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Don’t Watch This; Watch That, Week 14: Rethinking Rivalries and Route 66

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On the road again—at a rival’s home, or on the way to a slice of Americana?

NCAA Football: Illinois at Northwestern
Nov 26, 2016; Evanston, IL, USA; Northwestern Wildcats wide receiver Andrew Scanlan (82) lifts the Land of Lincoln Trophy after defeating the Illinois Fighting Illini at Ryan Field. The Northwestern Wildcats won 42-21. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

First, a Happy Thanksgiving and safe travels to you and yours. I won’t have far to go myself—traversing the Twin Cities, a task possibly complicated but not made any more than inconvenient by a little snow—but I’m sure some of us here have a lengthier drive ahead of them.

The Google Exhibit advertised on Tuesday (and maybe beyond, I don’t know)—Historic Route 66—takes viewers on a tour of classic Americana:

From the route’s beginning on East Adams Street in Chicago through its colorful and varied stops—the Kan-O-Tex Service Station in Galena, KS, an 80-foot blue whale in Catoosa, OK, and the Painted Desert of Arizona—all the way to its terminus in Santa Monica, the exhibit is a really interesting look at a slice of classic American identity. The combinations and crossroads (sorry) of leisure, mobility, and the “taming” of the West, the intersections and escapes along the highway in The Grapes of Wrath or The Negro Motorist Green Book—as we Americans hit the highways and byways for our family vacations, we join a greater story of travel in the United States.

Of course, on Thanksgiving, none of that is complete without noting the initial encounters which gave rise to the holiday. But rather than merely call your attention to something nearly 400 years in our collective national past, I thought I would meet you all at the intersection of mobility, Native history, and our ability to confront the realities to which our eyes can be opened by modern technology.

When my students talk about Native activism in the 1960s and 70s—the “Red Power” complement to “Black Power”, “Chicano Power”, and a host of others on the New Left—these critiques often extend to accounts of the occupation of Wounded Knee, a look at the takeover of Alcatraz, and perhaps some artifacts and exhibits from the AIM Interpretive Center in Minneapolis. But we’re pressed for time, as shitty as it is to admit, and these things can rarely last more than the hour they’re allotted in an introductory college course.

Enter Whiteclay, Nebraska.

The village of 14—yes, fourteen—was long notorious in Nebraska and on the Great Plains for its sale of alcohol to Natives from the Pine Ridge Reservation, two miles over the border in South Dakota, where alcohol possession and consumption are banned. You can read the Omaha World-Herald’s coverage (and you should), and be staggered by the numbers: in a village of fourteen people, four liquor stores sold 13,000 cans a day, did $3 million in sales a year, contributed to thousands of DUIs on that one stretch of road. And, finally, in 2017 a Nebraska state liquor board voted not to renew the four stores’ licenses.

To be sure, this has not solved the problem. Bootlegging moved to the Pine Ridge Reservation. Residents of the res have found other sources for booze. Closing the Whiteclay liquor stores has closed an ugly symbol, but the questions we ask and the lessons we teach from the comfort of our classrooms tend to treat this as a victory and a case closed. It is not.

The question “should I drive through Pine Ridge?” is one I’m embarrassed to admit I’ve asked, and one that South Dakotan allies, thankfully, have answered with a resounding “Yes.” But it’s one that, without a Google Exhibit of its own, goes unknown and unseen.

Enter Google Maps.

Beginning at this point on Google Street View, students take their own tour of Whiteclay. I’d encourage you to do the same. Entering the city from SD-407 onto NE-87, we make use of the Google Street View camera which traversed the gravel side streets. The “locals” on Jacobs Street. The hideaway on Miller Street. The Westover Street cul-de-sac. The stores themselves.

There’s more you can do to educate yourself, if you’d prefer. In class, we explore the “Battle for Whiteclay” website as an historical document, read Lakota Country Times posts to understand what Whiteclay symbolizes to Natives today, and appreciate those OWH articles exploring how one community moves forward. It’s not much, but it’s where I start in an introductory history course. And, most importantly, it’s where we can start in our own awareness.

It’s not what we’d prefer to think about as classic Americana, by any means. But it’s using our mobility and our digital resources to think about what 400 years of “classic Americana” gets us all, rather than just some.


