In 1991 Northwestern played a home game against Ohio State that was dominated by Buckeye fans.
That’s right—Northwestern sold a home game, put it in a different state, and took their beating in front of a raucous crowd of their rivals.
Fast-forward 32 years, and Northwestern is at it again.
Not truly, of course—the Wildcats’ decision to move one game a year to Wrigley Field and call it a “Classic” rests on the premise that Chicago is somehow as much a home for Northwestern as Evanston. That Northwestern is truly “Chicago’s Big Ten Team”.
Anyone with a fragment of a brain knows that’s not true, but that’s not the point here. For a second straight season in which it had seven home games, Northwestern followed that logic and sold a home game to play the “Wildcat Classic” in the Friendliest Dump this side of that burning coal mine fire in Pennsylvania.
And for the second straight iteration, it accomplished its purpose: make money.
We saw it in 2021 when Purdue couldn’t complete a kickoff:
We saw it on Iowa’s goal-line stand when the two lines combined to rip open a hole to the underworld that required multiple full commercial breaks to fix:
Wrigley Field turned into an excavation site after a massive divot appeared on the makeshift gridiron. ️⛏️ pic.twitter.com/9CUubK19uL— College Sports Only (@CollegeSportsO) November 5, 2023
And that’s all to say nothing of the 2010 one-way debacle.
Wrigley Field is not fit for college football, and worse yet, Northwestern continues to insult itself, its fans, and its players by insisting on playing games there. The Wrigley Field money-grab has gone from “cute misfit toy game” to “outright dangerous, stupid, and cynical.”
The fanbase assembled today at Wrigley was exactly what everyone expected: at least 75-25 Iowa fans, conservatively, because those are the only people stupid enough to gleefully eat this slop as it’s shoveled to them, and to pay for the damn privilege.
And Northwestern’s athletics administrators—whether Jim Phillips or Derrick Gragg—knew that.
The scenes from the Purdue game in 2021 repeated themselves in 2023. Schools with large alumni bases in Chicagoland have already historically used Ryan Field as their chance to see their alma maters. Whether it’s Iowa, Purdue, or—as I’m sure it’ll be soon—Wisconsin, Northwestern is at this point banking on...well, bank. Buy those tickets, fill our coffers, and it’s frankly immaterial whether we win or lose—or whether a lineman’s ACL explodes in the dirt-with-glued-on-grass at Wrigley.
It’s all about the money, and that’s what this Wrigley game is: a craven, cynical cash grab. Northwestern is reduced to selling itself—and its players—out for money behind the guise of a “classic,” and it’s taken three losses in three tries for the privilege, with no measurable gain.
Spit on us, slap us around, call us scum — whatever you want, really. Just make sure the checks clear and the tickets sell.
The original title of this article was *Northwestern is a cheap whore,” but that’s (1) needlessly degrading to sex workers, and (2) untrue, since each rube from Naperville to Norwalk paid good money to dutifully shout the only four letters they know in sequence.
David Braun and the 2023 Northwestern Wildcats have made something out of nothing in a year in which I’m still not sure they deserve anything.
But they deserve better than an administration that cares more about making money while hiding behind “tradition”.
Stop the failed, cynical, and dangerous Wrigley experiment.