Perfect Day for a Football Game

Growing up watching football games (if ever) on tv more often than live, I never really thought much of the characterization of a perfect, crisp fall day as idyllic for football. Pumpkin carving, yes. Cider, yes. Kicking fall leaves on the sidewalks, perfect!But it was as I was kicking those fall leaves on the sidewalks of Evanston on the way to a Northwestern v Penn State tailgate, football started to fit into the picture.

Ryan Field is so small that it's like seeing your favorite stadium concert musician playing in a little local bar. (Unfortunately this time surrounded by loud Penn State fans.) We decided to cheer for Northwestern, because they were the underdogs, as well as that we were given free foam wildcat paws. High-fiving is much more fun with the foam paw.As the sun began to set it became colder, but Northwestern was remarkably holding their own -- even ahead for much of the game. I made a deal with my friends that we'd leave either by the end of the third quarter, or as soon as Penn State scored. In the end they scored big to win the game 34-13, much of the action occurring after we'd headed back home on the el. (I'm happy to report CTA decided to turn on the platform heat lights a day early!)

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