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B1G 2022 // Northwestern Potluck #2: Slants and Blunts

Grab something to take the edge off, because it’s time to talk about the Northwestern quarterback situation.

US-NEWS-CANNABIS-CARTEL-ILL-TB Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Did anyone else notice this? Since the world ended in the beginning of 2020, more than a few people may have missed that Illinois legalized recreational marijuana.

That’s right, kids. You can go to Illinois and get yourself a controlled substance that helps you relax, sleep better, enjoy music, get the munchies, and possibly even tolerate B1G football featuring Illinois (not important this week) and Northwestern.

1. Assuming it weren’t something that would impact your employment, wouldja?

2. What would be your preferred method?

3. What’s your go-to snack if and when the munchies hit?

LPW: Oh man, it’s been about five to ten years since I’ve smoked that stuff. I don’t care for it, I’d rather drink a beer. In the past I liked to smoke that stuff out of a bowl instead of a blunt. I get the munchies and like to eat either goldfish crackers or pop tarts.

Green Akers: …never you mind.


  1. Weed’s been legal in Massachusetts for a while now, and I think I’ve engaged twice in the time I’ve been here? My employer doesn’t care, but I don’t care enough to make it an everyday thing.
  2. Smoking is gross to me, so some form of edible is what I’ve gone for in the past.
  3. I don’t believe I’ve actually had the munchies since, like, freshman year of college, so I don’t really have one. I like cheez-its though!

BRT: Surprisingly, I’ve never tried it. I say “surprisingly” because I have spent much of my adult life in college, and for grad school at least, in a place where use was extremely public and prevalent. It might have been because of this prevalence that I’ve never partaken– I think it smells like skunk piss, which does not entice me. I’m not opposed to an edible at some point, but it’s also not particularly high (heh) on my list of must-dos for life. I should probably try it before the “pro life” lobby makes it a capital crime though.

Jesse: [looks around] So we’re gonna just go ahead and say this is all hypothetical, right? Right.

  1. Yeah, of course because it’s quite literally the best way to chill out, and since I’m Asian, can’t / won’t drink anymore, and because it is the best, yes.
  2. Edibles for me primarily, but I - hypothetically - don’t mind vaping a nice hybrid once in a while. Again, This is all if I would - in theory - do this sort of thing.
  3. If, perhaps in a scenario that would have me enjoying cannabis, I was a little high, I might - you know - eat some donuts because they’re really delicious and I happen t have them in the house for just such scenarios. But like, yeah… I wouldn’t ‘know’ now, would I?

MNW: It’s like BRT and I both went to some square school for squares (I do not partake, as I have enough vices, and it’s just not for me).

The only weed story I have is at a friend’s bachelor party when his dad, a huge stoner, offered drunk as hell me a chocolate and, when I said, “what kind?” would only say “it’s just a chocolate.” I put it in my mouth anyway because, like I said, enough vices, and food is one of them. In retrospect, not terribly funny that he wouldn’t tell me it was an edible, but I spit it out, said “this is an edible, I’m good,” and he shrugged and popped it into his own mouth.

I realize I still come off as the loser in that story.

Buffkomodo: I really have only done the pot once and was so obliterated that I didn’t get anything out of it other than the t-shirt. I’d be interested in the edibles that will make you sleep well, but Ohio sucks and Illinois and Michigan are too far to drive. Other than being pro-legalization, I kind of give no shits about pot.

WSR: I hadn’t dabbled because I don’t tend to smoke at all, outside of maybe 1 cigar a year on a golf trip. So I may have recently discovered that a couple gummies are an incredible painkiller, and that alone is a huge thing.

If things would ever change in Minnesota and edibles would become legal here, I would probably become a huge fan. Who knows? Maybe they make things better, like a concert at Red Rocks or things like that. As for the snack, it’s amazing how good a Twinkie is when available.

Hypothetically, of course.



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Football: In Praise of Clayton Thorson

We’ve all assumed for a while that Northwestern football relies on frustrating defense, acceptable special teams, a superback, and a B1G-ready RB.

But what if that’s not entirely accurate? What if Northwestern actually needs a decent QB to be Good Northwestern as opposed to justNorthwestern?

If one ignores 2020 as a complete outlier (which it was), the last time Northwestern was good was 2018. And that season just happened to be the last ride for the perfectly serviceable Clayton Thorson, who was 8th in the B1G in rating but 5th in passing yards per game. Which, in wildcat yards, is the equivalent of being a mid-00’s Mike Leach Air Raid QB that’s probably some hotshot OC or NFL head coach right now.

1. Does Northwestern actually need good-ish QB play to be good, or can they be like Iowa or wisconsin and fight with one arm behind their back offensively.

2. Northwestern would be better off bringing back Mick McCall to run the offense and mentor QBs, right?

3. Are you OK with your team’s QB position this fall?

Green Akers:
1) All jokes about hilarious school-pushed Heisman campaigns aside, Northwestern’s current QB ineptitude is thrown into even sharper relief by the fact that they HAVE had very good to great QB play for long stretches of the Fitztenure. Thorson, Colter, Siemian, Persa, Kafka, Basanez, Bacher - for a long time they did just fine with guys that could reliably hit short passes and be a passable run threat. That kind of guy shouldn’t be so hard to find, so it’s not clear to me why after Thorson they just can’t get this position right.

