Get it? They’re half as good as everyone else. HA! But that isn’t fair. And it’s not that clever. So Illinois, I bequeath upon you the title of Kahlúa. I’m not even going to force some metaphor upon you to be like "see, Illinois is just like Kahlúa now." I honestly think you need it just to get through the day. You guys have had like...2.5 good seasons in my lifetime. You’ve had to sit back and watch your biggest rival have randomly successful seasons (with unspectacular endings) while their coach and marketing department actively try to force you into further obscurity within the borders of your own state. You’ve gone through some of the most ridiculous coaching choices I can remember, and have now worked your way around to failed NFL coaches because, quite frankly, you’ve got literally nothing left to lose at this point. So sit back and pour yourself a nice, big white Russian. Make it a double. You’re going to need it this year.
I’m told that Terps are basically the football equivilent of an Iced, Half Caff, Ristretto, Venti, 4-Pump, Sugar Free, Cinnamon, Dolce Soy Skinny Latte. Um...um..........what? Wa-was that even English? What the hell did you just order me? I don’t think tha-
Clayton I have your Iced, Half Caff, Ristretto, Venti, 4-Pump, Sugar Free, Cinnamon, Dolce Soy Skinny Latte.
It’s actually Creighton, not Clayton, but DEAR GOD WHAT IS THAT? That doesn’t look like coffee? That looks like Sasquatch ate your flag along with a bunch of ketchup and mustard packets and then vomited it on that football player! There is just way too much going on here. Jesus dude, just stick a turtle on your helmet or something. If you absolutely have to have your dumb flag on there, just stick a patch on your shoulder. Done. Oh good and it tastes like shit too. Come back to me when your "coffee" can actually hang with the real coffee.
Ohio State Buckeyes
Guess what Buckeyes. You’re a plain shot of espresso. No sugar, no cream, just concentrated black gold. The people who love you swear up and down how great you are. But a lot of people can’t stomach you. Guess what though? You get the best results. I can sit here sipping my big mug of coffee for 20 minutes, or I can slam an espresso and get right to work. Love it or hate it, espresso is peak coffee. So congratulations, espresso. You may not care, but never forget that we all hate you.