Well, it's here. This weekend the 'Cats travel to the Carrier Dome on their road to football glory that leads only to Pizza City. My nerves are steeled, my jaw is set to a healthy non-conference clench, and my fists are ready to pump again after a dormant summer.
I've brushed up on my fist pumping with my "Knuckle Down! with Pat
Fitzgerald" instructional fist pumping DVD for high school caoches
anther bowl game will be a tough task. Northwestern's non-conference
schedule includes three BCS schools: Syracuse, Boston College, and James
Franklin's resurgent Vanderbilt squad. The 'Cats also face a tough
campaign in the Big Ten LEGENDS division on top of having to refer to
use the words "LEGENDS division" in polite company. Though the schedule
may make the path to that sixth win more difficult, it could mean that a
bowl-bound Northwestern team could do the unthinkable and win. Since I
know this blog is widely read by or sent to high-level Northwestern
administrators in digest form (football team may be good/bad? Habsburg
intrigue and also mustache), I am proclaiming that should the Wildcats
make it to a bowl and win, I demand to see Head Coach Pat Fitzgerald
tear his stuffed bowl drought monkey asunder in front of a bloodthirsty
crowd at a men's basketball game while the fans sing a version of Go U
Northwestern with lyrics altered to celebrate the removal of the
proverbial monkey from the program's back in the most literal and
unnecessarily violent manner (Go U Northwestern/Tear that plush toy's
limbs/When it's naught but stuffing/We will hang it from the rims/U!
Rah! Rah! etc. It's a work in progress).
has something in common with last year's team-- an opening day start
from quarterback Kain Colter. This year, Colter is prepared to steer
the ship for a full season without marking time for the return of
Chicago's Heisman Candidate.
Expectations for Persa were sky high after reading stories
about his off-season bear-wrestling and steel-bending
offense is in good hands with the electrifying Colter and a group of
talented wide receivers. He and Venric Mark should give the 'Cats one
of the fastest backfields in the Big Ten. And BYCTOM headquarters is on
full alert for a full season's worth of abominable Kain Colter-related
pun headlines. Although I remain ever-vigilant, I would be grateful if
readers keep me informed of any Colter headline abnormalities via e-mail
or twitter. I've already spotted "Northwestern hopes Kain is Able."
Will we see more references to biblical sibling murders? Awkward
rhymes such as "The rain from Kain falls mainly on [Illini Defensive
Coordinator] Tim Banks?" Attempts to give him boxing nicknames such as
"Sugar" Kain Colter? What about a lede like "Citizen Kain lies alone
amongst the ruins of his crumbling empire, plaintively calling for his
beloved children's toy as Northwestern falls to Michigan State 21-6?" I
must catalog them all.
The sun does not shine on the Carrier Dome. The last time the Wildcats played in that musty sarcophagus,
they suffered a demoralizing loss at the dribbling hands of Former Duke
Point Guard Greg Paulus. I've done exhaustive minutes of research on
the Orange and determined that they have zero former Duke point guards
on their roster. Sure it may have been annoying for announcers shoehorn
basketball references into a football game, but maybe one day we'll
have some kid from Maryland who reads the passing lanes like a jouster
looks for an opening for his lance or he rolls through the tackles like
a man in an Atlasphere because that would mean that my arduous campaign
to make Atlasphere a collegiate and Olympic sport has succeeded.
Much like the Dream Team, I expect that Laser, Nitro, and Turbo will inspire a
new generation of Peruvian, Bulgarian, or Pakistani Gladiators
On paper, Syracuse is not the most daunting opponent. Paul Myerberg has the Orange ranked #83
going into the season after they collapsed into the Big East last
season like a dying star. On the other hand, Fitzgerald's teams have
traditionally looked shaky in their first game, especially against BCS
conference opponents. Last year, they barely outlasted a terrible BC
team and squeaked by a weak Vanderbilt squad the week before. Syracuse
fans expect a win, and veteran quarterback Nassib will test the
Wildcats' inexperienced secondary. A win at the dome would mean a great
deal to this young Northwestern team. I know I've been waiting for
this one like the Count of Monte Cristo, counting the days, waiting for
the perfect opportunity, and then crafting an intricate scheme for
diabolical vengeance that involves sitting on my couch watching a
football game that interests approximately no one.