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If the St. Louis Cardinals can hack the Houston Astros, imagine what Northwestern could do with Illinois, Tim Beckman, Tom Crean and Jim Harbaugh...

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

So there’s this thing called the internet, right?

It’s super confusing, but basically, it’s a series of tubes. You send information through these tubes and eventually, if you put the right things in the right tubes, you can get electronic mail, talk to people 140 characters at a time, or watch porn. Whatever floats your boat.

But sometimes, people take things out of the tubes before they’re supposed to by, I guess, pressing buttons in the right order. This is called "hacking." Which is "illegal." Which is crap.

Hacking goes on basically all the time by basically everyone. The United States does it. China’s been in the news for doing it recently. I did it this one time when I changed my friend’s Facebook status when he forgot to log off. It was hilarious.

It is in that spirit that I would like to give a big tip of the hat to the St. Louis Cardinals. In the spirit of finding that next level of competitive edge, the Cardinals organization, allegedly, hacked the series of tubes belonging to the Houston Astros, getting information on their scouting reports, private discussions about players, and probably the number combination to get into the janitor’s closet.

I say 'right on, St. Louis.' In hacking the Houston Astros, the Cardinals have exposed to the world that hacking is no longer limited to political or trade secrets. Sports are the next frontier for this business, and it’s time for Northwestern to start leading the charge.

Yes, I am formally requesting that Jim Phillips create the first ever Associate Athletic Director of Cyberwarfare to oversee a new era of athletic espionage.

Imagine the possibilities! NU could figure out which 8-year old Urban Meyer is offering. Pat Fitzgerald could get an inside report on every freakishly tall and wide Wisconsin farm boy. We could figure out just what made Caleb Swanigan de-commit from Michigan State.

Perhaps most importantly though, Northwestern could do the entire world a favor and figure out Jim Harbaugh’s workout routine that got him this body:

And oh yeah... Illinois. I don’t even know where to begin with what Northwestern could do with Illinois' information. Maybe there’s a long email thread somewhere of Tim Beckman whining to some reporter because he ran a story about how much Illinois sucks. Maybe there’s information that could enlighten the world as to how Tim Beckman still has a job. I’d love to see Illinois’ plans to up its attendance from "holy crap there are literally a couple of people here" to "hey this isn’t super embarrassing."

And don't worry! We haven't forgotten our buddy over in the Hoosier state! Northwestern could figure out what exactly the hell is wrong with Tom Crean. Or at least his pant size, which would be a kind of goodwill operation.

The point is, If the Houston Astros have valuable information, imagine what’s lurking around the Big Ten. It's just waiting to be liberated.

Northwestern is well equipped to lead this 21st century iteration of advanced scouting. We have McCormick, and I’m pretty sure there’s a computer science major that some people do. It’s time to weaponize Northwestern students. An army of willing and ready soldiers awaits in some corner of Tech the rest of the world has forgotten about.

Jim Phillips, you have the opportunity to turn them loose on the rest of the Big Ten. Don’t let the world of athletics pass you by.