Clever Cowbell Comebacks, Conspiracy Bowl Happenings & Call For Holiday Gifts

It’s an insanely busy day on the LTP front, so let’s try and jump in to all sorts of different topics.

LTP Bowl Mania

OK, we have ONE day left to get people signed up for the LTP ESPN Bowl Mania game. As you know, this year we are starting a Bowl Mania winning traveling trophy, a game-worn 1996 Gary Barnett Northwestern jacket, which will reside with the winner for one full year. BOWL GAMES START TOMORROW so the bowl entries close at kickoff of the first game, tomorrow. All you need to do is GO HERE and search for the group named “LTP” then pick your games and assign points.  All of you will place a “35” on NU to beat Mississippi State, the highest point total you can assign.  It’s simple, easy, and a fun way for us to talk trash against one another when finding ourselves actually caring about Rice. The single season record for entries in this pool is 165 and we are currently only at 115. Let’s try and set a new record. Invite your friends as well!

Clever Cowbell Comeback

According to Chicago Tribune’s Teddy Greenstein, the Gator Bowl has allowed Mississippi State fans to bring cowbells,  a long-standing, yet outlawed in the SEC tradition, of their fans. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to see that this is all about moving ticket sales. Yet, one fan base’s pleasure equals obvious “hey, wait a minute!” from Northwestern and its fans. So, we can do one of two things. We can bitch about it, which many have already started to do (I suggest flooding Gator Bowl email and twitter accounts which you can find here at ).  Or, we can be a bit more crafty.

There has to be a reader out there that would want to create a no-brainer PR buzz by coming up with a clever comeback.  Said company would foot the bill for a noise-making instrument and flood the NU fan base with them.  It’s guaranteed to get picked up in the media and create a literal and figurative buzz. I’m happy to be the mouthpiece for whoever wants to step up with creative solutions and the funds to make it happen.

Capital Conspiracy

Congrats to the Orlando Sentinel’s Mike Bianchi for confirming what we all suspected. Bianchi confirmed from two Capital One Bowl sources that the bowl wanted a Johnny Football Texas A&M match-up against Northwestern. Obviously, that would’ve been a ratings bonanza for us considering the seemingly Tebow-like media coverage of the freshman Heisman Trophy winning QB.  It indeed should tick you off as a fan that the SEC and B1G stepped in to meddle with the selection process since the bowl admitted it needs to play the role of good partner. It also illuminates what an old school anachronistic thing the bowl system is.  However, I’m still not convinced that Northwestern wasn’t also looking at the best matchup and playing some behind-the-scenes friendly ways with the conference, but that is admittedly complete speculation. It’s hard to argue that Mississippi State isn’t the best potential match-up for us of all the potential options.

Brian Bennett had a great summary of the whole thing here on

Big Least

What a sad day for nostalgic east coast sports fans like myself. Many of you know I grew up a diehard Providence College basketball fan and I was lucky enough to be in my formative years during the height of the Big East glory days.  I remember every game seemingly brought a different superstar in the building – Ewing, Douglas, Coleman, Mullin – and my inevitable Northwestern fandom was shaped by being the eternal underdog in the Big East. Now, the seven Catholic schools are leaving the Big East to form their own coalition -Providence, DePaul, Villanova, Marquette, Georgetown, St. John’s and Seton Hall.  There aren’t many ties to how this impacts Northwestern other than the obvious bolstering of the B1G hoops brand and the fact it may help sway more Jaren Sina-types (NU’s top 100 2013 commitment from New Jersey).

Texas Tech Using Fitz Model

Thanks to reader Willie W. for sending this link I never would’ve found. It’s a blog post about the recent Texas Tech hiring of 33-year-old former QB Cliff Kingsbury. Fitz and Northwestern are used as the model and it continues to underscore the national reputation build of the ‘Cats. All you need to do is read the one line where it talks about the 31-year-old Fitz starting 4-8, but now being 49-39, with 5 straight bowl games and a 9-3 record this year. We’ve all seen the ups and downs and the roller coaster factor, but when Texas Tech bloggers are using our program a  model it isn’t a bad thing.

Former Wildcat AD An ACC Lifer

Not many younger folks know that Wake Forest AD, Ron Wellman, was the baseball coach at Northwestern prior to Paul Stevens. You can get a sense for just how disruptive the Maryland move was in ACC country by reading this feature in the Winston-Salem Journal. Candidly, Wellman comes across a bit naive for his lifelong pledge to the ACC.


I’ve got a post lined up for next week under the theme of LTP Holiday Gift Giving Guide. Many of you have written books, or run companies that have offerings that might be of interest to the LTP readership. Please send me your ideas at for consideration.




  • Alec
  • VTE

    Cowbell Comeback: A smart-phone app with the Wildcat “Growl.”

  • NUMBalumDave

    How about a siren whistle? They are cheap and relatively easy to obtain, and so small that you could easily carry it in and no one will find it on your person. Imagine thousands of fans making that characteristic “whoop..whoooop… whooooop…wooooooo” sound.

