Episode 64: Dance of Disappointment

The West Lot Pirates welcome back our Bracketologist Scott Sepich to discuss the NCAA Tournament, the NIT and Northwestern’s collapse in the Big Ten Tourney.  You can download the episode directly from here.

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Posted on March 12, 2012, in Podcast. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Nice job on ep64, fellas– great to hear from Scott.

    Scuzz, thank you VERY MUCH for pointing out what everyone talking about “taking NU to the next level” has missed: There are “levels” that exist between “B1G conference basement dweller” and “NCAA tourney contender.” Carmody has taken us to one of those levels. Good on him. (Frankly, I think a similar argument applies for all the Fitz-haters, on the football side, but that’s for another time).

    That said, I have a theory about where the apparent coach-hate comes from: Most NU fans are NU alums. NU is a really, really exceptional place to spend your late teens and early 20s. The time we spent at NU taught us to pursue excellence, or to move on to better opportunities. So, I think that if there’s any sort of “NU culture”, it has to do with either blowing the doors off, or (if that’s not an option), shrugging and walking away.

    For decades, our high-profile athletic programs were in the category of “we’re fine with sucking at this, because we’ve decided it’s not important.” That’s not true of all of our athletic programs, by a long shot (witness Women’s Lacrosse, but also swimming and diving, fencing, etc), but in the big-time football and basketball programs, we have a long tradition of deciding not to really compete, other than as the scrappy basement dweller that sometimes pulls an upset (and our facilities in both football and basketball still reflect this history).

    More recently, we’ve decided to take it up a level or two, and had some real success at doing that (featuring consistent post-season play, which wasn’t AT ALL the reality 10 years ago.) But we’ve gotten to the level of being “decent” at both football and men’s basketball.

    NU people aren’t happy being “decent.” We’re fine with being “meh, whatever,” and we’re good at being excellent– but we sort of don’t do “decent”. I think that’s part of our elitist culture, and we have to own that.

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