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Tweeting Northwestern Wildcats’ Games 101

There’s a Method to the Tweets

I tweet the Northwestern University Wildcats’ football games. This started at the 1 January 2010 Outback Bowl against Auburn. I’ve continued doing it since a few people have emailed me to thank me for the tweets - Twitter is the only way some people can get the game if they are away from the Big Ten Network/ESPN/etc.

Hey - if I can reach even a single NU fan, I’m happy to do it.

There is a method to the tweets. We'll call it "Mitchell Notation." I suggest that anyone who tweets football games uses it. We'll discuss the trademark and patent ramifications later. :-)

Tracking the action:

When the Wildcats have the ball, I start the tweet with #Northwestern.

When the other side has the ball, I start the tweet with the name of the opponent: #Opponent. I end the tweet with Go #Northwestern.

This should allow you to do a search on #Northwestern and get the game stream.

Making sense of the action:

Generally I don’t have time to tweet each down, especially when NU runs the no-huddle. So I generally tweet from 1st down to 1st down. It will typically look like this when NU has the ball:
#Northwestern 1st&10...pass, 2nd&3...run, 3rd&1...pass, 1st down.

When the other side has the ball, it will look like the following:
#Opponent 1st&10...run, 2nd&9...incomplete, 3rd&9...pass, 4th&3, punt coming… Go #Northwestern!

When the Wildcats get their offense totally cranked up, there is rarely time to throw in things like the names of players or type out positions like quarterback or running back. These are abbreviated as things like QB or RB. I do try to provide some descriptions, like scramble in connection with things like:
#Northwestern 1st&10...Persa scramble, 2nd&1...run, 1st down.

Kickoffs will look something like this:
#Northwestern kickoff to #Opponent, ball returned to #Opponent 15.

#Opponent kickoff to #Northwestern, ball retuned to #Opponent 40.

Scoring will look like the following:
If Northwestern scores, it looks like the following:

#Northwestern 1&10...pass, 1st&Goal...run, 2nd&Goal...pass...TOUCHDOWN!!!!PAT COMING...IT’S GOOD…!! #Northwestern 35 - #Opponent 7.

If Opponent scores, it looks like the following:

#Opponent 3rd&Goal...run touchdown...PAT coming...it’s not good #Northwestern 35 - #Opponent 13.

And similarly for field goals.

Things like interceptions and fumbles are handled like the following:
#Opponent 1st&10...run, 2nd&9...pass INTERCEPTION!!! returned to Opponent 21! #Northwestern ball, 1st&10. #GoCats!

Of course, if the Opponent gets a Wildcat turnover, you can forget about the caps lock.

Other Things About the Game:
I do throw in occasional comments about things like the referees, weather, crowd, etc. At the end of the quarter I give a recap of the score. During halftime I give a recap of the Wildcat highlights (The Good) and lowlights (The Bad).

And at the end of the game I give a recap of things plus my ending Blood Pressure (which tends to be high, especially after a #CardiacCats game).

More later...

Go ‘Cats!

BJ Mitchell (Former NUMB Spirit Leader)




  1. It is great to see you have a method, I have seen some people do the game blog/tweet thing and it is chaos theory. I have followed games by this method and it is a great service.

  2. I'm happy to tweet the game if it helps even one more Wildcats fan follow the action. I know most people are going to have access to TV or WGN's Internet stream, but I have had a few people email me to thank me for doing this.

    Go Cats!