BONUS! Thursday Day

Don’t Watch This

{CBB} Texas A&M vs. Harvard (-1.5, O/U 128.5) [12pm, ESPN2]
{CBB} Providence (-16.5, O/U 144.5) vs. The Beach [1pm, ESPNU]
{CBB} N.C. State (-1.5, O/U 158) vs. Memphis [3pm, ESPN2]
{CBB} Wake Forest (-2, O/U 141.5) vs. Charleston [3:30pm, ESPNN]
{NFL} Buffalo Bills at Dallas Cowboys [3:30pm, CBS]

Watch That

{CBB} Maryland vs. Temple

10am | ESPN2 | MD -9.5 | O/U 136.5

{NFL} Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions

11:30am | FOX

{CBB} North Carolina vs. Michigan

12:30pm | ESPN

{CBB} Oregon vs. Gonzaga

3pm | ESPN

If ever there was a time for Detroit-Chicago, it’s for David Blough starting for some reason on Thanksgiving Day. This game will either end 42-39 or 10-7, and I want to watch to find out which it is. Or there’s basketball or whatever.

It’ll end 10-7.

Poll

As you mash the taters and stuff the stuffing, what’s on in the background?

This poll is closed

  • 63%
    Chicago-Detroit
    (72 votes)
  • 3%
    Maryland-Temple
    (4 votes)
  • 14%
    North Carolina-Michigan
    (16 votes)
  • 1%
    Something else in the college basketball panoply
    (2 votes)
  • 16%
    I come from one of those families where they don’t turn the TV on in the name of "making pleasant conversation" or something
    (19 votes)
113 votes total Vote Now

Thursday Night

Don’t Watch This

{CBB} Davidson vs. Marquette [5pm, ESPNU]
{CBB} Alabama vs. Iowa State [5:30pm, ESPN2]
{CBB} Texas Tech vs. Iowa [7pm, FS1]
{NFL} New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons [7:20pm, NBC]
{CBB} UCF vs. Penn [7:30pm, ESPNU]
{CBB} Pepperdine vs. Arizona [10pm, ESPN2]

Watch That

Ole Miss Rebels at Mississippi St. Bulldogs

6:30pm | ESPN | MSSt -2.5 | O/U 58

{CBB} San Diego State vs. Creighton

9:30pm | FS1 | SDSU -1 | O/U 133.5

All hail the 2018 Egg Brawl, where the points were made up and the game didn’t matter.

This year there’s the added intrigue of...I guess the coaches, possibly? Ole Miss coach and “Man one book short of a Synoptikós” Matt Luke is 4-7 and on the hot seat, while Joe Moorhead is being criticized for winning 8 games in his first season and not as many in the second. The SEC is a stupid place, and I hope every Egg Bowl from here to eternity ends in a brawl while the coaches hold a Bible study in its wake to “pray away the play.”

Poll

OK, so Grandpa said that racist thing and Uncle Joe wanted to deep-dive the 2019 Mississippi gubernatorial election because you said "I’m gonna watch the Mississippi game"...but did that stop you?

This poll is closed

  • 41%
    EGG BOWL TIME LALALALALALA I CAN’T HEAR YOU
    (41 votes)
  • 20%
    I would like the made-up New Orleans-Atlanta rivalry instead
    (20 votes)
  • 10%
    College basketball, probably
    (10 votes)
  • 29%
    I plan on drinking Thanksgiving away and whatever happens, happens
    (29 votes)
100 votes total Vote Now

Friday Morning

Don’t Watch This

Texas Tech Red Raiders at Texas Longhorns (-9.5, O/U 63.5) [11am, FOX]
Miami-Ohio Redhawks at Ball State Cardinals (-3, O/U 56) [11am, CBSSN]
Bowling Green Falcons at Buffalo Bulls (-28.5, O/U 51.5) [11am, ESPN+]
Kent State Golden Flashes at Eastern Michigan Eagles (-5, O/U 66) [11am, ESPN+]

Watch That

#24 Virginia Tech Hokies at Virginia Cavaliers

11am | ABC | VT -2.5 | O/U 47.5

Toledo Rockets at Central Michigan Chippewas

11am | ESPNU | CMU -9.5 | O/U 64.5

Toledo-CMU still means something, Miami Hydroxide-Balls Tate is just jockeying for the randomness of MAC bowl selection. But even that’s the undercard—can UVA finally get off the schnide against the in-state big brother? Who earns the right to get their doors blown off by Clemson?

