"Our presence in Chicago is important to us, we are the state team, we need to bring ourselves closer to them for marketing purposes," said Illini Wide Receivers Coach Mike Bellamy- a former Chicago Bears player,
native of the SouthSide (prepped at Kenwood Academy) and Illini wideout who played with Jeff George in Champaign.
"And we have a large alumni base in Chicago and sometimes they can't make it down, so why not bring the game to them?" Bellamy continued.
On Saturday, the Illini were competing for sports fan interest against the White Sox
, a Fire match and the BMW Classic. And they still drew 47,312 fans to the lakefront in Chicago. That attendance is higher than what Illinois drew at home for their first two games this season; and a solid figure when you consider how very low expectations were heading into this year...
football ended their nine game losing streak. And they did it on Social Media Day at Memorial Stadium. Well, they just barely survived: winning 42-34 over the SIU Salukis in a game that went down to the wire. Unfortunately for Illinois football, who reside in the Big Ten
, a BCS power conference, just escaping versus a FCS squad, and a middle of the road one and that, doesn’t cut it.
Coach Tim Beckman
was on the hot seat entering this game. It’s surface of the planet Venus now; after outgaining a FCS opponent at home by just 57 yards and winning by a slim margin. (More on what went down on the field and what it means for Illinois football here)
Let's get to the tweets today (saving my own for the bottom)...
We have real football again! Finally. College football season openers are this Saturday, August 31st. Illini
football takes on FCS school Southern Illinois
as part of Social Media Day. All Illini
fans Liking the official Fighting Illini football Facebook page and following the @Illini Football Twitter
account will be entered to win a personalized Illinois
jersey. Just enter by halftime Saturday.
fans and Twitter
followers can win a pair of tickets to the Sept. 14th Chicago Homecoming versus the Washington Huskies at Soldier Field. The winners will be announced at Memorial Stadium and on Illini football social media pages at the end of the third quarter versus SIU.
Obviously, this match-up would be more intriguing in basketball. Say in a tournament in March. However, Salukis football did produce Bart Scott
, the famous former Baltimore Ravens and New York Jets linebacker who now has a new NFL
pregame show on CBS
Sports. (it debuts September 8th
was on conference call today to preview the game on Saturday...
Very few people connected to Illini
football are extremely happy right now about the Tim Beckman
Illini football was winless in conference play, Ohio State
and Penn State
combined to outscore Illinois
132-29. They went 2-10 despite having four players taken in the NFL Draft
. So, we’re not here to write much more negativity about the Illini football program- it’s been done. And deservedly so.
We’re here to talk about how Tim Beckman deals with all that negative energy. Again, having your games decided by halftime- in a bad way- will do that.
“We’re not going to let negativity infiltrate our program. We’re going to be positive with a great passion towards what we want to get accomplished,” Beckman said in his opening statement during Big Ten
It’s been that kind of year for the Illinois Fighting Illini and their hopeless coach Tim Beckman. At 2-10, winless in conference and blown out in more than half their losses, it’s been pure phantasmagoria. Today’s blowout loss to Northwestern brought more pain. On the field, and the sideline. This isn’t even Beckman’s first sideline... Read more »