August 6, 2010

Inside The Bloggers Unwashed, Unshaven, Studio: Northwestern Edition

ITBUUS rambles on this week with Northwestern blogger Lake The Posts. In this edition, find out just what prompts somebody to choose a historical laughing stock of a football program as one to embrace, whether the basketball team will ever reach the Big Dance, and which current Saturday Night Live cast member got to see the Purple in Pasadena while in school...

LBU: Formalities first: What prompted you to start blogging about Northwestern? Also, for the majority of the folks reading this who probably have no clue what the inspiration for your blog's name is, explain to them the meaning behind "Lake The Posts."

LTP: A couple of things: On the fan front, I was sick and tired of the lack of respect, and despite three Big Ten titles since 1995, STILL getting hammered by the hangover effect of the pre-1995 "Dark Ages". I was also pissed off at the horrific attendance at Ryan Field and felt I could lend a voice and create a community of folks who cared about NU's football image. On the selfish front,my day job is running amedia company and I knew I needed to learn about what we then called"new media" and NU football was the only topic I felt confident enoughabout that I could write something every day and be somewhat of an expert on the subject matter.

As for the name Lake The Posts: It is a tribute to the pre-1995 era Wildcats who were so bad that every win resulted in the student section ripping down the field goal posts, and in some instances marching them to Lake Michigan (a mile east of the stadium) and tossing them in the water. "Laking" is a verb at NU and refers to anything thrown in Lake Michigan. Fraternity pledges will remind you of this tradition.

Anyways, when we were up on teams, the student section would point to the FG posts and yell "Lake...lake...lake." It's a not so subtle reminder for all of us to enjoy the rebirth of NU football over the past 15 years and never forget the pain and agony we endured.

Today's Northwestern students view the "Lake The Posts" era as ancient history

LBU: You've obviously been a Northwestern football fan since the days when they were a Big Ten punchline, how did you come to embrace them in the first place? What was the drug of choice?

LTP: Simple - I went to school there. Despite what most will tell you, percentage-wise the number of people passionate about athletics is similar to other Big Ten schools. OK, perhaps a tad less. The larger issue is the fact that when 50% of students attend (which is close to what it is), that's about 4,000 fans. There are other schools that with a similar percentage could pack half our stadium. See you guys. I embraced athletics b/c that's one of the reasons I went to NU over a liberal arts small east coast school - the Big Ten experience. I thought it was the perfect balance of academics and big time athletics and I thought we'd turn the corner in hoops and saw no reason we couldn't be Duke.

I fell in love with CFB in part because who doesn't love an underdog? We had that experience every single week against "name" teams. I couldn't believe Northwestern hosted the likes of Ohio State and Michigan (I was in school when Penn State joined). Growing up in Rhode Island, I hadn't even heard of NU until my junior year of HS. I saw all the ingredients for something special. It came the year after I graduated.

LBU: Time to play "What If." What If...[Northwestern's QB] Mike Kafka plays the entire game against PSU last year?

LTP: We don't play that game in Evanston. That's for Iowa fans who have mastered that game against the 'Cats (see NU over Iowa 2009 and 2008). Injuries are part of the game. Yes, we were up 10-3 in the second quarter when he went down, but Dan Persa didn't deliver and our "D"got shredded for 31 points. You beat us - No, you pounded us. Fair and square.

Obviously, Bethlehem (Liberty) PA native Dan Persa saw significant minutes as Kafka's replacement last year. I know he was pretty devastated by his performance and one can only imagine a Pennslyania HS Player of the Year, spurned by Penn State, wanting to put up a show against his childhood team. I think Persa's trip to Happy Valley with a want to erase that memory will be one of the most interesting game storylines this year for NU. I recently read Persa is the only player in PA HS history to throw for 2,000 yards and rush for 1,000 in a single season. Personally for Persa, there is no bigger game on the schedule than NU's trip to Penn State.

Ah yes, those pesky Penn State hoopsters.

LBU: Kevin Coble's decision to graduate early and forego his final year on the basketball team is undoubtedly a stomach-punch to a fan base hoping to see their team finally reach the promised land. Do you see the program losing its NCAA Tournament virginity anytime in the near future?

LTP: This was THE year until that. I've been shocked by the somewhat "eh?" response. I usually have a good handle on the fan reaction but I may have whiffed. I think the loss of Coble is HUGE. Many are citing his poor defensive stats and the fact we were THIS close last year without him. Rumors persist about chemistry issues about Kevin coming back and all agree there is much more to the story than was reported. We do still have a lot of optimism for this year being THE year with the most highly touted recruit (Jershonn Cobb) I can remember adding to a team that returns just about everything except for defensive stalwart Jeremy Nash.

Hopefully, we'll finally figure out how to beat Penn State when we're favored to do so. It seems like you beat us every year in your place. Overall, the excitement for the combination for both football and hoops at the same time is the highest its been in the 20 years I've followed both teams.

LBU: If the 2010 Northwestern football team were a Saturday Night Live cast, which season would it resemble?

LTP: Wow. Tough one. I'm not an SNL expert by any means but we're partial to cast member Seth Meyers who is a Northwestern alum and was fortunate enough to have his senior year coincide with the Rose Bowl. I'm probably more partial to cast members than "seasons" and could go with Tina Fey. Smart, work hard, good sense of humor and from a looks standpoint maybe not a knockout (OK, definitely not a knockout) but you learn to see her as very attractive the more you watch.

Northwestern as Tina Fey: Touche on that analogy, LTP.

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  1. Way to nab Lake The Posts, Tim. One of my favorite blogs in the Blogosphere. I have to disagree with LTP thought, Tina Fey IS a knockout for all the reasons listed. Sometimes a good sense of humor and intelligence is way sexier than a big set of sweater muffins.

  2. Thanks, Galen. It came at a hefty price, though. It's gonna take us months to make up all that money spent on the limo ride to pick him up, the fancy dinner w/caviar, and a VIP section at the local club.

  3. I'm in love with Tina Fey. Doesn't matter that she's twice my age.