Posted by Irregaahhdless
When you’re a Northwestern fan who has sat through countless miserable seasons and your team goes to the 11th hour of a bowl game (seriously, I think the game actually took 11 hours) before losing, there’s little to complain about. Of course, when you start a blog post by saying “there’s little to complain about,” it all but guarantees that you’ll start complaining about losing your bowl game. So, let’s get that out of the way right now.
No, wait. Fuck!
And, yeah: FUCK!
That the Wildcats played a miserable game in a lot of ways today and nearly wound up winning is a testament to the program and how far it’s come. It’s also a reason why, when people make comments that allude to a nice season for NU as if it’s some kind of aberration, that I want to punch them in the dick. We’re a decent team (maybe even a little better than decent) now. So, you know what: F you.
But, yeah, I’m pissed. I usually wake up on New Year’s Day, invite some folks over and aimlessly watch football for 7 to 14 hours. But not this year. This year was different. The Cats were actually playing — fucking PLAYING — today. There was a whole brunch thing. This meant something.
The French toast was awesome. And then the boys came out and sucked. Terribly. Five interceptions, including two in the end zone — one of which was returned for a touchdown. A QB who had thrown seven INTs all year did his best to match that total in the first half alone. There was a lot of swearing at halftime, much of it with small children in the room. Whatever.
The second half was, well, one of those things that you say was indescribable right before you try to describe it. A 14-point comeback to even the score at 21. Completely losing that momentum. A second 14-point comeback — this time one of those Christ-on-a-bike-what-the-F-is-happening-here ones that included three fourth-down conversions, a missed PAT and, honestly, a two-point conversion that had even the 2006-07 Boise State Broncos saying, “That was pretty good.” Ludicrous coaching decisions (an onside kick with three minutes to go, Fitz, really?). A missed FG to end regulation. A missed holding call that led to an Auburn field goal in OT. A ridiculous NU possession in overtime that, I swear, featured:
a. a game-ending “fumble” that was correctly overturned
b. a missed game-tying field goal
c. a roughing-the-kicker penalty that kept the NU drive alive — and knocked NU’s kicker out of the game
d. a fake game-tying field goal that came up two yards short — and one block on the edge — of the game-winning score
There are countless things (and, yes, all the folks who gathered at my house for the Rose Bowl later today know that I can list them all; sorry for the Jaworski-like breakdown of the final plays during commercial breaks, fellas) to second guess in a game like this. And, despite all the folks who remember Pat Fitzgerald only as a hero of the 1995 turnaround of the program (which he was) while ignoring his shortcomings as a gameday coach (which he has), it’s clear to see that this is a team that’s headed in the right direction. There will be far more winning seasons than losing ones in years to come. There’s a coach who will continue (I hope) to figure it out. And, while he’s doing so, he’ll stand up and shoulder the blame for losses like today’s. I’d rather be in Evanston than Lubbock these days — and that’s saying something.
So, to all of the boys at NU (but especially you, Drake Dunsmore; that TD catch/run was F-ing awesome and had the whole living room screaming to the point that my buddy Justin’s son started crying from all the noise), a tip of the cap. The 2010 Outback Bowl was awesome, terrible, fantastic, horrific, sloppy, exhilarating, countless-text-generating and altogether exhausting. I need nine months off from this. But I really wish the Cats had a game next week.
See you guys in September. Can’t wait.