The Northwestern Wildcats could win their first Big Ten Championship since 2000, but one woke alum and New York Times writer, finds the team’s winning season to be an ominous and dangerous thing.
According to Northwestern Alum and New York Times writer Carmel McCoubrey, all this winning is taking “resources” away from more worthy things, not to mention somehow increasing the player’s risk of CTE.
McCoubrey wrote a long lament about the team’s success for the New York Times in which he described his alma mater’s success as “disconcerting.”
“As a Northwestern alum, it’s been disconcerting in recent years to see the Wildcats be competitive in the Big Ten and regularly appear in bowl games. Is it worth the resources?” the paper wrote on Twitter.
As a Northwestern alum, it’s been disconcerting in recent years to see the Wildcats be competitive in the Big Ten and regularly appear in bowl games. Is it worth the resources? https://t.co/sq7euInNvo
— NYT Opinion (@nytopinion) November 10, 2018
McCoubrey begins his handwringing saying that his team’s success “just makes me uneasy” and goes on to wax poetic about how Northwestern students used to take a “perverse pride” in the terrible season the school’s football program has back in the 1980s and 1990s.
McCoubrey said that when the team was a constant loser, it was “satisfying” if not “obnoxious and classist” to employ their favorite chant, “That’s all right, that’s O.K., you’re going to work for us one day!”
No one went to Northwestern for football, McCoubrey said, so that is why the team’s success is so upsetting.
“So it’s been disconcerting in recent years to see Northwestern be competitive in the Big Ten and regularly appear in bowl games,” McCoubrey noted. “Right now, as The Times noted with bemusement last week, it leads its division, with a 5-1 conference record.”
So, why is it “disconcerting”? Because success brings resources:
The school has invested plenty in the team; a couple of months ago an indoor practice field on prime lakefront property opened, part of a $270 million complex that Northwestern hopes will lure recruits and render practices more efficient — and make the team more competitive in a conference that has a lucrative television deal. It’s a commonplace for non-athletes to complain about too many resources being devoted to athletics, but colleges should spend money on sports for a lively campus and to promote students’ health.
Speaking of “health,” McCoubrey goes on to slam football saying, “And there’s the problem: Football’s not healthy,” McCoubry cries. And “we are being reminded every day of the price football players pay in traumatic brain injury.”
“The rash of chronic traumatic encephalopathy among N.F.L. players has gotten the most attention, but college players are hurt, too,” McCoubrey says finger-wagging. “Some colleges, like Dartmouth, are trying ways to reduce these injuries by eliminating tackling in practice and taking other measures, but they remain outliers.
“News of Northwestern’s triumphs now just serves as a reminder that there are real young men behind those wins whose brains are being battered. I want the Wildcats to win less so they won’t play as much,” McCoubry wrote.
Ripping McCoubrey’s article, Barstool Sports’ Jack Mac had a perfect point about this particular conceit:
CTE and brain injuries are a legitimate concern when it comes to football, but they don’t just go away if you aren’t good at football. I don’t know if that’s what Carmel thinks happens? Yes, they’d play less games, but the difference between playing 12 and 14 games in the grand scheme of things is negligible.
In any case, with all these worries, McCoubrey says that he now frets over donating to his school.
It’s also making me increasingly uncomfortable about giving to my old school. When I donate nowadays, I make sure to earmark my gift so it won’t be applied to the football team in some way, but I’m wondering if I’m still making myself complicit by donating at all to a university that is willing to risk its students’ health and happiness for a share of television revenue.
So, with all these PC worries reverberating in his head, McCoubrey would rather just go back to the bad old days which really were the good old days as far as he is concerned.
“I’ll root for them to play safe — and lose,” he concluded.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.