Sailgate Sales Strong Yet Spots Still Open, Practice Day 3, NCAA Tide Turn & More…

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SAILGATE UPDATE!

Day one of sales was a strong one for our Sailgate, Army road trip package, but there is daylight for those of you that were late to the waitlist or not yet on it.  Please note, if you are on the waitlist and have not ordered – ORDER NOW – because if you don’t your ticket will be sold to someone else. I highly encourage those of you thinking about purchasing but haven’t because you’re not on the waitlist – to order – NOW. Many have purchased less than they thought on the waitlist.

There are 120 tickets for the FULL SAILGATE PACKAGE and according to our waitlist we have more buyers than tickets. So here is how this will work. If you are on the waitlist you must still click on the link below and purchase the tickets you wanted. Just because your order went through DOES NOT MEAN YOU ARE ON BOAT #4! It depends on where you were in the waitlist line. If you are say, #139 but not all 120 have purchased then you are a maybe. How will you know? READ THIS. If you are in for certain you will get an email tonight from our fearless leader Scott Sloane that will confirm you are on it. If you are beyond #120 on the waitlist you will get a message asking for your patience. Waitlisters have until Friday at 3pm et to place their orders. If they don’t you move up. You will be notified if you make it by Friday night. IF YOU DON’T MAKE IT YOU WILL GET A FULL REFUND WITH NO PENALTIES. Again, there is no limit to tailgate and/or game ticket packages. Here are the revised pricing options which have added a few dollars as our expanded tailgate requires us renting big wedding-style outdoor tents to accommodate the masses. BELOW ARE THE PRICING OPTIONS:

Boat + Tailgate + Game Ticket (adult) $138.00

Boat + Tailgate + Game Ticket (child 4-10) $128.00

Tailgate + Game Ticket $75.00

Tailgate Only $52.00

Game Ticket Only $23.00

Boat Only $63.00

Ready, Set…PURCHASE TICKETS HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

OK, you purchase tickets by clicking on THIS LINK which will take you to a subpage and you select your option and total tickets you want to purchase. THERE IS NO PHONE NUMBER TO CALL. This is 2011, so you know the drill. If you have ANY issues, post a comment. LTP will be out of pocket for much of the day, however we’ve got folks monitoring the site for any issues. TICKETS FOR ALL OF THE ABOVE END FRIDAY AT 3pm ET!  Tailgate and game tickets are strong but there are still 40 tickets to be had to fill boat #4.  Several folks have bought less than they thought, so I encourage those of you that are not on the waitlist to give it a shot and purchase tickets if you’ve been thinking about it!

Now back to football..

Practice Day Three News & Notes

The ‘Cats strapped on the pads for the first time in fall camp and the level of intensity reportedly picked up a few notches on Wednesday.  Not a ton of ink on the specifics of day three from the Northwestern beat teams out there.  However, yesterday appeared to be more of a feature driven day. Kain Colter got the Tribune love by Teddy Greenstein and you can just truly get a sense of Kain’s confidence and charisma by his quotes of wanting to ruin Persa’s Heisman campaign by earning the starting job. What sounds like pipe dream talk is something you’ve got to love and respect about the game-changing QB who carried us in the TicketCity Bowl. Fitz gushes about Colter as does McCall and they continue to insist not only that they need to find ways to get him on the field, but that he for certain WILL be on the field this fall. Fitz ALWAYS caveats the follow-up by saying he won’t say how which leads you to speculate.  Will he be a WR? A RB? Or, is he going to platoon him at QB in down/distance QB run situations?  Check out the Trib piece here.

WildcatReport.com dug in on the second biggest developing story of fall camp, that being Ben Burkett’s now shift from C to RG.  Burkett seems to be all in on the “best five” lineman on the field concept even if he’s been replaced by a RS frosh, Brandon Vitabile.  Fitz’s comments about not experimenting were softened by OL Adam Cushing who acknowledged you try different things until it works as Louie Vaccher also noted that Paul Jorgensen will be definitively a tackle so no more experimenting there.  The much maligned OL definitely has a new look to it and it will be interesting to see how Brandon and Ben stack-up against BC as all Wildcat eyes will be really paying extra attention here.

Finally, a nice piece here on SB Drake Dunsmore and his ability to shake the injury bug so far as well as his morphing in to more of a leadership role. Skip Myslenski had the honors on NUSports.com. 

