Today is one of those short attention span theater kind of posts. There is quite a bit of news going on, most of which can be covered in three sentences or less. Let’s get in to it!
Ebert Signs 4-Year Deal with New England
Wooo hooo! There is nothing quite like a Northwestern Wildcat signing with your favorite pro team. That’s what Jeremy Ebert did, in my filter, by signing a 4-year deal with the New England Patriots, the team that drafted #11 as a 7th round pick in last month’s NFL Draft. According to Mike Reiss of ESPN.com, this was confirmed by Patriots sources. Also, as you can read here the max value of the contract is approximately $2.1 million. Congratulations to Jeremy who is back on campus finishing up classes and prepping for graduation next month.
Thank you to those of you who keep hounding me and tipping us off on Northwestern Athletics facilities news. Teddy Greenstein mentioned in yesterday’s Chicago Tribune a golden nugget as it relates to the much discussed facilities. According to TG, who we’ll get on LTP very soon to discuss this topic, the NU Board of Trustees will meet in June and may approve the facilities spending plan.
Yankee Stadium Game?
The very same Chicago Tribune feature by Teddy mined another scheduling nugget or two. Jim Phillips would like to play a game in Yankee Stadium to capitalize on the strong NY alumni base NU has and also Phillips spoke to Jim Delany about potential alignment with the Pinstripe Bowl with the B1G (currently Big East/Big 12) which Delany believes makes sense to explore. Also, NU may participate in the RPI roulette wheel of the 2012 South Padre Island Invitational for basketball. Last year the Charleston Classic turned out to be a surprise boost to our non-conference RPI as Seton Hall overachieved. Finally, Phillips is exploring playing a game at the United Center (yes!) and Sears Centre (boo). I’d love a NU-DePaul showdown at the UC, personally.
Matt Stewart Postscript
Thanks for all the great feedback on the Matt Stewart Purple Mafia Profile (scroll down a post) from yesterday. I received more emails than comments and as fate would have it, my mention of getting beat out for a walk-on spot by Tom Kramer came full circle. It turns out Matt Stewart and Kramer (someone I consider a friend) are friends and live in KC! How crazy is that?
Football & Hoops Recruiting News
A couple of tidbits from Louie Vaccher at WildcatReport.com regarding recruiting. Kevin Coble look-a-like Nate Taphorn, a 6-7 shooting guard from Pekin, IL visited NU and has an offer. Taphorn is a rising star in Illinois and has 12 offers, albeit only two from BCS conferences (NU and Colorado) with many showing interest. Taphorn was impressed with NU and played with the team leaving confident he could play at this level, according to the report. It was interesting to note the location is a big plus for him and also his seeming disregard for the lack of bigtime facilities as an issue.
Meanwhile, NU offerred powerhouse DT Andrew Billings of Waco, TX recently. The guy benches 470 pounds and squats 700 pounds and was the Texas weightlifting champ. He’s being courted by Baylor (obviously), SMU, Texas Tech, North Texas and many others as you can imagine.
‘Cat Tennis Love
It’s rematch time for NU women’s tennis. The #12 Wildcats face #4 Stanford in Sweet 16 action at 11 am ct in Athens, GA. Last year, the ‘Cats took #1-ranked Stanford to the brink before bowing in the very same round. The most unheralded program in Evanston is NU’s women’s tennis. They are making their – get this – 9th straight Sweet 16 appearance and 12th in 13 years. Holy smokes. Best of luck to NU Tennis today. You can follow them on Twitter or go here to NUSports.com for more info.
The NU mens’ golf team begins NCAA Tourney action today in Bowling Green, KY as part of a 14-team regional. The ‘Cats are a #9 seed in the field, but golf is quirky as both teams and/or individuals can advance. This is the 13th NCAA appearance in head coach Pat Goss’ 16 seasons in Evanston and the 27th post-season appearance in school history. NU has six top ten finishes to its claim. Follow the three day tournament on Twitter at @NUGolf_Live .
Northwestern women’s lacrosse hosts #7 Duke in NCAA Tournament quarterfinal action Saturday night under the lights in Evanston at 7pm ct. I’ve failed to link to this before, but it’s great to see NU putting some marketing muscle behind the lacrosse program. NU produces a women’s lacrosse “show” online and this is the ninth episode of the season. It’s great to show off the personality of the program visually in a consistent manner. This is the type of thing that every sport should have and will have in the next ten years as the internal production capacity gets bigger at each school and more savvy, niche marketing takes over traditional methods.
NU softball is back in the NCAA Tournament and has the daunting task of opening play tomorrow against the Texas Longhorns, in Austin at 4pm ct in the double-elimination regional. Auburn and Houston are the other two teams comprising this bracket. As NUSports.com points out, this is the exact spot NU launched its World Series run in 2003 so here is to karma. Texas is ranked #6 in the nation so it will be a tall task. Follow the game live on Twitter at @NUSBcats .
LTP Ticket Help
C’mon gang – we’re stuck shy of 20% of our 200 NEW season ticket goal. One of the commenters asked about individual priced tickets vs the season ticket package. One sideline season ticket (highest price of the options) is $262 for the entire season. Here is the link for single game ticket prices which includes $70 for Nebraska, $60 for Iowa, Illinois, $50 for Indiana and $40 for non-conference games. Here’s the catch. Nebraska and Iowa will be sellouts so the only way to ensure you can go to those games is through a season ticket or you’ll be paying through the roof on reseller sites. It’s time for me to do my annual cut and paste blog for you to use as an email campaign because we’re not getting enough people on board quick enough. Send me your stories of converting NEW season ticket holders to me at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Purple Mafia Update
Thanks to your ideas and connections, we’re on the outreach plan for the following Purple Mafia Profilees:
- Josh Lewin (Mets Announcer)
- Sandy Sacks (NU player)
- Todd Martin (Tennis star)
- ESPN College Gameday Producer
- Mike Greenberg
- Michael Wilbon
- Daniel Pink (Leadership guru)
- Zynga CEO (Words with Friends, Scramble etc..)
- Joe Girardi
- The Alviti Family
- Steve Tasker
- Rick Venturi
- Keep on adding more!!!
LTP N Flag Project
We’ve got some mojo on the LTP N Flag project. This came in last week from Ben S. It’s not quite a flag ,but hey, A for innovation – an NU makeshift flag – a T-shirt – in front of Burj Khalifa (world’s tallest building) in Dubai. Keep ‘em coming!