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One Less Day Til Football Season, No. 70, Patrick Ward

That's totally not your job, Patrick.
That's totally not your job, Patrick.

I'm still off by a few days, but we're getting there!

No. 70, Patrick Ward, Offensive Lineman, Junior

Who he be: Patrick Ward was the jewel in Pat Fitzgerald's 2009 recruiting class and his first four-star recruit, turning down powerhouses like Notre Dame, Stanford, and Big Ten squads like Wisconsin, Illinois, and Iowa to come to Northwestern. He played as a true freshman and started every game at right tackle as a sophomore and junior. Despite his top billing, he hasn't been the cream of the conference's crop, but he's been more than a serviceable performer for Northwestern each and every year. In retrospect, it might've been nice to redshirt Ward that first year and have him this year and next rather than use him as a reserve in 2009, but that's well in the past now.

Great nutshots in Northwestern football history

No. 2: "Motherf*****" Hit My Penis". Culprit: Sideline referee. Victim: Minnesota linebacker Simoni Lawrence

Lawrence was trying to bring down Andrew Brewer along the sidelines and got "hit in a sensitive area" by the down-and-distance marker. I was at this game and remember a lengthy delay as the chain gang had to unwrap a brand new set of chains for no apparent reason in the middle of the game, I was sadly unaware that the incident was penis-related.

No. 1: "BOOSH!" Culprit: Illinois linebacker Jonathan Brown. Victim: Patrick Ward

I still say it's best in .GIF form: the emergence of the referee in almost the exact frame as the nutshot is truly magical.

When it's okay to dislike the brother of a Northwestern player: When they're a four-star recruit who chooses Iowa over Northwestern. C'mon, Ryan Ward, you should know better than that.

Pat Ward, secret Hawkeye sympathizer?: In addition to the brother thing, it should be noted that Pat Ward is the State Senator for Iowa's 30th District. Even more shocking, however, is Pat's gender:


Iowa State Senator Pat Ward

(plus woo! free use pictures from the Wikipedia)

Goodnight, sweet princess: The voice you heard commentating that Pat Ward nutshot video was none other than Pam Ward, who as Northwestern fans, and therefore constant viewers of the 11 a.m. ESPN2 offering on Saturday mornings, was a soothing voice in our lives. Sadly, she will no longer be announcing college football for ESPN, leaving us with only Pat Ward in the Pa- Ward department in our lives. While other college football fans slept or drank, we let Ward's dulcet tones sooth our blustery fall hangovers, her voice dripping with a mother's love and a father's sternness. Needless to say, she will be missed. Let's take a listen to Pam calling Northwestern's 2009 victory over Michigan, a sleety, boring affair that saw Northwestern beat a 3-7 Wolverines squad. Watch closely for some nice snags by former NU wide receiver and fellow Ward, Rasheed Ward.

Looking forward: After three seasons at right tackle with Al Netter holding the left side of the offense down, Patrick will shift over to the left side, where he figures to start the final year of his career. Ward hasn't been a game-changer at right tackle, but he's certainly shown coaches that he's deserved the playing time he's gotten. It would be nice to see him live up to his four-star ranking, earn some all-conference swag, and anchor the left side of Northwestern's line, keeping Kain Colter nice and safe. Colter will take enough hits as is, considering his mobile playing style, but it would be nice if as few as possible were blindsiders. That'll be up to Ward.