couple of weeks ago, on May 17 to be exact, an e-mail went out to Illinois
alumns from the university's alumni association.
Chicago's Big Ten University; Illinois alumni don't need an expensive roadside
billboard to let people know we're the best public Big Ten university in
Chicago! Instead, make your case in your office space by displaying your
loyalty for everyone to see. As we welcome 7,000 new graduates to the alumni
family, we know that, together, we can uphold the greatness of our Alma Mater."
then the e-mail provides a link to download some Illinois-themed wallpaper.
a shot at Northwestern's marketing slogan -- Chicago's Big Ten Team -- was another hit at NU in the increasing
rivalry between the two schools -- not to mention the athletic departments.
Illinois football coach Tim Beckman may have started this new phase of the
rivalry when he said in his opening news conference that he'll never wear
purple. Then he put a sign with the Wildcats' logo in the Illini locker room --
and adorned it with a red circle and a line through it.
NU football coach Pat Fitzgerald fired back when he referred to Illinois as
"that school down in Champaign." (Fitzgerald has used that phrase before,
though, in reference to a couple other Big Ten rivals. So it's technically
nothing really new.)
e-mail from the UIAA is a new shot, however, and you have to wonder how far the
two schools are going to take this rivalry.
the two played in the Wrigley game in 2010, Illinois linebacker Martez Wilson
said the Illini were really Chicago's Big Ten team.
back in October when Illinois beat NU in Champaign in Dan Persa's first game
back from the ruptured Achilies tendon, Illinois played "Sweet Home Chicago"
over the P.A. system.
distaste between the two has been there for a very long time. Among students
(non-athletes, too) there's always been a haves and a have-nots kind of
mentality. It's not something that is going to go away anytime soon. Nor should
marketing chief Mike Polisky and athletic director Jim Phillips (ironically, an
Illinois grad) politely declined to comment.
you know they're probably thinking of what's going to come up I-57 next.