By the way it’s bullshit that I’m more confident in the Virginia football team to break 50 than I am the basketball team.

Poll

Black Friday. You got plans?

This poll is closed

  • 36%
    Yeah, some Commonwealth Cup action!
    (32 votes)
  • 14%
    We’ll sample from the buffet of MACtion
    (13 votes)
  • 15%
    Y’know, I couldn’t eat another bite
    (14 votes)
  • 15%
    Maybe Texas-Texas Tech is the answer.
    (14 votes)
  • 9%
    Uncle Joe’s awake and wants to talk, please help
    (8 votes)
  • 7%
    I think I’m gonna hit the sale at Kohl’s instead
    (7 votes)
88 votes total Vote Now

Friday Afternoon

Don’t Watch This

#17 Iowa Hawkeyes (-5.5, O/U 45) at Nebraska Cornhuskers [1:30pm, BTN]
Missouri Tigers (-12, O/U 52.5) at Arkansas Razorbacks [1:30pm, CBS]
#20 Boise State Broncos (-13.5, O/U 57.5) at Colorado State Rams [2:30pm, CBSSN]
West Virginia Mountaineers at TCU Horned Frogs (-12.5, O/U 44.5) [3:15pm, ESPN]
Arkansas State Red Wolves (-11, O/U 56) at South Alabama Jaguars [4pm, ESPN+]
#25 Appalachian St. Mountaineers (-12.5, O/U 63.5) at Troy Trojans [5pm, ESPN+]
{CBB} UMass at Rutgers [1pm, BTN+]
{CBB} DePaul at Minnesota [2pm, FS1]

Watch That

#19 Cincinnati Bearcats at #18 Memphis Tigers

2:30pm | ABC | Memphis -11 | O/U 57

Washington State Cougars at Washington Huskies

3pm | FOX | UW -7 | O/U 63.5

I had typed Arkansas in as the “Arkansas Longhorns”. This is a desperate plea for some team in D-1 football to change its name to the Javelinas. It can’t just be Texas A&M-Kingsville, guys!

Poll

What your Black Friday deal says about you:

This poll is closed

  • 22%
    I got a 65" TV at a great deal! Cincinnati-Memphis for me.
    (22 votes)
  • 20%
    Blue jeans were half-off at Wal-Mart! Time to definitely not care about Iowa-Nebraska.
    (20 votes)
  • 8%
    $9.99 kitchen appliances at Kohl’s but also a Jerry Garcia tie on clearance! Looks like Apple Cup for me.
    (8 votes)
  • 48%
    You guys know they have all that stuff on the internet now, right?
    (48 votes)
98 votes total Vote Now

Friday Night

Don’t Watch This

South Florida Brahman Bulls at UCF Citronauts (-23.5, O/U 62.5) [7pm, ESPN]
{CBB} Morgan State vs. Ohio State [8pm, BTN]

Watch That

{CBB} Penn State vs. Syracuse

6pm | ESPN2 | NIT Season Tip-Off

{CBB} #20 VCU vs. Purdue

8:30pm | CBSSN | Emerald Coast Classic

The wife and I might wind up seeing A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood this weekend, and I have mixed emotions about the matter. Because Tom Hanks isn’t Mister Rogers, and that’s a hot take and I’m sorry but I have to get it off my chest. This is what Mister Rogers sounds like:

He is not Forrest Gump-meets-Johnny Karate. He is not from the South.

Why does Mister Rogers, my childhood inspiration, have anything other than the soft, friendly accent that I grew up with? It’s an outrage, I am terribly mad about it, and I am definitely not overreacting.

Poll

Friday night. You survived. It’s over. You sink into the couch, grab a beer, and turn on...

