Great column, Robert. You nailed it; any and all promotion of this program has felt increasingly insulting, and it has been going that way for years.
I don’t want to see BTN or Fighting Illini Football trying to pump up this game on Twitter when we’re -31 and +2500. I don’t want to hear about how we showed “fight” coming back after Michigan completely outclassed us romping to a 28-point (and nearly a 35-point) lead. I don’t want to hear about how it’s a great opportunity to get exposure for the program playing Week Zero in Ireland, when I assume we’ll just give up 363.2794 meters rushing to Nebraska in front of 15,000 Husker fans across the pond and a national TV audience at home.
I know the media staff and AD has to do it, because it’s their job, but it all rings so hollow and insulting. And, as a result, we reflexively crap all over anything that Illinois puts out there. The program tweets a picture of the covered Butkus statue before it’s unveiled, and the replies ask when we’re firing the coach. We announce that we’re going to Ireland, and the response is that we can lose games just as easily here as we can overseas. BTN Tailgate is coming to town, and the immediate suggestions are what signs we can make to express our agony to the rest of the world.
I’m sure I’ll get new coach syndrome just like i get August syndrome every summer, but it gets a little milder with every relapse. Until then, though, I agree with your request: please, just leave us alone.