Saturday, December 02, 2006

Lets talk Illini

I can not express enough my love for this team. One of my earliest memories of Illini basketball is watching the chief from the stands during halftime. Or hearing dad yell at the T.V. at home. I have to admit, I wasnt the biggest follower until a couple years ago, when I was pregnant with Riley. Then, I became obssesed. I lived and breathed Illini basketball. I devoured every magazine. Newspaper article. Online site. We had the best team in years! It was so exciting. Even hugely pregnant, I would sit my big ass on the couch screaming explicitives at the T.V. I was a fatter, raunchier versoin of dad. (and I am a little proud of it). So today there were two Illini issues for me. Obviously, there was the loss at Arizona. But, thats bound to happen. We cant win every game, every time. But earlier, something hit me even harder than that loss. We were at the mall, doing some Christmas shopping. The mall is full of those little kiosks, many of which are filled with junk. This one was filled with various pictures of the Assembly hall, filled to the brim, with orange. One picture focused in on the chief, in his famous stance in the middle of the floor. Above him were various pictures of him "in dance" fading into the stands. I seriously almost bought one of these cause I know dad would love it. And dad you still might get one, so act suprised, okay? Back to the point. I felt a sense of hoplesness. This symbol of our fighting Illini, one of my earliest memories will soon be extinct from the U of I. That bothers me, a lot. I know that everyone thinks its not politically correct, that its offensive to some. When did everyone still get all PC anyway? And when did people start getting offended over everything? I swear people are offended anymore when the sky is blue! Or the grass is green. I remember when the chief would come out. Even to this day, watching the chief, I feel so in such awe, and respect, that it can easily move me to tears. Its not a mockery. A mockery would be the chief running around drunk at a party. Waddling along the sidelines, throwing T-shirts. Signing autographs after the game. Posing for photo shoots.
I hope that I get to see the chief one more time before he is gone. I hope that my daughter gets to see him, and realizes what he is. A part of our history. A part of Illinois history. An awesome dance. A symbol that deserves our respect. Long live the chief.

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