When it comes to Kain Colter, the Northwestern football team supporting him,
and the College Athletes Players Association
with which they stand, there are not "two sides" to this issue. That's one of the biggest fallacies of journalism- that every story needs "both sides" to be "fair and balanced."
Global warming or "climate change" exists, it's man made and it's destroying the Earth. The science is in on this and it's conclusive. Follow this guy on Twitter for more.
There is no "debate."
Regarding college athletes in the revenue producing sports, they are being exploited for their unpaid labor. Period.
The debate begins with what are we going to do to remedy it? A full ride scholarship for basketball and football players was a fair deal in the 1950s, when:
-College football TV contracts, and the revenue that they produced were a miniscule fraction of what they are today
-Coaches and administrators made a mere pittance compared to the exorbitant salaries they receive today
-Most people didn't even go to college, so a bachelor's degree gave you a tremendous competitive advantage in the labor market
-College football, and March Madness in college basketball were nowhere remotely close to the extremely lucrative national past times that they are today
So as the invisible hand of the "free market" has evolved in the last 65 years, why shouldn't compensation of the labor that provides the very backbone of the industry?
If you have any sense of American capitalism, of the ideals of "pure competition" and "free enterprise," there's only one side you can take in this fight. To be against Kain Colter and the NU football players
is to be completely morally and intellectually bankrupt...
I have more respect and admiration for Northwestern football right now than I have previously had at any point in my life. I think even higher of the NU football program, as they finish the season 5-7, as I did when they were 4-0 and ranked #16 in the nation.
Now, I've been very critical of NU this season.
I've been extremely harsh on this team.
Maybe I've been too critical, or undeservedly critical of Pat Fitzgerald and his Northwestern football program at times, but it's only because I believe they're a very solid program that should be treated with the exact same scrutiny as the Ohio States and Michigans of the world. And that 7 game losing streak was....to quote George Michael in "Careless Whisper," "there's no comfort in the truth, pain is all you'll find."
I feel NU should be held to very high standards. And I write this 1,000 word essay just moments after they defeated my beloved Alma Mater, in the Land of Lincoln trophy game, so you know this expression comes from the heart. And to be fair, as harshly critical as I've been of Northwestern football, I've been even harder on my Illini, Illinois football coach Tim Beckman, and especially harsh on Illini Defensive Coordinator Tim Banks.
And to show fairness and balance, I've also written a lot of fawning stuff about Northwestern football in 2013
I've written pulchritudinous pieces that purple propagandists (should) passionately promote.
And perhaps no media member beat the drum to bring ESPN College Gameday to Evanston as loud as I did. And I challenge you to find anyone who covered the Gameday at Northwestern University experience with as much effort and zeal as I did
One topic I never addressed in 2013, positively or negatively, is the tremendous heart and resilient fight of this team. Now's the time...
No one hates Northwestern
No one possibly could.
Well, the main purple flag waver in sports media today also happens to be the most hated man in sports media, but that’s a different issue. You can’t hate the school just because D-Money (CC @TheGoodDrJim)
went there. Well, University of Illinois
grads do in fact hate Northwestern. You can see it in the way Illini
people schadenfreude the train wreck that is the 2013 Northwestern football season. I’ve told my people not to take joy in what’s happened at NU
. (The local and national media declaring Northwestern BCS bound and Pat Fitzgerald
the next Nick Saban, only to see it come crashing all down into a college football
season that will have no bowl appearance).
So where does the hate come from?
The “Chicago’s Big Ten
Team” marketing campaign.
All Big Ten alumni bases in Chicago took offense to it, none more so than the University of Illinois. From there, the University of Illinois Alumni Association took a couple shots at Northwestern
and then things took off from there! When Tim Beckman
took over the Illini program, he put up a big N Cat logo with a line through it in the Illini football meeting room.
Then he made his team slogan W.I.N. or W.I.N.T. “Whatever is needed Today.” After Northwestern had “W.I.N. What’s Important Now” for many years. So we have a legitimate rivalry on our hands.
And the rivalry game will be played Saturday, in Champaign, 2:30 on Big Ten Network. Northwestern is 3.5 point favorites. It’s the LOL Bowl,
the Land of Lincoln trophy or LOL trophy game. And given how both of these teams are playing, the LOL contest will certainly have you ROTFL or LMAO. Here’s my game preview and prediction at this link.
But for this post I’ve listed as many Northwestern and Illinois alums in the national and local sports media as I'm aware of...
football Coach Pat Fitzgerald
on this season: “Good riddance.”
He said that today following his team’s 30-6 shellacking at the hands of Michigan State
, dropping Northwestern football to 4-7 after starting the year 4-0 and ranked #16 in all of college football
. There’s still one more week left, at Illinois
to take on the Illini
in the Land of Lincoln trophy or LOL trophy game. And given how both of these teams are playing, the LOL contest will certainly have you ROTFL or LMAO.
The Illini ended their 20 game Big Ten
losing streak today at Purdue
; which now means the longest current losing streak in Big Ten play belongs to Purdue…and Northwestern. I don’t know who will be favored in Illini football vs Northwestern football, I just know that tickets are going very slowly for that one. Whether NU
finishes 5-7 or 4-8, it doesn’t really matter. The story of the 2013 Northwestern football season has already been written. “Good riddance” might as well be your theme. Because Northwestern is not going to a bowl for the first time since 2007. They will not be bowl eligible for the first time since 2006, Fitz’s first year on the job.