  • CatInTheHat

    Didn’t Texas Tech bring cowbells to the Ticket City Bowl? I don’t remember them being that terribly annoying, although I think this is a fun little rivalry within a rivalry to spice up the mundane few weeks leading up the game itself.

    • Here is video from a bowl game Mississippi State was at recently:

      Decide for yourself the level of annoyance.

      • cece

        seriously, how can the bowl powers that be allow this? how is it allowed in NCAA football? it is not allowed in Ryan field.

      • CatInTheHat

        Jeez, that’s terrible. I could see that being a major issue, especially the way we played in loud environments this year.

      • Fanaticat

        Hard to tell the noise level on the field, but that clip shows them being rung throughout the snap count, totally contradicting what MSU posters have said on our boards. Unbelievable that they are specifically acknowledging the permission for cowbells when it’s clearly against heir written rules.

        They wanna get nuts? I’d say let’s get nuts and have as many NU fans bring cowbells to play during their offensive series.

        • The SEC prohibits them from ringing them during play at their home games. Bowl games though are obviously not governed by SEC rules. I am sure NU will be prepared for it.

      • NUMBalumDave

        Just to be an angry crank, again, the bowl is allowing this because SEC. Simple as that. SEC.

  • Wildcats99
    • Doug

      So I totally agree. And since the gator bowl has written regulations about no noise makers, and we are Northwestern, someone needs to start lawyering the shit out of them on this until they either allow us to bring in noise makers as well, or ban the cowbells.

      And they better also hire about 1000 extra security guards to kick out every single cowbell ringer who rings that thing outside the “rules.”

  • skepticat

    The Nebraska game attendance and being spurned by the Capital One bowl … two moments of NU football lore that apparently won’t ever die.

    But thence lies your solution: take a can or jar of screws to the game. Imagine the powerful message that will be sent with 20,000+ purple bloods all rattling their cans of screws.

  • Hank

    It should be noted that noisemakers are still listed as prohibited on the Gator Bowl site. While I doubt anyone will be enforcing this, we might smart to bring cowbells too since they are seemingly the only exempt annoyance. Even though it’s their tradition, I wouldn’t mind giving MSU fans a taste of their own medicine and I bet their offense isn’t prepping to hear that noise on game day.

  • Keep the ideas coming. Who is going to step up and fund the TBD big idea?

  • Stephen Zgrabik

    What if we brought in actual live cats? They would be going nuts making tons of noise and fighting. We could even spray paint them purple!

    • Stephen Zgrabik

      Or didgeridoos – we can start a new tradition.

  • CatInTheHat

    Venric Mark was just named a FWAW First-Team All American!

    • PRR has post coming up on this…stay tuned. First Wildcat All-American since Zach Strief in 2005.

  • cece

    cats often wear bells around their necks. granted, they are small, but at christmas there are lots of bells out there. get out the purple ribbon!!!

  • NUOtter

    Empty water bottles with a handful of pennies can make a lot of noise and wouldn’t require too much planning. If you buy the water from concessions, you could just assemble your noisemaker at the game.

    • NUMBalumDave

      I like this. Simple. Effective. MacGyver.

  • RazzmaChas

    Calling all NUMBAlums! Bring your instruments. If anyone at the gate or inside the stadium gives you any trouble, just tell them it is a new type of cowbell. We need more tubas!

    • If only the NUMBALUMS got to march…I never got the chance to march in a bowl game when I was in NUMB.

  • CatInTheHat

    Remember the Thunder Stix craze of the early 2000s? NU should send a pair of purple Thunder Stix to everyone who orders tickets. They can be blown up once inside the stadium and are almost as annoying as the cowbell.

    • NUMBalumDave

      Years ago, they handed out those clapping hands clappers at The Stadium Formerly Known as Dyche. Noisemakers were actually a positive thing, given the thin crowds.

      You still see thunderstix around, just not as prevalent as they used to be.

  • NUMBalumDave

    The more I think about this, the less happy I am about it. I used to despise people who brought cowbells to my son’s hockey games. Always the other team’s idiot, obnoxious parents. Makes me think far less of MSU fans than I did. I’m going to sit in a corner and grump for a while,now.

  • nnjcatsfan

    Well, let’s all create paper mache cowbells and paint them purple as a strong protest to this insult to our auditory senses,

    But, then, once inside the stadium, we get to our seats, reach for our purple trojan horse cowbells and crush them, uncovering our….air horns–big ones. And then every time our friends and neighbors from MSU start to clanga-langa, we bring out our air horns and let loose an epic, eardrum-splitting blast. And after the game, think how well these babies will call attention to our ourselves in public places, like restaurants for example.

    OK, kidding. Kind of.

  • NU’Cat’99

    It has been a Northwestern tradition to jingle our keys on kickoffs. Somewhere I remember hearing it was to taunt, “You’ll be valet parking our cars some day.”

  • JNP

    Just to let you guys know, I am a Mississippi State fan and carried my “bell” the last time we were in Jacksonville; having said that, I was seated with some Mich fans and never rang the bell throughout the game out of respect. Trust me, our record states that “cowbells” haven’t stopped any good teams from beating us this year. Look forward to meeting all y’all! Good luck!