Ebert Stands Pat; Phillips Schedule Surfing Plus ‘Cat Non-Rev NCAA Tourney Madness!

EbertIUTD

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.

Facilities!

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.

Golf Love

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 .

Lacrosse Fodder

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.

Softball Reminder

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 laketheposts@gmail.com .

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!

 

Ben S. in Dubai with a makeshift N Flag....his shirt!

 

  • VAWildcat

    Funny you showed the picture of Ben S. because I was just thinking that he’d make a great Purple Mafia Profilee, if you haven’t done him already. Trustee, super sports fan . . .

    • Chadnudj

      Ben S. is a trustee? Then he’s one of the people we as sports fans need to start putting pressure on to endorse the boldest athletics’ facilities overhaul possible…..

      • Ron

        Just a hunch, but based on his seemingly active participation with this site (NIT tix in Washington in March, pic above, who knows what else), he’s probably one trustee who we need not worry about. It would be interesting to hear his take, though.

  • DarkSide

    A ‘Cat game at Yankee Stadium is an intriguing idea. B1G alignment with the Pinstripe Bowl is certainly one way to get there. I think a cooler idea would be to play a regular season game between Notre Dame and Northwestern at Yankee Stadium. Before you all pooh-pooh the idea, hear me out. Any game with Notre Dame, no matter how poorly their team is playing, is guaranteed to get big press. Both NU and ND have a large and dare I say passionate alumni/fanbase in the Tri-State area. The game would be a sell out, guaranteed. I also truly believe, NU would hold it’s own in terms of drawing fans. If the game is early in the year, College Game Day would likely make it the destination of the week. This builds even greater exposure. Perhaps this is a pipe dream, but so was bringing the ‘Purple to Pasadena’. GO ‘CATS!!

    • Steve Z

      I like the idea if I’d be able to get there. Assuming we’d give up a home game, it devalues the season ticket for that year, I’d think.

    • brooklyncat

      A game at Yankee Stadium would have to be late in the year, mid-November earliest. Baseball comes first there, obviously, and they would simply assume they would be playing late into October, so nothing would be scheduled in advance until after. Then the conversion needs to take place…

  • Ron

    Don’t know what or where the Sears Center is, tho judging from Google it’s somewhere in the outer burbs. Can’t imagine it would be a be a bad thing to move one of the Christmas-time games, when there are no students and attendance is about 700, to a venue where just maybe the novelty alone would be worth a larger turnout.

    United Center, on the other hand, would require moving one of our marquee matchups off campus, to a venue that could only be filled by visiting fans. I don’t think I’d be in favor of that.

    Finally, I’m heavily opposed to scheduling a NU-ND game anywhere but Evanston, unless it’s a 3rd game added to the current 2 game series, for the purpose of being a “neutral” site game. We’ve waited too long to get Notre Dame back on our own terms, which included not having to play in Soldier Field.

  • Jim

    WLAX: Eyes on the Prize

    The dramatic effect of playing Duke under the lights on Saturday night may remind everyone that this a quarterfinal game in the NCAA tourney. ( Something NU doesn’t experience often in any sport. ) If the lights and intensity of the competition in this game don’t raise the excitement level, maybe focussing on the prize immediately ahead will. The prize is a semi-final match, likely against Maryland in the ( Cats- ) friendly confines of Stony Brook, New York on May 25th. Although the NU-Duke game may be competitive, it isn’t likely to be anything like the battles facing any of the teams making next week’s final four. It’s highly likely the final four will consist of Maryland, Northwestern and Florida. However, the fourth team will be decided by the outcome of #4 seeded host Syracuse’s battle with #5 North Carolina this Saturday. ( Brackets: http://www.ncaa.com/interactive-bracket/lacrosse-women/d1 )
    The Orange-Tar Heels battle, unlike the other quarter final matches, should rival the intensity of next week’s contests. More importantly, should the Orange prevail, as expected, it sets up a Florida-Syracuse re-match in the semis that could be quite the challenge for the Gators. Not that a NU-Maryland re-match, in this year’s semi’s of last year’s 1 point championship game, won’t be.
    The current situation bears an eery familiarity with last year surrounding Cats fans uncertainty of who would emerge as the champion from the WLAX final four. It’s therapeutic for everyone to remember that a sense of entitlement is a dangerous by-product of a championship dynasty like WLAX. This can be a serious seasonal challenge at this time of year. But, it’s a great challenge to have.

    • Jim

      Spellcheck Correction: 5th row from bottom: eerie not “eery”

    • http://theerrorofmyways.com/wordpress PilgrimCat

      If I recall, Duke is good but couldn’t run with NU and fouled a lot. It’ll be interesting to see if they try to copy Florida’s defense. I’ll be there to see.

  • Steve Z

    An article from the Daily talking about the facilities plans.

    http://www.dailynorthwestern.com/wildcat-extra/in-focus-athletic-upgrades-on-hold-1.2740630#.T7XMpUVDyrk

    I just want to hear any kind of official news on it. I didn’t realize its been since October 2010 when they announced the facilities plan study.

    • http://theerrorofmyways.com/wordpress PilgrimCat

      The biggest problem has to be land use, followed by traffic and infrastructure. A new training facility – say east of SPAC, where there’s a parking lot now, or just west of the beach (also a parking lot) – is probably doable. A lakeside football stadium or basketball arena is probably not. Since we don’t know what Dr. Jim is asking for, it’s hard to assess.

  • Philip Rossman-Reich

    Did not realize Ebert got a four-year deal. That is fantastic for him! Opportunity might be there if he works hard. It is starting to sound like this might be Wes Welker’s last year with the Patriots and Ebert is already drawing comparisons to Welker in the New England media.

    • chartmoose

      Hats off to Ebert and his 4 year deal!

      Also, hats off to cardiac-cat-fan, who called it on laketheposts back in February
      Sometimes you can drink purple koolaid and be objective, all at the same time.

      Quote:
      i’m happy to see Drake turning some heads at the NFL combine. any word on if Jeremy Ebert got an invite or how he is doing? i believe he’s going to be an impact slot receiver much like that of Welker for the Patriots. Ebert has a great skill set for that slot position in the N

West Division

TeamsW (Overall)L (Overall)W (B1G)L (B1G)
Minnesota1000
Purdue1000
Iowa1000
Nebraska1000
Illinois1000
Northwestern0100
Wisconsin0100

East Division

TeamsW (Overall)L (Overall)W (B1G)L (B1G)
Rutgers1000
Penn State1000
Michigan1000
Michigan State1000
Ohio State1000
Indiana1000
Maryland1000