The Chicago Tribue reports that NU beat Purdue to win the Big Ten Title
I used to collect newspapers all the time if the stories involved a game I attended or a big win for a team I follow. I don’t do that any more, but I do still have the Chicago Tribune sports section from November 19, 1995. That is the day after NU clinched its first Big Ten football title in nearly 60 years. I hope someday to have a similar basketball newspaper. The huge headlines and the front page devoted entirely to Northwestern is something we don’t see very often today for either football or basketball. Part of that is no NU story in the 14 years since 1995 matched the magnitude of that season, but it is still really a shame Northwestern must fight so strongly with Notre Dame and Illinois for media coverage in what is really our home town. Of course, we all know the newspaper industry is struggling, but isn’t just papers which pass on covering NU. Local news often times will run longer ND or Illini stories when compared with Northwestern. I also find that despite the fact a ton of NU alums or involved in sports media, it seems Northwestern doesn’t get the nation or semi-nation coverage that you might expect. I do love the fact we now have the Big Ten Network to look towards for coverage of the ‘Cats, but the BTN does have 11 teams to cover and will, probably rightfully, focus on teams which are (or expected) to be among the best in each sport. NU got a lot of nice hoops coverage during the good run last winter, but got a very short segment on the Spring Football Show because most experts see the Wildcats as a bottom half of the Big Ten team. I guess what I wish most of all for NU coverage whether it be on TV or in the paper isn’t so much that it was more expensive, but that it at least acknowledged the great players NU does have. Credit has to go to Adam Rittenberg at ESPN.com for listing Corey Wotton as the 9th best player in the Big Ten. I might list him even higher, but at least it shows respect for an NU player that has 1st round NFL talent. I also give credit to Mark May for placing Brad Philips on his All-May Day team last fall after Philips overcame injury to lead the Wildcat secondary in tackles. Let’s hope ESPN’s basketball personalities acknowledge Kevin Coble this winter when he puts up huge numbers for what I hope is a team which features the near-basketball equivalent of the 1995 football season. If that happens, I bet the Chicago papers once again put up a sports section with the front page all NU.
Also: Single game football tickets are on sale right now for NU's 2009 season. I encourage everyone to try to get their friends and family out to a few games this year. I’m certainly going to try and get some friends who haven’t seen a game at Ryan Field or haven’t seen a game in a while to come to Evanston and watch the ‘Cats.