Enjoy your Labor Days, guys! We're celebrating worker's rights by discussing a sport fueled by unpaid labor!
New most valuable throwback of all time: The news out of Monday's presser is that with Deonte Gibson out for Saturday's game against Vanderbilt, Ifeadi Odenigbo will burn his redshirt and make his collegiate debut. Odenigbo, as we covered less than three weeks ago, is a freak athlete and four-star recruit for Northwestern. It seemed NU has been planning on playing the highly-touted freshman when they had him dress and travel to Syracuse, but now he's on the two-deep, and its official. In order to allow him to potentially play at the same time as Hunter Bates, he'll switch his number from No. 7 to No. 18, meaning his one-game No. 7 Odenigbo is now the hottest commodity on the market, right behind Rasheed Wallace's Hawks jersey and any spare Kain Colter No. 14 jerseys you have lying around. (Remember when Dan Persa wore No. 3? That was a long time ago, huh.)
Hey, I'm unemployed too!: NFL cutdown day was absolutely brutal on the Cats. Mike Kafka, out with a broken hand, has gone from the Eagles No. 2 guy to a free agent in just over a month, ending a little over two years with the team that drafted him and seemed high on Kafka's NFL prospects down the line. They kept Trent Edwards instead, which is just mean. Jeremy Ebert looked to be safe after the Patriots let loose Donte Stallworth, Jabar Gaffney, and Deion Branch, but they opted to cut Ebert in addition and are apparently looking to bring back Branch. Trai Essex, who I had thought would earn a starting gig in Pittsburgh after seven seasons with the Steelers, is a free agent - look for him to land somewhere soon. Drake Dunsmore and Al Netter were also cut, but both signed with their practice squads, so at least they're getting paper.
Dude, pasta > sushi every time: Kevin Coble famously quit the Northwestern basketball team to avoid having to go on a team trip to Italy (amongst other reasons), which sort of makes it weird that he's decided to play professionally in Japan with a team called the Sendai 89ers. As a connoisseur of sub-par basketball, I believe it says something that I have only heard of two players out of the two dozen or so featured on the Japanese basketball league's Wikipedia page.
PICK A SIDE, DUDE: The thrilling and obvious news came in that Venric Mark was the Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week. Except there was a catch: he split the honor with Mike Meyer, who nailed four of five field goals in Iowa's 18-17 win over Northern Illinois. Jesus, guy whose job it is to decide who wins Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week! DO YOU REALIZE HOW MEANINGLESS AN HONOR THAT IS? Nobody will be super-mad if you pick only one person to have the Special Teams Player of the Week. In fact, it's what's kind of expected. That's your job. No need to hedge your bets. Just how bad are you at deciding stuff? Do you just stand in front of your closet for hours a day, crippled with indecision about which shirt to put on before leaving the house?
The guy whose job it is to decide Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week goes to Chipotle
By Rodger Sherman
(The guy whose job it is to decide Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week is online at Chipotle. It's lunch hour, and the line extends about 20 people deep. He patiently waits. He stands directly behind the person in front of him, even though he will get his food just as quickly if he waits back a foot or two. After about seven minutes, he reaches the front of the line.)
GWJIITDBTSTPotW: I'll have a chicken burrito.
Chipotle guy: Black beans or pinto beans?
GWJIITDBTSTPotW: No... not again. NOT AGAIN! THIS CAN'T BE HAPPENING AGAIN! (grabs a plastic fork from the plastic fork dispenser, stabs himself in the jugular vein, and bleeds to death)
End scene (preferably you stop rolling before he bleeds to death, nobody needs to watch that)
You guys know to go over to NUHighlights to watch highlights, right? If not, just checking.
And now, your Tweet of the Weekend: Teddy Greenstein earned some pride for Medill nerds everywhere with his flawless grammar victory over SI's Pete Thamel: