It’s been many, many years since we failed to make it to at least one Illini basketball game during the season. For me, this streak very likely goes back decades to when I was in high school. Yes, we’re those kind of fans… So when I looked at the calendar today and saw that tonight’s final home game against Nebraska begins at 9:00, and realizing that if I take the kids to this game they wouldn’t get home until 1:00 or so, and knowing that we have our own basketball practice tonight along with the new PARCC standardized tests at school this week, well, looks like no Illinois hoops for us this year.
I suppose I could go myself, maybe try to talk my brother into going with me. Get home late and be tired tomorrow. But with his new mini-Rube at the house this probably isn’t an option. It’s a shame because I really have a lot of respect for our team’s seniors – especially Nnnanna Egwu and Ray Rice – and would like to cheer for them in person one last time.
So how did this happen? We meant to go go to a game in December, but didn’t, knew January wasn’t happening due to kids’ activities, and then I had penciled in MSU, Northwestern, and Nebraska at the end of the season. For those games against the Spartans and Kitties, we had winter storms – the kind you don’t drive in unless you really need to. And now the ridiculously late start against the Huskers.
This won’t happen next year as the team will play a few early season games in Springfield while the State Farm Center completes the next phase of renovations. Those will be easy. And maybe if a few more home games in December were against better teams, I could be enticed to make the trip, but as the kids get older and more involved, we just know it won’t be as easy.