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Hot Italian Beef and a hot seat? Northwestern Potluck #1

Beef Sandwhiches Staff photo by Brianna Soukup/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

Friends, I have some terrible news: it’s Northwestern week. And that means we have to talk about Northwestern and Chicago. I promise you that none of us like it, but it’s something we just have to get through every summer. Trust me when I say that I am sorry.

Food: For once, let us say something nice about the greater Chicagoland area: Italian beef is wonderful. But like anything else related to Chicago, there’s the potential inclusion of something dark, sinister, and completely useless: roasted sweet peppers. Useless, soggy faux sweetness added to an otherwise perfect sandwich.

So, writers: Do you like Italian Beef sandwiches? Would you like one today? And what about the inclusion of peppers on them.

LPW: Oh hell yes, I love Italian beef sandwiches! My company just moved from the Loop to River North, and I’m within walking distance of Mr. Beef (which is fantastic), and also the Portillos location right near the old Rock and Roll McDonalds. I like my beefs sweet, dipped, and with mozzarella cheese.

Kind of…: Do I like Italian Beef sandwiches? Does the pope shit in the woods? Of course I do. As WSR noted, it is close to perfect. I will take close to perfection any time I can. Italian Beef is fantastic. And the fact that the median NW alum probably looks down on it tells you all you need to know about the veracity of NW’s claim to be Chicago’s B1G team.

HWAHSQB: I love a good Italian Beef. I always go hot and dipped, but I don’t judge those who go sweet or wet. (I knew a guy who always would say he liked his beef like he liked his women, hot and wet. He didn’t ever have a date to my knowledge though. I wonder why?) I do judge people who put cheese on their beef or eat it dry though. Heathens! This shall not stand!!!

Jesse: Wait, you’re hating on the sweet peppers? Why? They’re totally the acid you need to cut the incredibly fatty and delicious Italian Beef. Also, you really need this thing to be a droopy mess of awesomeness, so like, let’s just roll with it.

BRT: I don’t think I’ve ever had an Italian Beef sandwich. Is it basically a Philly Cheesesteak without cheese? I see no reason why I wouldn’t enjoy such a sandwich, but I will say that cheese makes everything better (no, I have not been hijacked by a Wisconsinite… though I guess that’s exactly what someone hijacked by a Wisconsinite would say.)

Buffkomodo: I would not like any of this. Actually I would try it but not if I had to order the whole meal. Can I get a bite? I prefer Olive Garden.

misdreavus79: I think I’ve had one of these? Regardless, a quick search leads me to believe I’d enjoy them either way. I have already eaten lunch today, so I wouldn’t one one right now. Maybe tomorrow!

Green Akers: If there’s a substantial difference between the Italian beef and a French dip, I don’t see it, and before you sputter at me through your Faux Ditka mustache, let me be clear that I don’t care to know. That said, it’s fine. It’s primarily meat and bread, so there’s a floor here that’s hard to screw up.

Poll

Is there really any need for peppers on an Italian Beef?

This poll is closed

  • 23%
    No, not really. They’re just going to be mushy because they’ve been sitting around forever.
    (26 votes)
  • 76%
    Sure! Nobody ever died from extra flavor, unless it came from shellfish...
    (87 votes)
113 votes total Vote Now

Northwestern v Wisconsin
“A HSA is the way to go if they’re looking for a reduction in taxable income, but most people will be just fine with a lower deductible policy.” “We know much more about this than we do QBs, don’t we?”
Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Football: 2022 will be Pat Fitzgerald’s 17th season as Northwestern’s head coach. As noted by MNW, he’s not exactly setting the world on fire anymore (unless he’s noticed that there’s something empowering student-athletes nearby, in which case he’ll burn millions of innocent kittens to stop 2-3 young adults discussing freedom of movement or collective bargaining) so it’s time to ask: Is Pat Fitzgerald on the hot seat? Should he be?

Kind of…: He’s not this year, and probably shouldn’t be given his overall tenure and a realistic assessment of NW’s ceiling. However, for all the grumbling about UW benefitting for playing in the weaker Western division, NW could free fall in a hurry if Fleck keeps doing what he’s doing in Minnesota, Brohm sticks around West Lafayette, and Nebraska (what?) turns the corner (stop laughing) under Frost (okay, fine, after Frost). Plus, for all the talk of Alvarez resenting a bunch of head-scratching losses to the Wildcats, Bielema was on the sidelines for a few of those at UW. The Wildcats are now circled in bright red on Illinois’ schedule. Plus…

It was Hankwitz. It was always Hankwitz.

