Official Store

    Northwestern Conducts Final Practice, Fans Turn San Antonio Purple

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM Northwestern's team barge en route to the Pep Rally.
    Northwestern's team barge en route to the Pep Rally.

    Dec. 27, 2008

    Pep Rally and Team Fiesta Photo Gallery Videos
    Riverwalk Pep Rally
    Team Fiesta: Trivia Contest
    Team Fiesta: Talent Show

    SAN ANTONIO -- Northwestern conducted its final practice of the 2008 season Saturday with an 11-period workout at Trinity University before participating in the annual Alamo Bowl Pep Rally and Team Fiesta Saturday night.

    The Wildcats had a special guest at practice Saturday when incoming University President Morton Schapiro dropped by with his family. Head coach Pat Fitzgerald introduced Schapiro, who will take over for the retiring Henry Bienen on Sept. 1, 2009, to the team before the `Cats stood to sing Go U Northwestern to Schapiro in an impromptu serenade.

    The teams and bands boarded barges at 6 p.m. for the Pep Rally on the Riverwalk. More than 1,000 fans crowded into the Arenson River Theatre, which features stadium-style step seating on one side and a stage on the other with the river flowing between the two. The team's cheerleaders and dance squads performed first, then the players and bands arrived via river barge to loud ovations. Each program's head coach and captains addressed the crowd and led some cheers.

    After the festivities, the two programs and fans made their way inside for the Rudy's Bar-B-Q Team Fiesta which featured a trivia contest and talent show. Tyrell Sutton, James Nussbaum and Kurt Mattes played against each other in the trivia portion of the program, with Nussbaum narrowly defeating Mattes in a heated battle.

    Three Northwestern acts took the stage during the talent show. First Carl Fisher sang accompanied by Todd Dockery on the piano. Niko Mafuli followed with a rendition of the YouTube dance sensation Techno Viking. Corey Wootton and Marshall Thomas joined Mafuli on stage mid-act. Kevin Watt rounded out the talent acts with a spot-on impression of The Bug from Men in Black.

    Missouri went first during the talent show, performing the Lil' Wil My Dougie dance. After Northwestern's acts were complete, quarterback C.J. Bachér challenged the Tigers to a "Dougie off." The two teams sent five members to the stage where they faced off one-on-one street-dance style before the groups spilled onto the stage in a combined dance to the delight of the crowd.

    Northwestern's Bowl Week continues tomorrow, Sunday, Dec. 28, with the Wells Fargo Kickoff Luncheon at 11:45 a.m. For more on Saturday's festivities, check out Keegan Kennedy's Big Bowl Blog.