Traditions every fan should know

Dan Ryan, Sports Editor

So you’re attending Northwestern. Chances are you didn’t choose to go here because of the high-profile athletic teams the schools offers, and if you did, you probably really like lacrosse more than most people.

But for the rest of us, who live and die with football and basketball, life is a little less rosy. Winning is something that happens every once in a while and is to be savored if and when it should come around. Fear not, however. Attending Wildcat sporting events can still be fun.

The first NU tradition that you’re going to be exposed to will likely be during the opening kickoff of your first football game. All the students in the student section take out their keys and jingle them at the other team as if to say: “you may be beating us by 35 points, but one day you’ll be parking our cars for us.” Or something.

If this seems a tad obnoxious to you, don’t worry. You’ll get used to it. Something about being down 70-23 to Wisconsin makes it all seem ok.

The next tradition you’re going to see is a little less offensive but probably just as annoying. At the beginning of the fourth quarter, NU coach Pat Fitzgerald, or some other Chicago sports great, will appear on the jumbotron and urge you to “put your hands up in the air.” You will do so. Even if the team is losing, you will jump around in excitement as if the Cats have won their first bowl game since the Taft administration. It’s all really rather simple.

You’re unlikely to participate in the final tradition, but it needs to be included because it’s by far the best: laking the posts. In an era far cooler than our own, students would rush the field after a big win, take down the goalposts, and throw them in the lake.

Yes, that is amazing, and no, we don’t get to do this anymore. However, none of your friends that go to Big Ten schools can claim to have a tradition this cool, so as they’re celebrating a Rose Bowl win, remind them that once upon a time your school went hard. Little victories.

Aside from beating Iowa, this about covers every sporting tradition you’ll need to know to survive your first football season at NU. The only other important thing to remember is to just yell when everyone else yells, but that’s more something that applies to sports in general.

So enjoy the buildup to the Big Ten season and replace most of your wardrobe with purple. You’re going to need it.