Wrigleyville Classic Heating Up
This year Northwestern and Illinois add another chapter to their rivalry when their football teams square off at Wrigley Field on November 20th. When I first heard about this game the #1 reason I wanted to go was to experience watching a football game at Wrigley Field, something that has not happened since the Bears played there in 1970.
The Wildcats and Fighting Illini have matched up annually since the 1920s competing for the Land of Lincoln Trophy (formally known as the Sweet Sioux Tomahawk Trophy). They are natural in-state rivals, but I cannot recall one memorable game the two schools have played against each other. After growing up in Evanston and then attending the University of Illinois I am a fan of both teams and go to this game annually. The outcomes are usually lopsided contests and meaningless for one of the teams. That will not be the case this year because for the first time since I can remember both Northwestern and Illinois are playing quality football during the same season. Illinois (5-4) has been the surprise team of the Big Ten after being picked to finish in the bottom of the conference by numerous so-called college football experts. The Wildcats (6-3) are bowl eligible yet again as Coach Pat Fitzgerald continues to establish Northwestern as a winning football program. As the buzz for the Wrigleyville Classic grows the stakes are also rising because both teams will be fighting to improve their post season bowl resumes. Going into the game I’m still not sure who I’ll be rooting for, but I am sure that it’s going to be a classic.