Northwestern was down by one goal. There were two-tenths of a second left in overtime. Junior lacrosse player Katrina Dowd shot the ball behind her back while falling. She scored.
Northwestern went on to win the semifinals game against Penn and advanced to the stage where they would win their fifth-straight national championship.
If you were making a list of greatest Northwestern lacrosse games ever, the semifinal game against Penn would be on the list, even if the list was just one game long.
But since it wasn’t at Lakeside Field, hardly anyone at Northwestern got to see the game.
For five straight years, the Wildcat women’s lacrosse team has won the NCAA National Championship. For five straight years, that championship game has been broadcast on the television station CBS College Sports. For five straight years, students with NUTV have been forced to revert to WNUR radio coverage and live scoring on NUsports.com to follow the game. For five straight years, the average Northwestern student has been unable to see video of the Wildcat lacrosse team’s historic achievements.
I’m not saying that the average Northwestern student would watch the lacrosse game (because the average Northwestern student could probably use a little more school spirit), but if you want students to care about Northwestern sports, a pretty simple first step would be allowing them to watch the games.
So listen up, Northwestern. Next year, when Northwestern looks to make it six straight, let’s handle the run a little better. Here are two ways to let students see the game:
Broadcast the CBS College Sports game live at Welsh-Ryan Arena.
When the Colorado Avalanche have road playoff games, they charge money to air the games inside the Pepsi Center on the JumboTron. People go because they care about the Colorado Avalanche, and hockey isn’t exactly on mainstream television anymore. (I have over 100 DirectTV channels and I still don’t get Versus, the channel that most NHL games are televised on.) Make an event out of the lacrosse team’s success. Get media, players’ families and students to travel to Welsh-Ryan Arena and cheer for the flagship Northwestern sports program. Charge the same admittance price as normal lacrosse games (a WildCard for students and five dollars for Evanston residents). It would give students a place to watch the lacrosse team in action while simultaneously acting like they were at the game at the tops of their lungs.
Put CBS College Sports on NUTV
Not all the students living on campus will be willing to make the trek up to Welsh-Ryan just to see a game on a JumboTron, so give them another option. Put CBS College Sports on NUTV. I watched the Super Bowl on NUTV because a person on my floor had a projector. Events like these could happen all over campus for Northwestern lacrosse. If students wanted to keep to themselves while they watched Wildcats dominate with lacrosse sticks, they would have that option too. If the university was really proud of its athletic success, if it wanted to be viewed as a school that excels as much athletically as it actually does, it would allow students to watch its best team excel at the highest level. Putting CBS College Sports on NUTV would be self-serving for the university, and it would also probably help out the television station.
The bottom line
The lacrosse semifinals and finals are broadcast on TV. As a Northwestern student, I should have a way to see them if my school is involved. I don’t want to miss anther last-second, behind-the-back, game-tying miracle. I want access to CBS College Sports.