Persa Strong(er)

Take the next five minutes and click here to read this great Thayer Evans story on Fox Sports.com about the Dan Persa/Randy Walker connection. Frankly, it merits its own post as it goes to the heart of the integrity of Walk AND Fitz that reflect well on NU. It’s an emotional roller coaster and makes you realize what could’ve been had Fitz not responded exactly how he did to the Persa family when Coach Walk passed in 2006.   Thanks to Omar for the tip. 

Separately, several of you have forwarded the podcast by Stewart Mandel and his interview on Fitz. Well, the NU alum praised NU for its marketing efforts with Persa Strong despite the fact he cites that no Heisman winner in the past 20 years had a preseason campaign. He’s right when he says it is about getting the coverage in the media circles throughout the season (the one major downside to our night games on BTN) but wisely claims that’s not the bigger picture purpose. It really is a tool to spread the name of NU and Stewart and I share the same sentiments that Joey Harrington’s groundbreaking Heisman campaign in 2001 did just that for the Ducks who are now known everywhere, albeit lately for scandal, but you get the point.  The Harrington Times Square billboard stunt was the tipping point for buzz around the program. 

Innocent Until Proven Purple Court

An interesting marketing development yesterday. JHodges was tweeting about an imminent announcement of the NU hoops court selection, which has received national attention for including an all-purple option. Then, NU postponed the announcement until further notice. COMPLETE speculation on my part, but it makes you think that the national media attention tilted the scales to the purple court and that insiders at NU are saying “really, do we REALLY want this?”  I personally think it cheapens the brand a bit as it feels gimmicky.  From a marketing perspective this is a case study in social media and online community doing what NU would have hoped, if it is indeed a purple court. The buzz was created.  However, the demographic of the social media users skews much younger and again, making a leap, current students and recent grads are more likely to vote for an all purple court than the non social media types who I’d stereotype as more traditional, conservative and brand guardian types. It’ll be fascinating to see how this plays out.

Illini Get New AD: From Cincy

I just love seeing Northwestern getting positive print in the articles surrounding the announcement of Illinois’ hiring of the new AD, Mike Thomas from Cincinnati. Here is one of many examples of the article pointing out that Jim Phillips was the top choice, yet NU was able to ink him through 2020.  Note the go-to emphasis on facilities as Thomas claimed an Assembly Hall renovation was a top priority.  Ron Zook, your hot seat begins now. It’s off to an unfortunate start as the bellcow basketball program took a PR hit as former Illini Jerome Richmond is making police blotter and negative sports news for threatening to shoot a man with a gun. Not good.

Coming Up…the NCAA Pivot

Some soundbites with teeth at the NCAA summit and it favors the ‘Cats AND the Michigan Man.  Stay tuned.

  • Just the Facts

    There was a lot of media attention for the all-purple court, but the comments I saw were all negative (as were the comments on this website). I know the theory may be that any attention is good attention, but only if you want to be known for a gimmick rather than the quality of the program. People talk about Boise State’s blue football field, but only because Boise State has elevated its program to BCS Bowl level. Take the winning away, and the buzz would long since have ended. If the Cats make a run to their first NCAA tournament bid, they will get plenty of buzz and attention. They won’t need a purple court to do the job.

    The purple court option did its job of drawing attention to NU. But let’s leave it as an option, and pick the best looking of the options.

  • http://www.hailtopurple.com/jhodges/ jhodges

    Thanks for the shout-out, LTP.

    On the purple court, I definitely agree that they are likely to get more votes for the purple court via social media than if they were to take a vote by show of hands at an alumni club meeting. But, I think the purple court is a great idea that has already brought national media attention, and therefore already generated a return on investment (and that in addition to all of the “likes” on facebook, required to post a comment, and thereby extending their reach on the all-important social media site).

    Also, I seriously would like the purple court because it would be something to actually distract the media from the lack of NCAA tourney appearances, which is something that unfortunately ALWAYS comes up when NU is playing on the hardwood. Then, when NU does make it to the promised land, I’m fine if Welsh-Ryan and the purple court get demolished immediately thereafter.

    In any case, it’s now up to both the football and basketball teams to make good on the media attention by winning. If they can break through with great seasons, this initial hype could very add to the potential media fire later on.

