Chris Collins Laps Water on All Fours (Metaphorically)
(extremely Phoebe Waller-Bridge voice)
This is a sermon.
Northwestern men’s basketball has seen an almighty exodus. You may think this reflects badly on the program. You may think that having all your players leave the program or commitments is somehow a sign of bad management.
“A coach getting paid millions of dollars on a contract signed through 2024-2025 shouldn’t be losing…half his roster,” you may argue. But, dear one, you do not understand the mysterious ways of Northwestern basketball. How could you, when I have not given you the appropriate WIP literature? Let us turn to the Book of Judges and set the scene.
The Israelites are in deep shit. They have turned away from God and failed to create a solid basketball product. They are under the domination of the Midianites and need to be saved by a Judge. Enter Gideon. He raises an army 32,000 soldiers to fight. Should be good, right? Overwhelming numbers and talent are the biggest factor in military victory, so you’d want as many people as possible. Nope. God told Gideon to send 22,000 of them away. They didn’t trust in The Process enough. They were not worthy.
10,000 remained. But they still were not worthy.
5 So Gideon took the men down to the water. There the Lord told him, “Separate those who lap the water with their tongues as a dog laps from those who kneel down to drink.” 6 Three hundred of them drank from cupped hands, lapping like dogs. All the rest got down on their knees to drink. 7 The Lord said to Gideon, “With the three hundred men that lapped I will save you and give the Midianites into your hands. Let all the others go home.” (Judges 7:5-7)
You can see my point. Chris Collins is following the example of Gideon. He’s not afraid of being outnumbered. He has faith. The thing with Chris Collins is that he’s unified the role of God and Gideon (in a basketball sense). He has taken Northwestern to the Promised Land. He no longer needs to react to the petty wills of man. He can be the human face of Northwestern men’s basketball and the arbiter of justice. If players want to get down on their knees like some kind of coward SUPPLICANT, that’s their prerogative. Chris Collins is not afraid of lapping like a dog. He’s not afraid of getting down on all fours on a basketball court and screaming at a referee.
The results are clear. Barret Benson, Jordan Ash, and Aaron Falzon have all transferred to other schools this offseason. Rapolas Ivanauskas, Isiah Brown and Johnnie Vassar are also playing elsewhere. Today, news broke that top-75 recruit Joe Bamisile is decommitting and bound for Virginia Tech, leaving Northwestern’s Class of 2020 with zero recruits. There’s also Jordan Lathon, whose admission to NU was revoked. To replace them, Northwestern has signed Chase Audige, who won’t play until 2020-21, and a lacrosse player. Those who cannot stay with the program have made their own decision. If they can’t handle the Northwestern experience, then it’s probably for the best.
After all, a greater emphasis on the failures of others is how the school got in the U.S. News & World Report top ten! Chris Collins’ initiatives are now even further aligned with the university at large. Is the goal of Northwestern not to burden its students with a devastating barrage of social pressures and busy work to foster an atmosphere of mutual paranoia and disgruntlement? That’s the whole point of an elite college, right? Ayn Rand would never lie to me. I mean, that’s definitely the point of the Medill School of Journalism. Chris Collins is culling the herd, just like the elite universities have always done. Whether it’s the Wildcat Internship Program, Intro to Organic Chemistry, or Journalism 101, there must always be gateways and barriers to success for the truly talented to emerge.
Like poor 18-year-old Ryan Greer, who had these stats:
Look, I don’t know the specific reasons why any of the players transferred or left without taking a fifth year. All I know is that one player was bullied to leave the program against his will, and then a half dozen have followed him out the door with cryptic tweets and total secrecy. I also know that there are zero recruits for the Class of 2020, and the current roster is planning to run his team through a guy who has never played basketball beyond rec leagues, a few completely untested sophomores, and Anthony Gaines. We don’t even Julia Louis-Dreyfus to distract the cameras anymore! I don’t know Chris Collins’ plan. No one knows his plans. We cannot see the face of the divine. I am merely trying to provide a rationale for something that is getting more and more farcical.
This is why we must look to the concept of “the chosen” in the mode of Calvinistic predestination, rather than “a normal fucking basketball team” like 30% of college basketball teams. The ones that remain, those 10-11 players that will surely take over the Big Ten; they are all we have left. There must be a reason. There must be a plan. Surely all this is not without meaning?
The next lines of Judges shows what folly it is to doubt Northwestern’s Gideon.
1 Now the Ephraimites and sports media folks asked Gideon, “Why have you treated us like this? Why didn’t you call us when you went to fight Midian?” And they challenged him vigorously.
2 But he answered them, “What have I accomplished compared to you? Aren’t the gleanings of Ephraim’s grapes better than the full grape harvest of Abiezer? 3 God gave Oreb and Zeeb, the Midianite leaders, into your hands. I took Northwestern to the NCAA Tournament. What was I able to do compared to you?
May God have mercy on us.