Showing posts with the label memorial stadium

A Trip to Champaign for Illini Football Homecoming - 2018

A few weeks back, we piled into the Swagger Wagon and went to see my Illini take on Purdue for Homecoming.  We now have two nieces that are Freshman down in Champaign, so this was a family affair.  My sisters threw a great tailgate in Grange Grove and then we went into the Loyalty Lounge inside of Memorial Stadium to watch the game.  Well, I went in well before the game because I wanted to see warmups and all the pre-game what-have-yous.  We were lucky that the specialists for the Illini warmed up (for the most part) on the north end of the field, so our spots in the patio in the northwest corner tower of the stadium was a good view. Just about every game that we go to as a family, Nat and I disagree about the 'time to enter' the game.  I enjoy the pre-game festivities almost as much as the game.  I like to see the operation unfold, watch the support staff take action and watch the stadium come to life.  A little weird, yeah.  But, that's why I want to get into li

One Year Later: Love Smith and My Fighting Illini

One year ago today, I posted this on the blog : What a year it has been for the Illini and Athletic Director Josh Whitman.  Has Lovie lived up to the billing?  As an Alum and former member of the football team I can say this without question:  He has! Did we win a ton of games last year?  Nope.  Will we win a bunch this year?  Probably not.  But that's ok.  #WeWillWin.  Why?  Because he's upgrading the talent on the field ( #40 recruiting class this year ) and in the coaching box . And in that year, things have changed in the football program, but also at the Athletic Department.  They announced the inaugural class for the University of Illinois Fighting Illini Hall of Fame with 28 members .  The golf program continues to hum along in amazing fashion.  He hired a new Volleyball coach .  And...They also announced the Memorial Stadium renovation (South Endzone and maybe a new facility by the indoor training complex like what they're showing below. And now come

Meeting Red Grange @ The Grange Grove - Memorial Stadium

A few days ago, I posted a couple of photos from our visit to the Legacy Lounge in the Northwest corner terrace of Memorial Stadium down in Champaign that included finding one of the team photos that I was in from my days on the Fighting Illini squad in the late 90's.  But, this was our first trip down that we were able to enjoy the *kinda* new Grange Grove. The Athletic Department christened the Grange Grove for last year's season and it has been a big hit.   From : Grange Grove has transformed what was previously Lot 36, the parking lot directly west of Memorial Stadium, into a free, high-energy tailgating area, which Fighting Illini fans of all ages can enjoy. When we arrived a few hours before kickoff, the place was jumping!  There was a band playing on one side and the beer garden was loaded with alums and students.  It was Dad's day, so it appeared that a few Fraternities had their "Football Block" on site in the Grange Grove and