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September 7, 2021 @ 02:40 PM

I get the fan apathy when year after year fans don't see a consistent winning product. Why would they want to attend a football game in November when the team has nothing to play for except for pride, it's very cold out, and the promise of a exciting men's basketball season is around the corner. I moved to Champaign 10 years ago. I have a work colleague who is a U of I grad and several times I offered to give him a free ticket to the football games to attend with me. Most of the time he turns me down, and the reasons weren't because he had other plans. In one case, he said he would rather watch Netflix that afternoon. I have season tix to men's basketball games and I made friends with fellow season ticket holders who sit by me. I have offered them free football tickets several times and not once have they taking me up on that offer. Once again, not because they had other plans, just were not interested. I also cringe when I over hear a local ask if a home football game just got played after the game was over. My guess is you would hear that question or have any of the rejection of free tickets in Tuscaloosa, Columbus, Austin, etc. It is sad that gameday in Champaign-Urbana doesn't have the hype it used to have and not the same in the cities I mentioned. I am hoping we can become a Madison. Prior to Alvarez's arrival at Wisconsin, fans at Badger games were sparse. So much so, the famous fifth quarter by the band was created. I am hoping that our program can be the next "Wisconsin" and Illini fans will care about both football and men's basketball.

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