The past two days have been surreal. Thanks to your generous outpouring of support, I’m at a loss of words based on the comments, flood of emails and even calls from devoted readers and fellow Wildcat diehards. I’m not sure you’ll ever know how much that support will mean to me – forever. After back-to-back posts explaining the end of the LTP run (Closing Time – Part I here, Closing Time – Part II here) it is time to move forward and make the most of our limited time left.
With one week left of posts and a table full of sticky notes that could be filed under “posts I need to do” there won’t be enough time to attend to, I figured I would share some of my ideas and solicit ones that you the readers would like to see. Let’s start with the ones I’m committed to doing, in no particular order:
1) The NU Football Brand – Currently, Fitz has wrapped himself in a military-themed brand. From the Navy Seals integration in to the off-season workouts to the adoption of Great Lakes Naval Base as a practice venue all the way down to his language, most radically, “Embrace the suck.” While I respect the military, I don’t think this is the right brand strategy for Fitz. I will go deep in to my proposal for what is.
2) Like-minded school status – Stanford, Duke, Notre Dame, Boston College, Wake Forest, Vanderbilt- we can all debate who’s on the list and who’s off the list, but there has been a quantum shift among the academics first set of competition. Assessing where NU falls in this group and how the arrows are pointing for the competition and what it all means for us is on my to-do list.
3) The Harbaugh effect – on the Big Ten and more specifically on Northwestern. What does it mean on the surface and what does it really mean when you peel back the layers to this national news-setting get.
4) College Football Playoff – I can call this my 1994 redux. My senior year in college a buddy of mine rallied a bunch of friends at lunch and we made a Northwestern football list of the things we thought we’d probably never see in our lifetime. The list included such far-fetched concepts as “a sold out Dyche Stadium” and “Keith Jackson calling a game at Dyche” along with the more obvious “NU in the Rose Bowl” and “Big Ten Championships”. The year 1995 checked every item off the list (within 7 months) with one exception – a national title. If the College Football Playoff was in effect in 1995, Northwestern would have been in it (we were ranked #3 at the end of the season). It begs the question for a new “in our lifetime” list. We’re going to start with Indy.
5) Pull the curtain back – Just how did the content get done? How did I do it. With whom did I associate to get insights and check the pulse? What were the great, unexpected moments that happened behind the scenes? What unexpected relationships did I realize?
6) Best of – This is a no -brainer. The best purple mafia posts. My personal favorite posts. The best LTP NU Flag map submissions. This is likely a month’s worth of posts, but you’ll get them in rapid-fire fashion.
7)The LTP influence – What behind the scenes impact did you have without knowing it? Not only at Northwestern but with content that was produced on behalf of the Big Ten or BTN? What lies ahead? Hmmm….
That’s the gist of the things on the top of my list. There are countless posts I didn’t write. I never got to Stephen Colbert, Joe Girardi, Daniel Pink or Seth Meyers for Purple Mafia Profiles. I never got the Willie the Wildcat alumni feature cranking. I never got weekly podcasts or video chats going. The list of what I didn’t do sure outweighs what I did get done.
I really don’t want to spend too much time hand-wringing over the 2015 depth chart (great on “D”, major concerns on “O”), the lack of coaching changes or even the competition for the upcoming year. With a week to go, I’d love to stay big picture on posts that will stand the test of time and be fun to look back at in a year, five years and longer.
So now I turn it over to you. What are the posts that you’ve been hoping for and with one week left just can’t go without out. I’ll use the comments section as the sounding board, but feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org as well. In the meantime, you know what I’ll be working on. The Northwestern football brand is first up.