📵Northwestern's a No. 2 seed?
And, a football player literally BLAMES HIS PHONE.
A Big Ten title is on the line. A freaking Big Ten title.
If the Wildcats beat Illinois in Evanston tomorrow afternoon (you can buy tickets here and watch on BTN), they’re guaranteed a least a tie with powerhouse Maryland atop the Big Ten regular season standings.
And, this week, spring football is back. And a key player is already 📵blaming his phone.
Let’s blame some things.
📵Blame nothing, literally nothing
Everything is perfect.
The only controversy was a Chicago Tribune article about the football team supporting the women’s squad.
Chicago Tribune @chicagotribuneA group of Northwestern football players flocks to Welsh-Ryan Arena to support the 14th-ranked Wildcats women’s basketball team. And by support, we don’t mean golf claps. https://t.co/XnSfSZCVtj
Otherwise, things a fantastic.
As mentioned above, Veronica Burton, Lindsey Pulliam, and co. can grab a Big Ten championship tomorrow with a win over struggling Illinois.
Here are some things that have happened to this team in the past week:
Sat., Feb. 22: A win at Wisconsin, in which the team stretched a five-point lead with 9:23 left in the game into a 21-point lead just about three minutes later.
Mon., Feb. 24: Northwestern moves up four spots to No. 14 in the AP Top 25.
Mon., Feb. 24: ESPN names Lindsey Pulliam its national player of the week. In an upset-filled week in college hoops, Graham Hays wrote:
“Pulliam made sure Northwestern wasn't in a similar spotlight this week. And the Wildcats would like to think there will be plenty of time for us to talk about them in March.”
Wed., Feb. 26: A win at Ohio State, in which a two-point Wildcat lead with 1:41 left in the third quarter turned into a 13-point lead just 11 seconds into the fourth period.
So, to recap: it was a pretty damn good week.
📵Blame a hunger for football
Spring is in the air, at least in a football sense.
Northwestern started spring practice on Tuesday. And, all eyes are on the offense.
With Mick McCall gone, Mike Bajakian is stepping in. And he’s already made a courageous change:
Shoutout to Dan Vitale, Drake Dunsmore, and all the other superbacks who had opposing fans questioning what the hell Northwestern was up to. (They were just tight ends all along.)
Anyways, the more impactful decision Bajakian will make is at quarterback. Five of the seven quarterbacks on the roster this spring played a snap last season. Aidan Smith led the group with 171 passing attempts last season, followed by Hunter Johnson’s 108, Andrew Marty’s 22, T.J. Green’s 10, and Jason Whitaker’s 0. Whitaker did run twice for three yards.
But from Bajakian’s comments this week via the Daily Northwestern, it sounds like Whitaker is not being considered for the starting role. It’s a four-man race.
Never mind, actually. According to the Chicago Tribune’s Teddy Greenstein, it’s actually a three-man race.
Smith, according to Greenstein’s reporting, is not in the picture for the starting job, despite the fact that he started six games last season. (And, Greenstein has a bit in there about what he calls a “wild card” but you’re going to have to read the article, hit the Tribune’s paywall, and subscribe to read his work because local journalism in Chicago matters a helluva lot.)
Multiple outlets reported that Marty was taking the first team snaps and that Green is not ready to be playing football due to an injury he suffered in last season’s opening game at Stanford.
As for Johnson, well, Matt Fortuna of The Athletic reported that his big change has been getting away from technology (also known as the 📵Blame the Phones lifestyle, but I digress).
Last night, I was flipping between the Northwestern men’s team’s loss to Illinois (which I’m not writing about) and the Wisconsin-Michigan game on ESPN. I found myself listening to Dan Dakich on the call, and I couldn’t stop laughing.
Joey Mulinaro is killing it with his impressions. And watching this on loop is way more enjoyable than the product Chris Collins has been putting on the court this season.
As your favorite “blogger boy,” I politely ask you to “kiss my backside.” (Watch the video if you’re like, what the hell is Josh talking about?)
📵Blame another celebrity-NU crossover
That’s where we’ll end things this week. Thanks for sticking with another edition of 📵Blame the Phones.
And remember, if you want to be one my bag people, it’s here.
Please let me know if you have any questions or ideas. I’d love to hear them.