Illinois game

MeetTheFerentz

HR Heisman
Nov 20, 2006
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Considering how well it ranks on lists made by non-Iowa fans, perhaps it is you who needs a healthy dose of exposure?
Thanks for providing all those links supporting your claim.....oops.

Here's some "evidence" I found in the past 5 minutes:




I'll give you a pat on the back if you can find a ranking anywhere that puts Illinois' campus in single digits among B1G schools. It might take you a while, but you might be able to if you cherry pick enough. Start with Champaign-based media.

Just trying to help, dude. My wife grew up thinking the Alliant Energy Tower in Cedar Rapids was the tallest building in the world; she had to be set straight, too. Sorry you're so triggered.
 
Jul 8, 2019
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You didn’t even prove your own point, lmao. Have you shifted to saying that the Big Ten has so many exceptional college towns and campuses that Champaign doesn’t stand out? I never disagreed with that. I never even said it was better than Iowa City, lol - and I don’t think it is. You folks are saying it’s a dump, and that’s - as I said - ridiculous and not backed up by other, more objective sources.

I’ll ignore for a second that your first link is literally a ranking from BIG GAME BOOMER (this right here shoots your credibility 😂) and post a literal quote from the second link you posted:

“Champaign is sort of like Iowa City in that it’s situated among an unexpectedly gorgeous landscape. The downtown is developed and holds many points of interest, while effective urban planning seems to have cleared up those pesky problems of traffic and urban sprawl. It has music, museums, festivals, theatre, and more. Really, Champaign deserves to be higher on this list than tenth. But the Big 10 doesn’t mess around with its college towns, and it’d be hard to bump anywhere in the top nine.”

That doesn’t describe anything less than a solid college town, which is my point: your opinions on it are ridiculous and likely biased. I’m glad you moved your wife to Des Moines and finally showed her a “real” skyscraper, by the way! 😂
 

MeetTheFerentz

HR Heisman
Nov 20, 2006
9,001
15,395
113
You didn’t even prove your own point, lmao. Have you shifted to saying that the Big Ten has so many exceptional college towns and campuses that Champaign doesn’t stand out? I never disagreed with that. I never even said it was better than Iowa City, lol - and I don’t think it is. You folks are saying it’s a dump, and that’s - as I said - ridiculous and not backed up by other, more objective sources.

I’ll ignore for a second that your first link is literally a ranking from BIG GAME BOOMER (this right here shoots your credibility 😂) and post a literal quote from the second link you posted:

“Champaign is sort of like Iowa City in that it’s situated among an unexpectedly gorgeous landscape. The downtown is developed and holds many points of interest, while effective urban planning seems to have cleared up those pesky problems of traffic and urban sprawl. It has music, museums, festivals, theatre, and more. Really, Champaign deserves to be higher on this list than tenth. But the Big 10 doesn’t mess around with its college towns, and it’d be hard to bump anywhere in the top nine.”

That doesn’t describe anything less than a solid college town, which is my point: your opinions on it are ridiculous and likely biased. I’m glad you moved your wife to Des Moines and finally showed her a “real” skyscraper, by the way! 😂
Glad you're so happy with yourself. Sorry about your sh&tty campus and the fact that you can't find any evidence to refute anything I've said. Nothing I've posted is ridiculous and is widely agreed-upon - everyone knows Champaign is a dump, including a large portion of its own students. Again, I'm just trying to help, since you haven't figured it out. Cool pretty photos you found, though. LOL.

Edit - I stand corrected. Champaign made a top 10 list:

 

rfgiowa

HR All-American
Sep 14, 2003
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Virginia
Wow, lol, these comments ... anyway, here are some thoughts from an Illini fan to you, as I am sure you will go in with an open mind and ready to have a great time as a first-timer:

1) It's such an Iowa fan cliché to hate on Champaign, and it really fascinates me. I don't usually hear it from other fan bases, and Champaign regularly finishes highly on top college town lists. Not sure if it's saltiness, some weird/subconscious association of it with Ames, if fans have not visited recently (Champaign is one of the few places in IL that has grown incredibly fast in the last decade, especially downtown) or what, but ZERO Iowa fans that I know personally and bring to Champaign from Chicago do not have an awesome time. Some of you geezers are way off.

2) The tailgating atmosphere is NIGHT AND DAY depending on the time of year, and most Iowa games lately have been at the absolute worst time - the Saturday before Thanksgiving, with the students gone, crappy weather and at the point where Illinois' season is over. This year will be at a much better time, and the tailgating will actually be fun. I highly recommend Grange Grove, a public tailgating spot on the west side of the stadium (press box side):

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3) Unlike Iowa City, Champaign is split between Downtown and Campustown. Campustown is a stereotypical college-like feel, and I would suggest spending any non-football time in Downtown. Downtown Champaign has better restaurants and some cool breweries and stuff.

