Illini Pigskin Preview

It’s not easy being an Illini football fan – at least over the last twenty or so years.  Not that they’ve been dismal during that time…  No, it’s the inconsistency.  Really good years where it looked like a corner being turned, followed by epic fails.  Last year was one of those fail years, and this year projects as even bleaker.  As the consummate Illini football blogger put it, this is the least anticipated opening weekend in decades.  No surprise, then, that for the first time since moving back to Central IL, we’ve not bought at least half-a-season ticket or planned to attend multiple games.  (To be fair, the kids are now doing their own sports on Saturdays, which was a major factor in that decision as well).

But we will still watch the team play on TV.  At least until it gets ugly.  And it will.  Witness the schedule:

date Opponent / Event Location Time / Result
08/31/13 vs. Southern Illinois TV MEMORIAL STADIUM 11:00 a.m. CT
09/07/13 vs. Cincinnati TV MEMORIAL STADIUM 11:00 a.m. CT
09/14/13 vs. Washington (Chicago Homecoming) TV Chicago (Soldier Field) 5:00 p.m. CT
09/28/13 vs. Miami (Ohio) (Dad’s Day) TV MEMORIAL STADIUM TBA
10/05/13 at Nebraska * TV Lincoln, Neb. 11:00 a.m. CT
10/19/13 vs. Wisconsin * TV MEMORIAL STADIUM 7:00 p.m. CT
10/26/13 vs. Michigan State (Homecoming) * TV MEMORIAL STADIUM 2:30 p.m. CT
11/02/13 at Penn State * TV University Park, Pa. TBA
11/09/13 at Indiana * TV Bloomington, Ind. TBA
11/16/13 vs. Ohio State * TV MEMORIAL STADIUM TBA
11/23/13 at Purdue * TV West Lafayette, Ind. TBA
11/30/13 vs. Northwestern * TV MEMORIAL STADIUM TBA

If you listen real closely, you can hear former AD Ron Guenther’s Dr. Evil laugh in the background…

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Kids Sports Fun-o-meter

Having taken in a number of youth sports, some of which our kids participate in, some of which other family members play, we’re going to unveil our listing of team sports – from least to most fun.  The sample here is twelve and under.

Your own results may vary, based on bias, level of coaching, your sports’ organizational set up, and how bad or good your team is.  We can all appreciate how poor or indifferent coaching and a disorganized league can wreck the fun.  Ditto for being on a really bad or incompetent team.  Here goes…

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Just Plain Good


…that’s the US Soccer Team.  No qualifying statements or explanations needed.  Our team defeated Bosnia in Sarajevo 4-3 yesterday, extending the winning streak to 12 games.  Next closest streak is Brazil with 6.  This is a win in Bosnia over a team ranked #13 in FIFA’s (flawed) system.  Bosnia is the Eastern Euro team you don’t want to draw in next summer’s World Cup.  They have stars and lots of players from the top leagues.  But  Team America (cue song) is better…

It’s important to say this, Stuart Smalley-style, because amid Clint Dempsey’s high profile return to Major League Soccer earlier this month, we saw much apologizing, qualifying, and general rubbing of hands.  Die-hard US fans have a hard time with their shared inferiority complex.  Our take on this whole situation can be summed up in this excellent article over at the Shin Guardian.

Highlight check:

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Feed Aggregator Update

About a month ago, Google retired its Reader (for RSS feeds), forcing a switch in the Beemsville web protocols.  You see, a good feed reader, serving up the news, blogs, happenings for our digital consumption whenever we feel like checking it, has become our staple of information gathering.  The feed reader is like our daily newspaper (and indeed features some feeds from our local newspaper).

We’ve been using Netvibes and Feedly since the end of Google Reader.  Netvibes gives an iGoogle-like interface (and other templates if you want to try them) and an easy to navigate reader-mode.  We like most of the features, although the Facebook add-on doesn’t work very well, and any Google-bridge apps either don’t work or have suspicious origins.  This especially bothers us because we are big users of the Google-Calendar, and it would be nice to have a compact version of my agenda sitting there on my desktop via Netvibes. Continue reading

Randomsville Saturday

We have no theme.  We’re random on a Saturday.  It’s comics, soccer, football.  Let’s start with this:

That ending just makes way more sense…  And. of course, the biggest news out of Comicon in San Diego was the Superman-Batman movie announcement.  Odds that Superhero movies have moved on from the general public wheelhouse by then?  I don’t know…  Maybe they should enlist Jeph Loeb to co-script.

I think I need the ‘Because I’m Batman’ t-shirt.

In other news, we did not get tickets to the USA-Mexico World Cup Qualifier at Columbus Crew Stadium in September.  They had to do a lotto for the chance to buy overpriced tickets, and neither me nor my co-worker friend were selected.  Now U.S. Soccer was very gracious and even offered a merch discount on my next purchase…

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