There's been a lot of hubbub in the tiny NU blogosphere about sprucing up NU's historical records for a bit. Before I get into the thick of this post, I'd like to commend the guys gettin dirty doing the research: the guys from HailToPurple are obviously amazing with their historical knowledge and actually got Northwestern athletics to acknowledge that the football team won ten games in 1903 as opposed to the nine previously believed, and Ryan from Welsh-Ryan Ramblings has been bloggin up a storm about how NU was voted the 1931 national basketball champions in 1931 by the Helms foundation, which many schools consider the equivalent the same as a national championship from the tourney era, but which NU does not acknowledge.
So, how to feel about this? Well, on the one hand, you always gotta respect your elders, and although I doubt any of the members of either squad are still with us (and if you are... well, I'm impressed you lived long enough to see yourself assumed dead on the internet), you still have to acknowledge their achievements in their memory.
But on the other hand, I think there's a lot to be said about being true to what we are. And historically, winning is not what we are. If you're a Northwestern fan, you have to embrace our history of losing, sucking, and generally being terrible. It makes the fact that we're decent today so much better.
There's a reason every hip-hop fan I know knows all the lyrics to Juicy. Rags-to-riches stories, to be honest, are cooler than just being good all the time.
And as a Yankees fan, and not a douche (we exist!) I have to put up with my fellow Yankee fans. When we win, they expect it, because they think the Yankees should always win. And when we lose, there's the whole "HEY, YOU, HOW MANY RINGS DOES YOUR TEAM HAVE? 26? OH, WAIT, WE HAVE 26, HAHAHAHA, GO BACK TO TORONTO, PUNK" spiel. The Yankees' historical success completely dilutes any enjoyment of the current team that many Yankees fans have.
Meanwhile, at NU, we have the opposite dilemma. Our teams have been historically the bottom of the barrel. And now? Now, we know how to savor every win, because there were times when we didn't have any. So, yeah, maybe your team did win 7 times in a row against us, or whatever. Maybe you do have a 135-25 record against us. But today? You're probably going to lose. And when you look back at all those historical successes you had against us, you know what? It's going to sting. (Trust me: I'm a Yankees fan. The whole "Red Sox being good now" thing STINGS.)
So when we do win ten games in a season, or when we do qualify for a NCAA Tourney, I'd rather not hear about our 1931 national championship or our 10 wins in 1903. There's a first time for everything, and I'd like to be around for NU's first, rather than hear about how it happened way back in aught six.