I have uncovered something I am not all
that thrilled with, and that is talk of how far this team will go.
Pencil me in as someone who would much rather play them one game at
a time. While objectives and goals are wonderful incentives, they
can also set you up for disappointment and failure. For instance
there has been a lot of talk about going, say 15-1 in the
non-conference games and 13-3 in Big Ten action -- lofty goals, no
But what happens if the
team stubs its proverbial big toe along the way. Will everyone feel
let down? Will the season then be a disappointment? And the league
goal is great too, but for crying out loud, it is not even December
yet. Could we play a few non-league games before we start jockeying
for Big Ten positioning? There has been more hype surrounding this
year's team than any since the late '80s.
I remember last winter when all the
hype was swirling around the Cubs, and I am sure that that did not
work out as the fans had planned. Now while there is certainly a
difference between the two sports and the two teams, hype and high
expectations seldom result in euphoria.
However, I want to believe… I am
just asking you loyal LDN readers to help me in my unbelief!
Take Friday night's first game of
the season versus Delaware State. This is a game that probably
should have been over at halftime, but it wasn't. The Illini looked
like a team going through the motions -- like these guys are on our
schedule so we will do just enough to get by. To Delaware's credit,
they must have not read the predicted score and came out and gave
Illinois more than they bargained for in the "guaranteed" game.
Illinois' defense mirrored that of its football counterparts.
LDN staffer Greg Taylor was on hand
at the Assembly Hall Sunday afternoon and said just the opposite. He
complimented the Illini on how well they looked. "Other than the
first few minutes of the second half, Illinois looked like a Final
Four team," according to Taylor. That is what I like to hear.
Illinois will get one more test
before the Thanksgiving weekend showdown with Gonzaga when they host
a pesky and dangerous Oakland team Wednesday night.
The LDN has learned that Illinois
has fired embattled football coach Ron Turner…
The Lincoln High School
Railsplitters will be unveiled starting tonight in Roy S. Anderson
gym. The Railers will play Peoria Manual tonight at 7:30 in their
home opener and then tackle Danville on Wednesday night at 8. Friday
will see them welcome Chicago Curie at 8, leading to Saturday's
doubleheader as they meet Chicago Hubbard at 10 in the morning and
East St. Louis at 8 that night.
Come out to the gym, bring your
family and a turkey leg, and enjoy high school hoops at its best.
The crowds have waned some since the departure of Brian Cook, but
for the life of me I STILL don't know what there is to do that can
compete with cheering on true amateur athletes in pure athletic
competition. I don't think you can beat that for the ticket price.
Same thing for the Lady Railers, who
also will be revving up their season. Women's basketball has been
experiencing a flood of popularity over the last couple of seasons.
Why not come out and support Lincoln's coach Stoltzenburg and her
I don't know if Lincoln College
coach B.J. McCollum and his team saw a preview of the "Polar
Express," or if somebody made them mad, or if they have just come
together with a sophomore-laden team. Whatever the case, they have
exploded out of the station. The Lynx hammered IVCC to capture the
Spoon River Classic championship 95-84 and moved their record to a
sparkling 6-0. Look out for these Lynx, as they are headed for BIG
The Lady Lynx are not too far behind
as they evened their record at 3-3 this past weekend.
Congratulations to new LCC hoops
meister Jim Corrona as he led his team to a thrilling 82-80
third-place victory over Davenport in the Marion (Ind.) College
Tournament Saturday in Indianapolis.
Come out and support LCC Tuesday
night at 7 as they host Principia College; and if you tell the
ticket takers that Greg Taylor sent you, they will put the tickets
on his tab and you will get in FREE!
The LCC Angels got off to a slow
start in Missouri this weekend, but you can see them at home on Dec.
[to top of second column in
Lincoln's Brian Cook had two points,
three rebounds and one assist in nine minutes of action as his LA
Lakers defeated the Chicago Bulls 102-93 Sunday in California.
Next up for Cook and the Lakers is a Tuesday night game versus the
Basketbrawl and footbrawl
Many fans and insiders criticized
and ridiculed the Los Angeles Dodgers and the St. Louis Cardinals
for a wonderful display of sportsmanship after the NL Division
Series just last month. Even though it was a wonderful display,
people thought it was out of place and shouldn't have happened.
That's the society we live in today -- something they should have
applauded, they dissed!!!
After incidents in college football
and in the NBA this past weekend, we're betting that the NCAA and
the NBA wish they had several sportsmanship measures in place.
The sad fact is that the leagues and
the TV networks, the players, and the fans are all to blame. The mad
dash for the almighty dollar has compromised sportsmanship and the
essence of sports. The leagues, we believe, actually relish these
moments because it sends their TV ratings soaring. Then they show
these incidents hundreds of times and replay them endlessly.
What kind of statement does that
make to today's young people? If you run around and act like an
idiot, with no manners, breaking laws and decorum, we will put you
on TV for weeks! It's beyond sad and disgusting. Things are so out
of hand now, we're not sure that control could ever be
The NCAA and all professional
leagues MUST find ways to make sportsmanship the rule, NOT the
EXCEPTION! NO ONE is guaranteed a spot on any team with any
franchise IF they can not conduct themselves in a proper manner.
Do you REALLY need a several-game
suspension to know whether you crossed a line or not? What if some
of you did what was done at these games in the work place? Do you
think you would get a six-day suspension and than be allowed to
return? You'd probably be arrested, humiliated and then watch the
key being thrown away!
I don't get this… I don't see it as
a complex problem. Some things are acceptable and some things
aren't. What these players and fans did was WAY over the line, and
they should be punished and penalized to the full extent of the
sport AND the law… period!
hammered by the Colts
Don't tell us you didn't see this
coming. However, if the Colts don't win the Super Bowl, will anyone
ever truly know how terrific Peyton Manning has been this season?
The on-again, off-again Rams were buried by Buffalo, and that may be
the end of them. They are surely not one of the elite teams in the
NFL any longer.
I don't know about you, but I'm glad
there's a holiday coming up. I need a few days to sort out
everything that has happened this year.
One thing I do know is that I'm not
nearly as thankful as I ought to be. I have a spectacular wife, a
great son, a challenging and enjoyable job, a comfortable house, a
drivable car, acceptable clothes, decent meals, a free country to
live in, super friends and that's just the preface to a list I could
make that could probably span several pages. The problem is that I
don't always live like I'm thankful for all of these things.
But I'm gonna try to do better. I
know I should wait to place this in my New Year's resolutions page,
but I want to start today!
I'm hoping that all of you wonderful
LDN readers have a wonderful Thanksgiving and have some time over
the holiday to reflect on your blessings.
Have a great Thanksgiving,