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The Joker and The Dark Knight

Why so serious?

Northwestern v Iowa Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images

Do you wanna know why all of us have these scars? It’s because Pat Fitzgerald is a lunatic, a fiend when it comes to Iowa (I have this on good authority from former players, BTW). And one day, nearly every year, him and Northwestern get a little crazier than usual. Us Iowa fans always try to defend ourselves. Defend the outlook of our season. Defend our hopes and dreams of being something more.

But Pat Fitzgerald doesn’t like that.

So, as all of us are watching, hoping, Pat Fitzgerald pokes and prods at us all, laughing while he does it. As his team continues to prevent us from scoring, we bewilderingly wonder what’s happening and he looks at us all, as if to say, “Why so serious?”.

“Why so serious?”

“Let’s put a smile on that face!”

As it is, some coaches aren’t looking for anything logical when the chips are stacked against them. Not when they have to play Iowa year in and year out. From the first meeting of the season, Fitzgerald is not looking for Big Ten titles or playoff births. He can’t be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated with when it comes to Iowa.

Taking care of the Hawkeyes is the first and last thing to go through his mind at night.

Some coaches want to win titles.

And others just want to watch Iowa burn. Who cares about the conference or bowl games when you’re still starring that little yellow bird in the face? This is about sending a message...Everything burns.

Think about it for a second. Really think about it. Does Pat Fitzgerald look like a guy with a plan? He’s just a dog chasing cars. When he finally caught up to one last year, what happened? He didn’t know what to do with it when he got there!

He just...DOES things.

Until Iowa comes to town.

He just can’t let us go.

And Kirk and his Hawkeyes? They just continue to be incorruptible. They can never seem to take Northwestern out, no matter what’s on the line, out of some misplaced sense of self-righteousness.

And Pat Fitzgerald refuses to crush Kirk because it’s just too much fun.

And until Kirk, our Dark Knight, decides that it’s finally time to break his one rule of running up the score (at least one time a year), I think these two are destined to do this forever.

Shouts to the goat Batman movie of all time for the inspirational quotes.

Big Ten Picks in BOLD

Illinois @ Purdue -9.5

Liberty -7.5 @ Rutgers

Iowa -10 @ Northwestern

Wisconsin @ Ohio State -14.5

Maryland @ Minnesota -16

Penn State -5.5 @ Michigan State

Indiana +1.5 @ Nebraska

Notre Dame -1 @ Michigan