Monday, October 04, 2004


The Mildcats go Mild!!

It took 33 years, but finally - FINALLY - Northwestern's mighty Wildcats score a win against the Ohio State Buckeyes. Who'd have thunk it.

Certainly not me. I went to Northwestern during those less than glorious years when a barely eked out win over Northern Illinois or whoever was at the bottom of Big Ten was cause for massive celebration. Not just let's have a beer because the Cats won kind of celebration. I'm talking "Loot the North Shore, lock up your daughters, pick up the goalposts and throw them in Lake Michigan" kind of celebration.

The kids who went to NU after me never understood. They got a football team that went to the Rose Bowl and the Citrus Bowl, which beat Michigan and Penn State, and took shares of three Big Ten championships.

But that team never beat Ohio State. No, sir. It took a totally gutty team - and a player wearing #33 and carrying the ball 33 times to get the final overtime score of 33-27, in order to end the 33-year curse. The Chicago Cubs should be so lucky.

But today, the Mildcats, despite embarrassing losses to Minnesota, TCU, and Arizona State, are outpacing the mighty Buckeyes. I grew up in Ohio, as a fan of the Bucks (which, given that our pro teams are the Bengals and Browns, isn't really so surprising). My dad went there, and I spent countless hours at Buckeye football games, hearing about the legends of Woody Hayes and Archie Griffin. So this is about as happily surprising as it comes.

Kudos to the Cats themselves, to coach Randy Walker (like me, a son of southwest Ohio), and to one less monkey on the back of the Chicago sports market.

Go Cats! Next week brings the Indiana Hoosiers (my mom's alma mater). Sorry, Mom. Here's hoping that NU can put together a two-game streak over the house of Wieland.

P.S. California's Golden Bears did, as predicted, slam the Beavers (of Oregon State) this weekend. Alas, poor Beaver.

P.P.S. There's probably not a shot in hell that they'll win, but I will be cheering for the Dodgers to upset the mighty Cardinals this week in the NL playoffs. Go, freeway series!

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