Saturday, Northwestern plays Minnesota at home. I realized in a sobering fit of bewilderment last Saturday that it would be the last time I'd attend a home game as a Northwestern student. Although NU plays against Michigan State next week, I'll be home for Thanksgiving, most likely confusing everybody by yelling at a TV on a Saturday morning at a sports bar that generally exists on Sundays because it's New York.
I actually realized this a while ago, but it's here, and it scares the hell out of me.
I wrote in a unsobered fit of non-bewilderment after the Michigan game that following Northwestern football was like having a coupon for a free weekly dickpunch. My senior angst about wanting things to go well for a team that had lost in tragic fashion my first three years here had rolled full speed through a red light and got blindsided by the semi that was a team busy losing five consecutive football games in other tragic fashions. Although I wrote about how NU could make a bowl game, I mean, hah.
Then, things happened. NU beat Indiana, and I rolled my eyes. NU beat WAIT WHAT WE BEAT NEBRASKA? NU beat Rice. We're a game away from being bowl eligible.
I've learned while drinking 40's in my room with various recent graduates who wish they were still in college before football games that college football Saturdays are college forever, which is easily the most comforting thing this side of my really fluffy aviator hat. But at the same time, it's not. I want this to happen while I'm here - like, while I'm actually here. Luckily for me, there's something modestly special happening, and we need to embrace it.
Northwestern needs a win in the last home game I'll see while enrolled to become bowl eligible. Dan Persa and Jeremy Ebert also need it to become bowl eligible. Sadly, there are enough teams bowling from the B1G to ensure NU probably won't go to a guaranteed Big Ten slot bowl, leaving us in the land of the at-larges. However, the Big 12 will not fill up its slots, leaving open the Pinstripe Bowl, held a simple ride on the 4 train from my preferred subway stop. Should Northwestern win Saturday, it seems likely that that bowl will decide between a 6-6 Northwestern and Purdue for that spot. A lot of Purdue alums move to New York after they graduate, right? Man, in retrospect, I wish Purdue fans hadn't organized several boatloads comprising thousands of fans to attend their road game in the NYC Metropolitan area OH WAIT THAT WAS US (thanks LTP).
My point is, let's do this. I'm attending an ugly college football game Saturday, and in it, my team has a chance to give themselves a chance to win their first bowl game in eons in front of my eyes. LEGGO.
College football, Saturday is my goodbye, and it will be extraordinarily uninteresting. Yet I can't think of anything better.