Fitz: 13-23 w/o Hank; 96-67 with. 93-58, not counting 2019. That’s really fucking good for ANY non-OSU B1G school. For Northwestern, it’s really fucking impressive. @MNW, really sorry man, but you pegged it. Fitz’s run is probably as good as it’s going to get, and it’s peaked.

Jesse: I don’t know what the hot seat entails at Northwestern anymore. On one hand, they’ve gotten donors to ante up for every project they could ever imagine, and really done more than they ever had under Fitz. Sure, he’s not setting the world on fire, but also the West is disaster porn, and unless I’m mistaken, the money printer hasn’t stopped, making it necessary to make a change.

That said, I do wonder if Fitz is about to move on. He obviously hates students having an opinion, and NIL is only going to make this much more ridiculous for him. Perhaps there is a NFL team, hellbent on doing things in the most conservative, boring way (and who has not realized that offense is NOT an overrated part of the game). A good parachute would be better than him actually getting pushed out, but I am not sure either matters. He’s here and he’ll likely win the West again because why the hell not.

HWAHSQB: Look, if Nern is keeping Collins around, no way Fitzee is on the hot seat. Either the AD is chickenshit or he thinks having a season of unusual non-suckitude is enough for the purple kitties, as evidenced by keeping Mr. Collins employed. Fitzee is several orders of magnitude better than his roundball counterpart, so nowhere near the hot seat.

BRT: We have this conversation every other year. Do you know why? Because Northwestern craps the bed every other year. Presumably, that pattern will continue, and Northwestern will be decent this year, quelling this discussion until after the 2023 season, when they will win 3-4 games.

But to actually answer the question, I think his seat is warm, at best. He’s got the longest leash in college football. (I suppose you could argue that Saban has the longest leash, but he actually wins a lot, so I don’t think he’s actually on a leash, you know?) I think the bigger issue for Fitz is if his attitude toward student athletes starts to poison recruiting abilities to the point that they’re shitty in consecutive years, not just every other year. If this year is as bad as last year and he can’t have his even-year bounce, then this will be a more interesting question next year.

Buffkomodo: His seat is only as warm as much as the administration of Northwestern cares about its football program. They have a wonderful practice facility but they play in a stadium that is outmatched by several high school complexes in Texas. Northwestern doesn’t seem to care much about their football results, especially when you’re removed only 1 year from a Peyton Ramsey led charge to the B1G title game. I think that similarly with Indiana, Northwestern football will peak and valley much like a heart monitor. Best to just get use to it. So I don’t think any action is warranted at this point.

misdreavus79: Wait he’s on his 17th season? Where did time go? How old is he?

Anyway, I get the sense that Pat will leave Northwestern whenever he feels like it –he’s an alum, a Big Ten Championship winning alum, at that, and he’s effectively handed Northwestern the most success it has seen since the aforementioned championship years. I don’t know that the Northwestern administration is going to try to rock the boat too much here, unless he somehow goes winless in three consecutive seasons, I guess (which, I believe with a 12-game schedule it would break the previous record set by, well, Northwestern, in the early 80s).

LPW: Let’s see: are the athletes graduating at a stellar pace? With great GPA’s? Check. Are we winning more than we’re losing (in the long run)? Check. I think Northwestern fans are gonna have Fitzy being the world’s youngest boomer (or however that crack goes) prowling the sidelines until his youngest boy graduates Northwestern. I don’t think the AD, whoever the president is, or Pat Ryan wants to make a change. After all, besides the Jekyll and Hyde routine we have going every other year, this is from what I’ve been told by older fans, vastly better than the dark ages, or, as you wiseass fans from other teams like to say, before College Football began.

Green Akers: No, he’s not on the hot seat. I normally reject the mouthbreather take of ‘well who are you going to get that will do better’ as a valid defense of a backsliding coach - the answer is, probably some unproven coordinator or lower-conference coach whose name I don’t know because I’m not a major college athletic director. But in this case it’s absolutely valid. Fitzgerald has been involved in all of the only good TV-era periods of Northwestern football, which is otherwise the worst P5 program out there. If this season is as much of a shambles as last year, then sure, let’s powwow about foisting him off on the Bears or whoever next summer, but a hot seat is premature at this point.

Poll

Is Pat Fitzgerald on the hot seat?

This poll is closed

  • 100%
    No, of course not. He won a football game and that makes Northwestern people happy.
    (74 votes)
74 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Should Pat Fitzgerald be on the hot seat?

This poll is closed

  • 47%
    No, of course not. He won a football game and that should be more than enough at Northwestern.
    (42 votes)
  • 15%
    Yes. He’s been there a very long time with so-so results and has been compensated handsomely for those results.
    (14 votes)
  • 36%
    No, but he should consider taking a job in the NFL or under the next Republican president on the NLRB.
    (32 votes)
88 votes total Vote Now