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Where I Come From: The Outback Bowl and other Memorable Moments

This post is sponsored by EA Sports NCAA Football 2011.

I'll quote from yesterday's post:  "I done said it a million times: I'm a young'un." Today I was asked to write about memorable moments in my time as a Northwestern fan. Short memory FTW!

Honorable mentions: Indiana, 2009 (26 point comeback), Iowa, 2009 (victory over undefeated Iowa) Illinois, 2009 (road-trip to Champaign) Alamo Bowl, 2008, and Ohio, 2008 (my first game at Ryan Field)

3. Minnesota, 2008

I only wanted to put things I attended, but, this game was too good to pass up.

11 AM on a Saturday in the fall is an interesting thing to experience in a dorm. Every guy on the floor is watching the game, but all but three of them don't have the coordination, stamina, or will to leave their room. So it's basically three hours of people interacting through loud, incoherent shouts whenever something happened. I woke up at about 11:05, my roommate was gone, and I somehow gathered together enough skill to put the game onto my computer, and for three hours, got to see Mike Kafka redefine the quarterback position and Brendan Smith make me blow out my small intestine yelling at the screen. 

2. Storming the field against Illinois, 2008

I wasn't aware people stormed fields at Northwestern. This wasn't a particularly great game - we had it in the bag the whole time - but I just remember the high-caliber sense of excitement the whole time. I sat in about four different sections of the student section during the game, mainly because we wanted to get away from this very drunk Illini fan who jingled an enormous set of keys on our heads to mock the key-jingling on kickoffs thing we do. We slowly creeped down towards the field, and then, when the whistle blew.... bang. No time to think, just react. Being on the field, high-fiving random players and singing the fight song with them, pretty much made my freshman year football season. I distinctly remember complimenting Brendan Smith on his return and yelling "YEAH LONG SNAPPER" at whoever it was who our long snapper was at the time. Good times were had by all. 

1. Outback Bowl, 2010. 

I've often wondered what it was like to be in a stadium section with 500 people whose minds are all imploding at the same time. 

The things that happened to Northwestern's football team are indescribable. I know. A few weeks ago, I had to write something at the Daily for their year-end issue about the game, and my mind started to implode again. So many crazy, improbable, horrible things happened. I remember turning to my friend from high school after Auburn had fumbled the ball for the second straight possession in the last two minutes to give NU a chance to win the game after once again falling down two touchdowns and coming back, and everybody was cheering and screaming, and diabolically laughing, and all I could say was "WHAT IS GOING ON" in the type of voice that girls in movies who just saw their boyfriend get eaten by a giant monster use, and all he could say was "I HAVE NO IDEA". Nothing made sense. Pigs flew. I saw an Auburn fan with a Star of David tattoo on his neck. The world spun backwards.

When all was said and done, the people I had come with were mentally and physically exhausted. We'd been standing on our feet since 10 AM, for about five hours.  Our throats hurt from four hours of yelling, our brains hurt from seeing the weirdest football game ever. Rational people would have left the stadium and waited for a cab. We decided to stay in the stadium for 25-plus minutes, then walk the seven miles through the crappiest nether-regions of Tampa to our hotel, culminating in a Cici's Pizzeria. We walked through blocks and blocks without houses or people.  We saw stray roosters. We walked along a barbed wire fence separating us from the Tampa International Airport.

I lost the ability to think during that walk. We may have lost the game, but I'll forever remember that day of highs, lows, and the lows lower than those lowest lows, and Cici's Pizza.


Now tell me your stories be they memory-related or Cici's Pizza related. Anybody out there make it to the '95 Rose Bowl? Did they have Cici's?