2) Impossible as it would’ve seemed when he hung it up, they’ve nosedived since he left, have they not? Ain’t that a kick in the head?

3) Yessir. Payton Thorne’s first year as a starter was, at a minimum, comparable to what Kirk Cousins and Connor Cook did as new-starter sophomores. Plus, Thorne gets to work in a system that doesn’t view offense as an irritating distraction. Backup QB will be an interesting fall camp story, but given 2020 doesn’t count, MSU could theoretically have Thorne for three more seasons (I’m hoping for two).


  1. As GA mentioned above, Northwestern has had good QB play in the past. And it’s that good QB play that has allowed them to create this seesaw thing they’ve built for themselves. In fact, the biggest reason people haven’t really given Northwestern credit for their performance at quarterback is because that’s not the identity we’ve created for them in our minds.
  2. Man, “be careful what you wish for,” personified!
  3. Yes. Sean Clifford has no shortage of detractors, but anyone who actually has any semblance of objectivity knows he willed that team to the wins they did get, and nearly pulled off two more upsets along the way, all while injured. And, in the middle of all that, we actually discovered Christian Veilleux is not that bad after all! There’s also that 5-star No. 1 QB in the 2022 class guy waiting in the wings, forget his name…


  1. We kind of answered this question, right? It seems like yes, they do need good quarterback play, and no, they can’t just be like Iowa or Wisconsin without it. Because they don’t have it, and their record is much worse than either of those teams. I know, you’re welcome for the hard-hitting analysis here.
  2. Yes, Mick McCall. And hire Bob Diaco for the defense. It would be an ideal Northwestern coaching staff, to me. Also, what is “Mick” short for? Mickey?
  3. I’ll be honest, I have not paid even an iota of attention to anything related to Husker football since the season ended last November. I know, I know, I am a perfect “writer” for this site and you are lucky to have me. The world is horrifying enough that I don’t have any leftover energy to expend on Nebraska football’s foibles. I honestly cannot even name our QB right now. If that’s disappointing to you, I’m sorry–you can ask Stew, he’ll know all about it. You know I’m just here for Power Polls and photoshopping Paul Chryst’s face onto Queen Victoria, right?


  1. Good being relative, yes, they need someone to not be a disaster. Put someone like Petras back there, and I’m guessing Northwestern doesn’t win a game. Get a Thorson clone? Well, that at least forces the opponent to pretend you’re going to do anything other than run up the middle to show how awesome and dominating you are.
  2. This is akin to being like, “remember that Mike Riley had a better record than Scott Frost!” and pretending like everything isn’t going to end in disaster. I think Northwestern would arguably be better just rolling with the punches and hiring someone innovative and young who is unproven. Take the ‘we’re underdogs’ approach back. What about that dude who never punts. I liked that guy.
  3. In theory, I’m interested by the QB position again. I do not think it matters - until someone can prove it does - but a new OC / QB Coach plus a somewhat reasonably interesting guy in Casey Thompson, and at least decent backup options (in theory) in Chubba Purdy and Almost-Hero-but-couldn’t-throw-against-Iowa Logan Smothers, makes me at least excited for something different. Does this mean we’re gonna be good? Hahahaha no. But I do like the room.


  1. You can have a fun year in the west with a good defense and an average to even tolerable QB. Hell, you could even go bowling if you schedule good enough.
  2. See Statement 1.
  3. I’m not psyched for this Indiana QB battle. If Balazek doesn’t start, it’s Tuttle and and if it’s Tuttle time, it’s time to fire up the coaching carousel.


  1. I’d love for there to be a dynamic quarterback giving NU’s offense a few dimensions other than having a strong RB and a good line eat up the clock. I miss the Persa, Bacher and Basanez days.
  2. You’re a monster.
  3. See MNW below.


  1. The issue is less “Hey, we don’t have a quarterback” (though Hilinski is not great and Brendan Sullivan is reportedly Pushing Him, according to People Who Know Things) and more “Hey, we are going to dogmatically commit to running the ball and not put these quarterbacks in a position to succeed.” I have to assume this is something Fitz has forced his OC to accept, because, like, I REMEMBER Mick McCall allowing Brett Basanez and Mike Kafka and Dan Persa to throw the same fucking slant or out route over. and over. and over.
  2. Much in the style of (1), while it was time for McCall to go, the hiring of Mike Bajakian has really confirmed that Pat Fitzgerald yearns to be the 1995 Wildcats all over again. It’s Fitz’s program, Fitz’s offense, and while I’d love for a former ‘Cat to come mentor the NU quarterbacks as OC, I’m not holding my breath. If the ‘Cats don’t play a quarterback who can at least threaten to run in addition to throwing a decent ball (thus disqualifying the Marty Party, with all apologies to Andrew), then there’s no point. Look, if you will, at the past, distant past, and present:

(Remember that Clayton Thorson ruined his knee in the 2017 Music City Bowl.)

At least the THREAT of being able to run makes the Northwestern offense so much more dynamic, and the ability to pick up 4-5 yards on a quick slant or out on first down has been lost as Northwestern has become maddeningly doctrinaire under Pat Fitzgerald.

So I guess my answer to (3) is “No, but IT DOESN’T FUCKING MATTER.”

…maybe I do need that edible.