Intrepid photographer Dan Williamson from the Iowa City Press-Citizen captured this telltale image of in-team treachery.
EVANSTON, IL--Something is rotten in the state of department stores.
Years after a point-shaving scandal rocked the Northwestern University men's basketball team, it appears that the nefarious act has resurfaced on the varsity football team, according to absolutely everybody who watched the game this Saturday.
"Did you see the game?" asked Northwestern junior Thurston Fourwood. "I would consider such a collapse as implausible as an 8GeV proton driver being an appropriate neutron source for neutron scattering! Guffaw guffaw looking down my nose at you."
Authorities had been suspicious of misdeeds by the Wildcats during and immediately after the game, but the lack of any irregularities in the gambling patterns at Vegas assuaged most of their fears for the time being. Nonetheless, the investigation was reopened Sunday night after an unlikely anonymous tip.
"We got a call last night from someone at Stein Mart saying that an unusually high amount of blazers were being moved to the Deerfield location," said FBI Special Agent Johnny Utah. "We weren't sure why that mattered until we found out that they were all purple. Whoa. It turns out that they're all the really nice kind of blazers with the pigskin patches on the elbows."
Further investigation turned up some alarming details. It turns out that Stein Mart may have been involved in some of college football's most shocking upsets. Records dating back to 1996 indicate that hours after a 19-0 loss by then-#1 Nebraska at Arizona State, 18 bright red duvet covers were sent to Lincoln and written off inventory as "lost." In 2003, 250 pairs of maroon slacks were shipped to the Norman, Oklahoma location the day prior to an epic 35-7 loss to Kansas State that doomed the Sooners' hopes for a national title shot. Most disturbingly, Stanford's 2005 loss to D-II California-Davis seems to have been precluded by the transfer of one (1) written-off XL brassiere.
"This whole investigation has been bizarre," Utah said. "At first, I was all, 'you're saying the FBI's gonna pay me to learn how to shop?' but things got crazy."
The most shocking aspect of the games in question seems to be the excessive nature of each of the losses. In almost every scenario, the upset victim could still have beaten the other team handily while falling below the spread, but instead lost the game outright. The BHGP Dispatch attempted to catch up with since-disgraced Stanford coach Walt Harris to ask him why he gave up such an easy win for women's undergarments. Sadly, our staff only found him at a Palo Alto morgue, the plus-sized panties still lodged in his mouth. No criminal inquiry is planned; Walt Harris was a gross freak.
Substance abuse. Rising arrest numbers. Sexually ambiguous mascots. These menaces and others, numerous and dangerous as they may be, pale in comparison to Stein Mart and the damage it has been doing to college football's landscape for years. Northwestern, then, is only the latest in a string of benefactors from the department store; they are neither the first nor shall they be the last. Northwestern fans may lament game plans or protection schemes all they want, but the true menace sits in plain sight: giant box stores across the nation, waiting to strike.