Posted by Tom Fornelli
Chicago is somewhat of an odd town as far as college football is concerned. Having lived here just about my entire life, I've noticed that while there are plenty of college football fans, most of them root for schools that aren't in the area. Notre Dame gets a lot of love here, as do Big Ten schools, but the Big Ten schools are places like Michigan, Ohio State, Wisconsin and Illinois.
Meanwhile, Northwestern, which is located just a few miles north of the city's borders, doesn't get that much attention. Something the school has tried to change in recent years with Pat Fitzgerald and the school's most recent "Chicago's Big Ten football team" ad campaign. Well it seems that Northwestern is taking another step in trying to get more eyes in Chicago on the local school.
Beginning next week on the city's Kennedy Expressway, millions of Chicagoans stuck in traffic will be staring at a billboard of quarterback Dan Persa as the school makes a Heisman push for him. It's actually one of two billboards the school is putting up, as another is planned to go up in Bristol, Connecticut. Home of a certain network.
Of course, while Persa is a good quarterback and was having a very good season for Northwestern in 2010 before he injured his achilles, I'm not sure Northwestern thinks he can actually win the Heisman barring some type of transcendent season in which the Wildcats wind up in the Rose Bowl again. I have to feel that the Chicago billboard is just another way of the school saying "Hey, Chicago, we're here you know."