Breaking Down Day One of the Big Ten Football Media Days
July 27, 2009
CHICAGO - On Monday, members of the media descended upon the Hyatt Regency in downtown Chicago for Big Ten Football Media Day. Coaches and players from each school answered questions from the media and preseason awards and predictions were released. Below are some observations...
More Than The North End Zone: Indiana Director of Athletics Fred Glass had an opportunity to talk to the media about the massive facility upgrade to Memorial Stadium. Not only did he give an update on the construction of the new North End Zone, he also released new information on some other much needed upgrades. A new play area called Knothole Park that will be on the south end of the stadium, a new sound system, fresh paint, a 'retro' scoreboard, a facelift to the press box and a "Little 500" approach to marketing to students were also discussed.
Here are a few of those details..
-Knothole Park will be an area on the south end of the stadium that will be a field turfed replica of the football field. Kids can play with Nerf footballs and a different IU sports teams will host each home game. The student-athletes will interact with the kids. The area will also eliminate the parking area for the opposing team's bus.
No more busses with 'Go Badgers' inscribed on the outside will be able to park in Memorial Stadium.
-A new state-of-the-art sound system will be installed and will be operational for the Oct. 3 night game against Ohio State.
-The press box will get a new floor covering, ceiling and will feature new amenities.
-The stadium will have a uniform shade of red! Different sections were painted in different eras. The official school colors debate should be settled once and for all.
-Glass and the marketing department are seeking a "Little 500 Feel" for the student section. Student organizations that buy a predetermined number of tickets can decorate their section with painted placards and bed sheets. Fraternities, residence halls and student groups will vie for prime advertising space.
Mantle and Maris: Defensive end Greg Middleton was the nation's leader in sacks in 2007. Jammie Kirlew was among the national leaders in that category in 2008. They will be together again this year and their 36.5 sacks is the most of any returning tandem in the country. Asked about this multiple times, Kirlew said that he has a friendly, but absolutely serious competition with Middleton to see who can accrue the most in 2009. I wish opposing offensive tackles luck.
Check back soon