Montero: Reflections on my last home game

Montero: Reflections on my last home game

Steven Montero, Sports Editor

It felt like 9 degrees outside, my feet had all but frozen solid in my tennis shoes, and the Wildcats were down 30-6. Obviously, it’s not what I had in mind when I imagined my last home football game.

To be fair, I never expected Northwestern to beat Michigan State. I was utterly surprised when the Cats led for a brief but oh-so-gleeful moment in the first quarter. The reality hit me like the pounding wind ripping across Ryan Field when the Spartans’ Bennie Fowler ran for an 87-yard touchdown.

Was I shocked? Yes. Was I upset? Hell yes. Would I let it hinder my spirits? No. Here I was among a pretty decent student section in the first half, and the game hadn’t gotten too out of hand. 14-3? I can deal with that.

But come on, Cats. It didn’t end there. As students salvaged their remaining few blood cells and loaded onto the buses during the break, NU failed to give them a reason to stay. Pathetic attempt followed horrible play calling time and time again.

And I apologize for coming late because I overslept. But I still got there just a few minutes after kickoff. This paltry performance wasn’t my fault, right? My purple heart moaned in agony.

When the Cats managed to block one extra point, they had become such a joke that even members of their own student section (the 27 of us that remained, many fellow seniors from what I could tell, hopelessly trying to find some sad, masochistic method of coping with the defeat) started chanting “Rose Bowl” in jest.

Yet, I found myself standing there in below-freezing temperatures waiting for something to happen. All the heartbreak, Hail Marys and miracle field goals meant nothing. I was doing one of my favorite things at NU.

Rushing the field after the win over Iowa my freshman year is one of my favorite memories in college. And Saturday, screaming my lungs out on every down, hearing the marching band boom even after everything possible had gone wrong, solidified another special moment. It was the last time I rooted for the Cats at our house as an undergrad.

I wanted to be down there. I had been itching to leave the press box for weeks after viewing the theatrical spectacles that have befallen NU from 100 feet in the air all season long.

Perhaps I ruined the season by not donning purple each and every Saturday since August. Perhaps if I would have been in the crowd each week, cheering for Kain Colter and Pat Fitzgerald, the icons wouldn’t have fallen to an abysmal level. Perhaps I should take it all back and start over on Oct. 5. But I couldn’t, and I didn’t want to. I didn’t know what to make of this season.

I knew only a few things.

It felt like 9 degrees outside, my feet had all but frozen solid in my tennis shoes, and the Cats were down 30-6. Obviously, it was a spectacular way to spend a November afternoon.

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