Northwestern will host Iowa on Saturday at Wrigley Field, the home of the Chicago Cubs, and this game will have special meaning for Wildcats Offensive Line Coach Kurt Anderson. It’s extra special on a couple different levels.
Obviously, it’s a Big Ten West division game, being staged in the very novel and picturesque backdrop that is Wrigley Field, and that’s huge in and of itself.
Editor’s note: this a re-publishing of our piece from 2021.
Wildcats Classic FYIs
Northwestern vs Iowa, 2:30 PM, Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL
Streaming: Peacock (Paul Burmeister, Kyle Rudolph, Zora Stephenson)
Radio: WGN 720 (Dave Eanet, Ted Albrecht)
Odds: Iowa -5.5, O/U 31, ESPN Predictor App: Iowa 78%-22%
However, Anderson has connections to the facility through both the Chicago Cubs and the Chicago Bears, and he discussed both today during a media opportunity previewing the field layout.
Anderson took his wife Jennifer to a Cubs game on their very first date, so this game is extra special on numerous levels.
“Every year we come back, for our anniversary, if there’s one that’s near or on the date,” he said to a small group of assembled reporters on Friday.
This is the grandfather of Northwestern OL Coach Kurt Anderson, his name was Bob Nowaskey, and he played for the Chicago Bears 1940-42.
"GRABOWSKI!" like Bronko Nagurski, he didn't get no bye weeks! @fan_cornell @Frustrated_Fan @Darth_Stout https://t.co/9TtiEeZ4PI
— Paul M. Banks (@PaulMBanks) November 20, 2021
2016, when the team won the World Series, is of course his favorite memory as a Cubs fan.
“Waited my whole life for that, I was running in and out of game-planning, and stuff like that, to check out the TV in my office,” Anderson said.
“Catching the end of the games, at night with my wife and kids, it was pretty special to see their excitement for our Cubbies to win it.”
Now getting to that Bears connection, his grandfather, Bob Nowaskey, played for the Bears from 1940-42. Wrigley was their home at the time.
“He played back in the days of leather helmets, no facemasks, under Papa Bear Halas,” Anderson continued.
“He played both ways, iron man football…so to have a chance to play here is really special and it’s something I will never forget.”
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Sports Bank. He’s also the author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” and “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”
He’s written for numerous publications, including the New York Daily News, Sports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune. He regularly appears on NTD News and WGN News Now. Follow the website on Twitter and Instagram.