From time to time, there are non-Northwestern sporting events. But some of the truer NU heads - you know, the ones who wouldn't shut up about how we beat MSU while watching the championship game with friends... until halftime, at which point they started talking about how we beat FSU, who beat UNC, making us transitive property national champions once removed, the ones who made Youtube highlight reels of Super Bowl 42, except the only play featured is Barry Cofield's one unassisted tackle* - might have trouble sitting through non-Wildcat sports related events.
Well, that's what I'm here for. I'll be guiding you through seminal sporting events and providing them with a purple tint. Today, NFL training camps.
* - these fans do not actually exist
However, as a Northwestern fan, you've gotta take notice. We've got 14 guys on NFL rosters, which, compared to every school in the country, isn't half-bad. Compared to other Big Ten schools, it makes us... wait for it... tenth in the conference, ahead of Indiana. (Who didn't see that coming?) Of those 14, I'd say about nine or ten are locks to make their respective rosters, which is a pretty good ratio. John Gill and Tyrell Sutton seem to have pretty good chances of sticking, and, well, if I was Marquice Cole, Eric Peterman, or Noah Herron, I'd try not to get too attached to any of my new teammates. (As a Jets fan, I'm pullin for ya, Marquice.)
So, just like I did with the NBA draft, I'm here to provide a guide to watching your favorite team's NFL training camp, but with a purple tint. And no, I've never actually been to one (unless you consider the Wildcats open-to-media spring practices an NFL training camp) but as an NU blogger, this is how I would approach attending one of these things.
- First off, you're going to want to go to the training camp facility of the team of your choosing. Sadly, only 12 teams have NU grads on their training camp rosters. If you're not a fan of one of these 12 teams, either a) pick a new favorite or b) sit outside your local GM's office both night and day with a sign making it clear that you won't eat or drink until he signs CJ Bachér.
- Good. Now you're a fan of a team with an NU alum on the training camp field. For the NBA draft, I advised you buy a jersey of all 30 teams with Craig Moore's name and number on the back, just to be safe, but for this, it's easier: you only need one jersey, and you already know the name and number, unless you're a Bears fan, in which case you need to go buy three jerseys and bring two friends with you to training camp. Unfortunately, friends are not sold at the Bears team store, so you'll have to bring your own.
- As previously noted, some of our ex-Wildcats don't have great chances of making their rosters. If you're unlucky enough to go to practice on the day your Wildcat gets cut, make sure to console them. Then, go to the office of the highest ranking team official you can find, rip your jersey off - preferably Hulk-style, but any violent removing of the jersey should do - and throw it at the ground, stare the guy in the face, and say "I THOUGHT I KNEW YOU". Pause for dramatic effect, and as you're leaving, spit at his feet before turning your back on him.
- Make sure the recently cut player hasn't spent all his per diem already, because you'll need him for bail money.
- In all his years playing football, nobody has ever started an Ike Ndukwe-specific chant. And although he doesn't let on, especially with his hulking physical demeanor, sometimes, it hurts, to see all the legions of fans showing up, but never even bothering once to cheer his name. "Always the bridesmaid," he sometimes mutters under his breath as he leaves the huddle, and sullenly decides that deep inside, he really doesn't want to block for Chad Pennington if nobody's ever going to even remember who he is. What I'm saying is, be the first.
- If you're at Bears training camp, and Brett Basanez completes a pass to Eric Peterman, who then gets tackled by Nick Roach, you're morally obligated to make out with the closest person to you, regardless of gender or any other mitigating factor. They'll understand.
- If you see John Gill or Tyrell Sutton, ask them how they did in Geography last quarter. As someone who was in that class, I genuinely want to know what grades someone can get if they're under contract with a professional football team.
- Also, try to recreate this photo I found google image searching "noah herron" with Tyrell Sutton, since Tyrell is also #23 for the Packers: I imagine the difficult parts will be: a) finding a bike small enough to make the smaller Tyrell look that comically big and b) getting a Wisconsonian child to don a Brett Favre jersey.
- But most importantly, remember that you're not trying to out yourself as an NU-only fan. Engage some random guy in conversation about last season. Heckle a starting quarterback. Know everybody's uniform number. (No, #96 is not Amado Villarreal.)