From The Stands - Indiana

Nov 11, 2017

This is a really long one. 25 minutes I think. I don't even want to post it - it's just me rambling on and on about how nobody understands what this school puts the fans through. But there I am in the stands, gutpunched, and I'm watching bands dancing. I'm listening to Club Memorial Stadium and watching opposing fans celebrate and dance and I'm just not sure anyone understands how hard this is.

Maybe it's just me. Maybe I just take all of this way too seriously. But I spend so much of my free time on this football program and I feel like no one understands what we the fans are asked to endure. I don't mean that in a "fire everyone" sense - I believe the program can be more damaged by change than lack of change at this point. I just don't understand why no one seems to care. The band is still on the field when the team is trying to come out after halftime and they're spraying fire extinguishers during their performance staining the field with white powder and the team is stuck in the tunnel and DOESN'T EVERYONE REALIZE WE HAVE TO FIX THE FOOTBALL OR ELSE NONE OF THIS MATTERS?

If I'm the band director and my halftime show is going long and THE TEAM HAS A SHORTENED WARM UP BEFORE THE SECOND HALF then I'm shutting down the three-in-one mid-"rivers gently flowing" and telling everyone to run off the field because the football team is all that matters. If I'm playing the music from the scoreboard after the game I'm not thinking "hey, this will put everyone in a good mood". If I'm in charge of timeouts I'm not not honoring the golf team or wheeling out the hall-of-famers in golf carts or any of that. If I'm in charge of the uniforms I'm sticking with the standards until we deserve to wear the Gray Ghosts. I'm very clearly communicating "until the football looks better, we're not going to act like this is fun". I need to know that Indiana 24, Illinois 14 hurts them as much as it hurts me.

Because man does it hurt.

Warning: long and ramble-y.


Bear8287 on November 11 @ 03:52 PM CST

Maybe I just take all of this way too seriously.

Of course you do Robert, but that's why we love you and subscribe to IlliniBoard.

MoCoMdIllini on November 11 @ 04:40 PM CST

Would you get a chance to air these concerns with the AD? I'm guessing he cares.

MuckFichigan92 on November 11 @ 05:12 PM CST

JW does not care about such things, e.g. Oregon-like # of jerseys, Club MS, for if he did, they would not happen.

bkenny on November 11 @ 08:06 PM CST

I would guess that JW isn't very aware of Club Memorial. Probably inside the NE tower or whatever. However, if Club Memorial was going on in the locker room after a game, you think he'd care? Obviously. So why is the stadium any different? They are playing that music for the fans, I guess...but who wants it? Who doesn't hate it? Who wants to listen to that on their walk out? It's almost like they're trying to white wash the loss. "Hey, I know you're frustrated, but here's some cool beats to make those feelings disappear?" It's completely tone deaf. The Cubs don't crank out Go Cubs Go after a loss, do they?

The halftime thing was a circus, and that matters. White field, delaying the team coming out, who is in charge here? I'm glad I'm not the only one that noticed this and cared. I'm staring at the clock thinking "what the heck are they still doing out here?"

Furthermore, the half starts, and the bands are doing a really loud combo drum line while he kickoff happens, and it carries over into our TD! What the hell? It was near me so I could barely hear crowd noise, nor oskee (which took place sans drums). Circus, but I came for a football game. It was like when fans do the wave at a game, telling you the game isn't important. Except here, it's our own ops staff telling us it's irrelevant. Here, watch this drum thing because we're way behind on timing.

Band director also doesn't know what a hurry up offense is and is continually playing into the play for IU (think we can be penalized and/or fined for this, correct?)

All terrible game ops decisions. I worked in game ops for a professional team for a while. We're absolutely clueless. Look, the play on the field is frustrating enough. I don't need a circus going on around it or "everything's ok look over here!" music in the way out.

Robert's right - people should be on the way out thanking me and everyone else for driving two hours or whatever each way to attend this game, not turning it into more of a joke. Especially if they are trying to raise 300 million or whatever the number is.

This stuff does matter, and it does bother me as well. It just reinforces the old "we're Illinois, we can't do anything right", even stuff off the field.

