From The Stands - Charlotte

Oct 2, 2021

I'll just quickly describe it all.

I get to my pressbox seat 14 seconds before kickoff (literally 0:14). Stayed a little too long at the tailgate. But that's OK. Caught the elevator, caught the start of the game.

I put my AirPods in my ears. Switch them to noise canceling mode. Pull up my pressbox playlist. Watch the game. This has been my routine for several years now. Always drown everything out with music.

When Charlotte drives for the TD to make it 7-3, the classical music in my pressbox playlist isn't loud enough. Noise canceling on, music turned up - I can still hear the pressbox volume. It used to be a working environment, but now it's a gamewatch.

So I have to switch up my music. I flip to a Hans Zimmer playlist (movie soundtracks). Much louder. Drowns everything out. Good. Fixed it.

But now my normal Twitter/Slack routine is a mess. So much anger. I'm listening to the main theme from Inception, and the intensity of that + the intensity of every word being thrown my way is just too much. Gotta find my groove.

So I start flipping through the playlist. I land on some tune called "Matera" from the No Time To Die soundtrack. It relaxes me. So I put it on repeat. It's two minutes long, but this is enough to A) block out the pressbox "WHY WOULD YOU THROW THAT THERE??" and B) drown out the Twitter/Slack hate. Found my groove.

Here's what I was listening to, if you're curious.

Calm. Serene. Deep breaths, Robert.

But then there's a play just before half where two reporters to my left start openly complaining. They're louder than the noise canceling and "Matera" is too soft. I go to the mentions tab on Twitter. More bludgeoning. I go over to the Slack channel to just chat with subscribers. Hammers are out, pounding any Illini football thing that moves.

So I called it. Packed up my bag and headed down to the stands to join two of my sons, one of their wives, and one of their girlfriends. I avoided Twitter. Bowed out on Slack. Tossed it all in my bag and just fan'd the entire second half. Hung out with my kids. Clapped my hands. Just watched a football game. And my goodness did I enjoy that.

Casey Washington fights for a first down. Kerby Joseph gets his hand on a certain touchdown pass. Wild Goose Chase goes wild. Illini win.

Found it again.

So this From The Stands is all you're going to get until later tonight. I have a lot to say, but those kids are with my wife at the tailgate right now, and I can't wait to go join them.


GilThorpe on October 2, 2021 @ 03:07 PM

nice to get a win .

not so nice that we had no real passing game.

it’s a little frustrating to watch

FightingIllini618 on October 2, 2021 @ 03:54 PM

Social media and cable news have normalized entitled and petulant whining. Hate that it’s infiltrated sports because that’s supposed to be an escape from stuff like that, but it’s the world we live in. Glad you were able to enjoy the second half and you’re certainly not weird or alone in feeling the way you did in the first.

ktcesw on October 2, 2021 @ 05:46 PM

Great thoughts!

tmiller33 on October 2, 2021 @ 08:09 PM

I’ll be honest when I saw the Casey catch and fight I was initially like yeah way to fight but then went to you wouldn’t have had to if you ran the route past the sticks. So count me guilty too.

tmiller33 on October 2, 2021 @ 08:09 PM

I’ll be honest when I saw the Casey catch and fight I was initially like yeah way to fight but then went to you wouldn’t have had to if you ran the route past the sticks. So count me guilty too.

tgb on October 2, 2021 @ 08:16 PM

Hi Robert,

Sorry for a late comment. Had to watch several Grandkids today. I feel that if we had a 40-60 run/pass on first down we could keep the defense from stacking the line. We should have a series of 5-7 yard fast passing slants, in the flat, or anything that could generate some movement on the early downs. Tell BB that if I was the coach of Illinois with nothing to lose, I would go on 4 down every time we were in plus territory. Just think how your offense would feel the coach had confidence in them. We want hope and excitement, not go by the book BS. Saw Butkus play in the 64 Rose Bowl at the age of 8, and never lost my LOVE for the O and B.

Efremwinters84 on October 3, 2021 @ 06:45 AM

I really love this comment and your observations.

Great perspective! And I agree with you on all counts. Sure wish I could have seen Butkus - (but watching his nephew on a Big Ten Championship club in 1983 was nearly as good.)

SuburbanIllini on October 3, 2021 @ 08:09 AM

Watched the game from the stands too, Robert. We had our alumni clubs tailgate event.

Nothing like seeing it live, regardless of the outcome.

ktal on October 3, 2021 @ 08:18 AM

I hope the son with the wife and the son with the girlfriend weren't the same son. /s

BCstealn on October 3, 2021 @ 11:58 AM

"This is my thing. And I love doing it" That all anyone should ever need to know.......

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