Unlike all my other teams, I did not choose to become a Wildcat fan. I was born into it and cruelly tricked into believing it was a worthwhile endeavor. At the time of my birth, my grandfather had been a Northwestern football season ticket holder for over thirty years, including one period in the late sixties and early seventies, where the Wildcats lost 34 straight games. Although I attended games during my formative years, I have no memories of Northwestern games until 1995, when the Wildcats traveled to their first Rose Bowl in almost fifty years. As a child of six, I assumed Northwestern was a perennial football power and decided that I would one day lead my Cats to the Rose Bowl at quarterback. The next twelve years were filled with highs and lows (almost exclusively lows), but in the face of it all I remained steadfast in my support of the Cats and in May of 2008, I committed to attend Northwestern University by sending in my housing deposit.
Although I had long since given up my dream of winning the Heisman trophy, I was going to be a Wildcat. During my tenure, Northwestern boasted the longest consecutive bowl streak in its program history, however they found interesting and more heart breaking ways to lose each of those games. The life of a Northwestern fan can best be described by a play that occurred last year against Ohio State. Both teams were ranked and College Gameday was in Evanston for the matchup. It was a back and forth game, but in the fourth quarter Ohio State had taken a lead. With mere minutes left on the clock, Northwestern began a heroic drive down the field, which went well until a fourth and one on the Ohio State forty yard line. Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter attempted a QB sneak, however when the dust had cleared, it was revealed that he’d come up just inches short.
The reality of a Northwestern fan’s life is that it looks good and it’s always a helluva effort, but in the end, they come up just a bit short.
PS: Occasionally, something like this happens when you least expect it. Go Cats.