Cheers (Up!) – LTP Mailbag Time

We’re going to reach in to the LTP mailbag and have a mix of mindless fun and mindblowing feedback.  Let’s begin with a heartfelt email that I just had to share after yesterday’s post about former ‘Cat John Trautwein that led me to make a call for how we can come together to make a difference. We need to channel our angst and celebrate some wins by leveraging the true power of this group getting behind some philanthropic endeavors.  Here are two that caught my attention.  After this, we’ll lighten the mood with a random poutpourri of NU-ness.

LTP Make A Difference

From Deric M:

“I have been an avid reader of Lake the Posts since the early days.  Thanks for your devotion and commitment to excellence!  I have laughed out loud at posts like the ground rules for football Saturdays (no texts, etc.) because I relate all too well.  In fact, as an NU alum, I relate to the pride of supporting what our scholar athletes represent, the joy of celebrating their successes, and the Charlie Brown-like frustration of coming so close, only to have the football pulled away time and time again.

I am writing today in response to your call for LTP to support a cause.  Eight years ago, my wife was diagnosed with a terminal illness at the age of 30.  Our children were 4, 2, and 6-months-old.  Kristen’s first instinct was to prepare our children for the possibility that she might not be around as they grew up.  We quickly realized that there were no organizations set up to help families like ours.

After going back to get an MBA, I left my job as a professional musician in 2008 to devote my full-time attention to the organization that Kristen envisioned.  Inheritance of Hope ( helps young families who face the terminal illness of a parent build their legacies through Legacy Retreats, four day all-expenses-paid events where families come together to make memories, build a community of support, and gain tools to manage the challenges they face.  Inheritance of Hope also funds a $1,000 Legacy Scholarship for college-bound seniors living with a terminally ill parent.

To date, Inheritance of Hope has hosted 55 families from 24 states at our Legacy Retreats at locations such as Walt Disney World, New York City, and Six Flags.  I am thrilled to report that Kristen is still here, against all odds, and is involved in the daily operations.  Most importantly, she is involved in our family’s daily life, even while she continues to battle the illness.

Inheritance of Hope’s waiting list is growing, and we need as many partners as possible to invest in helping these families secure their legacy.  I hope you will seriously consider partnering with us “to rally around making a difference and use our displaced angst and energy to really make a difference in addition to the frivilous, yet important to us, journey of making NU Athletics as much a home court advantage as possible.”  Inheritance of Hope and the families we serve along with Northwestern athletics are two of my greatest passions.  I think that is why your call to action spoke to me so poignantly.

If you think this is a cause you can get behind (and I really hope it is), a few potential goals could be as follows:

$1,000: support a child to attend an Inheritance of Hope Legacy Retreat
$5,000: support a family to attend a Inheritance of Hope Legacy Retreat
$10,000-$40,000: co-sponsor an Inheritance of Hope Legacy Retreat
$50,000: sponsor an Inheritance of Hope Legacy Retreat

I can envision profiles on LTP-sponsored families to give readers a real sense of what their support meant.”

LTP: Wow.  I mean, how do you respond to that without wanting to step up to the purple plate?  Now this from Luke S:

“Mr. LTP,
It’s been quite a while, but as always your site is amazing!  I wanted to reach out to you, because I stumbled upon an organization called the Generation Project.  They’re run by a girl who was a former Teach for America employee and her goal was to help children in inner city schools.  The unique concept with this program is that you can create any campaign that you like.  You can donate money and allocate it towards books, theatre, sports, anything that you can think of.  I thought it would be a great idea to get a group of inner city kids out to a Northwestern game.  I created a campaign to get kids from one of these schools to see an NU football game.

I think with the amount that I allocated we should be able to get 20 students and future fans out to a game next season.  I know that you’ve done a ton to drive new fans to games and this could be another great way to donate (tax deductible) and generate more fan buzz. (LTP note: any philanthropy involving students attending NU games must per NCAA rules be younger than 8th grade).

LTP: So, who else has a cause and better yet, how shall we go about selecting the process of what to put our collective and/or individual efforts behind? Let me hear you.

Spring Ball Inquiry

Michael C. –
“Just curious if you know when the spring football game will be held in evanston this year? I was looking around on different NU sites and was having trouble finding any info. I live in LA and was thinking of making a spring trip to chicago to meet up with some friends from NYC to go see the scrimmage.  Now that all football is done for the year, I’m already trying to look forward to the next time I can see my favorite team play! ;) Thought you might have the scoop on that.”

LTP: Practice starts March 7 and the Spring Game is April 16. Mark it down and I expect to see you all there!

LTP N Flag Project

I’m a month behind on my self-imposed “fix the LTP N Flag Project link” resolution. However, I have a volunteer to help me. Now I just need to actually find the time to call him! In the meantime, many flags are stacking up.  We have seven states left to conquer.  Update on all of this big time when I get the maps up to date.  In the meantime some long overdue shoutouts…

 Sara – Belize:

Peter The Newlywed!

Way to go with an “N flag” photo from South Africa on your honeymoon.  Well played.








Thomas H. Helps LTP Knock Off Utah!







