Last season, the player sporting Northwestern’s No. 1 uniform was the impassioned focal point of an indelible post-game image. The events that took place before Bo Cisek’s eternally awesome photograph included a 50-14 rout of state rival Illinois, in which Cisek attempted – not once, but twice, with a fumble on the second try – to score a touchdown. Unsuccessful though he was, his light saber-wielding glory after the game was a special moment – something no Northwestern fan present at last season’s Land of Lincoln thrashing (or watching on TV, for that matter) will ever forget.
This year’s No. 1 will need to come up with something brilliant to one-up Cisek’s photogenic genius. The numerical honor, selected annually by coach Pat Fitzgerald dating back to 2011, has been passed down to junior running back Tim Hanrahan. Northwestern's athletic department dropped a release Sunday formalizing the news:
"No. 1 in college football is usually worn by a player with a lot of flash and attention," Fitzgerald said. "But at Northwestern we use it to recognize a young man who embodies the best of the values we look for in a Wildcat, which means being a dedicated teammate, student and member of our community. The No. 1 jersey in our program represents a way of life, and Tim has demonstrated that quality of character throughout his Northwestern career. "
The qualifications for receiving No. 1 are clearly explained by Fitzgerald and, disappointingly, have nothing to do with plastic toys from iconic Sci-Fi franchises. Hanrahan isn’t expected to get many carries in 2013, although he has developed into one of Northwestern’s most consistent special teams players.
Here’s to hoping he goes above and beyond mere football-related contributions this season. What kind of Sci-Fi novelty could we see next? A Lord of the Rings sword? A Harry Potter Wand? Star Trek-style eyebrows? Be creative Tim; we’ll be watching.