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  • What? I’m afraid I can’t hear what you’re saying about SEC football.

For a moment, after slinking away from the Republicans I’ve just been arguing with at the Reader‘s election debate, I think I’m free.

I end up at the bar talking with two other reporters I haven’t seen in a while. They’re smart, good people and up on current affairs. One is an otherwise nice girl who went to college at Florida. The other appears to be a onetime fan of what used to be called Big Ten football.

I mention these details because it turns out they know I cheer way too hard for my alma mater’s team, the Northwestern Wildcats. That might be because I barrage even casual acquaintances with Facebook posts about that week’s game and all the anxiety it’s causing me on top of my normal anxiety.

Our conversation quickly goes awry. Something like this: