This day of the week is officially dubbed Wildcat Wednesday. I thought a good place to start was with some old digital video files, which unfortunately are not compatible with quick time now. As I tried to resuscitate the moving images of our sports lives at Northwestern in the 1990s—and I have not given up—I came across old photos of basketball players, other NU athletes, good friends and roommates.
In reviewing the photos, I didn’t care about how I looked or we looked, which happens when you age. What was notable was the number of photos. I had only one photo of Michelle Savage. One photo of one of the greatest players at Northwestern – someone I sat down next to everyday before practice for years – and it’s a blurry one.
Michelle was one of the greatest basketball players at Northwestern. Maybe six feet tall and an average frame, she’d take the court with her pigeon-toed walk and an occasional yawn. She’d pick up a player too big or too quick and know what they were thinking before they did. Even though she swam backwards in the pool (yes, backwards after learning how to swim) and even though she rarely took any sprint or running drill seriously, Michelle Savage caught almost every pass thrown by assist master Nancy Kennelly, and led the team in scoring.
Michelle was always the coolest of the Cats. The coaches intentionally assigned me a spot in the locker room right next to her hoping something would rub off. Whenever I got worked up, which was always, Michelle didn’t come up with sweet words of wisdom. She just looked at me, smiled and laughed. And it somehow worked.
I had to take some liberties to fill the album as you will see by the recent shot of Michelle, who is now the head coach at Davidson. I encourage anyone who is in these photos or on the teams (and I did not have a photo on file) to please add images. I also had to pass on similar group photos, same pose, pass the cameras around five times to take the same shot of all of us with a beer in our hand. I don’t mind a few shots that reflect what it was like to be social back then, but what I fear is that by only taking photos when we went out as we did back when printing pictures cost money, we look like we went out and drank all of the time, which was clearly not the case at Northwestern.
Check out the album on my page. I’ll keep looking for a solution on the other digital files. I am also a strong maybe for the Cats reunion on Sunday, Feb. 14th in Evanston. Please let know if you are in. Oh – and I almost forgot – Go Cats!