The return of We Love No Other! After taking the summer off, the podcast returns with a very special episode. Don’t worry, my recording issues, the volume changes, and the parts where I sound like I’m speaking from a cave – they’re all still there. It’s a special episode because I have five guests, and they’re here to tell you about the best job on campus: [Read more...]
I’m really trying to answer every mailbag question. I have 26 more to go. So I decided to try something different: mailbag podcast. I’ll answer some of the questions with audio instead of text.
Originally, I had this idea to make my 7 year-old nephew my guest. Or at least have him read all of the questions. I thought little Noah trying to pronounce Simon Cvijanovic would be priceless podcasting. But transporting my 7 year-old nephew 100 miles just to get him to record some written questions seemed like a waste of resources. Perhaps another time.
So this podcast is just me. I read your questions, and then I answer them. And that’s it. 12 questions, 45 minutes, done and done.
With the Gabe Megginson verbal fresh in my mind, I asked Martin O’Donnell to come back on the podcast to discuss recruiting. What’s it like to find yourself not only the top offensive lineman in the state, but also the country? Are there any pressures when you pick the home state school? I wanted some insight on what happens behind the scenes when a big-time in-state recruit stays home.
So Martin and I talk about the entire process. What’s it like to find out you’re good enough to play Division I football? What’s it like when all these coaches start calling? What are official visits like? What about unofficial visits? There’s a lot I wanted to know about recruiting, and Martin had some great answers.
Also, I called him a farce.
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...]
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:
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.