Can We Please Stop Talking About Northwestern?
Congratulations are in order for the Northwestern University Wildcats. For the first time in university history, the Wildcats will compete in the men's NCAA Tournament.
Northwestern's story is a noteworthy one and deserves to be covered and recognized in the sports media landscape. But when does the recognition and Northwestern discussion become too much, and has it already reached that point?
Yes. Yes it has.
I'm happy for Northwestern, for the athletes and coaches who helped turn the program into a tournament threat and for the Big Ten Conference. The Wildcats' accomplishment will never be forgotten, and the impact it will have on Northwestern basketball and the Wildcat community can only be described as positives.
But at some point, can we stop talking about Northwestern's story and start talking about the rest of the tournament? Can we start talking about some of the other schools making their first appearances? Can we start talking about the madness of March?
Many of the people I follow on Twitter are fellow sports journalists and broadcasters. A lot of them (I mean a lot) went to Northwestern. Naturally, I'd expect them to be excited, proud and joyful. I expected the congratulatory and celebratory tweets. But I didn't expect those tweets to last for a full season.
From Michael Wilbon to Rachel Nichols to Mike Greenberg to Darren Rovell, the Northwestern fans have been out in full force on Twitter.
But that's not what the nuisance is.
Instead, it's those media members who never tweeted about or openly supported Northwestern basketball until this season. It's those journalists and broadcasters who held a reserved approach towards Northwestern hoops until the Wildcats were good enough for the national stage.
And it's many of those recent, avid Northwestern supporters who make the most noise on Twitter.
I'm not trying to be a "Debbie-Downer" or belittle the accomplishments Northwestern basketball achieved this season. I've been a Midwest and Big Ten guy my entire life, so I'm familiar with Northwestern's plight and fight to reach this stage.
But the Wildcats are here. They've made the NCAA Tournament as a No. 8 seed, and now they're trying to build on a historic season.
Let's let history play out and let Northwestern be. I don't need any more coverage about the history they've achieved because Northwestern isn't done. They've made the NCAA Tournament, but those players and coaches aren't content with sitting on their laurels and calling it a season.
So can we please stop talking about just Northwestern? There's an entire tournament ahead of us, and there's no point in confining it to one storyline.