From Northwestern's unofficial Football Blog, Lake the Posts (www.laketheposts.com), from whom I got permission to post this -- go to NUSports.com or call 847-491-CATS for tickets:Caveat. The following post is intended to be serious and not a satire. As a lifelong Red Sox and Northwestern football fan, I believe I've earned the right to say "I feel your pain" Cubs fans. Most Chicago baseball fans are nodding their heads in collective disbelief at the company water cooler/coffee pot. The Cubs, well, we all know what happened and the amount of puns about Cubby "Blue(s)" is unofficially north of a million. Meanwhile on the South Side it appears Sox fans might be happier about the Cubs inexplicable demise then they are about staving off a similar fate with their win last night over the Rays. Let it be known to Cubs fan's seeking off-season solace and Sox fans who are ready to call it a day, Northwestern football wants you. Check that, we need you.
It is understandable you may not be paying attention to college football as the baseball buzz has engulfed our fair city. But as the sting of the end of the season starts to set in, I've got the perfect Purple version of a sports bloody Mary. Northwestern is 5-0 for the first time since 1962. In Chicago pro sports vernacular that is a full eight years before the Bears played a game at then Dyche Stadium in hopes of calling Evanston their permanent home. A quick refresher - the Cats have won three Big Ten titles since 1995 (1995,1996, 2000) which is second only to Ohio State and Michigan. We are enjoying the best decade in school history (total wins). But, we need your help.
The Cats entered the USA Today Coaches' Poll at #22 this week and are facing #19 Michigan State. The game as at Ryan Field in Evanston and even though we have a better record at this point than in any of our Big Ten title years, our 47,130 seat stadium is embarassingly empty. After a September to remember, the Cats are poised to have an October that would give Reggie Jackson a run for his money. I feel your pain. You've just invested 165 games of your heart and soul. For Sox fans - add at least four more to that total. But, I'm telling you, by attending a Northwestern game with some friends, you can make a difference. Our players feed off of the crowd and in the rare occasions we've packed the place in the past 15 years, the atmosphere is as sweet as any electric day in the Friendly Confines or Sox Park.
Before you scoff at the idea, let me refute the stereotype that Northwestern fans are the turtle-necked ostrich burger subjects of the hilarious Miller High Life commercials. Most of us are either Cubs fans, Sox fans - or more often than not - a hybrid like me - and root for both unless they play Boston. We welcome you with open arms -and an Old Style or a PBR. We know how to tailgate and a little known fact about our tiny school, at least for the alums of 10+ years is we had a simple creedo - "work hard, party hard" - which I think any fan can appreciate.
Our stadium is cozy by Big Ten standards and the most intimate by far. Our school has less than 8,000 students with an alumni base that has more outside the state than in the Chicagoland area. The only way we'll ever consistently fill the joint is with fans who are neither students, alums or some employment tie to the school. We need the general fan to join our team. When they do, well...check out the atmosphere at this game when our now-coach Fitz-then-stud-LB led Chicagoland on a joy ride we are still benefitting from:
You can appreciate the role of the underdog. The Cats, regardless of the raised bar of expectations, continue to get overlooked. Our style of play is extremely likable - a spread offense with, now, a defense that is a strength (we stole away Wisconsin's former defensive coordinator after they foolishly let him go!). We've got the most depth at the skill positions than we've ever had and senior leadership to support it. If this post reeks of desperation, so be it. I don't care. Cubs fans - in the same way you'd do anything to break the 100 year drought and Sox fans - in the same way you'd do anything to get some hometown equal status treatment - I'd do anything to get Ryan Field packed with purple. Regularly.
Like the Cubs, the Cats are in the final stages of breaking the annoying "lovable loser" tag. As for Sox fans, you think YOU'RE overshadowed in this town? Try finding coverage on the Cats during a 2-Chicago team foray into the MLB playoffs. I should point out here that our fearless coach, the most decorated collegiate LB in CFB history is a diehard Sox fan and a true southsider. Cubbies, don't hold it against him, he happily brings legions of NU fans to Cubs games each summer when he performs his annual 7th inning stretch. However, by the time you White Sox fans read this, there is a good chance your season will be over. If so, the combined per game attendance of 80,000+ between your two stadiums is about to head south for the winter, so why not consider helping us fill-up the final 15,000 seats we'll need to get there?
You want in? No problem. Simply go to the west lot on Saturday morning and look for the double-flags of the Northwestern purple and the Cubs signature "W". I'll be the one at the tailgate, beer in hand waiting for you, dressed in purple and black. Here is a cliff notes version of why odds are the unexpected is expected in our match-up with Michigan State (for what it's worth, we're 5-4 against them since 1995). So turn those blue(s) into purple and show us how to transform a blackout into a purpleout and beat big green. Here's a teaser from last year to get you jacked. Can't wait to see both Cubs and Sox fans there!
Posted by Lake The Posts at 10:34 AM