Hey Jenny Slater. Hey Jenny Slater.

This post will be… uncomfortable for some of you. For others, it will be very “dinosaur discusses social media”. Some might applaud. Many will boo. But I think it’s important that we, as Illini fans, talk about this. Can we maybe not be THOSE PEOPLE on Twitter? [Read more...]

Back And Forth – Wisconsin

In a podcast back in February, Steve and I talked about the upcoming Minnesota game as the pivot point. We were pretty sure we’d lose all of our road games and win all of our home games up until this point, so Minnesota would be when we learn some answers. And then we lost to Purdue and got our answers. Which makes the rest of this season harder to dissect. [Read more...]

SOC – Wisconsin

Full disclosure: when looking at the first four games of the Big Ten season, I saw two things – I thought we we’re going to lose to Purdue, and I thought we had a chance to beat Wisconsin. No, really, 10 days ago, that’s where I was. I thought we’d lose to Purdue because we’re bad; I thought we could maybe surprise Wisconsin because they’re bad. [Read more...]

By Chance

This is one of those times where I stare at a blank computer screen, waiting for a spark. I’m Thomas Jefferson, staring at his pen until “when in the course of human events” hits his brain and he has his opener. I don’t even have an opener. And I just compared myself to Thomas Jefferson. I just want to tell the story of Gary and his son. And I want to do it justice.

[Read more...]


“I’m not sick, but I’m not well.”

That’s been my standard response the last few weeks. The football team has me losing my hair in chunks. A single troll who has announced his intentions to destroy this website. Basketball recruiting and the feeling of helplessness when you want something so bad. And then I received a package in the mail. [Read more...]

We Love No Other 2.3 – The Braintrust

Calling all members of The Seventeen. If you’ve never listened to a podcast before, listen to this one. Why? Because I rounded up three of The 17 Illini Fans Who Care More About Football Than Basketball to discuss the season so far: Steve (Back-and-Forth), Craig (Craig Has The Scout), and Martin (O’Donnell, the only First Team All American on the panel). [Read more...]

Thunderstorm Rant

Weather delay. Pretty sure we’re losing, but I’m barely paying attention. I’m obsessed – OBSESSED – with wind right now. It’s all I’ve been tweeting about. All I care about. I just can’t even right now. So while the game is delayed, I shall rant. [Read more...]

SOC – Texas State

I need a blowout. My Mississippi State coworker asked me who we play this week today, and my response was “Texas State – I need to see a blowout”. His team is headed to play LSU in Baton Rouge; my team has a little bit easier road to victory. Texas State at home, and I need to see a blowout. I mean I really, really need it. [Read more...]

Those Were The Days – Texas State

You know what’s a good thing? Having non-conference opponents we’ve never played before. I mean, Detlef could take you back to a Southern Mississippi game from years past, but aren’t you glad we’re playing Texas State instead of Southern Miss? Anyway, here’s Detlef with another TWTD: [Read more...]

Media Rant!

This will be quick. And this won’t count for a click. I won’t make many friends this way, but when I get to see behind the curtain of how quotes are manufactured, I have this I WAS STANDING RIGHT THERE reaction. Maybe I’ll make enemies when I point this out, I don’t know. Maybe you’re not supposed to talk about it. But here’s why I’m annoyed:

I saw a Beckman postgame quote on a message board.

“I mean, you take out 21 points on three plays and we’re in this football game.”

I was standing right there for the entire time Beckman spoke to the media, and I couldn’t remember him specifically saying that, so I did some exploring. I googled the quote and found a Post Dispatch article:

Linebacker Shaq Thompson returned a Wes Lunt interception for a touchdown and picked up a fumble for another score as Washington (3-0) dominated the shell-shocked Illini (2-1).

“When you come in here and play a team like this you can’t turn the football over twice for touchdowns,” Illinois coach Tim Beckman said. “Can’t let a big strike go on you there defensively. In three plays we gave up 21 points.”

“I mean, you take out 21 points on three plays and we’re in this football game.”

Washington quarterback Cyler Miles threw a 75-yard touchdown to John Ross as part of a 21-point blitz that took less than six minutes of the first half. Dwayne Washington’s 12-yard TD run gave the Huskies a 28-3 lead on the first play of the second quarter.

This set off every buzzer in my head. I remember him saying the “big strike” thing, and I’m certain he didn’t follow that up with “take that out of there and we’re in this football game”. As a reformed “take away the 85 yard run and we held them to 90 yards rushing” person (I really used to do that), I would have fired on all cylinders had that line of thinking been implemented.

So I went and watched the video of the postgame interview. Yep. Cherry-picked to build a story.

You can watch if you want, but if not, here’s a quick synopsis.

Beckman says the whole “can’t allow big strikes” thing. He’s then asked about penalties. He’s then asked about Washington’s defensive ends.

Then, he’s asked what his halftime message was to his team. His answer:

“Just to keep fighting. Again, I told them it was three plays. You take out 21 points on three plays and we’re in this football game.”

That quote as a “you’re still in this, it was three bad plays, keep fighting” halftime speech and that quote as a postgame excuse are worlds apart, obviously. So to see it combined with his other quote is, to me, very irresponsible. And I’m a blogger with zero journalistic standards.

I don’t know who the culprit is – the Post Dispatch article says “From News Services”. It’s possible I’ll sit next to the person who combined the quotes next Saturday and they’ll give me the evil eye. I really need to get over the whole “I hope the other people like me up there” mentality.

It’s also possible that this was built from the postgame quotes sheet you are handed in the pressbox. The sports information people at the school listen to the postgame interviews, type out snippets, and hand them to you as you’re sitting there typing out your postgame story (am I supposed to be talking about this?). If that’s the case, I’m not sure why that system exists because so much can be taken out of context. A coach is asked to quote himself from his halftime speech and then that quote is turned into a postgame reaction quote, for example. Isn’t the point of reporting to see it and hear it yourself and then write it?

When I googled the quote, I saw it everywhere. Message boards, Twitter, wire service stories, everywhere. In a game that had so many on-the-field mistakes to be analyzed (and laid at the coach’s feet), that seems to be the biggest takeaway. I just can’t sit by when I was standing right there for the whole thing. There is a lot that must be placed on Beckman’s shoulders (which I wrote about from that pressbox), but to cherry-pick two quotes – one of them “tell us what you said at halftime” – and them smash them together is a poor way to cover a game.

I did see a few message board reactions that got it right. “There’s no way he actually said that”. Correct, he didn’t.