This poll is closed

  • 36%
    ...nothing. This is the Thanksgiving that won’t die.
    (34 votes)
  • 32%
    The War on I-4!
    (30 votes)
  • 30%
    College basketball
    (28 votes)
92 votes total Vote Now

Saturday Morning

Don’t Watch This

#1 Ohio State Buckeyes (-8.5, O/U 50.5) at #13 Michigan Wolverines [11am, FOX]
#3 Clemson Tigers (-27.5, O/U 50.5) at South Carolina Gamecocks [11am, ESPN]
#4 Georgia Bulldogs (-28.5, O/U 46.5) at Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets [11am, ABC]
Tulsa Golden Hurricane (-5.5, O/U 61) at East Carolina Pirates [11am, ESPNU]
Louisville Cardinals at Kentucky Wildcats (-2.5, O/U 53.5) [11am, SECN]
HAT HAT HAT: Northwestern Wildcats at Illinois Fighting Illini (-8.5, O/U 43.5) [11am, FS1]
Texas State Bobcats at Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (-7, O/U 53) [11am, ESPN+]
Wake Forest Demon Deacons (-4, O/U 66.5) at Syracuse Orange [11:30am, ACCNX]

Watch That

FIU Sunblazers at Marshall Thundering Herd

11am | CBSSN | Marshall -7.5 | O/U 50

Indiana Hoosiers at Purdue Boilermakers

11am | ESPN2 | IU -6.5 | O/U 55

Marshall needs a win and some help to make the C-USA Championship Game. Indiana-Purdue are two teams who actually don’t like one another. That’s reason enough for me.

Poll

Which of these rivalries has two teams that actually hate each other?

This poll is closed

  • 22%
    Clemson-South Carolina
    (31 votes)
  • 4%
    Georgia-Georgia Tech
    (6 votes)
  • 15%
    Louisville-Kentucky
    (21 votes)
  • 11%
    Northwestern-Illinois
    (16 votes)
  • 46%
    Indiana-Purdue
    (65 votes)
139 votes total Vote Now

Saturday Afternoon

Don’t Watch This

Wyoming Cowboys at Air Force Falcons (-11, O/U 43) [1pm, Facebook]
Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders at Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (-8.5, O/U 49.5) [1pm, ESPN+]
Charlotte 49ers (-9.5, O/U 50) at Old Dominion Monarchs [1pm, ESPN+]
New Mexico State Aggies at Liberty Flames (-14, O/U 65.5)
Rice Owls (-7, O/U 44) at UTEP Miners [2pm, ESPN3]
UNLV Rebels at Nevada Wolf Pack (-7, O/U 52) [2pm, Facebook]
#5 Alabama Crimson Tide (-3.5) at #15 Auburn Tigers [2:30pm, CBS]
#9 Baylor Bears (-14, O/U 52) at Kansas Jayhawks [2:30pm, ESPN]
Rutgers Scarlet Knights at #10 Penn State Nittany Lions [2:30pm, BTN]
UConn Huskies at Temple Owls (-27, O/U 49.5) [2:30pm, CBSSN]
UTSA Roadrunners at Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (-20.5, O/U 55.5) [2:30pm, ESPN+]
Boston College Eagles at Pittsburgh Panthers (-9, O/U 52) [2:30pm, ACCN]
Miami-Fluoride Hurricanes (-9, O/U 46.5) at Duke Blue Devils [2:30pm, ESPN2]
Maryland Terrapins at Michigan State Spartans (-22, O/U 48.5) [2:30pm, FS1]
Oregon State Beavers at #14 Oregon Ducks (-19, O/U 66) [3pm, Pac12]
#16 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (-16.5, O/U 51) at Stanford Cardinal) [3pm, FOX]
Vanderbilt Commodores at Tennessee Volunteers (-21, O/U 46.5) [3pm, SECN]
UAB Blazers (-3, O/U 51) at North Texas Mean Green [3pm, Stadium]
Utah State Aggies (-11.5, O/U 61) at New Mexico Lobos [3pm, Facebook]

Watch That

#12 wisconsin badgers at #8 Minnesota Golden Gophers

2:30pm | ABC | wisc -3 | O/U 46.5

Tulane Green Wave at SMU Mustangs

3pm | ESPNU | SMU -3.5 | O/U 71

Southern Jaguars at Grambling Tigers

4pm | NBCSN

If you’re a Minnesota fan heading to Gameday, remember: You sprint your marathons. Will you possibly put your face into a cake and fight a bush later? Sure! But Gameday doesn’t come every day. You’re not going to be this shapely and in demand for the rest of your life. Have that extra shot of Jager, sneak a few extra beers into the Gameday area, and remember: That bush was asking for it.

