I was so glad to see a big turnout for
the first Railer home game, but I think we can do even better than
that! Once again I proved why it is better to be right in the middle
of the crowd rather than in the press box. Standing alongside Terry
Aper, Mitch Smith, Tom Seggelke, Todd Lowman and a host of his
cronies, you just get a much better perspective of the game. Yes, it
is quieter in most press boxes, but you are removed and detached
from the emotions and the stirrings of the crowd. About the only
time it is better in the box is when it is bitterly cold or when
they're passing out free food! Whatever. Railer nation was euphoric
after the win and we couldn't be happier for them. Let's get to it…
One thing about this Lincoln Railer
football team that you need to understand is that they do things the
John Oaks way. Keep in mind there are several ideas circulating
through the stands and up and down the sidelines on what the masses
would like to see the Railers do. But what they're doing right now
is… WINNING! Why tinker or toy with success?
I do like the way they control both
lines of scrimmage. More times than not, the battle of the trenches
determines the outcomes of many ballgames. I also like the way the
offense opened up a little more on Friday night. This put
Springfield on its collective heels, and I really like it when
opposing defenses have no idea what you're going to throw at them
In addition, I liked the way the Railer
defense stepped up to make key stops at critical points in the game,
like the 53-yard interception return Curt Courtwright made out of
his own end zone. Our stable of running backs isn't too shabby
either. Chris Boward punished the defensive line for 45 yards and
three touchdowns on 17 carries, while Devon Agostino scampered for
57 yards on only three carries.
Jason Melton proved to be the night's
big workhorse, going for a game-leading 110 yards on just 14
chances. And Jason Leisinger is not getting enough credit for
running the whole show from the QB's position. His confidence is
rising, and as that happens his passes are getting more zip on them.
The offensive line is doing their
imitation of the old Redskin hog patrol, and they're just simply
making some nice holes for the backs. The Lincoln defense, led by
the play of Lance Agostino and Josh Leevy, continues to make a lot
of what is happening possible.
When you limit a faster, quicker team
like Springfield to just six points, you've done something. To coach
Oaks' credit, he is not satisfied. Here's hoping that his Railers
aren't either! Whatever the case, I hope we can all bask in the 3-1
euphoria for as long as possible!!! Way to go, Railers!!!
The Illini on the other hand, are on
the flip side with a 1-3 mark. After holding a quicker and faster
UCLA team to only six points and no TDs, I was hoping that the
Illini would win a hard-fought struggle with Cal. I'm not so sure
how hard-fought it was.
[to top of second column in this
What I'm trying to say is that the game
did not appear to be as close as the score indicated. Illinois had
so many breakdowns. For instance, the stats will show that the
Illini QB threw for a stadium record amount of yardage, but he still
did not look very good at many critical points during the contest.
He under-threw some receivers, he overthrew some receivers, and
sometimes when he did hit them in the hands, the footballs were
Then there were the breakdowns on
special teams -- one resulting in a punt return for a touchdown for
the Golden Bears -- and it was game, set and match! I'd like to
identify all of the breakdowns, but it doesn't take even an armchair
QB to do that. The reality is that no matter what is said, Illinois
has a 1-3 record, period.
Frustrating, disgusting and hard to
watch are just a few of our immediate thoughts. Good thing the
Railers are winning!
And so are the ISU Redbirds. Maybe it's
because Lincoln's Cara Aussieker is now on the sidelines as a
cheerleader! Or maybe it's because the offense is now putting points
on the board and the defense is stifling. Whatever the reason or
reasons, ISU shocked No. 19 Eastern Illinois 21-14 in Charleston!
The 3-1 start is the best in four years and puts ISU in a position
to have a really special season. Here's to keeping it up and going
on a nice little playoff run!
Hey, Cub fans… you're welcome. Since
all of you were getting on the Cards bandwagon this past weekend, we
just want you to know that the Birds delivered. And they delivered
in a BIG way. Taking two out of three from those pesky Astros leaves
you Cubbies just a half game away from Nirvana! And the Redbirds are
only four back. That probably made you laugh. But don't forget what
happened in 1964… It could happen again… really. Wouldn't that be
And has anybody seen the White Sox…
Does anyone believe me yet that there
are strange things happening in the NFL? Green Bay loses in the
desert. SF loses to Cleveland at home (BTW, not sure that the Browns
made the right QB choice despite the win). What's next, a Raiders
victory at Denver?… OK, I was setting you up… but, you get the
picture? Someone please explain this to us???
How 'bout those Ducks?
And how about Greg Maddox?
And how about Northern Illinois and the
And what about the U.S. women's soccer
And don't forget tonight's "FANdamonium"
sports showcase starting at 6 p.m. on FIX 96 FM.
Have a GREAT