Two weeks ago I jumped up in this piece to talk about how Northwestern was a team with two losses in games they were favored by a touchdown or more and a win in a game they were underdogs by a touchdown or more; how each week of Northwestern football was an unknowable inkblot; how the worst thing a Northwestern fan could do is rationally predict anything.
Y'all heard the stuff about how NU won some games and did NOT LISTEN to that other stuff I said. What you should have done is meditated on a lotus petal about how neat it was that Northwestern won some cool games.
But no. I left you alone for a few days, and you were all talking about Northwestern as a potential favorite to win the Big Ten West. Chattering about how Northwestern's offense is improved, and how NU should beat Minnesota, and the like. Sure enough, Northwestern lost to Minnesota.
Friends, this is a two-way street. Northwestern's ability to do literally anything is fun when Northwestern is the team that wins an unexpected game, but it is also not fun when Northwestern fails to accomplish things that should be in their grasp. This is how you go from a pitiful 1994 team to a Big Ten champion in 1995, this is how you go from 4-0 in 2013 to 5-7 in 2013. Life comes at Northwestern fast.
It's still possible for Northwestern to end up in Indianapolis. It's also still possible for them to end up with just one or two more wins the rest of the way. Northwestern can alternately dominant and pathetic. Northwestern is a random number generator.
To enjoy Northwestern fandom, you must know full well that you are at the mercy of that random number generator. You cannot get your hopes up for good things. Getting your hopes up does not merely lead to the possibility that they get smashed. Getting your hopes up sends a push notification to the minor god in charge of screwing with sports fans, who then begins arranging things for Northwestern's season to be particularly painful. Getting your hopes up actively causes bad things for yourself and fellow Northwestern fans.
So I need you to not do this. I need you to repeat after me:
I, (state your full name,) am a Northwestern Wildcats fan. I vow to live my life free of expectations for this team. I will not allow myself to be swayed by how good or bad they appear to be. I shall treat each game like a new, beautiful flower. I will embrace the beauty of each win, and lament the sorrow of each loss. But I will not allow those feelings to affect my mental state with regards to other games.
The road to our sanity begins with the acknowledgment of Northwestern's complete insanity.
Here is to the rest of Northwestern's season, from which we expect nothing. Expecting nothing is the only way something good could possibly happen.