On Saturday the Redbirds will host their first playoff game at Hancock Stadium since 1999.
Coming off its first 10-win regular season in history, Illinois State earned a first-round bye and will face Northern Iowa in a second-round FCS playoff matchup. Tickets are still available at GoRedbirds.com.
The home-field advantage could be huge. In fact, the Redbirds haven’t lost at Hancock since the stadium’s major renovation. That’s 12 straight wins. The last time ISU lost at home was November 17, 2012.
That’s a really long time ago. Let us explain by looking at some of the other things that have happened since the Redbirds last lost at Hancock:
Let’s pull up the scorecard. Since November 17, 2012, MLB’s Cubs, Cardinals, and White Sox have lost a combined 232 regular-season games at their home ballparks. The Redbirds have lost zero.
10,000+ REDBIRDS GRADUATE
Yes, in the past two years, 10,459 Illinois State students have graduated with bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degrees, plus graduate certificates. So, it’s been awhile.
BELLA WAS BIG
Can you guess what was the No. 1 movie at the box office during the weekend of November 16-18, 2012? That would be The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2. Feels like a lifetime ago, right?
THE WORLD DID NOT END
Despite misplaced concerns about the ancient Mayan calendar forecasting the end of the world on December 21, 2012, the world did not end. (Caveat: The Seth Rogen movie This is the End did arrive in theaters in mid-2013.) As NASA put it so elegantly, “Despite reports of an ancient Maya prophecy, a mysterious planet on a collision course with Earth, or a reverse in Earth’s rotation, we’re still here.”
No joke: The Redbirds still haven’t lost in Hancock Stadium since the new east-side grandstand opened to much fanfare in September 2013 and other renovations were made. That 12-game home winning streak tops the longest previous home winning streak set from 1998–2000.
Good news: The Redbirds have actually won a playoff game since they last fell at Hancock. That happened December 1, 2012, in a thrilling 38-37 overtime victory over host Appalachian State.
Just a few weeks after our last loss at Hancock, Al Bowman announced he was stepping down as 17th president of Illinois State. Bowman is still around campus and serving Illinois State in other roles, but he still hasn’t seen the Redbirds lose at home again. Neither has current President Larry Dietz.
NOW THAT’S WHAT I CALL DATED
Remember those Now That’s What I Call Music! compilation CDs? They’re still making them actually. And in November 2012, Now That’s What I Call Music! 44 had just been released, filled with now-dated singles such as Psy’s “Gangnam Style” and Justin Bieber’s “As Long as You Love Me.”
Do you want to add something to our list? Post it in the Comments below!
Ryan Denham can be reached at rmdenha@IllinoisState.edu.