"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)...
Chicago is the most insane sports city in the world. And it’s a crazy football town. NFL
only though. This is a Bears
town first and foremost. Even the Bulls
take a backseat to them. However, in college football
, it's not as passionate. Who is the college football team of Chicago?
Well, you can answer that question with three different answers and they’d all be right. You could say
a.) Notre Dame
maybe, sort of.
c.) a combination of four teams.
Obviously, geography has a lot to do with it. There just isn’t a team here within the city limits; you have to drive to reach all of the four candidates. So let’s examine the strengths and weaknesses for each of the four options who you could consider to be Chicago’s college football team.
I ranked them by mileage and driving time from City Front Plaza on Michigan
That’s where all the big media corporations in this city are headquartered, so we’ll use that as “point A.”...
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
The University of Illinois
and the Chicago White Sox
will soon share a broadcast partnership. WSCR Chicago is home to radio broadcasts of all White Sox
games; WSCR 670 AM will also carry Illini
basketball starting in 2013-14 and football in 2014. (STEAKS AND CAKES!)
The logo of WSCR 670 The Score is blue and orange for a reason. All CBS
owned radio stations adopt the colors of their local NFL
team for the station logos. Obviously, WSCR got it’s colors from the Chicago Bears
. Papa Bear Halas brought the colors with him to the Bears
from the Illini
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 »
Here’s a multi-media gaffe for you. Getting caught by television cameras with chewing tobacco when you’re a college football coach. And chew at practices and games is a NCAA violation for players and coaches. That’s what happened with Illini coach Tim Beckman, who apologized for it after his team got destroyed by the Wisconsin Badgers... Read more »
Shannon Ryan covers national college basketball for the Chicago Tribune. She also covers the Illinois Fighting Illini in both college football and hoops. Ryan also votes in the national poll each week. Pretty prestigious and exciting; so we had her join us for an interview. PMB: How do you go about the process when... Read more »