Campustown
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Downtown
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4) With that said ... regardless of what anyone says about the city of Champaign, informed or not, the campus itself is objectively nice. If you're already in Campustown and it's a nice day, I would walk off your beers in the Quad and the engineering campus across the street:
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5) Assuming you take my initial advice and hang around Downtown, though, I highly recommend the Italian restaurant Nando Milano for dinner ... it's as good as anything I have had in Chicago, and I believe there is actually still a sister restaurant of theirs in Wicker Park. Hamilton Walker's is a cool steakhouse across the street, but I actually have never eaten there ... so I cannot vouge for that one! Around the corner, there is a section of the old pedestrian mall that was never reconverted into streets, and there are a few bars on this stretch of pedestrian area. If it's nice enough out, just around the corner is one of my favorite beer gardens at the Blind Pig Brewery, and Cowboy Monkey (across from the beer garden below on this same mini-ped mall area) usually has some decent live music. Barrelhouse 34 is right by all of this, too, and it has a cool rooftop bar area.

Nando Milano (Cowboy Monkey to the left, Blind Pig across and to the left)
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Blind Pig Brewery
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Barrelhouse 34
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6) If you do prefer to hang in Campustown (which is a walkable distance from the stadium), I would suggest Legends for a generic lunch place or Joe's for more of a party atmosphere beforehand (they also actually have a decent burger). I have not been to the new Kam's since they tore down the original and legendary dump, so I can't comment on what it's like ... but it looks pretty nice. I have never been to the new Illin Inn, but it looks cool and it's on your way to the stadium if you prefer a "halfway there beer" like my friends and I do. :)

Legends
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Joe's
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Kam's
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Illini Inn
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7) If you are a fan of deep dish pizza ... WOOF, Papa Dels is honestly as good as (almost) anything I have had here in Chicago, as well! It is a cool spot and within walking distance from the stadium, but unfortunately I have heard they are having trouble getting help, and it is a total shit show ... so be prepared to wait.

Papa Dels
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Hope you have a great time!

Thanks for the information...one of these years I will watch a game in Champaign. Cheers. 🍻
 

pistachio1999

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Nov 29, 2021
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Glad you're so happy with yourself. Sorry about your sh&tty campus and the fact that you can't find any evidence to refute anything I've said. Nothing I've posted is ridiculous and is widely agreed-upon - everyone knows Champaign is a dump, including a large portion of its own students. Again, I'm just trying to help, since you haven't figured it out. Cool pretty photos you found, though. LOL.

Edit - I stand corrected. Champaign made a top 10 list:

They are squarely in the orbit of Chicago so what happens in Champaign really does not register in their own state.
 

rchawk

HR Legend
Gold Member
Oct 27, 2001
29,985
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Chicago, Illinois
You didn’t even prove your own point, lmao. Have you shifted to saying that the Big Ten has so many exceptional college towns and campuses that Champaign doesn’t stand out? I never disagreed with that. I never even said it was better than Iowa City, lol - and I don’t think it is. You folks are saying it’s a dump, and that’s - as I said - ridiculous and not backed up by other, more objective sources.

I’ll ignore for a second that your first link is literally a ranking from BIG GAME BOOMER (this right here shoots your credibility 😂) and post a literal quote from the second link you posted:

“Champaign is sort of like Iowa City in that it’s situated among an unexpectedly gorgeous landscape. The downtown is developed and holds many points of interest, while effective urban planning seems to have cleared up those pesky problems of traffic and urban sprawl. It has music, museums, festivals, theatre, and more. Really, Champaign deserves to be higher on this list than tenth. But the Big 10 doesn’t mess around with its college towns, and it’d be hard to bump anywhere in the top nine.”

That doesn’t describe anything less than a solid college town, which is my point: your opinions on it are ridiculous and likely biased. I’m glad you moved your wife to Des Moines and finally showed her a “real” skyscraper, by the way! 😂
Nightman I really appreciated your report on things to do in Champaign. You obviously put some time into that post, you are very helpful and a good host.

Question on hotels. Ideally we like a place no more than a mile from the stadium. We are older middle aged but we can walk a mile for Iowa football (a couple will bitch about it).

Any hotel recommendations?
 
Jul 8, 2019
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Nightman I really appreciated your report on things to do in Champaign. You obviously put some time into that post, you are very helpful and a good host.

Question on hotels. Ideally we like a place no more than a mile from the stadium. We are older middle aged but we can walk a mile for Iowa football (a couple will bitch about it).

Any hotel recommendations?
I mean if it’s available and you can afford it, the Hyatt downtown is awesome. There is also some type of Marriott in Campustown that’s walkable, but again - not sure on availability, and they usually jack up the price. Tons of hotels north of I-74, but that will be an Uber. There’s some “I-Hotel” thing RIGHT by the stadium, but I’m sure it’s expensive.

Kind of like Iowa City, there’s no hotel demand this high except for a few weekends per year … so most are by the interstate exists, and the cool ones in good areas jack up the prices. :(
 
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Jul 8, 2019
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Glad you're so happy with yourself. Sorry about your sh&tty campus and the fact that you can't find any evidence to refute anything I've said. Nothing I've posted is ridiculous and is widely agreed-upon - everyone knows Champaign is a dump, including a large portion of its own students. Again, I'm just trying to help, since you haven't figured it out. Cool pretty photos you found, though. LOL.

