Chicago Sun-Times
with Neil Hayes

August 2012 Archives

Northwestern's firs three football games --- Sept. 1 at Syracause, Sept. 8 vs. Vanderbilt and Sept. 15 vs. Boston College --- will air on ESPN Chicago (AM-1000) due to conflicts on its flagship station, WGN Radio AM-720. Veteran broadcasters Dave Eanet and Ted Albrecht will continued to call the games.

The radio pre-game show for Saturday's 2012 season opener against the Syracuse Orange at the Carrier Dome will begin at10:30 a.m CT with kickoff slated for 11:01 a.m. CT. The contest will be televised on ESPN2.

Wildcats fans can also listen to all three games on, WGN Radio mobile apps, iHeartRadio or TuneIn. Details at

Single-game, group and season tickets for the Wildcats 2012 season at Ryan Field are on sale now. Fans interested in information about available seating packages can contact the Northwestern ticket office at 888-GO-PURPLE.

Northwestern University's 2012 football captains will be the special guests at the NGN luncheon to be held on Friday, Sept. 7 at Harry Caray's restaurant in Chicago.

Coach Pat Fitzgerald will introduce the players, comment on upcoming games and recap the team's first game at Syracuse University.
The luncheons are open to all 'Cat fans. It's a great opportunity to hear the coach discuss strategy, spotlight players and stir up enthusiasm for the season which features seven home games, the most in several years. 

Luncheon cost is $35.
September 7, noon, Harry Caray's, 33 W. Kinzie,  Chicago
September 28, noon, Harry Caray's, 33 W. Kinzie, Chicago
October 26, noon, Norris Center, NU campus, Evanston
To reserve your place, call Jean Yale at  847-491-3694                           
or   email
The NGN Network supports Northwestern's football program,raising funds to provide technological support for coaches and players, as well as facility renovation.

Pat Fitzgerald released his depth chart today, but only because he had to. If it were up to the Northwestern coach, he would list the depth chart alphabetically, like he did in the preseason.

There were some mild surprises as the Wildcats begin preparations for Saturday opener at Syracuse, like at superback, where true freshman and former Wheaton-Warrenville South standout Danny Vitale is listed as the starter. USC transfer Kyle Prater is listed as the No. 2 X receiver behind Tony Jones and sophomore Jack Konopka won the job at right tackle while senior Chuck Porcelli becomes a starter for the first time at right guard.

Venric Mark won the job at tailback, although Mike Trumpy can expect plenty of carries with Mark also returning kicks and punts. Treyvon Green is also in the mix. 

Here's a look at the depth chart. I've also included Fitzgerald's comments when appropriate.

Offensive lineman Brian Mulroe, defensive lineman Brian Arnfelt, linebacker David Nwabuisi and junior quarterback Kain Colter will be Northwestern's captains this season.

The captains were named after a team vote Thursday and announced at Friday night's Meet the Team Night at Ryan Field. All four are first-time captains for NU.

"Very similar to everything we do, I think it's important for the players to have their voice heard," coach Pat Fitzgerald said. "The guys that they respect and believe in should be captains. We believe in doing it after camp, after we've gone through all the preparation phases we can go through. By now the guys know exactly the most respected and trusted individuals on the team that will be given the honor and responsibility of being team captain."

Northwestern will practice special situations on Friday. The workout is meant to prepare the team for all the out-of-the-ordinary things that can happen on game day, including substitutions and the variety of unexpected things that can happen in the kicking game.  

Players will be allowed to sleep in Friday morning while coaches finalize the game plan for the Sept. 1 season opener against Syracuse. Players will then choose captains during an afternoon meeting. The captains will be announced during Meet the Team Night at Ryan Field on Friday night. The free event, which starts at 6, allows fans to mingle with players.

"It's more important for the players that their voice is heard," coach Pat Fitzgerald said when asked why he doesn't choose captains. "The players they respect and believe in should be captains. Everybody does it a little bit differently. We respect the way other people do it but we do it after camp. We've gone through all the preparation phases we can go through --- winter workouts, spring practice, post-spring, summer workouts and camp Kenosha. The older guys know who the most trusted and respected guys are on the team and they'll be given the honor, responsibility and privilege of being our captain."

Fitzgerald is emphatic about everybody --- and he means everybody --- taking Saturday off before preparations for Syracuse begins in earnest on Sunday.

"The whole program gets Saturday off," he said. "No one is allowed to be here. We'll shut the lights off, pull the circuit breakers. For our coaches and staff, it's a hug your wives goodbye and your kids. For female members of our staff, it's goodbye to their husbands.

"It's important to give everyone a day off. We're done that the last few years and everybody comes back [knowing] camp is over. It's game week. There's always great excitement and great anticipation for game week."

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This page is an archive of entries from August 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

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