Feb 17, 2021

The snowiest Chicago sports memories

The snowiest Chicago sports memories

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Good morning, frents!

I'd like to start by wishing Michael Jordan a happy 58th birthday.

I don't think he reads Midway Minute, but I also don't need him taking anything personally and starting a rival newsletter to crush this one.

So just, uh, Airing on the side of caution.

Tuesday's result
Illinois 73, N'Western 66

Tonight's schedule
Hawks at Wings (6:30, NBCSN)
Pistons at Bulls (7, NBCSCH)
Valpo at Loyola (7, NBCSCH+)
DePaul at Seton Hall (7:30, FS1)

The snowiest Chicago sports memories

The snow has completely dominated us these past few weeks, so we might as well remember some of the best Chicago sporting events affected by winter throughout the years.

Here are a few memories that come to my mind that aren't Jerome Bettis running over Brian Urlacher (though there is a classic Jerome Bettis game on this list).

The 1932 NFL playoff: This might be my Chicago time machine game. Heavy snow led the Bears to head inside to Chicago Stadium to play the Portsmouth Spartans on a 60-yard field. The old barn was only three years old at the time and the Bears walked away with a 9-0 victory.

1948 NFL championship, Cardinals vs. Eagles: Everyone loves when any snowy NFL game is televised today. Well, this was the first NFL title game shown on television and it featured the defending champion Chicago Cardinals losing 7-0 to the Eagles in a "Philly blizzard." The highlights have survived and our friend Joe Ziemba has more details on the game here.

1977 Opening Day in Toronto: The first game in Blue Jays franchise history was played in a snowstorm and the White Sox were the opponent. Here are the highlights and an account of how they used Zambonis to clear the field (because of course they did). The Sox lost, 9-5.

1977 Bears vs. Giants: Old Giants Stadium was covered in snow, slush and ice. Everyone on the broadcast looked completely miserable. But the Bears somehow managed a 12-9 victory to win their sixth straight game and make the playoffs for the first time since the 1963 title team. When they tore the stadium down, the New York Times named it one of the most notable games in Giants Stadium history.

1992 Penn State vs. Notre Dame: Stretching the border of Chicago east by a few miles, but this is still one of the most exciting games I've ever seen. A snowy Notre Dame Stadium, Lou Holtz vs. Joe Paterno before that was problematic and Rick Mirer throwing a two-point conversion to a diving Reggie Brooks so the game wouldn't end in a tie. It's on YouTube if you want to watch Bettis scoring the go-ahead TD.

1995 Northwestern vs. Iowa: All of the day's snow arrived before the game in a big morning snowstorm, but snowballs were flying around Dyche Stadium all game as the Wildcats moved closer to the Rose Bowl. I was at the game as a high school student and worked my way up onto the goalposts after the 31-20 win, only to get hit in the face by one of those snowballs. (I probably deserved it.)

1985 and 2006 NFC championships: There wasn't a lot of snow during either game, just enough in the second half to create a perfect atmosphere for the Bears reaching the Super Bowl.

2010 Bears vs. Vikings: The collapse of the Metrodome roof due to snow 10 days earlier led to this game being played outdoors at the University of Minnesota. But not before the school had to enlist anyone with a shovel to clear 20 inches of snow from the stadium. The Bears thanked them by clinching the NFC North and ending Brett Favre's career.

2014 Stadium Series, Hawks vs. Penguins: One of the best sports experiences I've ever had. And maybe the coldest I've ever been. The snow at Soldier Field was constant and melted upon contact before instantly freezing to my jeans. The only thing our smuggled bourbon actually did was save us money at the beer stands. But the Hawks won 5-1, still their only victory in the 37 outdoor games they've played the last decade.

2018 home openers: The Sox got their game against the Rays in at 35th and Shields in front of just over 10,000 fans, but the Cubs got more snow eight miles north and had to postpone their game against the Pirates. "They made the right call," Sox groundskeeper Roger Bossard said of the Cubs at the time.


Hoyer says no Bryant trade (for now)

A front office's assertion is only as strong as its next phone call, but Cubs team president Jed Hoyer poured a bucket of water on the Kris Bryant to the Mets trade rumors on Tuesday. Big, if true.

  • Said Hoyer: “Right now we’re not currently engaged in any trade talk ... Could someone make that phone call? Yeah, someone could. But I’m not anticipating it because right now we’re not engaged in anything and we haven't been for a bit."

Bulls and Pistons change on the fly

The Bulls were supposed to be in Charlotte tonight to play the Hornets. But that game was canceled because the Hornets played San Antonio over the weekend and now the Spurs have a COVID outbreak. So the league saw that the Bulls and Pistons were supposed to play in the second half of the season, but why not get the game in now with both teams healthy? A few hours later, the Bulls were back in action.

Illinois holds off Northwestern, 73-66

The fifth-ranked Illini won their sixth straight game with Ayo Dosunmu hitting a long three-pointer to seal the victory after Northwestern cut the lead to just two points with 1:30 left.

Illinois is at a point where we can start debating what it needs to do to get a No. 1 seed. But it won't be easy. They're about to set off on a three-game road stretch and four of their last five are away from Champaign. The Illini will play at Minnesota on Saturday.

1. The latest on Allen Robinson's contract talks. NFL.com

2. Dwyane Wade talked with Gilbert Arenas about getting booed by Bulls fans and the unenergetic atmosphere at the UC. The good news for Dwyane is that one of those is no longer a problem. The Sports Rush

3. Dan Hayes catches up with Oklahoma State student Robin Ventura, who is studying digital media, brewing beer and agricultural farming. (Guess which two interest me.). The Athletic

4. Phil Rosenthal on the return of Matt Spiegel. Tribune

5.  A couple left a $2,000 tip on the 20th anniversary of their first date at Club Lucky. Block Club Chicago

Kevin Kaduk
Kevin Kaduk
Kevin is the founder of Midway Minute.

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