College football, once a staple in pro ballparks during the offseason, is returning to MLB venues in a big way this weekend, as both Wrigley Field and Yankee Stadium are hosting high-profile BCS matches.
In New York City, Yankee Stadium is hosting the first of two college football games this season with the high-profile Army-Notre Dame game. While the game may have lost a little lustre with the demise of the Notre Dame football program, it’s still a game that means a lot to alumni who faithfully follow their programs, and you can bet plenty will in the stands.
This game will also have lots of historic connotations: The two schools met 21 times between 1925-46 at the old Yankee Stadium, where Notre Dame dominated the proceedings. Except for one very high-profile game (pictured above): the 1944 Notre Dame-Army game where top-ranked Army absolutely crushed No. 5 Notre Dame, 59-0, on Armistice Day. (Photo courtesy of United States Military Academy.) You can bet the Saturday broadcast will feature lots of historic flashbacks.
In Chicago, college football returns in the form of a Northwestern-University of Illinois game. Not quite as much history here; Northwestern has never been a college-football powerhouse, though the university has been successful in recent years. Football hasn’t been played at Wrigley Field since 1970. It once a featured sport at Wrigley Field, when the Chicago Staleys/Bears played there from 1921 to 1970. At one point Wrigley had the record for hosting the most professional football games — 365 — but that record has since been broken by Lambeau Field. (Contrary to what some believe, the Chicago Cardinals never played home games at Wrigley Field; that franchise played most of its Chicago home games at Comiskey Park.)
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