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The Bachelorette Season Premiere recap: Northwestern edition

Northwestern grad Anthony Battle advanced to the next round, thankfully.

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It was like Shakespeare, only dumber.

This was my first time watching The Bachelorette or any “Bachelor” show. I was riveted. In three millennia of human creativity, there have been few greater displays of the male ego than this two-hour television experience. 31 men tried to impress Rachel Lindsay. In the end, perhaps only Rachel left anybody impressed.

A grown man cried because he failed to make an impression on a woman he met in one afternoon (thanks to Rodger Sherman for posting the clip on The Ringer).

There were creepy puppets, lawyers, more lawyers, and elementary school. In regular sports, you have to wait an entire season for something to cause tears. In regular sports, the lawyers are hiding in the bushes. Not so in the Bachelorette. It’s the Merry Wives of Windsor on crack.

(Anthony has a BA in English! It’s okay to make these references, I swear...)

Northwestern-centric analysis

Anyway, we’re only watching this because former Northwestern defensive lineman Anthony Battle was on the show. After reading his bio, we expected Anthony to be a totally normal guy. Anthony played his part to perfection. He did not shout WHABOOM! frequently while vigorously shaking his face like Lucas. He did not bring a creepy marionette of himself like Adam. He was just normal.

Anthony walked out of the limo in a beige suit with a blue tie. I’d have to give his suit a strong 8/10. Not many guys can pull off the beige, but it worked for Anthony. To be honest, there wasn’t much for Anthony to do in this episode. He was perfectly content to let wackos like Adam, Lucas and Penguin Man Matt do their thing. He allowed the ambitious climbers like Josiah and DeMario to shoot their shot. We didn’t even get to see Anthony’s second conversation with Rachel Lindsay, the 31-year-old bachelorette. Whatever he said, it worked, because he’s into the next round and eight other contestants were given the boot.

Unfortunately, being “normal” is not going to be enough on The Bachelorette for long. You have to be...something. Even though Anthony knows five languages (English, French, Indonesian, Latin, and Spanish), he refrained from using his vast knowledge. But Bryan, the 37-year-old winner of the “first impression rose”, led off with some Spanish tomfoolery, and went in for the kiss immediately afterwards. That was bold, and it worked.

Anthony just didn’t make much of an impression on anyone in Episode 1. He was sitting around in the “cool guys’ room” with Bryan just before the first impression reveal, but he didn’t do anything else. He lurked around the room, chatted with some people, but generally kept to himself. Rachel liked his “calm, cool and collected” style (hey, that reminds me of another former Northwestern football player) enough to let him into the next round, but I don’t know if that’s sustainable.

Wait, am I implying that a mild but important Northwestern football success might not be sustainable in the future? I CANNOT ESCAPE THE NARRATIVE!

For what it’s worth, Anthony did appear somewhat frequently on the “this season on...” preview at the end of the episode. Go ‘Cats!

Disaster for Albany basketball

In a terrible day for fans of mid-major basketball, Mike Black, a former captain on the University of Albany’s men’s basketball team, was eliminated in round 1. This was a devastating blow for Mid-Major Madness and for Great Danes across the country.

This is what happens when you let the power conference schools own everything. Diggy, an Illinois grad, got in over Mike Black. This is a clear sign of the rapidly approaching stratification of college sports. If schools like Albany can’t get a fair shot in The Bachelorette, then why do we even bother? I blame the NCAA for this. We need to make sure our young men get a shot at what they deserve. HE COULDN’T EVEN BEAT PENGUIN MAN AND WHABOOM DUDE!

Lucas, Blake and Frank Grimes

The other “star” of the show was Lucas, who went around acting like an idiot for two hours. He trolled everyone, and then he made it into the next round. There were eight people who lost to Lucas, the crazy “WHABOOM” shouter who wore his own marketing apparel and demanded attention. Lucas will not win the Bachelorette. He is, as fellow contestant Blake E. noted, probably only there for the exposure. It was annoying as hell and occasionally funny, like most trolls.

However, we should talk about Blake E. as well. In life, there are brazenly stupid and inane things, and then there are inane things that lie beneath the surface. Blake E. is lying underneath the surface, a man who strides through life like a colossus, only to never realize that he’s also a complete ass. Blake, an “aspiring drummer,” walked up with an entire marching band in tow. He said he needed to make a bigger impression.

Blake is essentially Frank Grimes from “Homer’s Enemy”, a very good episode of The Simpsons.

Frank is a hard-working guy, but he takes everything way too seriously and gets angry at Homer Simpson for doing no work and being Homer Simpson. In the end, this self-righteous anger consumes and destroys him. Now, I’m not saying Lucas is Homer Simpson. Lucas is a straight-up idiot, not a lovable idiot. However, by being Frank Grimes, Blake E. is going to quickly run out of options.

Both Blake E. and Lucas got a pass into the second round. However, I’m pretty sure America and Rachel don’t want either of them around for long.

Fred!

Honestly, if the bachelorette in question was your camp counselor in elementary school, why would you bring it up in your first meeting? Why would you bring a yearbook and show where you found her? Why wouldn’t you just let that come up organically?

Fred’s answer: “yes.”

How did he not get eliminated?

A note on alcohol culture in The Bachelorette

There were so many trashed men on screen that I lost count. I’m pretty sure our guy, Anthony, was the least drunk person there. A big shoutout to my mans Mohit, who got completely wasted and then shouted “NOOOOO” while Rachel was making out with Bryan. I’m no expert, but you should try to have one drink, talk to the object of your desires, then do whatever you want. Not the other way around.

At the same time, though...

Fantasy League Update:

I’m still fighting and figuring out the website, but whomever got Bryan obviously won the night. Make sure to set up your redrafts and autodrafts for the next episode.

We’ll reconvene next week.