After Northwestern’s upset win over Wisconsin on Saturday, head coach Pat Fitzgerald referenced a comment made by ESPN analyst Joey Galloway.
Galloway had likened Northwestern players to ESPN’s own Rece Davis, which is certainly a flattering compliment to any of the many Medill media students in Evanston, but much less so from an athletic perspective. (No offense to Rece.)
From our post last night, Fitzgerald’s full quote on the comments, which he termed “incredibly disrespectful”:
In addition to the Fighting Rece Davis jokes, Fitzgerald told the media after the game that he thought Galloway’s comments “were incredibly disrespectful,” and said the comments “really ticked our guys off.”
“I mean, that really ticked our guys off; I’m not gonna lie to you. It was, I thought, incredibly disrespectful. That is what it is. It’s not the first time. I just talked to the guys about putting fuel in their engine, man. Just use that as fuel in the engine and just go out and play the way we’re capable. We’ve got really, really good football players. We’ve got outstanding football players, in my opinion. We’ve got a bunch of guys who are going to be potentially All-Big 10, potentially All-American, and potentially in the NFL.”
Naturally, Galloway was asked to respond while doing ESPN studio work on Saturday: “Let me say this: Rece Davis is a pretty good athlete. And he’s smart.”
Galloway added that his Rece Davis comparison “was a compliment” to Northwestern.
As Northwestern’s social media team revealed today, though, it was much more motivating throughout the week than even Fitzgerald’s quote would make it seem:
WE ARE… ??? ???????' ???? ???????
— Fightin’ Rece Davises (@NUFBFamily) November 22, 2020
Obviously, the slight from Galloway isn’t the only (or even the main) reason that Northwestern upset Wisconsin 17-7, moving themselves up to #11 in the AP poll and giving the team an inside track at the Big Ten West championship. But it certainly played a part, as that video shows. Rece Davis is a big part of college football every season, but this is an entirely new way for him to be a part of the narrative.