Each year the Big Ten has media days / kickoff luncheon in Chicago around the end of July or early August before fall camp starts. Despite not getting a credential for SBNation, I still find it worthwhile to purchase a ticket to meet the coaches, get some autographs signed, and have a nice lunch with almost 1000 other Big Ten fans.
Last year I managed to get every single coach but Jim Harbaugh to sign a commemorative football. This year I resolved that I would get Harbaugh’s autograph first. As you can see, this is just after buying that football, and shortly after it doubled. Keep in mind there’s only a 1 hour time slot for getting autographs signed.
25 minutes later, success!!!!
I figured the line to get Coach Smith of Illinois would be really long. It wasn’t. Still, I got a good picture out of it.
Testudo the Terrapin has a frighteningly large beak.
Brutus Buckeye can take a punch.
Coach Claeys was friendly and happy to be in Chicago
And I also managed to get Coach Ash of Rutgers and Coach Durkin of Maryland to sign the football, just as the bell rung and the players and coaches had to get up to the stage for a class picture.
Something bothers me about this picture... Why is Coach Harbaugh wearing a hat with a suit? Everyone in this room knows who he is on sight!
Also, Nebraska coach Mike Riley and the Nebraska contingent were absent today dealing with the tragic passing of Sam Foltz. There was a bit of a somber mood today because of that.
Lastly, there was a nice lunch and a presentation in a McCormick Place ballroom nearby where the coaches spoke and videos were shown.
Just like last year, I had a blast getting to meet the guys I write about and the camaraderie of being around other die-hard football fans. The season can’t arrive soon enough.