Northwestern's students stormed the field after beating No. 17 Wisconsin, and of course, that received a lot of laughs from people around the country and even within the fan base. Beating Wisconsin this year is not a field rushing caliber accomplishment, and it sets NU fans up for the "act like you've been there before" jokes.
I generally hold the belief that you should rush the field when you can, because rushing the field is fun and who really cares if college students want to have fun — even if it's not a huge win. But yesterday, even I got my "lol" in at the field rush.
Lol stormin the field. pic.twitter.com/cMRjq3Ep0Q— InsideNU (@insidenu) October 4, 2014
As "embarrassing" as it might have been, rushing the field against Wisconsin was absolutely a good thing for Northwestern football. It's something that can bring students back to games. While the student attendance was somewhat decent for a rainy day, it wasn't nearly what it should be for a game of this caliber. Northwestern students are a wishy-washy group of fans. They've proven they'll show up when there's something big on the line — roughly two-thirds of the student body was at the Ohio State game last year — but they're also quicker to give up on their team than fans at other schools.
Part of the reason for the low attendance is low enrollment. Part of it is that these students are coming from all over the world with no prior attachment to Northwestern. And part of it is that the gameday experience just isn't that great. The stadium atmosphere isn't what it is anywhere else in the Big Ten, and the administration has been hesitant to let potentially great ideas like Fitzerland — the student tailgating area — actually be fun enough to attract students.
But on this cold, rainy day, I saw more Facebook statuses of students bragging about the game than I've seen since Ohio State last season. The biggest topic among them? Students being so excited about getting to rush the field. That opportunity hasn't happened much here, and it's one that gave the student body even more of an attachment to Northwestern football.
# of days since these wins had last occurred at home: Power 5: 393 (2013 Cuse) B1G: 608 (2012 Illinois) Ranked opponent: 1453 (2010 Iowa)— Jon Davis (@NUHighlights) October 5, 2014
So was rushing the field after beating No. 17 Wisconsin kind of lame? Sure. Was it the greatest field rush of all time? Not even close. But you know what, it allowed students at the game to have a lot of fun. That's what's missing at NU football games, and maybe it means that section will be a little bit more filled when Nebraska comes to town for a potentially monster game on October 18.
Hell, you can rush the field for that one too, Northwestern students — as long as it means you keep coming back and bring some more of your friends.