PS they need to play Katy Perry more (need more post 11am games for fireworks), that's a From The Stands frustration staple. Now anytime I hear that song I think about FTS. I'm probably not alone.

ATOillini on November 11 @ 05:14 PM CST

I wholeheartedly agree on the Club Memorial Stadium thing. I cringe every time I listen to one of these podcasts....."Crack that whip!!!". Really painful. Some of your other complaints I'm not so sure. As to the overall state of things, yes I agree it's us vs. Kansas for the cellar. But you made a rather glowing statement about the freshman class just last week, so you just have to hope it gets better. No other choice. And saying how much it hurts when it's your (and ours too) free will to care really doesn't help. Self-pity a waste of time. fyi.....I felt much worse after the '89 Final Four loss to Michigan and '05 loss to NC. I thought we were the better team in both cases. Special seasons that were so close, but....

IlliNYC on November 11 @ 09:24 PM CST

Wisconsin--in the depths of being terrible--always had the 5th Quarter and students/fans would stay after the game and sing, etc. and it didn't keep them from building a program. I'm guess I'm not comparing Club Memorial Stadium to that, but not sure instituting a "don't act like a football program until you win" or "no fun after losses" is a good idea either.

thumpasaurus on November 12 @ 03:51 PM CST

I know that feeling. I had a tantrum in the stands a few years ago after a big loss to Wisconsin when we shot off fireworks as their players went over to some visiting fans and celebrated.

I've been saying this for years. If you're gonna take a trip to a Big Ten away game, it's gotta be Illinois. I wish I could be a visiting fan at Illinois. great would it be if our next game was a road game at Illinois, and we could make a trip to that game and feel a little better about the program and even have some fun?

It's so frustrating. I hate it. Hate hate hate hate hate.

Sweetchuck13 on November 13 @ 09:49 AM CST

I always laugh when Robert mentions Club Memorial Stadium - but honestly what would you rather have them play? Nothing at all since we lost? Or some other type of music?

Sweetchuck13 on November 13 @ 10:12 AM CST

Also, this From The Stands may be your worst "Get off my lawn" moment in a while. I think you're being unfair to the band about the post-game stuff. Them being on the field too long at halftime was inexcusable, but I really don't mind anything they do after the game to have fun - even with the other band. They're college kids and they deserve to have fun doing what they do.

If the football team was out there dancing around after a loss, that'd be a different story, but let the band have their fun. I get your overall point that it looks like we don't take football seriously, but I don't think having the band quietly sulk out of the stadium is going to change things.

bkenny on November 13 @ 11:41 AM CST

Here are some really easy, off-the-cuff suggestions to run through that you can justify for one reason or another:

The Verve - Bitter Sweet Symphony

Semisonic - Closing Time

Old 97s - Champaign, Illinois

Brett Eldredge - Illinois

CD of Marching Illini songs

I can justify any of these, and they'd fit it without annoying people. Turning it into Club Memorial is completely tone deaf and insulting to the fans.

It also doesn't have to be at volume 100...

Bear8287 on November 14 @ 01:15 AM CST

Creedence Clearwater - Lookin' Out My Back Door

Dan Fogelberg - Illinois

Closing Time, you don't have to go home, but you can't stay here... :-)

NERDstats on November 13 @ 12:56 PM CST


I get it. I spend 4-6 hours every weekend putting together the breakdowns, and my wife thinks I'm insane. I think I'm insane. I don't get paid to do that, and it's just disheartening that people who are paid a lot of money to somehow support the football team just don't seem to care whether or not the team wins. Not just the coaching staff, but the stuff Robert talks about here as well.

Why are we blaring music on offensive 3rd downs? Why are we delaying our team coming out for the 2nd half? Why are we pretending that football is not a problem?

Meanwhile, I'm highlighting that time Tre Watson missed his gap assignment which led to the RB getting an extra 2 yards, and I feel like there's like 4 people on the planet that might possibly give a crap.

illiniranger on November 14 @ 09:26 AM CST

i greatly appreciate your work on those and each one is a must watch for me. please keep it up, four of us are counting on you!

