It wasn’t even close

Yesterday was a big day for college football. Nebraska came to Evanston to play my Northwestern Wildcats, and the game was televised on ABC. None of that would have been possible in the days when I was at Northwestern, but so much has changed since then (take the internet, for starters) and those changes are all for the better.

I gave some thought to watching the game on ABC yesterday afternoon. In fact, I would have planned on it except for one thing: my younger daughter’s play started at 3 PM. She’s put a lot of work into it, and the story itself is very amusing. All of the kids in the show are very talented, too, so it’s a good experience for her to be a part of it.

There are only six performances of the show, and then it will be gone forever. The football game, on the other hand, will be archived, written about, and endlessly available online for whenever I want to watch it. So as interesting as the football game might have been, I made the right choice by going to see the play instead. And my little one lit up the stage, just as she always does.

I got to listen to the end of the game on the radio, and watch the game-deciding field goal on TV from the comfort of my living room. My team lost by the closest of margins (one lousy, stinking point!), but the decision–whether to watch the game or go see the play–was nowhere near that close.

Hanging 70

I’m taking a break from baseball today because, well, it is the offseason and college football is trying to fill the gap. Nebraska last played against my Northwestern Wildcats in the 2000 Alamo Bowl. I was excited for the matchup, but Nebraska just put it to the Wildcats in every conceivable way, and the final score was 66-17. Not exactly compelling television.

Nebraska has always been something of a bully in college football. I think I’ve only ever heard the term “hang 70″ when it comes to Nebraska beating up on other teams that were not up to the task of playing at their level. It’s not easy to score that many points in a football game, and there’s always the urge to step off the gas and keep the score at a reasonable level (scoring 45 or 50 points is usually more than enough to win). So to score 70 you need the ability to repeatedly score touchdowns, and the indifference about how it looks to score so many more points than you really need.

UPDATE: Neither team hung 70 on anybody, but the Wildcats pulled off the upset and may have kept themselves alive for bowl consideration. There are three games left, and they’re all at home. Go Cats!