Updated: November 12, 2012 12:00PM
Cody Cejda saw black flakes on Pat Fitzgerald’s face during the fourth quarter of Saturday’s loss to Penn State. Even some players noticed how little pieces of plastic from Fitzgerald’s headphones were collecting near his eyebrow. Northwestern’s director of football operations kept trying to hand Fitzgerald a towel to wipe the flecks away, but Fitzgerald was staring so intensely at his playsheet, he never noticed.
“Finally, I said, ‘OK, it’s my job to make sure we’re conveying ourselves right on TV,’ so I just wiped it off for him,” Cejda said.
A video of Cejda mopping Fitzgerald’s brow was posted on national websites, and comparisons were made to video of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones handing his glasses to his son-in-law to have them cleaned during a recent game. However, Jones was well aware of what he was doing. Fitzgerald was oblivious.
“No, not at all,” Fitzgerald said when asked if he was aware of Cejda’s face wash. “I’m pretty active on the boundary. I get bumped around and banged around so much, I had no idea. It’s classic that Cody is getting made fun of for it.”
Fitzgerald said he’ll make some adjustments this week to make sure a subordinate mopping of his brow doesn’t undermine his blue-collar, South Side identity.
“I’ll make sure this week I pick my nose repeatedly,” he said. “I’ll be sure to say a bunch of ‘dees’ and ‘dose’ to make sure.”