NC/SC Border

LTP is still in need of SC and this is close. Timothy W. hooked us up with a Calabash, NC sighting:






Resident Reader Recruiter

Thanks to Nick R for saving me hours of research and offering up this neat 2012 primer by scouring


Just went over the Rivals 250 listing for the 2012 recruiting class and haveseen that out of the 25 offers NU has out right now, the following 13 athletes were on the list:

Bam Bradley   DB
Tom Strobel    DE
Faith Ekaite    DE
Tommy Schutt  DT
Quanzel Lambert   LB
Ty Darlington    OL
Jordan Diamond    OL
Evan Boehm      OL
Dan Voltz      OL
Kent Taylor     TE
Davonte Neal   WR
Warren Ball    RB   (already a verbal to Ohio State)
Malin Jones    RB   (already a verbal to the Cats)

So it looks like we are getting in early on some of the leading recruits andhopefully we can land a few.  I think we have the attention of Dan Voltz and hopefully Jordan Diamond from Simeon will at least give us a serious look.

For what it’s worth.

Thanks for the great job on keeping us hard core fans up to date!!

LTP: Thank you Nick! Nothing like pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training to get the ‘ol next year recruiting hopes up that THIS is the year we land those big fish!  Seriously though with Malin Jones already committed and some serious momentum brewing, I do believe 2012 will be the best year yet if my on-field premonitions come true. 

Carmody Contract

I have received double-digit variations of the following type emails. This one from Bob:

“we need someone younger, more fired up and with  better Chicago recruiting ties….like a Chris Collins….36yrs old….Mr. Basketball in Illinois….great pedigree being player and assistant coach at Duke…

Carmody has brought program into a more consistently competitive place and has improved recruiting versus 10 yrs ago BUT he is not the right guy for the next leg of the program to make Tourney on an annual basis…

Can you re-post on your web site what you had found out about his contract extension and whether the school has ability to cut ties with him next year?

LTP: Bob, I’m not going to go in to Carmody replacements until the season is very close to complete and the context for this disappointing season is final.  At the appropriate time I’m going to have likely a week full of posts that will cover everything under the sun.  Of course that is until I change my mind.  But, in the meantime Carmody’s contract runs through the 2011-2012 season. My stance on this is that the recent “extension” which was signed BEFORE the present season added this year and next season. Bottom-line he is contracted for just next year. Oh yeah, my stance. In today’s era of college hoops you HAVE to have the additional year or you simply get KILLED in negative recruiting.  It has become a part of the cost of getting rid of a coach that you have that extra year as if to keep the recruits from being able to say “how can I commit to you if you don’t even have a contract to be there next year?”.  Anyone who believes Phillips wouldn’t dismiss Carmody with a year left on the contract isn’t seeing clearly on this issue.  He may not get rid of him, but it won’t be because of the contract.

NU Ill-annoying Experience at Welsh-Ryan

From reader, name withheld by LTP:

“I appreciate the blog and all the work you put into it – I was there at the last ‘Lake the Posts’ game, I fondly remember running down Central Street with those posts.  Good times.

Anyway, I went to the Men’s BB game this weekend and while I loved the win, I walked away a bit annoyed.  I had received an email from NU back in November before tickets went on sale to the general public allowing me early access to Illinois tickets.  I picked up four, and from the wording on the email assumed I’d be seated with a bunch of NU fans.  Well, we showed up and our section (304) was about 95% Illinois fans, with just a few NU fans sprinkled in.  Looking down at the lower bowl, it looked pretty purple, but the upper deck on both sides was almost all orange.   The crowd looked fairly purple on TV as well.  I expected lots of Illinois fans but this was far worse than I had expected. I figured as a football season ticket holder I was getting access to some better tickets and would be with the purple faithful.

So I decided to write Mike Polisky and John Mack about this on Sunday morning.  I basically said that based on the wording on the email I had very different expectations than what I experienced.  I said either a large number of people had scalped their seats, or I really didn’t get access to tickets before they were available to the public.  First thing this morning I got a call from Mike.  He let me know that there were only 500 tickets sold to the general public, all other seats were sold to NU ‘connected’ people.  Now you know as well as I do that this is not a new situation, but this one really baffles me.  I understand fully if the tickets were sold to the general public and Illinois fans scooped them up, but since NU fans and season ticket holders were doing this, they did it either to make money by scalping them or as a favor to friends.   The Wrigleyville classic had lots of Illinois fans in NU sections, but it was not nearly this bad.  You would think that for a game as big as that one, more NU fans would have gone ahead and used the ticket for themselves.  Maybe a good ‘shame on you’ to those who did this is in order.  I think it just shows how far we have to go.

In terms of what we can do about it, Mike made a good point that season tickets are only about $200 ($224, I guess the purple padded seats are sold out).  I spent $108 on 4 tickets for one game, so it wouldn’t take too many games to make season tickets a much cheaper option.  That would remove 2 tickets from the pool available to other team’s fans at each game, plus the seats .  Something to consider.”

LTP: THIS is why I love the LTP mailbag. First, I’m delighted to hear about Mike Polisky and NU’s rapid response time and the explanation.  Second, I’m stunned as I too fell prey to the myth that opposing fans gobbled up all the tickets via “general sales” the day single game tickets go on sale. I will look in to this further with NU and report back as I find it hard to believe that several thousand NU fans coughed up their tickets to Illinois.  Something doesn’t seem to add up right here. Thanks for sharing!

Feel free to send me your thoughts, tips, photos and fun stuff at .

  • Peter

    We actually almost went to Belize. What are the odds you get doubled up on flags from there?

  • Max Power

    Hmm, I’ll be in South Carolina next weekend. Now if only I can remember my NU flag…

  • Wildcattack!

    A lot of NU employees are Illinios alums (or related/married to Illinios alums) and these people routinely scoop up those tickets.

  • cece

    time to get some other NU employees.

    consolation, and piling on all at once….NU Men, Golf beats Illinois!!!!