Rantoul2012 I: Here We Go August 5, 2012
Mike Flaar sent me a tweet today. Nothing big – just telling me he enjoyed the blog and to keep up the good work. That probably means nothing to you. An offensive lineman from the mid-90′s who turned down Notre Dame to come to Illinois telling me that he enjoys the blog means everything to me.
See, this is my team. It’s also my thing. Everybody has a thing. For example, this guy has trains (turn your speakers down):
You might laugh at that. I absolutely love it. This guy has found his thing, and he’s invested every ounce of energy into it. I hope everyone gets just 15 seconds of joy like that guy. Find your thing, and get lost in it.
This team is my thing. It’s as close as I get to that guy’s joy. And I’m not talking about victories. (And I’m not just saying that because I’m an Illinois Football fan). I’m saying that this team – 100-some young men choosing to wear the orange helmet and run out of the Memorial Stadium tunnel – is the thing that gets me the most excited. This is my team. Those are my guys.
So when one of my guys sends me a Tweet, I’m thrilled. Anybody who chose to put on the orange and blue is part of that. They chose to play for my school, so I’m forever in their corner.
Which means I’ll barely sleep tonight. Because at 5:15, I’m getting up and heading to Rantoul for the first practice. And then tomorrow afternoon, another. And then two more on Tuesday. And Wednesday. And another on Thursday. My plan this year is to take in seven practices before returning to the real world.
In that time, I’m planning to cover it like the KFHB. Pretty much 24/7 blogging. I’ll try to do player interviews and mailbags and practice thoughts and everything else just like those four days in San Francisco back in December. If I’m awake, I’m seated at a keyboard, typing out 4-6 posts per day, numbered I through whatever. I hit 30 total posts for the KFHB. Pushing for 31 this time.
I should note the two things I won’t be doing: 1) Tweeting during practice. The new rule from the spring is the same, so I’ll be going on Twitter silence during the practices. And 2) I won’t share one ounce of information that could be used by opposing coaching staffs. So if you send me a mailbag question about offensive formations, you’ll get nothing out of me. And besides, this early in camp, there won’t be many formations to see.
But there will be drills and drills and more drills, and I cant wait to see an offensive tackle and a defensive end square off. I’ve found my thing. And I’m about to get lost in it.