September 3, 2010
As the summer months wane and fall approaches, the smell of football is in the air. As anyone that has had to endure them well knows, wake up too early any given morning in late August or early September, and for some reason it just feels like “two-a-days”.
Even if you’ve never experienced a 5 a.m. flashback to four-hour practices and small, enclosed rooms fouled with the funk of 50 unwashed girdles (yes, that is what they are called), you still know the distinct smells of fall, and this can mean only one thing: the beginning of another college football season.
For fans of the Fighting Illini, there always seems to be the extra added stench of failure – which is way worse than 50 girdles mind you – and this go-round appears to be no different.
That’s why it’s with extremely low, low expectations that Illinois begins 2010 by saying hello to the Missouri Tigers and goodbye (and good riddance) to the State Farm Arch Rivalry game Saturday, Sept. 4th at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, with kickoff set for 11:30 a.m.
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October 10, 2009
Today should have been Juice’s Last Stand.
No, I’m not talking about the latest fledgling fruit drink franchise to be crushed by the heartless corporate shell Orange Julius. I mean Juice Williams, the embattled senior quarterback for the Fighting Illini football team. Juice has been the poster boy for an Illini season that started so promising, and now conjures up what Illini fans hoped were long-forgotten nightmares of Tepper and Turner.
Illinois head coach Ron Zook made the call early this week: Junior backup Eddie McGee would make his first career start under center, against the Michigan State Spartans and their evil, racist mascot Sparty.
This was the wrong call for a number of reasons. First of all, Illinois finally gets to play a mediocre opponent at home. Sure, the Illini and Juice have looked terrible in their three losses. But for a moment, consider the opponents: Missouri, Ohio State, and Penn State. All three of those teams are currently ranked. Ohio State and Penn State are both in the top 15. Only one of those games – last week’s 35-17 disappointment against the Nittany Lions – has been in the somewhat friendly, renovated confines of Memorial Stadium.
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