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The Chicago Football Classic Brings Out HBCU Pride

Central State University took home bragging rights during this year’s Chicago Football Classic at Soldier Field.

This past Saturday, September 2, I got the opportunity to go to the return of the 25th Annual Chicago Football Classic, this time between the Delta Devils of Mississippi Valley State and the Marauders of Central State at Soldier Field. I was able to color commentate the game with Mr. Brian Snow of Snowman Multimedia. It was my first time commentating, and he made the experience clean and easy. I was very nervous before the game, but once we went on the air, all the nerves gradually went away.

Before the game, lots of people enjoyed tailgate parties in the parking lot and there was a HBCU college fair including Alabama A&T, Clark-Atlanta, Florida A&M, and Howard. There was also a massive High School Battle of the Bands which included King College Prep and Rich Township High School. While all of the bands did a fantastic job, Rich Township’s “Mighty Marching Machine” went on to win first place. With so much going on, the space around Soldier Field was packed with people for these events.

HBCU College Fair

As for the game, the Marauders and Delta Devils played a very sloppy brand of football for much of the event, including many unforced errors and penalties all around. However, both teams had a strong 4th quarter, but Central State capitalized on the continued mistakes by Mississippi Valley and scored the game-winning field goal, beating the Delta Devils by a score of 24-21.

Overall, it was a very special day, not only celebrating the game of football and the return of the Classic to Soldier Field for the first time since 2019, but also celebrating HBCUs and the past and present attendees. No matter who won or lost the game, what was most important was spending the day with family and friends in the backdrop of the city’s lakefront.

Central State takes home the game-winning trophy.

I have to say that my favorite part of this entire experience wasn’t even during the broadcast, it was the hilarious off-air moments in between drives that really made the commentating role fuller. Once the broadcast ended, I felt extremely proud to do something that I had always dreamt of doing. I want to thank the Chicago Football Classic for this opportunity and Mr. Snow for his generosity and support. This was an experience I will never forget.

Jermale Dabney youth commentator for this year’s Chicago Football Classic.

Check out a portion of the broadcast by clicking below, and be sure to keep up with the Chicago Football Classic by following them on Instagram.

By Jermale Dabney, Junior, Lindblom Math and Science Academy

Instagram: @jermale_d


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Written by Jermale Dabney

Hi, I’m Jermale! I love roller coasters, theater, and Chicago sports (unless it’s the White Sox).

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