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PRIDE, ATHLETIC PROWESS AND ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE FUEL THE HBCU CLASSICS HERE AND NATIONWIDE

9/20/2018, 10:56 a.m. | Updated on 9/20/2018, 10:56 a.m.
When the Miles College Golden Bears and Morehouse College’s Maroon Tigers take to the field for their momentous match-up on ...
Left to right: Chicago Football Classic Founder Larry Huggins, Darren Benton, Walgreens, Chicago Football Classic Founder Everett Rand and Andre Pattillo, Director of Athletics, Morehouse College.

PRIDE, ATHLETIC PROWESS AND ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE FUEL THE HBCU CLASSICS HERE AND NATIONWIDE

When the Miles College Golden Bears and Morehouse College’s Maroon Tigers take to the field for their momentous match-up on Saturday September 22 at Soldier Field as part of the Chicago Football Classic, they will join a long tradition of HBCU football match-ups that date back to the late 60s. The first HBCU Classic was held in 1968 between Morgan State and Grambling State in New York City. That inaugural event drew more than 60,000 frenzied fans to Yankee Stadium.

A combination of things made the match-up legendary and paved the way for the Chicago matchup on this coming Saturday. First, the immense talent of the teams involved, with Grambling State being helmed by the legendary coach Eddie Robinson, the winningest coach in the NCAA. Second, the flamboyant marching band competitions and lastly, the pride and self-esteem on display for tens of thousands attending these classic matchups.

The Chicago Football Classic embraces those same component’s - big-stage football, academic excellence and artistic prowess – and they will be on full display for the 21st Annual event. And the crowds are no less impressive.

This year, the Chicago Football Classic is expected to draw over 40,000 attendees and pump over a million dollars into Chicago’s economic engine.

Miles College and Morehouse College are part of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC), one of the four conferences, comprised entirely of black college teams.

The other three are the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC), and the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association. The two teams meet earlier this year in a non-conference doubleheader ending with Miles College defeating Morehouse 7 to 4. Equally impressive is the Miles College Purple Marching Machine which was voted HBCU Sports Band of the Year in 2017 with 44% of 43K votes cast. No doubt the Morehouse College Maroon Tiger Marching Band is not intimidated by that distinction as their band is known by its nom de plume the “House of Funk Marching Band.

This year’s Classic will continue in the grand tradition of the over 40 classics happening around the country and do it as only Chicago can. If you want to get a taste of the band competition before the game there will be a Back to School Pep Rally featuring the drumlines from both schools on Friday, September 21 at Daley Plaza, 50 West Washington St., Chicago, IL at 12 p.m. – 1 p.m.

This 21st Annual Chicago Football Classic is a celebration of the role that Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCU) play in the life of young people. Offering both the pomp and pageantry of the game and it’s legendary “Battle of the Bands”, it is also about preparing students for the future that a quality education will provide them.

The CFC Weekend events include:

• Thursday, Sept. 20 – President’s Reception, honoring the two teams’ presidents: Dr. George T. French, Jr. (Miles College) and Dr. David A. Thomas (Morehouse College.) Invitation-only event.