Edit - I stand corrected. Champaign made a top 10 list:

You’re clearly not arguing in good faith, old man. You SENT me a link that said it was a nice college town.
 

TornadoHawk93

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Jul 21, 2022
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Nightman,

Thank you for the great info and conversation. I am not sure why some of the group have come at you, when all you were doing was wanting to converse. Good grief, it's not like you are a Nebby or Gopher fan. ;-)

As I said, I have never been to a game, but the family and I stayed in Champaign on our way through about three years ago. I was blown away by the beauty of the Stadium from outside. I also like the look of the inside of it......from what I can see on TV. I have some brothers who went to the game back in 90 (I believe) and they said the stadium was rocking pregame and into the first quarter. I also remember watching the infamous Michigan game on TV...and thinking how loud it sounded.

Thanks again......
 
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Jul 8, 2019
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Nightman,

Thank you for the great info and conversation. I am not sure why some of the group have come at you, when all you were doing was wanting to converse. Good grief, it's not like you are a Nebby or Gopher fan. ;-)

As I said, I have never been to a game, but the family and I stayed in Champaign on our way through about three years ago. I was blown away by the beauty of the Stadium from outside. I also like the look of the inside of it......from what I can see on TV. I have some brothers who went to the game back in 90 (I believe) and they said the stadium was rocking pregame and into the first quarter. I also remember watching the infamous Michigan game on TV...and thinking how loud it sounded.

Thanks again......
No problem. Yeah, like I said, it is architecturally beautiful, and if we followed a renovation plan similar to Kinnick, it could be a great stadium. It’s also, as you alluded to, shockingly loud when it’s full; the problem with our stadium is 90% simply that we have been terrible for years and fans don’t show up. The 2007 night game vs. Michigan is on YouTube, and it was extremely loud … but 40k fans there to watch their team get stomped usually aren’t too loud! 😂 My father in law is an Iowa fan, and he said he couldn’t believe how downhill Illinois’ gameday atmosphere has gone, as he remembers it being one of the louder stadiums in the Big Ten in the late ‘80s.

This year’s atmosphere won’t be anything special compared to the likes of Kinnick or anything, but I think some who attend will be pleasantly surprised. I have attended a lot of the recent Iowa/Illinois games in Champaign with my Iowa friends, and I cannot stress how lame that specific weekend is every year. Shit weather, students on break and about 30k fans (if that) going out of habit to watch a team whose season is over. An early October game will be much different, especially if we can nab one or both of our upcoming games vs. Indiana and Virginia.

Good luck ‘til you play us! I look forward to my return trip to Kinnick next year, as I always have a great time.
 

Hawkman34

HR MVP
Mar 17, 2002
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No problem. Yeah, like I said, it is architecturally beautiful, and if we followed a renovation plan similar to Kinnick, it could be a great stadium. It’s also, as you alluded to, shockingly loud when it’s full; the problem with our stadium is 90% simply that we have been terrible for years and fans don’t show up. The 2007 night game vs. Michigan is on YouTube, and it was extremely loud … but 40k fans there to watch their team get stomped usually aren’t too loud! 😂 My father in law is an Iowa fan, and he said he couldn’t believe how downhill Illinois’ gameday atmosphere has gone, as he remembers it being one of the louder stadiums in the Big Ten in the late ‘80s.

This year’s atmosphere won’t be anything special compared to the likes of Kinnick or anything, but I think some who attend will be pleasantly surprised. I have attended a lot of the recent Iowa/Illinois games in Champaign with my Iowa friends, and I cannot stress how lame that specific weekend is every year. Shit weather, students on break and about 30k fans (if that) going out of habit to watch a team whose season is over. An early October game will be much different, especially if we can nab one or both of our upcoming games vs. Indiana and Virginia.

Good luck ‘til you play us! I look forward to my return trip to Kinnick next year, as I always have a great time.
I agree, and the truth is I think Bret is the right guy for the job. If he turns you around like I think he will....WATCH OUT!! I always loved the Iowa/Illinois games! Especially since I live on the river/border. I have a lot of Illini fans and they are a riot to smack talk with. It's all in good fun. I hope to get to a game at Memorial sometime soon. BTW, the renovations look awesome!!! Good luck until we meet!
 

rchawk

HR Legend
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Oct 27, 2001
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Chicago, Illinois
I agree, and the truth is I think Bret is the right guy for the job. If he turns you around like I think he will....WATCH OUT!! I always loved the Iowa/Illinois games! Especially since I live on the river/border. I have a lot of Illini fans and they are a riot to smack talk with. It's all in good fun. I hope to get to a game at Memorial sometime soon. BTW, the renovations look awesome!!! Good luck until we meet!
I've long considered Illinois a sleeping giant. Get the right coach in, he gets a serious commitment from the UI, he wins games, the fans come back, tickets get hot. The state of Illinois is loaded with football talent, and Iowa has taken advantage of that. So have Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Michigan, Michigan State, Purdue, many other schools. Get the right coach in, win more, and more of the better recruits go to Champaign. They will always lose some to the above schools but not as many.
 
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