Husky Stadium lies on picturesque Lake Washington in Seattle. Home to the Washington Huskies, the scene has become one of the most iconic in college football. The purple and gold have reigned in the Pacific Northwest since 1889, and it’s a program abundant in tradition. Autumn Saturdays in the Emerald City provide a gameday saturated with passion and pageantry.Continue reading “WASHINGTON – HUSKY STADIUM”
DeKalb, Illinois is not that far from the city life of Chicago, but it may as well be in central Nebraska. From interstate 88, you can see Huskie Stadium, that is if the corn has already been harvested. Due to television contracts with ESPN, many Middle-American conference games fall on weekday nights, but that does not dull the enthusiasm. Many folks drive in from work and it may take a while to get adjusted to the college football mindset, but once the Huskies take the field to a barrage of fireworks, that ol’ Saturday feeling comes back.
#BlackoutBC was the battle cry in DeKalb on a Friday night opener for Northern Illinois’ tussle with Boston College. Decked in black, Huskie fans flanked both sides of Huskie Stadium to kickoff Labor Day weekend with some serious tailgating.
The College Football Tour tailgate was surrounded by hues of Husky red and Wildcat purple…and swarms of bees. If NU was playing Georgia Tech, we could chalk it up to irony. Instead, it was plain annoying. However, it didn’t sting our enthusiasm on this gorgeous day in Evanston for the battle of “Who’s the best in Illinois?” With the Fighting Illini struggling for relevancy and the Wildcats scrambling to crawl out of the losing-streak quicksand they put themselves into last year, Northern Illinois has surfaced at the top with an opportunity today to make it official.
Daaaaaaaaaaa Illini. That sure doesn’t have the same ring to it, but with tonight’s game taking place at Soldier Field – it’s quite fitting. Add Ditka administering the pregame coin toss, and it’s practically a scene on SNL. This game really wasn’t supposed to be a threat for the incoming Huskies. But, a surprising 2-0 start had Illinois fans imagining the possibilities. A strong contingent from Seattle filled the south loop bars while Illinois fans combated with their ILL-INI chant.
When it comes to the Cal football team, the vibe in Berkeley has been one of impatience – lots of opportunity and little to show for it. This year fit that same mold. The Golden Bears would have to win out against Washington, #4 Oregon, and #11 Oregon State in order to become bowl eligible – a monumental task for sure. A gorgeous early November afternoon morphed into a chilly Friday evening of football inside Memorial Stadium. Even though the stadium was not quite a sellout, loyalty and pride didn’t take a backseat. The band played with the same passion, the fans cheered with the same energy, and the players fought with the same amount of heart.
Riding the red line in Chicago on this day took an entirely different meaning. Badger fans who crossed the state line, and alums living in Chicago who had yanked their favorite Wisconsin tee off the hanger, all packed the el train with red as it zipped its way downtown and unloaded a steady red stream at the Roosevelt stop. Fans from both sides began to merge near Grant Park and banter back and forth while walking under Lake Shire Drive to get to Soldier Field. This home to the Chicago Bears became “Huskie Country” for the day.
Early evening summer kickoff in Madison = perfect day. The day begins with a stop around the Capitol to experience one of the Midwest’s finest and largest farmer’s markets. Fans draped in red herd over to the terrace to enjoy a beverage by the lake and take in a peaceful afternoon. From here, your choice of tailgates are endless finishing with the pregame band concert near Camp Randall Stadium.
Ball State University might want to replace their maintenance staff with NIU tailback Garrett Wolfe as he covered more ground and clipped more blades of grass with his shoes than John Deere could with a fleet of mowers. On an evening where nearly every type of imaginable weather came over Sheumann Stadium, nothing could stop the nation’s leading rusher.
Wednesday evenings weren’t made for college football. But, somehow television has reordered traditional methods. Saturday is still college’s holy day, but while the NFL has Monday night football, college has captured every other weekday night to accommodate the needs of all conferences’ exposure through television. The Middle American Conference leads the pack in weekday games. Amazingly, the atmosphere doesn’t change.