Every once in a while, there's a topic that takes the tiny NU blogosphere by storm, and, because I'm primarily interested in boring the doo-doo out of y'all, I always feel compelled to comment on it. Nowadays, it's the question of playing a home game at Wrigley Field against Illinois.
There's arguments against having a home game at Wrigley. I'll list them as obnoxiously as possible.
"But we're giving up a home game! What about the money from the gates! We need that money!"
"But the game will be filled with Illinois fans! If we're trying to promote our team, it won't even matter because only Illinois fans will come and they'll never become NU fans as long as they live so it doesn't even help to market to them!"
"But most football teams don't throw away home games like that! We'd have so few home games!"
"But what if a player is running really fast and hits into the wall in center field and gets hurt?"
"But if there's only Illinois fans, who's even going to remember NU was there?"
"But waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagh! Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagh!"
Let me put it this way: I can't see eye to eye with anyone who sees this game as a potential negative for NU sports. I see these negatives, and if you're seriously concerned about this, live a little.
First off, NU will play a home game against Illinois every other year until they're building skating rinks in hell. Those games aren't going anywhere. And the only difference between those games will be the players and the final scores. You'll attend hundreds of games at Ryan Field, and some day, they'll all start to blend together, if they haven't already.
However, a game at Wrigley is a once-in-a-lifetime deal. And what's more, just like the Winter Classic actually got people to think about the Blackhawks and Red Wings for an afternoon who never would've done so beforehand, NU can take a little time in the spotlight, and that's definitely not a bad thing.
Let's be real. Right now, NU can win 8 games a year and play six home games from 2009 to infinity, and you know what? Status quo won't get us more than 30,000 fans in seats and won't get us sellouts in non OSU/Penn State games. That's just being realistic. Status quo won't get us anywhere. We have to try new things just to get people to notice us. I'm not saying a game at Wrigley will change all this, I'm not even saying it'll help. I'm just saying you have to keep trying, or else nothing will ever happen. And if nothing does happen, at the very least we'll have a fun day in somebody else's dilapidated stadium for once.
Variety is the spice of life. And a game at Wrigley can easily add a little bit of variety into our yearly game with the folks from downstate.
Oh, and, re: player safety with the outfield wall being about two feet outside the endzone: good call, they should get cracking on this. I think we can all agree that we need to be more worried about post-touchdown hits from the ivy than we do about in-game hits from Illini linebackers. (Zing!)