Friday, July 17, 2009

The Records of '31

The quest to get Northwestern to recognize Coach Lonborg’s 1931 National Champions continues today with a post dedicated to the records set that season. I also want to say that as this weekend is historic for NU athletics with football coach Pat Fitzgerald getting inducted to the College Football Hall of Fame, there is no better time to think about the significance of all aspects NU’s athletic history. Fans as you gather with fellow NU fans in South Bend, or anywhere else, let them know about our forgotten National Champs and encourage them to sign the petition and help bring awareness to the efforts of Riel, Reiff, Lonborg, and the ‘Cats.

The first record the Wildcats set was most consecutive victories. NU won 12 straight games to start the season that year and 13 straight games if you include the last game from the year before. NU also set a record in 1931 for most consecutive road wins with 7 straight wins away from home. Overall, Northwestern won 16 games which is tied for the third most single-season wins in school history with the 2001-2002 Wildcats. NU’s winning percentage in 1931 is also a school record with a percentage of .941. Those are all significant achievements and when you factor in the Big Ten Title (NU’s first) and Joseph Reiff’s All-American honor (also NU’s first), 1931 becomes by far the most decorated and historically significant year in Northwestern basketball history. With this fact in mind I once again urge Jim Phillips and his staff at NU’s athletic department to recognize the National Championship awarded to the 1931 Wildcats by hanging a banner in Welsh-Ryan Arena. Finally, while some might say commemorating accomplishments almost 80 years old is silly as they are insignificant to today’s team. I say that history is never insignificant. As the banner is raised to the rafters, Wildcats fans would realize that Northwestern accomplished the ultimate goal in college basketball once before and will without a doubt do so again.

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