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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Illinois: One Last Look

Thanks to everybody who made the trip to Champaign-Urbana for dropping us a line to let us know about your experience.

Based on the emails we received, it seems the vast majority of Michigan fans in attendance were treated well. Of course, there were the already-stale "Appalachian State" chants and tees. Gee, you'd think folks who scream or wear that sort of stuff might want to wait until after the game. You know, in case their team LOSES to the team that lost to Appalachian State.

However, this email from U-M student JW was disheartening to read:

"I went to the game yesterday. While most of the fans were just obnoxious, my friends and I heard a fair amount of racist and anti-semitic remarks directed our way. We were sitting next to the student section, and yes I expect some jeering and the occasional bottle being thrown, but nothing so blatantly wrong. A good number of the fans were very nice, but enough were ignorant enough to completely ruin any benevolent image I had of Illinois. I guess they need to learn how to handle the immense joy of winning 5 games in a season. I really enjoy the blog."

Actually, no college football fan should EVER expect "the occasional bottle being thrown." Ever. There's no excuse for this. As mentioned, while this was the only completely negative email like this that we received, even one is too many.

Sorry, folks. I know I get "soapboxy" about stuff like this but this sort of thing toward any fan of any school disgusts me. I love college football and college football Saturdays. And such treatment has no place in the game and atmosphere surrounding the sport we all love so much.

Now, as a counterpoint JW's abuse above, I must share a very cool email I got from Wayne, an Illinois alum and former football player who is the inventor and founder behind RivalsFlag.com. Last week, before the game, he was kind enough to email and offer me a ticket to the big showdown.

Unfortunately I couldn't make it, but the gesture was most appreciated. Sure is a shame JW and his friends couldn't have been sitting near classy Illini fans such as Wayne.

(Pic HT: JRJ)


Dezzi said...

I'm quite sure that using any taunt regarding the App. State v. Michigan game jumped the shark after our victory over Penn State. Like it has been said before, (insert team name here) should wait until AFTER they play Michigan to use it.

Rhetorical question: How long ago has it been that Michigan lost to Illinois in THEIR stadium?

The list keeps on growing... teams beaten by the ranked team that lost to a 1-AA team. Maybe that should be the student shirt next year...

If Bill Martin is reading this blog ... please don't schedule GA Southern, Wofford, or Elon anytime soon!

tabithasaysgoblue said...

I will say having visited many a campus as we travel to watch the Maize and Blue, Champaign has definetely been the rudest and raunchiest place yet...most definetely NOT a family outing...

Matt said...

Racist and anti-Semitic remarks?! WTF? Illinois isn't such a bad school. They should know better.

If Michigan played App State this weekend, it wouldn't even be close. Our D has gotten so much better since then. They were just so inexperienced that first weekend. We see now that App St is good in its use of the spread, but once you learn how to defend it, it becomes like any other offense. Different, but not necessarily better.

(Although I must say that it takes certain skill to be able to run it effectively, and it has helped out struggling programs in HS and college.)

Matthew said...

While it baffles me that some fans (young and old) can be so pathetically obnoxious, I disagree that these kinds of fans have no place in College Football.

For without a common stream of fans such as these rooting for programs such as tOSU, we wouldn't truly appreciate how much more fantastic gameday can be in places like A2.

WingRG said...

this isn't a post about OSU fans, it's about classless peaces of shit who think they're better than others b/c they were born to a different (race-wise) set of parents than you. There's no place for racism/anti-semitism in college football or anywhere else in the world.
I'm sorry, Yost, but i find this a lot more serious than your powedered doughnut story from last year (or even an occasional beer bottle mentioned in the story). If i ever hear anything remotely anti-semitic, the common sense gets put away, and the angry fists come out. I didn't have relatives die in camps all over Poland, Ukraine, and Germany to listen to idiots who can't even start to comprehend how far their life would be in the toilet if it wasn't for the Jewish people.

Da Vest said...

I hate Illinois Nazis.

ChicagoWolverine said...

racist, sexist, religious slurs are just results of the weak mind. I would have expected a lot more from the Illini. I wasn't at the game, but i heard from friends sitting in the michigan section that pregame everything was really good - tailgating and everything with the illini. Post game was a different story. With a history of losing like Illinois, you'd think the fans would be able to handle it.

The Muck Fichigan and Ann Arbor is a Whore shirts -- kinda funny -- but so is the Indian Shocker Pope.

J. Lichty said...

Perhaps the racist/jew-hating Illinois fans were actually English soccer fans sent over to fill that piece of shit stadium.

That kind of stuff is common over there.

Hemlock Philosopher said...

I had the pleasure of traveling to lovely Champaign for the game. We were treated kindly, for the most part, by our Illini Hosts. But, as JW noted, it's the one bad apple that ruins the bag.

After the game, an over-sized Illinois fan tried to pick a fight with us because we were singing the Victors on the way back to Lot B. His wife realized he was in way over his head and put him in check. It put me in a Russel Crowe mood, but only temporarily :-)

Nothing is sweeter than a road victory at night (except beating OSU, MSU and ND).

al said...

Attended game w/ Illini friends & 1 Blue, did not encounter single f*ck Michigan or Michigan sucks, though saw alot of the now tired "Muck Fichigan" t-shirts. We were sitting in heart of Illini season ticket holder territory, encountered a couple d*cks but all-in-all a very enjoyable outing. Quite a contrast to Madison, e.g.

Jennifer said...

not addressing the serious issues, but i actually CONTINUED to hear appalachian state jokes AFTER the game. the illinois fans near me turned and started chanting "appalachian state! appalachian state!" right after the game ended... i was like, "uhh, you know you just lost to the team that lost to appalachian state?" (believing myself to be stating the obvious), and their faces crumbled and they left looking deflated... then i felt bad. oops.

Jennifer said...

oh, also, aside from getting grabbed at by a couple of drunks, i found the illini pretty good-natured... booing and hissing, but willing to share their beer and pose for pictures. ;)

Mikoyan said...

I went to a Tigers game in Cleveland (the 3rd of the Three game sweeps) and as I was in the bathroom I heard some doofus outside saying "Appalachian State" every few second. I presume to everyone wearing a Tigers hat as if the entire state of Michigan is affected by how well or poorly the University does. I felt like asking him what that has to do with the Tigers but then I realized I was in Ohio and any sort of thinking might cause his head to explode. While that may have been cool, I didn't really want to see what happens when so much compressed air explodes.

Anyways, if Michigan can manage to run the table, maybe that will stop the Appalachian State taunts.

MGoBlue93 said...

Mikoyan... I'm afraid the App State taunts will go on for a couple of generations... I STILL hear about Kordell Stewart out here in Colorado. And that's from mediocre fans that could really give 2 shits about supporting the Buffs.

The best comeback for B10ers running their mouths about the App State loss is when their team (e.g., Illinois and Penn State) loses to the team that lost to App State!


god of the whoppers said...

I just finished watching the game since i missed all but the the last field goal on Saturday. most of the fans seemed very enthusiastic, even making fun of the michigan key play jingle before kick off. saw a little to many muck fichigan shirts, though, i thought the only rival they had was osu (something about a turtle and peace pipe). saw some accidental camera pans to a kid wearing that Muck fichigan shirt and even a fan near some michigan fans flicking off the camera after his thumbs down. pretty classless, enthuzed, but classless

Mikoyan said...

It's not really a taunt at a baseball game though. Especially when you're wearing an Eastern Michigan (my alma mater) t-shirt.

I guess Ohio folks can only recognize "Michigan" and are otherwise illiterate.