  • PittsburghWildcat

    I voiced my personal preference for the purple court for this simple reason: if you’re flipping around the TV and run across a game at Welsh-Ryan, you need to immediately notice it. An easy way you do that, short of being a top-10 program, is by having a unique look to your court. Plus, think about highlights on SportsCenter and the like, and how much easier it would be for NU hoops highlights to stand out from a crowd of other hoops highlights.

    Nothing replaces a top-tier program. But somewhere along the way, you have to start differentiating your product from others, and that includes facilities.

  • tom

    No doubt a purple court would get media attention… I’m just concerned it’ll be negative media attention due to looking ridiculous. Kinda like when we had the “great” idea to play at Wrigley without realizing we could only play one direction. Sometime’s Jim Phillips gets carried away with being too innovative and this court fiasco is a prime example.

  • Henry in CT

    Terrific Persa piece. This Heisman campaign is great marketing because it reminds people that NU has an outstanding QB that is worth going to see play. He is in the perfect offense for him on a team where his ability and importance will be obvious to everyone. If they are 6-2 or even 7-1 going into Nebraska, Persa could be the talk of college football. Not saying it will happen but the sky’s the limit with this guy.

  • Dozer

    @ tom, I don’t think the court design has quite reached “fiasco” stage yet. I’m going to wait and see what design they pick and how they handle the announcement before I judge.

  • VAWildcat

    @tom
    The “one way Wrigley” media attention was negative for about a minute. The event was a huge positive for NU (even taking into account the score of the game). Likewise, merely the OPTION of the purple court has garnered all kinds of notice. I hope they don’t go with it (I prefer the option with purple inside the 3-point line), but even if they do it’s no fiasco.

  • Mark

    Love to hear ‘Cats players talking during interviews. While there are plenty of cliches and platitudes many of them are true. But the big thing is to hear how well spoken they are. Makes you realize that Chadnudj was right the other day about recruiting – first, recruit for talent but then the guy has to have the right interest and character to fit into the program. Every football program in the country would like to recruit all 4′s and 5′s or Highly Touted or Very Highly Touted and have them all be future Nobel, Emmy, Pulitzer, National Book Award winners. But the reality is that while all the guys have to be smart to play Division I (or whatever the latest name is), not all are equally interested in applying that intelligence to school or have the necessary background to be excellent students. Love the fact that many of the 5th year ‘Cats are in grad school and everyone is on schedule to get a degree. I’m not a NU grad, but these characteristics make it easy to be a fan and season ticket holder. (And by fan I mean fanatic, not a reserved observer of the action.)

  • NU Cat ’95

    Considering we’re talking new basketball courts and it’s Michigan week here, it seems appropriate to note that the Wolverines have a new court design:

    http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6197/6023063042_6d1497a6be_o.png

  • http://www.northwesternhighlights.com Northwestern Highlights

    LTP, I’m anxiously awaiting your writeup on all the NCAA proposal news that’s coming out this afternoon about minimum APRs and post-season play. I have to give a tip of my hat to the NCAA for trying to move quickly on this.

  • cece

    unless the players hate the purple court, the people have voted. if there is a problem with young and social media voting because it skews young, too bad. it is way past time that this university starting thinking that it is about the person who is in the seat, not the rich alum who ponys up money. the university has plenty of money to do lots of things. what we don’t have is plenty of people in seats. what is the size of the monied elite alum group vs. the people who get excited, vote, come to events? it’s way smaller. the time to cultivate the larger group in every way is now. the court vote got people excited. it is not just a gimmick. it is a symbol. and a good one.

  • NUUM

    @ NU Cat ’95, I love the new UM court–very classy. That’s the type of design that NU should have, not that all purple monstrosity.

  • Wildcat86
  • willycat

    I voted in favor of the purple floor and believe me when I tell you I’m not a young one, heck I saw Wilt Chamberlain play at McGaw Hall. The floor brings attention to NU and since we’re not a top 10 or even a top 60 program yet, getting noticed is the way to go. Just like the Wrigley game, which was the most successful sports promotion in NU history, it will get the media and public to notice NU basketball and that’s the point.

  • CM

    Just listened to the Kevin Wilson interview…WOW. That was the worst interview I have ever heard. I could hardly believe what I was hearing…and that was coming from a head football coach in the Big Ten??? To be fair, the comment before he came on about past IU teams was a bit uncalled for..but only slightly. Wilson took that interview south on his own; and in a hurry.

  • Henry in CT

    Re the Wilson interview: Apparently the media has been on him and/or Indiana so the man has a chip on his shoulder and now he goes and pisses off the media even more. He sounded very stressed out. Indiana is a graveyard for college coaches as NU once was. Good luck IU but not against us.

