It's a familiar feeling this, writing about some embarrassing and extremely Northwestern ass bullshit. Like slipping into a tepid bath. Let it wash over you. Sink into it until the water comes up to your nose.
The Northwestern Wildcats played Akron in football today. They also played them last week, and they played them last year, and they'll play the Akron Zips a few more times this season. The details of this game were familiar and unimportant because we will see them again as we have seen them before. It's all so tiresome.
There is blame aplenty, and I can show you statistics and posts and articles and think pieces and plaintive pleas and desperate shrieks from the past weeks or months or years that have ably laid out that blame before. The nameplates change, but the story stays the same, and Northwestern lost to Akron again.
The intricacies of the football game are no longer interesting. The Northwestern offensive line were manhandled by a MAC front seven, who cares. Northwestern had bad turnovers, whatever. The game management was abysmal, big whoop. We saw this when Northwestern lost to Akron in back-to-back weeks to begin their 2014 season.
This is what Tristan Jung wrote after a loss to Akron last year.
But what do we expect? Do we honestly expect championships at this point? Do we expect Big Ten contention? Every fan has different expectations. The coaches, the players, and the media all have expectations and solutions. It's not even worth repeating the mantras in analysis anymore. Fire the offensive coordinator! Give Fitz a break! Thorson needs to be better!
From 10,000 feet in the air, these reactions to this game are all window dressing. What unifies all fans, ultimately, is an expectation of entertainment and effort, at some level. We don't want to watch miserable football. No one ever wants to see Northwestern get blown out, even if the pain of a close loss can last for longer. Well, guess what: Northwestern imploded. After this demoralizing near-shutout loss, Northwestern's stagnancy doesn't even feel worth complaining about. Northwestern hasn't beaten a top five team in decades, at least according to the BTN pregame show. But why should I care? Five of the seven Northwestern drives today in the second half ended in a three-and-out. It was unwatchable. I'm bored. Everybody here is bored. What you do next is up to you.
Nothing's changed since then except the window dressings, but the window dressings are what makes all of this so much to take.
Northwestern's been pumping their "best home football schedule in America" this year. Presumably, that was because of Michigan and Wisconsin and Notre Dame and Duke. It's very funny, then, when we are supposed to be excited about a top-ten team coming to town when the Akron Zips hang a 39 piece on a sleepy September evening.
Clayton Thorson was supposed to be great.
That post was from the Akron Zips game last week, a game in which Clayton Thorson did not score 21 points for the Akron Zips, something he did do in the Akron Zips game tonight.
Northwestern not only lost to the Akron Zips, but, hey, look at this extremely cool thing that they did as well.
Akron ($1.2 million) beats Northwestern— Steve Berkowitz (@ByBerkowitz) September 16, 2018
Troy ($1.15 million) beats Nebraska
North Texas ($1 million) beats Arkansas https://t.co/avJmG0094F
That's a lot of money that Northwestern spent to get its mouth placed on a Central Street curb and then get the back of its head stomped on repeatedly by the Akron Zips.
You may have missed the l i t e r a l l y h u n d r e d s of glowing profiles about Northwestern's new practice facilities. They're world class. They're Instagram friendly. They cost two-hundred and sixty million dollars to build. Northwestern practiced there this very week which ended in a loss to the Akron Zips.
Pat Fitzgerald is the most highly paid staff member at, according to the 10,000 tweets I have seen, a top ten research university in the nation. Pat Fitzgerald, by the way, lost at home to the Akron Zips today.
Northwestern, in summary, has a lot of money to spend on athletics and a program that is evidently uninterested in using that money in anything other than getting ran over by the rumbling freight train that is the Akron Zips. Northwestern likes talking about winning championships, and being a serious team that is serious about success, and also apparently likes losing to Akron. What they are not interested in is getting better, because if they were, Mick McCall would not be here, and Adam Cushing would not be here, and whoever the hell coaches the wide receivers would not be here, and maybe half of the defensive staff gets put in review because they gave up 170 yards of passing in one quarter to the Akron Zips before losing to the Akron Zips.
If Northwestern is going to do everything that Northwestern does now, which includes but is not limited to treating basketball players like bullshit and getting sued and sinking a truly unholy amount of money into pretty buildings, there should be an expectation that Northwestern is good at sports and doesn't, instead, lose to the Akron Zips. When those expectations aren't met, things should happen to rectify that. That's what teams who spend five-hundred million United States Dollars on buildings and mistreat their players in an effort to win tend to do, anyway.
Things will not happen to rectify that, as you well know by now.
Northwestern will look to get to 2-2 on the year when they take on the Akron Zips in two weeks.