Just Sit There January 2, 2013
That was our eighth consecutive loss to Purdue. Eighth. Consecutive. Like, in a row. Eight straight times. Purdue.
I had the idea to write this post yesterday while watching a few New Years Day bowls. But I didn’t. I really didn’t want to go there. Too dark. After tonight, I have to. The permasmirk on DJ Byrd’s face made me do it.
In every single rivalry sense – every single one – all an Illini fan can do is just sit there and take it. We own no rivalries right now. None. Zero. If there were a trophy case for rivalry games, ours would be 100% completely empty.
In football, there are three actual rivalry trophies. The Cannon, which Purdue owns. The Illibuck, which is in Ohio State’s possession, and the Sweet Sioux Tomahawk-turned-LOL trophy, which is in Evanston right now. But we also have this thing about beating Michigan. 2009 was awful, but hey, we beat Michigan. Yeah, well, we’ve lost three straight to Michigan. And we won’t play them again until 2015 (like it would matter).
Every football rival own us (I know, what else is new, right?). The only sliver of anything we possess is that Matt Eller made a 44 yard field goal and we beat Iowa in our last meeting back in 2008. It’s kinda sorta fun to maybe sometimes bring that up to Iowa fans. But that’s all we have. If you’re our rival, you own us. Heck, we used to have a border war game with Missouri as well and we lost all six games in St. Louis.
For me, personally, I want to beat Michigan (we never do) and I don’t want to lose to Northwestern (fail times two). This year, we lost to both, and then I had to watch Northwestern break that 1949 streak while looking really good doing it. It was hard enough for me to admit that Pat Fitzgerald is a solid coach this year – having to watch him get to double digit wins on the season (on New Years Day no less) was incredibly painful. But I had no other choice. I had to just sit there and take it.
But basketball! Basketball is the salvation of every Illini fan! Basketball is where we get our revenge. Come at us, rivals. Meet our fist.
Meet our open palm. In hoops we pretty much have to beat Indiana. We’re not their rival, but our hate is strong enough for both sides. Stupid candy pants. We HAVE to own Missouri in St. Louis – it’s our thing. And we also don’t like Iowa (for giving us Bruce Pearl) or Purdue (for giving us Bruce Weber). OK, and Wisconsin too. And do not, under any circumstances, lose to Northwestern. Ew.
Current streaks that we own over any of those teams? Zero. None. Our last game with Wisconsin? Loss. Our last game with Iowa? Loss. Our last game with Indiana? Loss. Our last game with Northwestern? Home loss. Our last FOUR games against Missouri? Loss, loss, loss, loss. And now our eighth consecutive loss to Purdue.
I feel like I was just posterized. Somebody just dunked over me and drew the foul. They’re celebrating with their teammates and the crowd is going nuts – what can I do besides sit there and take it? I can’t get angry – I’d look silly. I have to just watch Pat Fitzgerald fist pump and DJ Byrd smirk and I can’t do anything besides purse my lips and breathe through my nose. Everyone I want to beat owns us. There’s not a single rival I can turn to and say “yeah, well last time – we took you down”.
Eight consecutive losses to Purdue. Northwestern football 10 wins. 0-4 in basketball (and 0-6 in football) against Missouri. Oh God, a frightening thought just hit me. When is the last time we beat an opponent from a state that borders Illinois? In football or in basketball?
Wait – we beat Iowa last year in basketball. Yesss. In your face, Squawkeyes. What’s that? They beat us the following week in the Big Ten Tournament?
Nevermind. Forget about me. I’ll just sit here.