Yesterday, friend to this blog Kevin McGuire wrote an Examiner.com post extolling the virtues of the Big Ten hosting its football championship at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind. I disagree with him and since he’s a good guy, I’ll try to it it respectfully.
Are you kidding? Playing the Big Ten championship game indoors would be contrary to one of things that makes Big Ten football great — the Big Ten is an all-weather league. Every team plays outdoors (Minnesota moved outside last year) in the late-summer heat of September and the cold rain and snow of November. Let the Southerners play indoors and talk about their speed, I want to see power football played on grass and mud, the way it was meant to be played. Weather and field conditions are a vital part of football.
There are several NFL stadiums in the Big Ten footprint that would be suitable. The obvious location, Chicago’s Solider Field comes to mind as ideal. It is near the conference headquarters and roughly in the middle of the footprint. As a Penn State fan, I’d much rather visit Chicago to see the Nittany Lions play for a championship than Indy where they only discovered football when Peyton Manning showed up. Solider Field has real natural grass instead of green plastic strands too. Other locations worth considering include Green Bay’s Lambeau Field (way out there, but a good football town), Cleveland Browns Stadium, even Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. I wouldn’t object to campus locations either. Just keep the game outside and on grass.