Thursday, October 15, 2015

101 Stadiums & Counting, Part 2


So I have not written for a while, if anyone is keeping track.  Had a lot of things going on outside of football (wait, what?  You have other interests besides football?  For shame!).

Yeah, I know.  But the boss hasn't fussed at me yet so here goes.

In my last post (9/13) I mentioned I am trying to visit all 129 FBS stadiums (I still count UAB as one b/c they are bringing football back).  That whole thing was ridiculous, by the way.  They shut down UAB football to keep UAB from getting any of 'Bama's good recruits.  Really?  How many of 'Bama's good recruits was UAB GETTING, anyway?  And who could blame them anyway for wanting to play instead of riding the pine for the almost National Champions every year?


But I digress.  So I am trying to see all of these stadiums, and so far I have been to 105 of them.  But for this post, I am going to pretend I have only been to 101 - the idea is that each week after I see a game/new stadium, I will write a post of my experience, so this is a back post from a few weeks ago.

Warning - Shameless plug coming:

Besides these blogs, I also write stadium reviews at StadiumJourney.com for some of the stadiums I visit.  Check out my reviews there (http://www.stadiumjourney.com/member/Aaron%20S.%20Terry) b/c I get half a cent per page view, which is almost as much as Richard makes from his books.Northern

Shameless plug complete.  Back to my story - for Stadium 101, I decided to see Kent State @ Illinois on Friday night (Sept 4th), and just for kicks, I added North Illinois on Sept. 5th - I already visited that stadium way back in 2001, but I got a flat tire on the way so didn't get there until the 4th quarter, just in time to see Byron Leftwich (remember him) throw a couple of TDs in a slaughter against the Huskies.  Incidentally, I got my tire fixed that day at Kmart (remember them)?

So I flew into Chicago on Friday morning, and drove all the way to Urbana.  Very annoying drive just to get out of the city, which you should expect because it's Chicago for heaven's sake!  But once you get out of the city it is dull dull dull, nothing but corn fields for miles.  The game was supposed to start at 8 pm local time, so I had plenty of time to chill in my hotel before the game - I tend to take 6 am flights, even for night games, just in case my flight is delayed or in case some asshole burns down the air traffic control center and messes up my day (yeah, that happened last year, I ended up missing a game at Cal, which would have make Illinois my 102nd stadium, thank you very much).

So I drive all the way to Urbana, chill in my hotel, and head over to the game.  But then the lightning starts, so the game is delayed for several hours.  The staff was nice enough to let us in to hang out inside while we waited, though, and the concessions stand did a pretty good business for a while while the weather outside was frightful.  It is pretty up in the air about when the game will start, but finally the Big 10 officials pulled their heads out of their collective assess and made a decision - the game would occur tomorrow.  This is due to some bonehead obscure rule the Big 10 has that games can't start after 10 pm - apparently if the game HAD started and then lightning struck, they would have been allowed to finish.  But since the game hadn't started, they moved it to the next day.

The really weird thing though was that the announcers kept saying that the reason for the delay in making a decision was because they had to make sure the Kent State players had a hotel.  Ummm, if the game was supposed to be at 8 pm anyway, wouldn't they have had to have a hotel planned?

So I was a little annoyed by this decision, b/c I had a game the next day at Northern Illinois, which is several hours north of Urbana (near Chicago).  So I only got to watch the first half of the Illinois game, which was a blowout.  And I have to say, I NEVER leave early, so it was hard for me to do.  I have this thing about saluting the triple zeroes at the end of the game.  But I still count it, b/c after all I did spend well over 4 hours in the stadium, if you count the 2 1/2 hours the night before.

If you want to read my review of the Northern Illinois stadium, check out:
http://www.stadiumjourney.com/stadiums/huskie-stadium-s419

I did not write one for Illinois b/c someone else had that assignment.

So there you go, that was stadium # 101.  Check out my other posts for more as the season goes on.  



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