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College football season starts in just over a month. One of the Aug. 27 lid-lifters is Nebraska against Northwestern in Dublin, Ireland.
My first emotion after learning those two Big Ten teams will tee it up there was jealousy. So were my second, third and 100th emotions. Dublin is great.
Nebraska and Northwestern play in the Aer Lingus College Football Classic in Dublin, which describes itself thusly:
“ … a city that's as intimate as a village and as friendly as an Irish pub. Framed by mountains, centered on a river and edged by a beautiful bay, the city's streets and alleys are filled with vibrant art and historic buildings, hip cafes and traditional ‘old man’ pubs …
“Walk the streets and you'll feel the energy of over 1,000 years of history, as echoes of the Vikings mix with buzzing boutiques, cobbled streets reverberate with the sounds of buskers, and 18th century parks play host to festivals, film and food markets.”
That isn’t exactly West Lafayette, Ind. Which is where Iowa plays Purdue on Nov. 5. Purdue brags about having been home to Neil Armstrong, the first person to walk on the moon.
Anything to get out of West Lafayette, huh?
Anyway, Nebraska’s main connection to Ireland may be a folk-punk band from Lincoln called the Killigans.
The Killigans took a 1909 fight song written about Nebraska football called “The Cornhusker,” and made it sound Irish.
Come a runnin' boys
Don't you hear that noise like the thunder in the sky
How it rolls along in a good old song
From the sons of Nebra-sky!
Nice try, but Northwestern has a better chance of endearing itself to Dubliners. That’s because the Wildcats’ coach is Pat Fitzgerald, a name he shares with more than a few men and women in County Cork and County Kildare.
Plus, the guess here is the Irish identify more with Chicago than the old sod that is Nebraska.
And now, for something completely different.
- Each Big Ten football team is sending at least three players to the league’s football media days in Indianapolis this week.
What does it say about the Big Ten that there will be as many punters (Rutgers’ Adam Korsak) present as running backs (Illinois’ Chase Brown)?
What does it say about the Big Ten that there will be twice as many tight ends (6) as wide receivers (3)?
Each SEC team brought three players to its media days last week. There were seven wide receivers to just two tight ends. And no punters.
That conference’s media days lasted four days, however, to the Big Ten’s two. What does it say about the SEC that it took four days to promote a sport with a 12-game season?
- The Saudi crown prince’s LIV Golf reportedly will offer Charles Barkley a deal to become an enormously-paid commentator on its telecasts, wherever it is they’re found.
If Barkley were to take a job from LIV, that would probably be the end of his time on TNT’s “Inside the NBA,” the best sports studio show in history. For that, we could never forgive LIV.
And if Barkley doesn’t jump to LIV, we can never forgive the crown prince for all the far-worse things he’s done than poach a TV entertainer. You know, the mass executions, the human rights violations, the international law violations, and so forth.
- The Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds are playing at Dyersville’s Field of Dreams on Aug. 11.
Both teams are lousy. So are my marketing skills. Because my suggested tagline for this game was “Is this Heaven? No, and why would you ask such a crazy thing? Have you looked at the National League Central standings?”
- Denmark’s Jonas Vingegaard is on the verge of winning this year’s Tour de France, and Norway’s Espen Jorstad recently topped 8,662 others to win the 2022 World Series of Poker’s Main Event for $10 million.
If that weren’t enough, today’s high temperatures in Copenhagen and Oslo are projected to be 73 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively, while much of Europe and the U.S. has been baking. It’s great to be a Scandinavian.
Maybe Iowa should schedule a September football game in Stockholm. One of iconic Swedish pop group ABBA’s biggest hits, after all, is “Waterloo.”
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