Husker fans rejoiced a few weeks ago when they found out they would be opening their 2021 season on a national stage in Dublin, Ireland! Part of that rejoicing was because it’s against my Alma Mater Illinois and it gives the Huskers a great opportunity to look pretty good on that national stage… or… INTERnational? Initially I wasn’t all that keyed up about it being that it was Illinois giving up a home game to make this happen. It’s also puzzling to me about choosing THESE two teams to play in Ireland. Notre Dame and Navy will open the 2020 season in Dublin. That makes sense to me… Fighting Irish and all. Cornhuskers and Fighting Illini though? Color me confused.
However, with this story generating some buzz around the Illinois program, it also lead me to this story about the actual first time Illinois was supposed to play overseas… in RUSSIA. The idea to this was similar to this Dublin series: Illinois was supposed to play USC in 1989 in what was dubbed the Glasnost Bowl the week before the 1989 college season kicked off. National television audience… and the first ever football game to be played in Russia. It didn’t end up happening. Take a look at the article below for the full story, but what I found most humorous was that the Russians were inquiring as to how many ambulances they needed to have on hand. That’s actually a pretty responsible question to ask… but they were asking because they didn’t know how many ambulances they would need to haul away the bodies of dead players.