Saturday, August 1, 2009

Memorabilia: More Schedule Cards

Two events inspired this post in which I want to take a look at some more NU memorabilia. First, I picked up a new schedule card for NU’s 2009 football season. Second, reader Jon Solomon from princetonbasketball.com sent me a couple old NU schedule cards he found from the late 90s and 2001 (Thanks, Jon).

If you remember my last post on schedule cards I discussed what I believed made for a good schedule card and what did not. I think overall what you’ll see today are good examples of schedule cards—this year's football card included. However I do have on major issue with the 2009 football schedule card and I will be fascinated to see if others are share my feelings.

First off you see both men’s and women’s basketball schedule cards from the 98-99 season. For the men’s team, of course, this was a successful year with an NIT qualification. Aside from positive memories, what I like about these two schedule cards is they show actions shots. Both feature photos which I think would catch someone’s eye if the walked by these cards as they entered a restaurant.

Next up, we have football schedule cards. First from the 2001 season and then from this upcoming season. The 2001 card features a semi-action shot as Zak Kustok is looking to pass, but I’m not sure it’s as exciting as the shot of Evan Eschmeyer going to the hoop. Still, I really like the fact the 2001 football card featured a slogan, “Chicagoland’s Big 10 Show” while that campaign wasn’t super-successful, it was nice to see NU trying to brand itself in Chicago.

As you can see below, this year’s schedule card features the “Play Smart - Play with Integrity” slogan which has started to show up on NU football merchandise recently. I like that slogan as to me it represents the ideals of Northwestern athletics very well. This year’s schedule card also continues the trend which started in the last couple years of indentifying the player on the card. I think this is a great improvement over the past schedule cards which did not do this. Sure, if you were an NU fan in 2001 you knew Zak Kustok on sight, but it is possible some casual sports fans in Chicago might know a players name, but not be able to put a jersey number to that name. Indentifying the player helps those casual fans make more of a connection with NU. It’s even better when the picture shows the player making an eye-catching play. In that regard, the picture of Corey Wotton on this year’s card isn’t bad. It shows him stopping and ball carrier and gives the viewer a sense of Corey’s size and strength. However, I do have one major issue with the picture featured. Corey Wotton played in 13 football games last fall. Of those football games, Northwestern won 9 and I think Corey made big plays in all 9 of those wins. Therefore, I really have to ask why of all the pictures to use was one of the Indiana game selected (Does this bother anyone else?). Yes, I know it’s just a picture and really makes no difference, but loyal readers can probably tell I spend a lot of time thinking about past NU games. I really enjoy remembering the great wins, but I try to block out the really painful losses. Indiana was the most painful and disheartening loss of last season and personally I’d like to keep blocking that out. Wasn’t there a picture of Corey sacking the SIU QB in the rain that could have been used? The Big Ten Network sure enjoyed running clips of those sacks during Fitz’s press conference during media day.

Still, overall the new schedule card isn’t bad. The picture does, I’ll admit, catch your eye and I like how the new three-fold style allows for more information. I also like how the 2010 schedule is listed as well, though, it would help a lot if NU could find a 12th game so the schedule was actually complete. Hopefully we’ll know that soon, but before we worry about 2010, let’s hope that new schedule card helps get some people out to games in 2009.

1 comment:

NorthwesternHighlights said...

The Tyrell Sutton banner at Ryan Field last year was a picture from the loss against Iowa at home. I wish they'd just stick with pictures from wins.