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ROUNDTABLE: What we’re thankful for this Thanksgiving

A happy Turkey Day to you and yours!

NCAA Football: Purdue at Northwestern Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports

Daniel Olinger: Inside NU and all of our faithful followers

Coming to this school now over two years ago, I had never written anything that was even close to official or publishable work. All I knew was that I loved sports (namely basketball and football) to no end, and that a couple of people told me I could write. Joining this website gave me the first chance to share all of my thoughts on the philosophy, strategy and execution of said sports and receive feedback from an audience that cared. Being apart of Inside NU has given me a lot, from the opportunity to cover my favorite team in the Philadelphia 76ers, to my current job as a scout at Sports Info Solutions. Neither of those come to pass if I don’t first start by writing a couple of pieces for INU way back when, and for that, I am thankful.

Ben Chasen: Last weekend

While it’s been a pleasure to co-run this site for the last four months, two particular and recent events stand out as highlights for me, neither of which would’ve been possible without the opportunities I’ve had here. The first occurred last Saturday, when I joined the masses of NU students that packed Wrigley Field’s right field bleachers to enjoy what was a unique experience watching a horrendous football game. It was truly a wonderful day on the North Side, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the platform Inside NU provided me and my co-author and co-Editor in Chief, Mac Stone, to push for cheaper student tickets, our readers, who helped echo the message we wrote, and Northwestern Athletics, who heard the call and adjusted accordingly, ensuring that students like myself were able to attend.

Then, of course, I spent my Sunday watching history unfold before my eyes. Covering Northwestern’s field hockey team this season and traveling to Ann Arbor to see the ‘Cats finish off what was a remarkable season with a glorious NCAA title were such privileges, and I wouldn’t have gotten to do it without the hard work of the field hockey team and the institution that is this site. Always grateful for what I have, and wishing a Happy Thanksgiving to all those who support the work we do all year long.

Mac Stone: The entire Inside NU platform

Whether it be my fellow staff members, our readers or just the site itself, I’m extremely grateful for the opportunities that Inside NU has provided me in these past two-and-a-half years and the people I’ve met along the way. Inside NU has given me a place to write about and cover Northwestern sports. As a lifelong fan, it’s nothing short of a dream come true. The people who write here are pretty cool too. I’ve met some good friends through this site. As for our readers, thank you for commenting, voicing your opinions and giving us a reason to write. We appreciate you no matter how much you brawl in our comment sections. Happy Thanksgiving to all.

John Olsen: The Ryan Family

Ryan Field. Welsh-Ryan Area. Ryan Fieldhouse. The Ryan family name is attached to the three most important locations in the entire athletic department, and for good reason. They’ve now made massive monetary contributions to the renovations and rebuilds of all three complexes, and as someone who wants to see success, modern facilities have, and will continue to bring in student-athletes who can create success. Fitz and Joe McKeown can do a lot in recruiting with the success they’ve had, but the world-class fieldhouse and renovated arena only further and enhance who they can get into their respective programs, and that, theoretically, should only mean good things.

Jacob Brown: Opportunity

I’m not a journalist. I’m an Econ major that struggles to string together grammar well enough to create cohesive sentences. But through the journalistic opportunities of WNUR Sports and Inside NU, I’ve gotten to meet a ton of cool people, do a ton of cool things and learn a LOT. I’ve been a Wildcat fan for life. I was born in Evanston hospital, and took my baby pictures in purple. When reflecting on my college experience, the defining moments are going to come from the memories I made related to NU Athletics. And with my Northwestern journey coming to an end, I’m incredibly thankful for the opportunities that I’ve been given by Inside NU, WNUR, Wildside and the Northwestern Athletics marketing department to make an impact while enjoying the programs that I love.

William Karmin: Georgia Basketball

It’s been a tough year for Northwestern revenue sports thus far. If it were not for Northwestern beating Georgia in basketball so valiantly on Tuesday night, both the football and basketball team would be trending near an all-time combined low of the Collins/Fitzgerald era. I am pretty optimistic about Northwestern basketball’s chances this season, but beating a Power Five opponent like Georgia definitely helps build further optimism (although, I do not believe Georgia is a good team, either).

Ignacio Dowling: Positive energy

Coming from New York City as a freshman two months ago, I had no idea what Saturdays in a college football-crazy area would be like. While Northwestern obviously hasn’t had the best football season, it’s been incredible to experience the buzz around Evanston and this website. And it extends beyond the gridiron. In spite of all the losses, this staff has looked at our athletic program as a whole to find positive stories elsewhere. They’ve amplified the successes of NU’s non-revenue teams. I’m grateful to have come into contact with so many awesome people at Inside NU who continue to maintain their persistence, vibrancy and great humor even in a down year for the football program.

Lia Assimakopoulos: Everything Inside NU has done for me over the last four years

I came into college three-and-a-half years ago not totally sure what I wanted to do with my life. During all the uncertainty in the last four years whether it be navigating college or living through a pandemic, Inside NU was my guiding light and steered me in the right direction toward what I hope to be a lifelong career in sportswriting. I’m so grateful for all the friends I’ve made along the way, all the amazing experiences I’ve had (like covering a Big Ten Championship, a bowl game, an NCAA Tournament and an NCAA title game) and for always feeling supported by the entire staff — especially as one of the only women among the group. I cannot wait to see where this site goes in the future, and Inside NU will always be the first site I check in the morning no matter where I am. <3

Andrew Katz: Gap years

Last summer when I started writing for Inside NU, I did not anticipate taking the year off. The prospect of online classes and not being on campus was enough for me to scout other opportunities for the fall. I loved watching the ‘Cats go all the way to the Big Ten championship game in 2020, but I also knew how much more it would mean if I was able to attend any of the games. My decision to take a gap year did not come from a sole reason, but I wanted the full Northwestern experience — something I knew I wasn’t going to get amidst the height of the pandemic. Since arriving in Evanston in September, I have attended football, basketball, volleyball, soccer and field hockey games with my friends in the student section, something I had waited a year-and-a-half for. While things still aren’t fully back to normal, I am thankful that I am getting to experience Northwestern sports in all of their glory.

Bradley Locker: The creative liberty that Inside NU grants right away

Initially, I was leaning more toward taking a Northwestern Athletics route, bestowing my thanks for the world-class Welsh-Ryan Arena or for Stephon Robinson Jr.’s sensational play this year. However, after thinking more (and reading the amazing, heartfelt responses of my colleagues above), I realized how lucky I am to have the platform that I do at Inside NU. Since joining staff, Inside NU has treated me — and all other freshmen — as if we are normal staff members, incorporating us into lively sports banter while always accommodating our (sometimes wacky) ideas. Being able to break down film, write impassioned columns and cover Big Ten sporting events happening hundreds of feet below me are all dreams I’ve had for a while — especially having grown up a Northwestern fan — and realizing them as a freshman is something I’ll never take for granted.