Chicago was named the Best Sports City in the United States by The Sporting News in 2006, and no one should be surprised considering the love residents have for their professional sports teams.
The Bears ignite the city every Sunday during the fall, evoking undying memories of the 1985 Super Bowl champs. The Bulls have a history of six NBA championships with Michael Jordan and currently have an exciting group of young guns, including No. 1 pick Derrick Rose. Finally, the dichotomy of baseball loyalties is split between the Cubs (North Side) and the White Sox (South Side), a rivalry so divided and intense that the only thing both fans have in common is the CTA Red Line.
With L.A. lacking an NFL team, Chicago needs only one ingredient to stay ahead of cities like New York in order to remain the Best Sports City: a college team.
Despite being a Big Ten school only a few miles from downtown, NU has been mostly overlooked and out of the spotlight for decades. It is not uncommon for Chicagoans to become loyal to University of Illinois or Notre Dame instead; the stereotype that Northwestern is an all-brains, little-brawn school kills the potential passion we could add to the Chicago sports scene.
NU’s recent success, namely starting 5-0, has brought our football team to the attention of Chicago Tribune sportswriters. However, with only 32,527 fans showing up to see NU lose to ranked Michigan State, there is still a lot of work to be done. NU Marching Band had done its job rallying the student body to the game last Saturday, and for once, there was a true Purple Haze in the student section.
However, Ryan Field was still as littered with Spartan fans as it was lacking local Chicago-area fans. It’s time for the athletic department and the school administration to better promote NU games to Chicagoans. NU sports are a great product; its name just needs to get out there.
-ALBERT LYUMcCormick sophomore