Yankee Stadium has been re-sodded with thick, heavy Long Island turf for this afternoon's second annual Pinstripe Bowl between Rutgers (8-4) and Iowa State (6-6). People seem quite excited about it too: "Pinstripe Bowl" is trending on Twitter in NY; the Empire State Building was lit last night in anticipation —red, white and red on the north and south sides for Rutgers, red, yellow and red on the east and west sides for Iowa State—and Rick Santorum is hosting his own Pinstripe Bowl Watch Party! Hell, they even rang the bell at the NYSE:
"Certainly looking forward to having a lot of Rutgers faithful in the stands," Rutgers coach Greg Schiano said yesterday afternoon at the final pregame news conference at Yankee Stadium. "You know how that can become a big advantage in a football game." Despite lacking that home-field advantage, Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads agreed that playing at Yankee Stadium had his players pumped: "It's one of the greatest sports venues that there is, and to get a chance to play a football game in it will be a lifetime's worth of memories for our football team."
Rutgers already played a game at Yankee Stadium this year, beating Army 27-12 on Nov. 12. They've sold out more than 13,000 tickets of their allotment for today's game, which kicks off at 3:20 p.m. (and will be shown on ESPN). Hopefully in keeping with stadium tradition, Metallica's "Enter Sandman" will be heard at least once today.
And don't forget, there's quite a lot on the line: a basket of Italian foods and a bushel of Iowa sweet corn.