Only now can I summon the willpower to comment on the demise of the great Northeastern University football program.
A pigskin machine that produced the likes of Liam Ezekiel and Don Brown is gone. Poof! Like it never existed. With Northeastern football's departure, jobs are lost and dreams are deferred and a once-proud school loses its soul.
I can't help but think I had something to do with this. I like football and yet I attended just one game in my five years at Huntington Ave./Hemenway Ave./Columbus Ave/Byner Street/Parkway Road. My senior year, I lived within a five minute stroll through the leafy streets of Brookline from the great Parsons Field. Five minutes. Yet, just one game.
Students such as myself and many others have nothing to blame but our own apathy for this tragic news.
The one game I did see was against William & Mary. The field was worthy of a decent high school team with cheap bleachers and lousy player facilities (and by facilities, I mean no facilities at all. Opposing players often came dressed in their uniforms). It was at this game that one Zebediah Chartwells Hossem attacked an innocent old man for a free Northeastern t-shirt. It was a vicious assault, and I bet the old man was ready to donate billions to the program, ala T. Boone Pickens, but changed his mind after witnessing such brutality from a dishevled, menacing, technicolor scarf-wearing pseudo-terrorist.
My fault, too. I just stood there.
Sure, there were many issues with Husky football. First, no one cared. Second, no one gave a shit. Third, what's Husky football?
Parsons Field is a 20 minute ride from campus. The elusive Columbus Ave. Stadium never materialized, so the best option for home games was a surrounding suburb well out of the way in a field most fans can generously describe as "sucky."
It also never helped that the team sucked. There was that one good year in 2002 when they made the playoffs, but it was one-and-done. A run then could have set up a nice future, but it was never meant to be. From then on, 2-8 and 1-9 records have been the norm. Northeastern fans demand success and the football program rarely delivered. So they watched the hockey team lose to BU instead. At least the games are located close to campus.
Perhaps if I had joined the football team and blessed them with my speed, toughness (I could definitely play through a common cold) and strong arm, then the Huskies would have piled up the necessary wins to draw attention. Instead, I chose the great Vin Books dynasty at PlayStation Duke.
So sue me if you must. You have all your NU football jerseys and souvenir helmets and you don't know what to do with them. Lash out at me if you must. I deserve it. In my defense, I worked Saturdays in the fall and football isn't my best sport (that would ping-pong). Still, no excuse.
But before you point the finger at me, inspect thine self. All of Northeastern Nation is responsible for this. Our apathy. Our neglect. Our "sieve" chants. Our co-ops. Our Saturday morning hangovers (from playing six hours of Madden on a Friday night. That's what a hangover is, right?)
We're all guilty. We have red and black blood on our hands. We dug the grave. The Athletic Department just dumped the body.