IlliniHimey on November 13 @ 07:09 PM CST

Well.....well.....well.....welcome to my world. I have been barking about this since 1996. You forgot to add that it should piss you off that these players were probably “owning” Kams on Saturday night, when they should have been back at their rooms- sitting in the fetal position. This program will never get it. A permanent shit show.

Illini1000 on November 13 @ 10:59 PM CST

Illini1000 on November 13 @ 11:02 PM CST

You are a lunatic. The reason the band was on the field afterwords was because the Marching Illini invited them to come perform with them and march back to the band building. It's a tradition going back years and years. The Marching Illini will be traveling to Ohio State next week TO SUPPORT THE TEAM THROUGH THICK AND THIN. What is your issue. Just because the team doesn't meet your expectation doesn't mean the band can't still support the team and have a great time doing it. A lot of members in that band have friends from high school in the Indiana band and some of them will go on to be co workers with them. What is wrong with you. I have been an Illini fan since I was born and I still go crazy the whole game supporting my team. maybe if you weren't so negative and actually enjoyed the game and being with friends and hearing the music and the smell of concessions and stopped complaining so much, you would realize that there is sooooo much more to sports than the final score. I can not believe you are harassing people the way you are. What the B1G bands have as a group is special and can not be found anywhere else and it's sad that you can't see that. I know what you are going through. I care. I should also inform you, that those fire extinguishers where powder chemical fire retardant and cause no more harm to the field than the paint used to draw the temporary 50 yard line through the State of Illinois logo on the field. Do you not think that the Nation's Premier College Marching Band would think that through. you are so thick headed. The Team can come out of the tunnel when ever they want. they choose to wait for the band. Why do you care what happens after the game. like you said, there is no one there. Why can the band members not be friends. Just because you are in a stuck up bad mood doesn't mean every one has to be. The athletic program does thank everyone for being there by providing such fine entertainment such as the Marching Illini. Stop saying "Us the fans" we don't want to be associated with you. The band is there for football. Otherwise they wouldn't be there. You can't hang your head until you win, or else you WILL NEVER WIN. You are insane. I can not even put into words how much i wish you weren't a part of this fan base.

Bear8287 on November 14 @ 01:22 AM CST

... and just about when I'm thinking, hmmm, maybe we're not going to see one of these posts.


bkenny on November 14 @ 07:48 AM CST

Uh oh, we found the crazy former band member

Illini1000 on November 14 @ 10:57 AM CST

Not a former band member. But... I do happen to actually know what is going on....

dsboyce on November 15 @ 11:13 PM CST

Yes, because the reason I go to games is to enjoy the smell of the concessions.

bkenny on November 14 @ 08:46 PM CST

You saying:

"The Team can come out of the tunnel when ever they want. they choose to wait for the band."

Tells everyone you don't have a clue what's going on.

HiggsBoson on November 14 @ 09:21 PM CST

Historically, the Marching Illini have been far better than the football team, which is only good every once in awhile. Back when I was an undergrad in the post slush fund years, it was worth having tickets to see the band and the Chief even when the football team was very bad indeed. Punt hitting the returner in the head and bouncing away bad, at that.

Robert is upset because it's becoming obvious that Lovie Smith has cronies, but no magic and we're back to hoping to get through the Ohio State game without anyone getting killed.

illlinizeeman on November 15 @ 05:07 PM CST


You observed the same thing I did. The band truly f'd things up for the beginning of the 2nd half. It was HIGHLY extraordinary. 1983 was my first live game, and I have witnessed nothing close to anything like this occurring. Usually, I sense a show going a little long and always wonder how the band is going to exit the field on time, but they ALWAYS (sans Saturday) do. I don't care how badly the team is struggling. The band does not do that on game day.

Sorry MI, we appreciate you, but be accountable, learn, and move on.

Secondly, the person controlling the board needs to chill so that I can have more than 10 seconds of silence in my game experience, and they consistently play over the QB signals. That is inexcusable.

Post game, it's fine. Both programs are at the bottom of their divisions and they're kids; let them have fun.

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