The monkey is dead.
Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald even gave it a proper viewing, on the podium in the post-game news conference at EverBank Field.
The tattered, shredded simian was enthusiastically beaten to a pulp by the 21st-ranked Wildcats in the locker room following their 34-20 victory over Mississippi State on Tuesday, before 48,216 in the 68th Taxslayer.com Gator Bowl
“This is the rest of the monkey,” said the man who became the first coach in the otherwise forgettable football history of Northwestern to win 50 games.
The monkey, of course, symbolizes the burden on the backs of generations of Northwestern football players since the team’s only bowl victory in the 1949 Rose Bowl. That 20-14 triumph over California was the first time the Wildcats won a Big Ten title and qualified for the postseason.