We Love No Other 1.12 – Athletic Director Mike Thomas

I absolutely panicked.  I finish an audio interview with the Athletic Director late last week and the recording software I use gives me this “there was a problem so I’m closing now” error.  What do I do?  That half hour I just recorded – do I call the AD back and say “hey, could you say all of that again?”

Thankfully, it recorded everything. [Read more...]

We Love No Other 1.11 – Craig G.

My first repeat guest! I guess I could also say that like this: “We just had a Spring Game, and it needs to be analyzed, so who better to call than my friend Craig G. so we can break down everything that happened?”

Craig is like me – he keeps his own depth chart and roster spreadsheet because sometimes at 1:30 in the morning on a Tuesday in June you just have to look it up to see who’s fighting for the third string Will Linebacker spot – so who better to break down Saturday’s Spring Game? I’ll warn you, we go a little long. This podcast is close to an hour. But come on – we just watched the Spring Game. It’s to our credit that we kept it under an hour.

Didn’t get to watch the Spring Game on Saturday? Never fear. Here’s two obsessive Illini fans analyzing every ounce of the game:

We Love No Other 1.10 – Carey Davis

With the Spring Game approaching on Saturday, I figured I’d talk to another former Illini player for this week’s We Love No Other podcast.  Today’s guest: Carey Davis, Illini fullback during the Ron Turner fullback glory days in the early 2000′s.

Carey is now on ESPN Radio in his hometown of St. Louis doing pregame and postgame work for the Rams as well as coaching high school football as an assistant at Hazelwood West.  We talk about the Sugar Bowl season, his fight to land on an NFL roster, and then his climb to the top of the mountain when he won a Super Bowl ring as the starting fullback for the Steelers in Super Bowl XLIII.

We Love No Other 1.9 – Juice Williams

No offense to any of my other guests from this first set of ten podcasts, but this was my favorite. Juice Williams revitalized the program when he picked Illinois in May of 2005, and then he delivered a win at #1 Ohio State and a Rose Bowl in 2007.

So that’s what I wanted to talk to him about. The first third of this podcast is Juice talking about his new role as Director of High School & Alumni Relations. The rest of the time we go back to the 2007 season and talk about everything. The back-to-back wins over Penn State and Wisconsin, the first downs against Ohio State, and even the play where he lined up a Northwestern linebacker on the goal line and, um, won the battle.

By the end, I’m what you would describe as “geeked”. And Juice was juiced. With more time (he had to pick up his kids), I think we could have talked for another 45 minutes on just the Ohio State game alone.

We Love No Other 1.8 Josh Reed From Big Ten Geeks

As you may know, I’m #TeamEyeTest. You keep your effective defensive rebounding percentages and just give me a narrative. We didn’t win because we shot 57% on our twos, we won with FIGHT and HEART and DETERMINATION.

My guest tonight is #TeamNERDstat. That’s my term for all things eFG and ORtg and free throw percentage on balls in play (the under-used FTP-BIP stat). He’s so much Team NERDstat that he has a blog called Big Ten Geeks on BTN.com where he writes about all things NERDstat with another stat-head, Mike Portscheller. I wanted to have Josh on to talk a little about the Illini season that just ended and a lot about next season.

What will this team look like with Aaron Cosby, Darius Paul, and Ahmad Starks? What kind of leap can we expect from Malcolm Hill and Kendrick Nunn? Most importantly, what will the Big Ten look like next season, and does that give John Groce’s third Illini team the opportunity to make a big push in the Big Ten standings?

TeamEyeTest and TeamNERDstat, together in audio form:

We Love No Other 1.7 – Craig G.

This one is for the football junkies.  I asked my friend Craig – one of The Seventeen – to join me and continue what we started on Friday night at the Gately Stadium practice: a long, rambling back and forth about the 83 scholarship players on this roster (plus a few walkons).  Where are the strengths?  What are the weaknesses?  What was seen in this open-to-the-public practice that might give us a hint as to what kind of football team we’ll see on Saturdays this fall?

I’ll warn you – this one goes a little long.  But it’s impossible to cover an entire college football team in less than 45 minutes.  I think keeping this one just under an hour was quite an accomplishment, thankyouverymuch.

A few links from last week before getting to the podcast.  If you want to subscribe on iTunes, go here.  If you want to follow the RSS feed, go here.  And if you want to know where I got the logo on the front page (and on the iTunes page), that was courtesy of Dave from Limelightbookcovers.com.

OK then – on to the football.

We Love No Other 1.6 – Tyler Griffey

First, a few things that I’ve put on Twitter in the last few weeks but I’m not sure I linked them on the blog.  The We Love No Other podcast is on iTunes and can be found here, so if you want to subscribe that way, go for it. We also have an RSS feed which is available here. Or you can just come to the site to listen. And thanks to Dave from Limelightbookcovers.com for designing the podcast logo (which will be updated on iTunes soon).

I think that covers everything. Here’s this week’s podcast with Tyler Griffey where we discuss playing hoops in Austria, turning around a losing streak, and Rick Majerus’ unique recruiting methods. And I actually kept it to a half hour this week, so three points for Robert.

We Love No Other 1.5 – Author/Illini Fan Steve Donohue

When I read Steve’s book, I promised to do an interview with him on the blog.  That was around 18 months ago.  So now that I finally have the podcast up and going, I was able to get Steve to join me to talk about his book (for 15 minutes) and Illini Football (for 45 minutes).  So if you have an hour, and you want to listen to two rabid Illini football fans go on and on about how six wins might be possible, do I have a WLNO for you.

And if you’re interested in Steve’s book – and you should be – you can find it here.  The Kindle version is $3.  You spend that on tacos daily. Skip the tacos, read Steve’s book.

We Love No Other 1.4 – Martin O’Donnell

It’s FOLD Week! FOLD stands for February Offensive Line Discussion week.  Happens the last week of February every year around here.  Why the last week of February?  Because a certain internet troll once told me that I was “the only person on earth who wanted to talk about the Illini offensive line in February”. And I set out to prove him wrong. [Read more...]

We Love No Other 1.3 – Steve Greenberg

Steve Greenberg from the Chicago Sun Times is my guest on this week’s We Love No Other podcast.  This one goes a little bit longer – 41 minutes to be exact – but that’s a good thing.  Steve discusses his first year as the Sun Times beat writer for the Illini, what it was like to cover some of the Illini football seniors, and what it’s like to start covering a team when they’re in the basement.

And yes, we discuss the Sun Times article after the Cliffmas nightmare, and John Groce’s reaction to the headline, and his thoughts on the whole ordeal. Link is below, RSS feed will be posted soon, and the iTunes thing will be set up once I finally get back to Brumby with some of the information needed to post it there. No, really, it will be there soon.  Seriously.