  • Al

    If they could somehow prevent the purple court from looking blue on TV (like our uniforms do) then I’d consider it.

    Seriously, does anyone else have that problem or is my TV just too old?

  • GTom

    @Al

    I don’t believe it’s just your TV… it’s the color that they use on the floor which just isn’t bold enough to see the distinction. It’s like the uniforms they had about 5 or so years ago, which look blue, not purple.

    I’m not old enough to have seen Wilt (kudos to you Willycat), but I’m not young and hip either, and I have to say that the purple court appeals to me. Again, as long as they players don’t hate it (and it sounds like Drew Crawford might), I’m all for being bold. Heck, its hopefully only for one year, anyway, if we get a new facility built.

  • TK

    I’m not too worried about the purple court. The administration will have an internal review of the results, weigh the pros and cons, and ultimately go their own way with it. My only two experience involve my high school and my college. When Hersey in Arlington Heights was founded, they had a vote for the school colors. Sources I have that were a part of process said a traditional blue/yellow scheme was voted. However, the principal at the time had certain loyalties, thus we have a brown/orange scheme. For college, I went to UW-Green Bay. Once again, there was a vote for a nickname for the school. For a long time, they were the Bay Badgers, which was pretty much a waterskiing Bucky. When they decided to have their own mascot, a source (a professor who was there from the beginning) insists the administration had to choose a different nickname because no one in the room wanted their university’s nickname to be the Fighting Tomatoes. Instead, they chose the Phoenix.

    Moral of the story: I am sure they submitted the purple court design just to get people to talk NU basketball in the summer and to get a lot of votes for their contest.

  • GTom

    @Wildcat86 and CM

    Wow is right. Wilson sounded unhinged… to the point that I was embarrassed that he mentioned his role at Northwestern in that clip. That’s just awful.

  • GTom

    @TK

    Similar to your stories, my mom was a middle-school teacher at a new school that was trying to pick a mascot. They decided to go full-out civics lesson in letting the students pick their mascot, and actually had the town election supervisor bring in official voting equipment for the task. Unfortunately, the selection of “Viper” did not sit well with the snake-fearing principal (who was convinced that a kid would bring in a snake, one day), and needless to say, the election was… um… modified to get the appropriate outcome. I wonder of those kids realize how much of real-world civics lesson they really received.

  • Bobb Hall Alum

    Kevin Wilson?? Really??? WOW.

  • KramerCat

    I think the purple court is awful. If there was a runoff election, whether by social media or not, between the purple court and the most popular of the other 3, I bet the perple court loses. The purple court is a love or hate proposition.

  • NUmanager

    I dont hate the purple court, but, no recruit will ever sign with us because of a purple court. No one will buy tickets because of a purple court. Kids don’t go to Boise because of that hideous turf.

    It’s a gimmick. And what’s worse, we’d be playing off someone else’s gimmick. And my guess is that’s how it would be perceived by most people who watch basketball.

  • http://LakeThePosts DT

    Wilson seemingly has spent way too much time around the Stoops Brothers… Do remember talking with the parent of an NU QB back in the day at Kenohsa when Wilson was OC (before one needed reservations from the football office no less…) and having the lady none too impressed with his coaching or character. He was gone the next year… Still, he has done some impressive work with QB’s through the years, and had NU and Oklahoma playing at a very high level on “O”… Let’s not forget, Wilson was key in bringing the spread to our program and bigger picture, turning that system loose to some extent in college football… My bet is Wilson has them scoring points and despite that ridiculous interview, has them competitive.. We should be very uptight this year about the game at IU, with Wilson and Kevin Johns on the sideline… As bad as they have been- they have played NU close in recent years… Also, more power to them having last won a bowl game in 91! Beats our 1949…. What would those guys at WNDE have to say to Fitzgerald about that stat? Just might get a rise out of Good Ole #51 as well….

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West Division

TeamsW (Overall)L (Overall)W (B1G)L (B1G)
Nebraska4000
Minnesota3100
Iowa3100
Illinois3100
Wisconsin2100
Purdue2200
Northwestern 1200

East Division

TeamsW (Overall)L (Overall)W (B1G)L (B1G)
Penn State4010
Maryland3100
Ohio State2100
Indiana2100
Michigan State2100
Michigan2200
Rutgers3101