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Rains spell stormy weekend
for area teams    
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By Jeff Mayfield

[SEPT. 15, 2003]  The rains fell, and it set into place a gloomy weekend for area teams. If not for the ISU Redbirds and the Sox, it might have been even gloomier! The weekend loomed as a possible good one, but it just never materialized. As for me and my house, it wouldn't have mattered anyway. Part of the time we just got wet (people have been saying that about me for years), the other part we were attending a wedding reception and replacing dead household stuff… So really, in the grand scheme of things it may not have mattered. But nonetheless, you do want ALL of your local teams to do well, and that just wasn't the case. It did give Greg and me tons of material for tonight's "FANdamonium" episode… I know you're waiting with bated breath…

According to sources at the scene, the Railers just seemed to not have the same focus that they've had the first two weeks of the season. And it would be hard to play your first THREE on the road. It is a credit to them and to the John Oaks-led coaching staff that this team comes home Friday night with 2-1 record. This is a game that CS8 insiders say is very winnable for Lincoln.

The LDN would like to see a capacity, standing-room-ONLY crowd on hand to welcome this squad home and show them some appreciation. A 3-1 start would put them within two games of a playoff nod. Why talk about it and risk the dreaded jinx? You've gotta have goals. This team has worked hard. They've actually been INSIDE the weight room getting it done, and now the dream is visible in the distance. It's time to grab the brass ring and let all of the rest of us go along for the ride. Good luck, RAILERS!

Before the Fighting Illini played UCLA most of us were worried about the speed of the Bruins and the potential for an offensive explosion. We wondered IF the REAL Illini defense would stand up. They did! But where, oh where, has the Illinois offense gone? Maybe the Bears could use us? OR, perhaps the Panthers and the Bucs? I have had some serious doubts about that EVEN during the year the Illini went to the Sugar Bowl. Now those doubts have turned into major concerns. It seems like we never put people on their heels. They look like they're ready to tee off on us at any second. What about including some razzle-dazzle into the lineup? I hope their frustration is greater than mine and that they have some answers to the many questions. And that's not the bad news… The next opponent, California, won't let the Illini mope through an easy time at home. The Golden Bears will be a stern test!

Sounds like the ISU Redbirds had a nice game in a 49-6 rout of Truman State, which now lifts the Redbird record to 2-1. I felt all along that if they played like they did against Illinois, they could have a really special season. We'll see.


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Thanks to the White Sox, we STILL have one team of area interest on top of the leader board. As I've mentioned for weeks the Cards were either primed for a collapse or only hung around because Houston and Chicago couldn't decide if they wanted to win the division or not. The 'Stros look like they're finally picking up the pace, but the Cubs are hanging on.

Actually, I blame Greg Taylor for this. He said that he was going to be the Cards' biggest fan this past weekend, and the Birds went out and got swept. I don't think we need his kind of fandom, and I will definitely address it tonight on our show! The Cubs' weaker schedule could still play an important role down the stretch.

I don't even know what to say about the Bears. I will say that IF the NFL isn't stranger than fiction, I don't know what is. Road teams went something like 7-8… Does that send up any red flags with anyone other than me??? The Raiders squeaked by the Bungles, the Panthers shocked the Bucs in extra innings with some nifty blocks and kicks (why do you think they call it FOOTball?), and Erickson (the 49ers coach that people said couldn't coach) was one play away from sending the Rams to 0-2! There are so many weird things happening that I'm taking a page outta the Oscar de la Hoya playbook and suggesting a full investigation!

Our area volleyball teams are stronger than ever, and word on the streets has it that soccer is up and coming. We'll update you as information is passed on to us.

Other weird stuff happened at the Solheim Cup in Europe. As soon as the Europeans had enough points to claim the cup, all of their players conceded their matches. That's really strange. I wonder if the Bears and the Illini can do that?

That's it for me… I'm too depressed to go on. Let's hope that we all have a better week.

Have a GREAT week, everybody!

[Jeff Mayfield]    

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