Well, Now What Do We Watch?
I recently came across this photo of my friend Kent and his classmates, from Herbert Hoover Junior High, voting in the 1968 presidential election, and I thought it was appropriate for today's column.
Now that the election is over, what the hell are we going to watch on television?
Somewhere in America the NFL is still playing, just not in Chicago anymore, and that is always a good watch. Plenty of great story lines still going on that even the casual NFL fan can get into and while away four hours on a Sunday.
The Bears, of course, are dead. I'm old enough to remember all the way back to October when Bears fans were looking for Super Bowl tickets, and I gently reminded them that the season still had a long way to go, and after all, they are still the Bears, so don't get ahead of yourselves.
After a stunning 5-1 start, the monsters, have fallen back to where we thought they would be, 5-4 and going in the wrong direction, quickly. Just imagine how bad they would be if the defense was as bad as the offense?
At halftime of yesterday's disaster the Bears leading rusher was, as you would expect, Barkevious Mingo, a linebacker, who gained 11 yards on a fake punt. I never heard of this guy, and when I first heard last night, on a highlight package on the NFL Network, that he was the leading rusher, I honestly assumed the Bears had entered into the witness protection system and names were being made up to protect them.
Maybe Matt Nagy should use the special teams line on offense too if they can block that well. Mingo is the 6th leading rusher on the team for 2020! Just let that roll around in your head for a few minutes. He's only 79 yards behind Mitch Trubisky, in eight less attempts.
The point here is that, once again, the Bears have become unwatchable, so that eliminates one thing to watch to fill up your time. However. If you get in your car, and drive 21.5 miles south from Lake Forest, staying along Lake Michigan, until you reach Evanston, I have a suggestion.
Chicago's Big Ten team, your Northwestern Wildcats, are very watchable, and are undefeated at 3-0. They, unlike the Bears, have discovered an offense, a quarterback, two running backs, and their defense has not given up a point this season in the second half of any game.
Along with the Indiana Hoosiers, they are the surprise team of the Big Ten this season. They are tied with Wisconsin, who are 1-0 and currently have more players in Covid containment than they have points for the season, atop the Big Ten West. They look confident and are playing like a team expecting to go to the championship game this year.
The media, and coaches, have finally figured out how to get the Big Ten Network on their cable boxes, and have blasted Northwestern into the polls at number 23. (See how this ties into voting?) I would expect them to continue on their ascent into the top fifteen or so over the next few weeks.
They also have nearly as many uniform combinations as Oregon, without Nike in their backyard supplying them weekly. Purple, black, white, silver, and a color that doesn't exist in nature round out the options. They look good and are playing great.
They also have the best coach in Chicago history, since, The Coach, in Pat Fitzgerald. He is emotional, engaged, excitable, and ends every interview with "Go Cats!". He also was their star middle linebacker in the early 1990's, mostly responsible for their return to glory, and leading them to their first Rose bowl appearance since before the Roosevelt era.
Give them a chance and I believe that you will find them fun and enjoyable. At the very least you will have found something to do for four hours on a Saturday afternoon. Go Cats!