Northwestern’s Top Ten Players of the Decade


By Paul M. Banks

For the first time since the 1930s, Northwestern football will have a winning decade. Indeed the program has taken a major step up to gain respectability and more during the 2000s. From about the 1960s up until 1995, going to Ryan Field and watching the home team lose was like walking into a Starbucks and hearing Norah Jones; 19 times out of 20 (Or thereabouts) it happens.

But since Pat Fitzgerald took over the program in 2006, the ‘Cats have nipped, clawed and scratched their way into bowl eligibility in every season but one during his tenure. If they win the Outback Bowl on New Year’s Day, 2009’s season win total will tie 2008 for second most in school history. It’s clear that Northwestern bowl berths will soon become as much a part of the holidays as that annoying over-synthesized Paul McCartney tune “Wonderful Christmas Time.”

So who are the top ten players who made this Evanston renaissanace possible? I enlisted the help of a man who knows more about NU sports than any other journalist I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting; the Daily Herald’s Lindsey Wilhite. In addition to his reporting duties, check out the blog he currently pens at the Herald site entitled Joe Sports

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Northwestern Alums Drafted by UFL, What’s the UFL?

Minnesota Northwestern Football

By Paul M. Banks

The United Football League (UFL) held its inaugural “Premiere” Season Draft June 19th. After the league’ worked out players in Orlando and Las Vegas. Three of them are former Northwestern Wildcats including:

Last year’s Quarterback C.J. Bachér, (I’ll give you a dollar if you can pronounce his name correctly, hint: it’s not “back her” or “bocker”) Starting Linebacker Prince Kwateng (no, this is not the same Prince from Burkina Faso who emails you every day requesting $500 to handle the wealth transfer process of his $3 million inheritance from the King of Congo) and LB, and former Big Ten tackles leader Tim McGarigle earning selections.
Bachér was selected by the New York franchise while Kwateng and McGarigle went to Orlando and San Francisco, respectively. (Nicknames of franchises not yet chosen for this thing called the UFL)

Each team selected 24 players and now owns their rights if they choose to play in the United Football League. The remaining spots on each roster will be filled in July with players that coaches had previously identified and did not have to attend the UFL workouts and then again in mid-August with players that have been released by the NFL during training camp.

“Premiere” Season Head Coaches include former NFL coaches Dennis “the UFL is exactly what I thought it was” Green, Jim Fassel, Jim Haslett and Ted Cottrell. Other Big Ten representation in the UFL includes former Wisconsin QB Brooks Bollinger and Michigan RB Chris Perry.

ufl_logoThe UFL will play its regular-season games on Thursday and Friday evenings in the fall, with the first regular season game kicking off in October and the Championship Game scheduled for Thanksgiving weekend.

To view the complete “Premiere” draft list. It doesn’t include former Mizzou QB Chase Daniel, so the league has that going for it; which is nice.

Rar Rar Rar! Other Wildcat tidbits

In other Northwestern alumi news, former NU forward Winston Blake (1999-2003) received his MBA from the University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Business on Saturday. I only know this because my girlfriend Lisa was in the same graduating class, and I was there for the Welsh-Ryan Arena ceremony. I’m not keeping tabs on Blake or anything. I figured since he’s second on the school list in three-point field goal attempts (he was first at the end of his career, but got passed by Craig Moore last season) and in the Wildcats’ all time top 25 scoring list, he’s got enough people following him.

Former NFL running back, Heisman Trophy winner, restaurant owner and host of “The Quad” Eddie George is also getting his MBA at Kellogg, except he’s in the “executive program.”