Well, the first thing I missed was a post yesterday - I'm still getting back into the swing of things, which has been especially fun because the Carribean Sea was nice enough to give me a souvenir of Cuba by turning my functional cell phone into a non-functional one. Expect two posts today or tomorrow.
The other thing I missed is that in my masturbatory post about how I'm back, I completely forgot to do what I had originally intended to do as the main point of the post: thank Loretta for what he's done over the past few months. At first, I felt really uneasy about letting go of the site: basketball is my favorite sport, and my blogging style is nothing if not self-conscious. But the man whose posting handle looks like a woman's name exceeded any and all expectations I had for whatever was going to go down on my site, and turned it into a basketball blog I'd read daily even if it wasn't my own. Great work, no lie, so, thanks for everything. I look forward to whatever it is you feel like doing on this site in the future.
(I wouldn't be surprised if one of those women is named Loretta.)
So, I'm just going to give you my random analyses of the sweet football related stuff that SFTF has dug up over last week - their rumors that Iowa is going to play us at Wrigley Field next year instead of Illinois, and that NU is looking into new unis next year. I trust those guys on things like this - they're good journalists, us Medill folks gotta roll together - so I'm going to go along with it.
So, first. November 13, Wrigley Field, vs. the Iowa Hawkeyes. I think this would be a terrible idea: it's become clear over the past few seasons that the place we have the best chance of beating the Iowa Hawkeyes is, in fact, Kinnick Stadium, or as I like to call it, Just Northwestern Stadium. Because we own it. Playing a game anywhere else - whether that be Ryan Field, Wrigley Field, or Long Field, would be a terrible idea, so I suggest we petition the Big Ten to move our game to Iowa City this year.
But seriously: in my opinion, any game at Wrigley is a great idea. Not because I think this is The Thing That Will Finally Get Chicago to Notice Us and Boost Attendance - every football or basketball home game makes me less and less convinced that such a thing will ever happen, outside of a Rose Bowl followed by 15 years of relatively successful football. (OH CRAP THAT ALREADY HAPPENED.) Playing at Wrigley Field won't be that panacea y'all are all looking for - people will be like "awesome! football at Wrigley!", go to the game, passively cheer for Northwestern if they're from Chicago, most likely we'll be outnumbered by fans of X Big Ten team we play, and then they'll move on with the rest of their lives.
Quite frankly, I just think it would be kind of awesome. I don't have a better reason. Whoever we play at Wrigley in the Big Ten will most likely bring fans that outnumber our fans. Whoever we play, a game in a baseball stadium is not going to be the savior of Northwestern sports. But it'll be pretty sweet, memorable, and it won't be against Illinois, which would practically be an Illinois home game. Iowa presents an interesting opponent, with the mini-rivalry we've got going with them, although the fact that they have more alums than us in the Chi-town area makes this game a little bit less enticing. But hey, go for it. I'd be surprised if it went through - it seemed like our pals from Champaign were the ones pushing for a game at Wrigley as much as us - but as noted, I trust them journalistic mofos from SFTF, so we'll see.
As for the new unis: I'm a religious reader of Uni Watch, so you can be sure I'm intrigued. I'm not completely surprised that the athletic department would be considering changes: first off, you have to consider that by HTP's count, Northwestern's unis have been tweaked in some way - primarily uni number font shifts, but, still - five times since the year 2000, and NU's basketball team has seen uni tweaks in two of the last three years - minor ones, but noticable when you look at pictures from each year. This isn't because Jim Phillips spends hours a day obsessing over pants piping and whether our fonts should have serifs, it's because like pretty much every D-I program, we're sponsored by a shoe company - Adidas - and they pay to make sure that their teams are showing their latest uniform styles.
Sadly, this corporate sponsorship is sort of what leads to college sports' crippling addiction to generic uniforms. Go back through HTP's archives - as recently as 1996, we had uniforms that you could look at and say - ahhh, Northwestern.
Today's uniforms are just the brainchild of some fella over at three-stripe headquarters. Hey, you know those shoulder harness looking things USC has? Adidas will help slap one of those on whatever college football team they feel like. Remember a few years back when Nike came out with its System of Dress college basketball unis, for like three or four schools? Now, if you're a NIke school, and you don't already have a superdistinctive uni on your own, you're wearing that. They do what moves products.
Take a look out our current football uniform. Anything distinctively Northwestern about it? It's purple. That's it.
The NU uni seen on Spread Far the Fame is a step in the opposite direction. Yes, it's the type of thing that could be made with the uni builder on Adidas' website, but, still, it's NU's uniform. It has Northwestern sleeve striping, something that started out here, and now is restricted to other schools sleeves and baseball socks, but is nowhere to be seen on our own apparel, while our uni looks more and more like something someone at any other school could wear. I'd much, much prefer that jersey to what we have now, so, go for it.