Monday, March 20, 2006

That giant sucking sound isn't another tornado...

...It's the sound of the Big 10's performance in this year's NCAA Tournament.

And that's a shame. Especially my beloved Illini.

I love March Madness: hearing the brackets be announced, filling out brackets for different pools (I ALWAYS pick Illinois to win it all - always), and then watching the first few days of games when teams (especially the underdogs) play with their hearts and hopes on the line. (Go Bradley! And go whatever little school beat UNC! And the team that beat Tennessee...oh yeah, Wichita State!)

And I've been an Illini fan long enough to know how to handle defeat - but some losses are harder than others. I have been known to hold grudges against the teams that knock us out of the tournament (Florida, Kansas, Arizona...). Unfortunately our recent loss to Washington started to remind me of the Elite 8 game in 2001 (the game I refer to as, "the game of which I will not speak"). I tried not to think about it while the game was in progress, it's just hard when it's almost like deja vu. I just have one thing to say: foul trouble is the worst kind of trouble for a Big 10 team in the tournament.

Another level of sadness is saying goodbye to the seniors - it always comes too soon. This year it's especially hard to say goodbye to Dee Brown - one of the most dynamic players Illinois has had in a long time. Not only did I hate that we lost so soon - but I hate for his last college ball experience to be a missed 3-point shot. Dee, thanks for playing 4 years of college ball, thanks for your leadership and energy, and thanks for bringing so much positive press and attention to the Illinois program.

(Happy Illini bball memories here)

This is cheesy - but whatever:

Hail to the orange - hail to the blue
Hail alma mater
Ever so true (so true)
We love no other so let our motto be:
Victory, Illinois! Varsity!

1 comment:

Kari said...

We really do relate to this stuff in the same way, because there are definitely games I refuse to talk about. And teams I will hate forever. But I love it anyway.