Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald apologizes for ‘snubbing’ Illinois’ Lovie Smith

When Big Ten Media Days kicked off on Monday, Northwestern Wildcats head coach Pat Fitzgerald opened up his time at the podium by welcoming the new coaches to the conference.

Fitzgerald specifically mentioned DJ Durkin and Tracy Claeys, but forgot to mention Lovie Smith, who is taking over the Illinois Fighting Illini.

After realizing his little snafu, Fitzgerald took to social media to apologize and send out a special welcome to Smith.

Hey @LovieSmith sorry I "fumbled" the presser- WELCOME TO THE @bigten my friend!! #B1GMediaDay

— Pat Fitzgerald (@coachfitz51) July 25, 2016

Unfortunately for Fitzgerald, the rivalry between himself and Smith is only beginning.

On Tuesday, Smith took the podium and proclaimed Illinois is “Chicago’s team,” despite being more than an hour away from the city, which is just minutes south of the Northwestern campus.

Lovie Smith: "I feel like we're Chicago's team." WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT

— Inside NU (@insidenu) July 26, 2016

So while Fitzgerald made up for his early snub, it’s safe to say we could see some bad blood brew between the two men as their rivalry continues to grow.

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