Northwestern Predicto and Fast Food Preferences
What goes better with this garbage matchup than garbage food? And who better to opine on it than the fat guys (sorry, some formerly fat guys – like Michael) of Boiled Sports?
So this week’s challenge was, in addition to what the massacre will look like at the hands of the Purple Kitties, as follows:
You're driving the lonely roads of America. You need a meal and your only -- ONLY -- options are fast food. The stuff foodies and crunchy people turn their noses up at. What are you looking for as those blue highway food signs pop up? Are you a traditional McDonald's guy? Or are you hoping for a Carl's Jr or a Hardee's? Or something else you can't resist passing? I knew a kid growing up who literally could not drive past a Roy Rogers (remember those?). So what's yours?
The ongoing list of teams that Purdue actually could beat continues. The Wildcats are hard to figure out, honestly. They hung with an OSU team that then laid a merciless beating on Nebraska. But The Cats lost to those Huskers. It’s like dogs and cats are living together. Complete mayhem. It’s also probably the first game this season where I can honestly say I wouldn’t be surprised at all if this game went in absolutely any direction. The Gerad Parker-coached squad feels like it might finally break through at some point, right? But they’ve also shown they are capable of coming out hyped and still getting blown out. So who knows? I’ll go with the evidence, though.
For me, an east coast loyalist, this is hard to admit. But my favorite fast food comes from California. In-N-Out is the best fast food there is, hands down. I don’t even think it’s close. But if I’m driving in the East and am limited to our options here, I think Wendy’s burgers hit the spot, while McDonald’s fries have never tasted bad to me. And I was fortunate enough to live in Texas for four years, so if you see a Whataburger when you’re passing through, stop and enjoy yourself.
One of my favorite things, though, is when some healthy eater says something pejorative about fast food: “Oh, I’ll throw up if I eat that.” I love to follow that with telling them how delicious the grease is.
Yes, I probably won’t live long.
Basically, you're asking what I ate last week on my semi-annual reunion trip to Virginia to see fellow Boilers (and assorted other grads). Or occasionally, what I did not eat because the combination of unusually slow people and existing lines meant it wasn't worth the wait on a 12-hour trip. Anyway, the answer is Popeyes. Spicy tenders, mashed potatoes and gravy, and if you touch my biscuit you'll find yourself flying down the side of a mountain.
Now, obviously this isn't something available at every exit, so my backup choice is Arby's. If necessary, yeah, I'll hit a McDonald's, if only because I know I can get a reasonably-sized burger without mayo. I mean, sure, if you're local, you can take your chances having something "your way", but there's nothing quite like discovering too far down the road that the food you have is not the food you ordered. Make it simple for the workers and you're more likely to get what you want; be pleasant and you might even get rewarded. (I've had several occasions where I've found extra tenders in my Popeyes bag; for any Popeyes managers in the Indianapolis area reading this, obviously I meant KFC. Unless you did it, in which case, thanks!)
Northwestern has five losses this season. Their two-point loss to Illinois State looks pretty bad now that the Redbirds look to be a .500 team, but their other losses are by 1 to unbeaten Western Michigan, by 11 to once-beaten Nebraska, by 4 to once-beaten Ohio State in Columbus, and by 14 to 7-2 Wisconsin, whose only losses are to Michigan and aOSU. They're basically your standard mediocre-ish team: lose to the top of the schedule, beat the bottom, fall somewhere in between. You are awarded no points for guessing the part of the schedule in which Purdue falls.
Halftime score: Purdue 10, Northwestern 7
Final: Northwestern 31, Purdue 16
Northwestern isn't quite as bad as they seem, true, but they aren't good either. Problem is, Purdue is still a bad football team. And "not good" beats "bad" almost every time. Thank god it's almost basketball season.
If I'm in the right part of the country, I'll eat In N Out, Chick Fil A, or Whataburger (in that order). But when it comes to nationwide shitty food, the only option for me in Wendy's. Get me a double with extra cheese, skip the fries, a large coke (no ice) and a small frosty. It's a total crap meal, but there's perfection in that crappiness. Mmmmm....
Yup, basically you're asking where I stop when I'm driving home to Indianapolis from Pittsburgh. Because driving calories don't count.
I've got my go-to exits off I-70 where it's generally safe for me to stop and chill for a bit, so my eating habits are pretty set in stone. Let's look past the times I definitely *don't* order a supreme pizza from Rubino's in Columbus, OH and eat the entire thing on the way to Indy. If it's a gas station stop, shoutout to the GetGo right outside Cambridge, OH. The made-to-order food that you can order on those touch-screen order screens are incredible. If we're only talking about fast food, my go-to is Wendy's. Gotta have that spicy chicken in my life, and I will tolerate none of this Wendy's-shaming that is going on by my distinguished colleagues.
Purdue's passing game has been fairly successful, even given its high-volume usage (304 yards and 2 touchdowns per game on 45 mind-blowing attempts per game for David Blough), and Northwestern's defense is a little stronger defending the pass than the run. If we look past Purdue's three straight second-half collapses, the most disappointing stats have been the Gerard Parker-era rushing numbers. 47 RB rushing yards (excludes sacks) against Nebraska, 68 against Penn State, 47 against Minnesota. Running backs are Purdue's strength, they are Purdue's only source of offensive optimism next year, and they are being completely misused in the home stretch of this season. I don't see any of that changing overnight.
Spread: Northwestern -13.5
If you think Purdue is nearly on Northwestern's level because the records are within sniffing distance of each other...and Fitz's 'Cats got beaten by lowly Illinois State at home, you will be disappointed on Saturday afternoon.
While this Northwestern team isn't up to the standard that they've become used to, they're still pretty good...they've built a program with an identity and players that seem to buy in to what the coaching staff is selling.
Our Boilers, conversely, are a high effort, one-half team that is trying to will itself to wins, but has no depth, no identity and no systems in place for when things get dicey. Our Boilers are limping toward their next rebuild with two OK chances to compete left and another in which they'll get waxed. This week is one of the chances to see a glimmer of hope (for a half) in Ross-Ade for the last time this season.
1st Half Final Score
Purdue loses the third quarter big (which has become the style of the day), and cruises to another two touchdown loss.
If I'm lucky enough to be driving in or near Salt Lake or Las Vegas...or nearly anywhere in California, I always look for In 'N Out Burger. It's one of the greatest restaurants in the world...fast food or not. It's tray of Americana for just a few dollars that I love.
Now, I am usually not driving in places with my favorite restaurant nearby...So when in a hurry, I'll eat about anything, but generally try to avoid Wendys, Burger King and Taco Bell for different reasons. Wendy's doesn't taste great to me, and BK and TBell DESTROY my stomach. Far from ideal travel food for this hombre.
Two McDs McDoubles without mustard and a medium DP hit the spot each time...and cost less than a coffee at Starbucks. Chick Fil-A is probably my favorite tasting fast food chain though...kinda can't miss with the original Chicken Sandwich with pickle and Honey Roasted Bar-B-Cue sauce (also paired perfectly with a Dr. Pepper).