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.
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.