This Is So Stupid

The Big Ten Coming Back Is My Personal Battle Of Camulodunum

Boudica rallying her forces
Screenshot: Biographics/YouTube

OK, so a Daily Caller troll guy who says he “spent the past 188 days fighting to save Big 10 football” compared what he did to “the Osama Bin Laden raid or D-Day,” and I have to say that as someone who actually has spent the past 189 days fighting to save Big Ten football, I can recognize a fellow traveler and salute his service. Thank you sir! We did it! Me more than you, but OK.

However, I have one nit to pick with my colleague in personally bringing back Rutgers-Northwestern. Yeah, Operation Overlord is cool, but I would liken my role in the Big Ten coming back to that of Boudica in the Battle of Camulodunum, also known as the Massacre of the Ninth Legion.

As you all know, famed warrior queen Boudica of the Iceni tribe led a revolt against the Roman occupation of southern Britain in 60 C.E. I am cribbing from actual history here as much as I am from a historical fiction novelization of her life by Scottish author Manda Scott, but essentially, former governor of Roman Britannia Publius Ostorious Scapula oversaw the violent subjugation of the Iceni in the early 40s. In the novelization, Boudica joins the tribal chieftain Caratacus as the military leaders of the early and united defense against Rome, though she eventually opts to return to lead her people once most of the fighting pushes to present-day Wales, leaving the Iceni lands under occupation. This is like Lovie Smith coming down to the college level to coach Illinois after coaching in a Super Bowl.

Rather than lead the defense against the Second and Fourteenth Legions in the west, she began gathering a force of warriors in the east. In historical accounts and Scott’s telling of the story, Boudica is spurred into action after her husband dies and Rome’s evil second-in-command of the island, Decianus Catus, rides north from the Roman stronghold of Camulodunum to extract payment. He does, and his centurions abuse Boudica and her family, which spurs her to action. Depending on which you account you read, the Ninth Legion was either destroyed by Iceni forces before the siege and burning of Camulodunum, or after, when they rode south to attempt to stop them. That’s Appalachian State over Michigan in 2007, though I suppose that was obvious.

Either way, the revolt successfully drew the attention of Governor Gaius Suetonius Paulinus and he re-routed the Fourteenth and Twentieth legions away from their assault on the druid stronghold of Mona to subdue the rebellion. I don’t want to overspoil the book, because the series really is quite good, but it is history, so. He won, Boudica died, and the Romans wound up conquering a significant portion of the island.

Anyway, I did all that but for college football. I’m sure Boudica’s tragic end in the face of failed defiance of an overwhelming, unfeeling enemy won’t translate here to real life.