Also for the rest of us, Tulane-SMU should have a good number of points even if it’s for little other than bowl positioning.

Poll

Saturday afternoon?

This poll is closed

  • 83%
    AXE.
    (128 votes)
  • 1%
    SMU-Tulane
    (2 votes)
  • 13%
    My Big Ten team is playing at this time
    (20 votes)
  • 1%
    Literally anything else
    (3 votes)
153 votes total Vote Now

Saturday Evening

Don’t Watch This

Georgia State Panthers at Georgia Southern Eagles (-7, O/U 58) [5pm, ESPN+]
Texas A&M Aggies at #2 LSU Tigers (-16.5, O/U 62) [6pm, ESPN]
Navy Midshipmen (-9, O/U 58) at Houston Cougars [6pm, ESPN2]
North Carolina Tar Heels (-8.5, O/U 55.5) at N.C. State Wolfpack [6pm, ACCN]
Colorado Buffaloes at #6 Utah Utes (-28.5, O/U 49.5) [6:30pm, ABC]
Florida State Seminoles at #11 Florida Gators (-17.5, O/U 53.5) [6:30pm, SECN]
ULM Warhawks at Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns (-20.5, O/U 69) [6:30pm, ESPNU]
BYU Cougars (-3, O/U 40) at San Diego State Aztecs [8pm, CBSSN]

Watch That

#23 Iowa State Cyclones at Kansas State Wildcats

6pm | FS1 | ISU -4.5 | O/U 46.5

#7 Oklahoma Sooners at #21 Oklahoma State Cowboys

7pm | FOX | OKU -13.5 | O/U 69.5

How is this a thing that is happening?

I mean, would it be a disaster? Yeah. Is it probably so his contract at Indiana is slightly better than $500,000 and use of a Chrysler Sebring on recruiting trips? You betcha.

But I kinda want it to happen.

Poll

Tom Allen at Florida State would be...

This poll is closed

  • 50%
    A disaster, and I am here for it
    (59 votes)
  • 18%
    A disaster I don’t want to watch
    (22 votes)
  • 19%
    It would be fine, and nothing more
    (23 votes)
  • 11%
    Florida State would be Made Great Again
    (13 votes)
117 votes total Vote Now

It’s late and I’m drunk...

Don’t Watch This

California Golden Bears at UCLA Bruins (-2, O/U 50.5) [9:30pm, FS1]
Fresno State Bulldogs (-3, O/U 65.5) at San Jose State Spartans [9:30pm, ESPN2]

Watch That

Arizona Wildcats at Arizona State Sun Devils

9pm | ESPN | ASU -14 | O/U 59

Army Black Knights at Hawaii Warriors

10:59pm | CBSSN | Hawaii -3 | O/U 56

Last week Hawaii won the Mountain West...West?...Division by upsetting San Diego State at home.

The weird thing? They did it by a score of 14-11.

I’m not comfortable for this brave new world where Hawaii wins games with defense, but I have a feeling that’ll all disappear this weekend when they can exploit a defensively-challenged Army defense. I don’t, however, envy the Rainbow Warrior defenders who will have to get ready for Boise State a week after getting cut by Army blockers.

Look, you start your evening with Jayden Daniels, keep Cal-UCLA on deck just in case the Territorial Cup gets too stupid too fast, and when 11 rolls around you pour the absinthe and just see where the good times take you. You’re welcome.

Poll

It’s late, there’s a concert at the local VFW (though not as good as Dr. Kielbasa’s Oktoberfest set), and you stumble in. What’s on?

This poll is closed

  • 6%
    The Territorial Cup
    (6 votes)
  • 4%
    The Battle for the Valley
    (4 votes)
  • 22%
    The "Not playing Notre Dame" Pac-12 leftovers
    (19 votes)
  • 33%
    Army-Hawaii! This is what we’ve been practicing for!
    (29 votes)
  • 15%
    Whatever the bartender has on
    (13 votes)
  • 17%
    lol i passed out hours ago
    (15 votes)
86 votes total Vote Now

Got all that? I’m exhausted. Have a great Thanksgiving, hug your loved ones, and make time for some relaxation and giving thanks. Schedule’s below, basketball schedule found here.