Illinois' football team got off to a
10-0 start and led 13-7 at the break. It basically got ugly from
there. The Illini defense gave up over 400 yards of rushing, mainly
because pride would not allow anyone to make any adjustments. The
Cats were not running elaborate cross bucks or counters. They stayed
simple with student body left and student body right.
Take nothing away from Northwestern's
great backs, but the Illini made them look like Heisman candidates!
We really didn't understand the quarterbacking change either, but
what we did understand about this year's Illini could fill up a very
small thimble. Taking a 37-20 pelting was just a microcosm of the
entire season. It is difficult to watch, but loyalty makes you do
Speaking of loyalty, we have to commend
the 38,000-plus fans (at least tickets sold) for not only showing up
for the game on such a nice November afternoon, but for cheering and
supporting their beloved gridders to the extent that they did. That
should have sent a message to this team that our support of them
knows no rational bounds!
With as disappointing as their play has
been, we do have to mention how touching the senior day festivities
were. All seniors in the program were announced with their parents,
and it was very emotional. We were hoping that the emotion of the
day would carry the Illini to victory. Instead we may have just made
the Cats bowl-eligible.
IF you're already looking ahead to next
season, the Illini will play only 11 games and seven of them are at
home… So, we guess, if you're going to have a schedule, that's the
kind to have!
The LDN salutes all Illini seniors and
remembers that you all played a role in the Big Ten championship
year just two seasons ago. We are sorry that this year didn't pan
out, but we wish you the best in your future endeavors!
Off to the
races. Yes, the Illini
hoopsters are off to the races when you consider how much they want
to run in transition and in primary offense. All that running led to
a 94-66 decision over the Leathernecks of Western Illinois
University, to hand a nervous coach Bruce Weber his first win at
But that's not all… You'll never guess
what happened. The Illini crowd is starting to get it! What? That's
right. The game was nearly a sellout, and people actually showed up
and cheered. What's next? Trying to make sure that we have a
home-court advantage in the non-conference season?
Many fans were doing the same thing we
were opting for, the rare day-night doubleheader, and it was quite
tiring. However, the cagers put smiles on our faces as they took
care of business early and often, despite three players not playing
because of suspensions.
The only thing we'll say about that
whole incident is that if you break rules or laws, you should suffer
the consequences. We feel especially sorry for coach Weber, who has
not been able to enjoy his first victory and all of this
start-of-the-season stuff because of what has transpired off the
court. We're also not one to say let bygones be bygones. If
something happens to another student or any person, and that family
goes about proper procedures, then players must face the music… in
the classroom or out of it. Hopefully, it was a one-time case of bad
decision-making and when the situation is made right (if that can
happen), then things like basketball may resume. We hate this kind
of stuff and hoped that the Illini were immune to it. Sadly,
sometimes this stuff strikes teams of all ages. Let's hope that
things will be made right whether players return or not.
At any rate, CONGRATULATIONS to coach
Weber on his first win with the Illini! The Illini were 50-2 over
their last four seasons going into this game… How would you like to
follow that as a coach? Incidentally, Illinois has won 18 games in a
row at the Assembly Hall.
[to top of second column in this
first win. Last year the search for that initial win went
long into the year. This time the Redbirds beat a very athletic
Florida A&M squad 87-70 in the home opener. Trey Guidry flew off the
bench and canned 24 points to lead the Redbird assault. But, it was
Lincoln's Gregg Alexander who set the tone for this game from the
onset. He played ball-hawking, smothering defense the entire day,
which energized his ISU teammates. Gregg deflected several passes,
and when he didn't do that he was tipping balls to his players or
pulling down key rebounds. Alexander was also instrumental in
helping the 'Birds break the amazingly good press run by the
The announced crowd of 6,689 at ISU
looks like they're starting to get it too. A good crowd in those
weather conditions was on hand, and their thunderous support at
times helped ISU extend their leads or stifle A&M's comeback hopes.
The LDN salutes new coach Porter Moser
on his first victory at the helm of the Redbirds.
College Lynx took a 87-73 win over Kaskaskia. According to
our records that makes them 4-2. The Lynx were led in scoring by
Aaron Williams, who tallied 21 points on 7-of-10 shooting. Lincoln
has now won four in a row!
The Lady Lynx did advance to the
championship game of the Spoon River tourney but came up a little
short, as Shawnee took the trophy with a 66-55 triumph. The Lady
Lynx fell to 3-5.
Christian College won the first home game for coach John
Searby and moved their record to 4-2 on the young season with a
convincing 82-41 pounding of Grace University. Brian Dunaway led the
Preacher attack with 30 points, 10 rebounds and five assists and may
have sold a few snacks during intermission! Caleb Edson found the
range for an impressive 29-point performance. LCC hits the road
tonight for a game at Robert Morris. No report from the Angels.
Lincoln High School's Thanksgiving
tournament will get under way tonight (Monday) at the famous Roy
S. Anderson gym. Lincoln will host Peoria Manual in tonight's
We do want to wish the Railers great
success in the 2003-4 campaign. We believe that while the Railers
might not scare anybody, they will still surprise their share of
opponents. The crowds used to come early and stay late when Josh
Komnick and Brian Cook sported the green and red. Maybe it's time to
get everybody out again and support this new edition of Railers. We
are excited to see how they'll fare!
Bears win? Lynn Laughlin told me
that the Bears beat the Broncos 19-10 in Denver. How? The Rams won a
scorcher in OT in the desert, and the Colts won a 17-14 thriller
versus the Bills. And you thought we were wacky for reporting that
the NFL was wacky?
Greg Taylor and Jeff Mayfield will not
be on "FANdamonium" until after the Thanksgiving weekend. You can,
however, join Laz Pozsgai and Rick Charron and get caught up on all
things racing, tonight at 6.
That's it for us. Have a great week,
[LDN sports staff]