With it being Thanksgiving tomorrow, the final Fraternizing With The Enemy of the season is running on Wednesday this week. You can read my answers to Sippin' On Purple's questions here.
It's HATE WEEK. Or at least, it's supposed to be. Honestly at this point instead of focusing all my hate on Teddy Greenstein's Big Ten Team this week I'm just looking forward to the football season being over in a few days. I'm too relieved to hate Pat's Purple Pussycats right now. Plus I'm too busy hating my own football team.
So instead of punching Rodger Sherman in the face repeatedly, I decided to ask him some questions instead.
1. Northwestern is 8-3 and likely to be 9-3 after this game. Which means a 10-win season is attainable with a bowl win. What would a 10-win season and a bowl win mean to this program and fan base?
Ten wins wouldn't be totally crazy for Northwestern. Are you forgetting Tom McCormack's 10-1-3 1903 squad? They were the Western Conference Champions that year, thanks to the strong play of fullback Hannibal "Biggles" Johnson and defensive stud The Gentleman Wrangler, Topford Williams, both of whom I just made up. We also did it in 1995, but, yeah: it would be nice to throw some double digits up in that column.
But I think the big thing would be a bowl win. That's really been the goal for NU for a few seasons now, especially considering they haven't had the talent to actually go out and win a conference championship in a few years. It's nice to win a decent amount of games every year, but at the end of the day, people are just going to keep making fun of Northwestern for not winning a bowl game until it happens. Recruits will hear it, and fans have to hear the jokes. Now that Northwestern's a reasonable team most years, the bowl win is sort of the last chimp swinging around on our backs every year.
2. Northwestern has been on an upward trend since Pat Fitzgerald has taken over, but it's never been able to get over the proverbial hump. Has this team reached its ceiling or will it take the next step?
There's more steps. The impressive thing is that through Northwestern's relative success, its still generally being outrecruited by other B1G schools, even some of the ones we're ahead of in the standings. I don't think this is a result of failures in the scouting system, or some Billy Beane-esque skill of NU's recruiting staff to find diamonds in the rough, although there have been some notable guys other schools passed on. I think it's a result of good coaching and player development. Every year, Northwestern's recruiting ticks up a bit. If Fitz ever gets above-average talent to come to NU, I think this team can contend for conference championships. National titles are a lil bit out of reach, I think.
3. Where the hell did you find Venric Mark? Can we have him?
He's 5-foot-7, so he has a tendency to get lost like that. Anyway, he was between the armrest and the cushion on the couch. You also left the remote there. Oh, and no.
4. Don't you miss the Sweet Sioux Tomahawk? This Land of Lincoln Trophy is stupid. I like stove top hats as much as the next mid-19th century gentlemen, but a tomahawk is a tomahawk.
Sounds like something a RACIST, who supports a team name promoting negative Native Americans would say. You would be the type of person who would be against a trophy honoring Abraham Lincoln, who freed the slaves.
Anyway, yes, obviously the LOLhat is dumb and it was cool having a trophy with some tradition on it instead of playing for a big ol' Monopoly piece glued to a piece of wood. Unfortunately, we have the tomahawk in Evanston forever after winning in 2008, so you'll have to pry it from our warm, living hands, which happen to be holding a friggin tomahawk.
5. Is there any chance this becomes a real rivalry where you and I see each other on the street and trade blows, or are we going to continue this ironic rivalry forever?
/pulls up baggy t-shirt to reveal gun tucked into waistband
Nah, but seriously, the harder Northwestern and Illinois try to make this a rivalry with outlandish gestures, the less chance fetch has of ever happening. That said, I want to punch Meyers Leonard in his big old stupid face, but I think that's more between me and Meyers and less between Northwestern and Illinois.