Whether it’s healthy or not is debatable, but as is evidenced by several past posts I'm always thinking about past NU games I'd like to see again and a recent trip to purchase an HD TV reminded me of another Northwestern football game which was exciting enough for a repeat viewing, though, not particularly important in the grand scheme of NU football history. That game was Northwestern’s 2002 49-40 win at Navy. In that wild contest both Jason Wright and Noah Herron rushed for over 100 yards and in only his third career start freshman quarterback Brett Basanez directed an NU attack which Navy’s defense couldn’t stop. Now, you might ask why did shopping for an HD TV make me remember that contest. Well, that game was broadcast exclusively on HDnet (it was also run on tape delay on Comcast SportsNet in Maryland). Now, I was actually at this game as the sideline reporter on the WNUR broadcast crew so I didn’t get to see the original HD broadcast (my father did since he went to an electronics store with HD TVs instead of listening to me and my colleagues), but I strongly suspect it is sitting in the achieves somewhere at either HDnet’s cooperate offices or the Naval Academy gathering dust. Given this fact, I see no reason why the Big Ten Network couldn’t get their hands on this contest and rerun the game. I have to give great credit to the BTN for the number of games they do in HD. One of my best friends went to a Mountain West school and he often complains about how few games on The Mountain (the MWC’s own network) are in HD. Given that HD TV was in its relatively infancy in 2002 the odds are most NU fans who weren’t in Annapolis never saw this game. Let me tell you, it was worth seeing. I remember it being nearly impossible to keep up with the frantic pace of the game as the running games of both schools plowed through defenses with ease. In fact, in terms of scoring the game is similar to several of the NU classics from 2000 or 2005, the rest of the season in 2002 simply wasn’t as good (Actually it was rather terrible). Still, from my point of view, of the many games rerun on networks like the BTN or ESPN Classic, the most watchable are those with high entertainment value, say a high scoring affair like the 54-51 win over Michigan, or games with great novelty, such as a game very few people saw live. This contest fits both bills and I would love to see it again.
The Wildcats line up on defense vs Navy in 2002