The end of the bowl game streak signifies that this losing streak hasn’t just been comprised of season defining losses, but also program defining losses. This week's Chicago Now Northwestern football piece is indeed just as uplifting as last week's piece.
And by that I mean it's as uplifting as the plot to Les Miserables...
The preseason media hype for Northwestern
was tremendous. And it kept growing well into this month.
Just 14 days ago, the local and national football media pundits were buying Northwestern stock in bunches. They weren’t just buying, it was "back up the truck and let's get this bandwagon filled."
Yet today it looks like a lost season for Northwestern.
Two weeks ago, Northwestern was #16 in the nation and undefeated. Today, they’re 4-3 overall, 0-3 in the Big Ten
and likely to be underdogs in four of their last five games. On October 5th, Northwestern led unbeaten Ohio State
, who currently possess the nation’s longest winning streak, by ten points with just a few minutes remaining. And 7.4 million people were watching that game on television.
Back then, in that far away time and space, Northwestern bowl hopes were New Year’s Day at minimum with very realistic BCS potential. Chris Dufresne of the Los Angeles Times had the Wildcats going to the Orange Bowl in the preseason. The Big Ten
Network’s website had the purple in Pasadena, even AFTER the loss to the Buckeyes
The buzz surrounding Northwestern
football was certainly quieted today with a 35-6 loss
to the Wisconsin Badgers
. The hype machine surrounding NU
hit climax last week with ESPN
College Gameday coming to Evanston, and then the ABC primetime showdown with Ohio State
. That contest of much ballyhoo ended in a “missed it by that much” and emotional drain of a loss.
Today’s defeat, by contrast, was an utter destruction from the very beginning.
It sort of reminds me of a pivotal scene in the 2000 Roland Emerich film “The Patriot.” In the Revolutionary War movie, Tom Wilkinson plays famous British General Lord Charles Cornwallis. After achieving an advantage, the Officer subordinate to Cornwallis tells him:
“But my Lord, you’ve taken the field!”
“And now we shall take their spirits! Send the entire battalion over the hill and CRUSH THEM!”
“It ends today!”
Cornwallis/Wilkinson says with prodigious bombast, instructing his Commander to make an extremely aggressive maneuver to finish off the American rebellion. (Spoiler alert: it doesn’t work. Not in the film’s fictional representation of the Battle of Cowpens nor in your grade school history book)
Today was for Northwestern football, that crush.
Wisconsin's defense destroyed them with a force of an entire battalion. Following up a significant setback. Last weekend was a bad loss. What happened in Madison today hurts much more.
And yes, something did “end today.” All that extra media hype and additional buzz surrounding Northwestern football...
alumnus Mike Greenberg (BSJ ’89) was the honorary captain Saturday
for the Wildcats home opener versus Syracuse. Greeny, the co-host of the nationally syndicated ESPN
radio show “Mike And Mike in the Morning” and host of SportsCenter was at Ryan Field when the Cats beat the Cuse 48-27.
Greeny and his partner Mike Golic, The Herd with Colin Cowherd and SVP & Russillo will hit the road for hyped up college football and NFL
games this year. They’ll be in Evanston on Friday, Oct. 4, in advance of Saturday’s match-up with “Greeny’s” alma mater vs. the Ohio State Buckeyes
He was gracious enough to grant me an exclusive interview today by phone...
alumnus Mike Greenberg (BSJ ’89) will be the honorary captain Saturday for the Wildcats home opener versus Syracuse. The co-host of the nationally syndicated ESPN
radio show “Mike And Mike in the Morning” and host of SportsCenter will be at Ryan Field when the Cats take on the Cuse
at 5pm (Big Ten
Network will televise)
Last year, a picture of Greenberg’s head appeared on a play card held up on the sidelines during Northwestern’s visit to Minnesota.
“They put my face on a play- and held it up for a play card,” Mike Greenberg said...
Chicago is the most insane sports city in the world. And it’s a crazy football town. NFL
only though. This is a Bears
town first and foremost. Even the Bulls
take a backseat to them. However, in college football
, it's not as passionate. Who is the college football team of Chicago?
Well, you can answer that question with three different answers and they’d all be right. You could say
a.) Notre Dame
maybe, sort of.
c.) a combination of four teams.
Obviously, geography has a lot to do with it. There just isn’t a team here within the city limits; you have to drive to reach all of the four candidates. So let’s examine the strengths and weaknesses for each of the four options who you could consider to be Chicago’s college football team.
I ranked them by mileage and driving time from City Front Plaza on Michigan
That’s where all the big media corporations in this city are headquartered, so we’ll use that as “point A.”...
“We have nothing to hide. We have a great group of young men that practice the right way and love improving fundamentally,” Northwestern
Head Coach Pat Fitzgerald
told the media at Big Ten
That's in reference to the fact that he keeps his practices open to the media, one of the very few programs in college football
that maintains this policy. Fitzgerald was very glib and entertaining today when discussing his relationship with reporters too.
Not only is Northwestern accessible to the media; Pat Fitzgerald said his program is open to playing anybody in college football, anywhere.
“Our schedule, there’s no question we’re not afraid to play anyone,” Fitz said.
“We went into the season last year playing three BCS teams in the nonconference and had great success.”
"Great success" as Borat would say.
So why keep practices open to reporters when other schools are paranoid about secrecy...