Note: Our friends at On the Banks are pretty cool and you should totally check their site out. And, this is a hater's guide, so don't take it seriously. I know how tough you folks from Jersey can get sometimes.
What's up everyone. I'll be pinch-hitting for Robbins on the Hater's Guide this week. By the way, if you haven't read his fantastic Mike Davis piece yet, well what are you waiting for? We'll still be here when you're done.
(waits 15 minutes)
Alright, welcome back everyone. Now that you've read a great serious piece, it's time for the exact opposite.
We all know this football season has been a struggle bus, to say the least. Last week at Memorial Stadium, there were as many punts as total points scored in the game between IU and Penn State. And if the Hoosiers lose for the fifth straight week tomorrow, the only bowling we'll be doing this season will be at the alley at the IMU.
But what we lack in football acumen, we make up in HATIN'. And this week, we've got quite the easy target - a university that's so embarrassed to be associated with its home state that it doesn't feature "New Jersey" in its name. Why yes, it's Rutgers, the recipient of the Big Ten's golden ticket out of the mid-major hell that is the AAC, thanks to all of its invisible fans in the Big Apple.
Rutgers is like an investment firm that was irresponsible with its finances for years, had a CEO that had no clue what was going on, lost its rising banker when he moved to Florida, and after all this, still received a bailout from the government right before they were about to go under. Now instead of losing 17-13 games to South Florida and UConn on Thursday nights, Rutgers gets to enjoy a life of losing 17-13 games to Northwestern and Minnesota on Saturdays at noon.
After this B1G bailout, Rutgers is now controlled by a triumvirate of fools. In a shocker to no one, Governor Chris Christie likes to take time out from blocking bridges for political gain in order to meddle into Rutgers' affairs. The University's president, Robert Barchi, watched his school's former basketball coach verbally abuse his players and did nothing until he came under extreme political pressure. And finally, there's Athletic Director Julie Herrmann. She's been out of the limelight recently due to Dave Brandon's incompetence at Michigan, but with Brandon gone, she'll be back soon enough with something ridiculous - she has a history of it, after all.
In short, Rutgers is the Lane Kiffin of college football teams - constantly moving up in the world with very little to show for it. This will all make sense when the Scarlet Knights hire Kiffin to coach the team in 2016.
What is a Rutgers?
Until 2005, the state of New Jersey did not have an FBS college football team. That's when a person known only as Schiano Man found a tract of land nearby New York City, and decided he'd build a team there. But he knew he needed to build a stadium too. So one day he found some wood, and he started to chop.
And he kept chopping.
Soon, others joined and together they became #CHOPNation. Once all the wood had been chopped, Schiano Man decided it was time to build a team. Now, what would Schiano Man call this team? Well, once he realized he'd suffered the embarrassment of building his team in New Jersey, he knew he couldn't name it after the state. So he had to think of something new. And when he realized the stadium had been built in a rut, he had his name - Rutgers. The founding of Rutgers in 2005 occupies a significant place in sports history - right between when the New England Patriots began play in 2001 and the Chicago Blackhawks fielded their first hockey team in 2009.
Are there any famous folks from Rutgers?
How Do I Get to Piscataway?
Go east on a bunch of interstates through Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Pay some tolls along the way.
Pay some more tolls once you get to Jersey.
End up paying a lot more tolls than you expected.
Arrive in Piscataway, broke.
Attempt to win that money back by gambling it in Atlantic City, which is two hours south of Rutgers.
Realize you can't get to Atlantic City, because you have to pay tolls to get there, and you are broke.
What is there to do in Piscataway?
To tell us more about Piscataway, the home of the Scarlet Knights, let's welcome in a special guest - Big Ten Commissioner and East Coast travel expert Jim Delany!
"Piscataway has always been one of our nation's finest cities, and now it will be one of our B1Ggest. The first thing one must do when they go to Piscataway is to go to Times Square. Of course, one should also catch a Broadway show while in Piscataway. After that, head up to the top of Piscataway's Empire State Building. Why, if you look far enough, you may be able to see Nebraska or Iowa from there! Don't forget to visit Piscataway's other boroughs, like Brooklyn or Queens, and the Bronx, where the Piscataway Yankees play. With a population of over 8 million, Piscataway, or the Big Apple as some call it, will bring a ton of new fans into our conference."
Is there any good eatin' in Piscataway?
Grease Trucks! The most famous grease truck is called RU Hungry, and it provides a plethora of unhealthy eating options fit for Central Jersey's finest denizens. Their top-selling sandwich is called a Fat Darrell, and includes chicken fingers, mozzarella sticks, and marinara sauce. I MUST TRY THIS. RU Hungry also has something called a Veggie Butt on their menu, but unlike other butts, this one has yet to Break The Internet.
How are the folks from Piscataway?
Let's extend this to New Jersey in general.
As some of you know, I lived in New Jersey for the first decade or so of my life. My family is all originally from there. Lots of relatives still live there. My sister liked NJ so much that she decided she had to return there for college. So when I say I know what New Jersey residents are like, I have a pretty good grasp on it. Most Americans might view Jersey based on pop cultural touchstones such as the Sopranos, Jersey Shore, or Real Housewives. Being the self-appointed Jersey expert, I should be telling you these shows misrepresent the good folks of New Jersey, but let's face it - there are some elements of truth in those stereotypes.
But what you may not know is that in addition to the people who you'd think of as being from Jersey, there are also a lot of farmers here as well, which helps make the state more B1G. In addition, there some areas of the state, especially in the South Jersey, that are indistinguishable from Alabama. Roll Jersey Tide, I suppose. Along with the main campus near Piscataway, Rutgers also has campuses in Newark and Camden. Do not go to Newark or Camden, unless you enjoy blight.
Also, there's The Boss. As a sportswriter, even just an amateur unpaid one, Bruce Springsteen is beyond reproach.
And does New Jersey's governor love to show his support for the state university while yelling at state educators? You know it.
THEIR FOOTBALL TEAM
Is their football team any good?
New Jersey hosts two NFL teams. The Jets and Giants combined have as many wins as Rutgers does (five), meaning that at the moment the Scarlet Knights are the most successful football team in the Garden State. And much like Rutgers, the Jets and Giants are too embarrassed to have the words "New Jersey" in their name. Check out this murderer's row that Rutgers has defeated too: Washington State, Howard, Navy, Tulane, and Michigan. Despite this achievement, the Scarlet Knights enter this game having been outscored 135-41 by OSU, Nebraska, and Wisconsin combined. Good job good effort, Rutgers.
And how are they preparing for us?
Hahahahaha, sure you aren't. Kyle Flood is totally jacking Wilson, Hazell, and Beckman's Quick-Lane-mobile once this game's over.
BONUS BASKETBALL HATE
As you know, the basketball team opens the season against Mississippi Valley State tonight, so I thought I'd try to incorporate some Mississippi Valley Hate in here. Anddddd... I couldn't come up with much. MVSU's most famous alum might be Jerry Rice. Rice was a great receiver, but Randy Moss was better overall. And when MVSU's basketball team made the NCAA Tournament in 2008, they only scored 29 points in their first-round matchup against UCLA. Twenty-nine points in 40 minutes! That's like Sixers-level bad right there.
So yeah, take THAT, Delta Devils! Actually wait - Delta Devils is a sick nickname. I take it all back.