Still Don't Have It

Feb 21, 2023

This will be the same length as the article I wrote after Penn State. It's not even an article. I'm explaining, once again, why I'm not writing anything. So only click on this post if you want to know why. There's nothing about the game after the jump.

I'll try to keep this as short as possible. After the game on Tuesday I wrote about how we had received terrible news about our friend who passed away and I just couldn't write anything. I finally wrote something on Thursday, but it was a struggle. On Saturday, after the game (and after spending Thursday and Friday in St. Louis), I wrote about the experience and tried to process the emotions through the lens of the RJ Melendez three-pointer that didn't fall.

I tried to write again today - tried all day - and I couldn't do it. The thing I'm stuck on: the comments under the Tuesday "sorry, I just can't write anything tonight" article. I'm not sure anything has ever broken my writing brain like this.

I don't want to go deep into it, but the comments are from someone who used the statement I made - "our friend died suddenly in her 30's" - and turned it into "the vaccine killed her." This was someone I've met before, someone I drank a beer with, and the fact that someone whose hand I've shaken would use the death of our friend as a prop for his anti-vaccine campaign has shut down my brain. The mental spaces where I write my words no longer feel safe.

When I tell you this has shaken me, it has shaken me. I've started and stopped three emails to him. I have a Slack message about this saved in drafts but I can't bring myself to publish it. I'm now writing this in hopes that it will break something loose, but this doesn't exactly feel like a logjam. My mental writing space can best be described as "just be as vulnerable as you can", and the resulting emotion after this is "never be vulnerable again."

I get that 99% of you could shrug this off, but I cannot. If you like what I do, know that it's because I spent 10+ years building a mental space where I could cover the Illini in a creative way. And the best way to describe this feeling is arriving home to find the door ajar. Your blood runs cold and suddenly nothing feels safe.

I share this because I want it back and am hoping that writing these words helps me find a way. I'm kind of tripling down on vulnerability here, but maybe that will help me get the words back? Honestly I don't know what I'm doing. I just know that I started at my screen for (another) 90 minutes tonight and not a single word came out about the basketball game I just attended. So I'm hoping that writing this breaks something loose. I'm out of ideas here, so this better work.

Sorry for all the drama. The regret I will experience when I wake up tomorrow and realize that this is published is massive. But I have to try something. I need my writing brain back.


IlliniJoe81 on February 21, 2023 @ 06:36 AM

If you need to turn off comments for a while I would understand. I always hoped these comments were helpful in general or I wouldn’t say anything.

uilaw71 on February 21, 2023 @ 07:04 AM

Besides being tone deaf, that guy’s multiple posts were clearly out of bounds. As for finding your words, you never miss with the 7 iron, right?

Robert on February 21, 2023 @ 05:34 PM

I think you're right, Ken. I need to forget about the driver yips and just hit seven iron after seven iron until I feel comfortable again.

Big Angry Fish on February 22, 2023 @ 12:10 PM

Vandeveld woulda won the open if he'd have hit 7 iron, 7 iron, 7 iron at Carnoustie.

J-W on February 21, 2023 @ 07:10 AM

It may be tough to hear, but your block may have something to do with chemtrails. Something is going on and the government won't tell us. Hoping to get the word out by spamming college basketball article comment sections. Stay safe.


Sweetchuck13 on February 21, 2023 @ 07:17 AM

As far as the actual game goes, I’ll remember for a long time the crowd popping when RJ finally hit his 3 in the second half. What a huge wave of emotion. You could tell everyone was cheering for him to finally snap out of it and it was like a collective celebration. Such a cool moment.

BU had a great quote too in Wagner’s article:

Now he’s sitting there tonight and to hear 15,000-plus cheering you on and knowing they’ve got your back? That’s all you need. We all need that. We all want to have those moments where we’ve got people behind us, people helping us. That’s pretty cool. That means a lot. It means a lot to me.

Hope this is the start of a great run for RJ. He adds some different possibilities for this team.

Big Angry Fish on February 21, 2023 @ 07:47 AM

I'm not sure I have the words....I've been reading your work for years. Long before you started doing it for a living. Never felt the need to create an account and comment until now. Since I don't feed trolls or argue with brainwashed demigod worshipers on the internet let me just say you've got my support 100% and that I'm sorry you're having to deal with this in a time of grief. Whatever you're feeling (anger, disgust, sadness, hopelessness for our future) know that they're justified emotions. Godspeed.

Robert on February 21, 2023 @ 10:35 AM

Thanks. Comments like this mean so, so much to me.

AGig21 on February 21, 2023 @ 08:50 AM

since I'm older, I can say we no longer live in the world (country) I grew up in. I just didn't see the change happening so quickly. Sad. Block everyone. I like to post something from time to time but I'm here for your articles and prospective.

NaperSteve on February 21, 2023 @ 09:18 AM

Robert/IlliniBoard Folk - First, this is your business run it as you like.

My perspecive as a subscriber: I am OK with you reserving the right to delete comments that are off topic. (Illini sports) and would prepfer not to have topics posted that are not about Illini sports.
Ever since Robert declared he quit his job to make this a business, the articles have trended more to be about Robert and less about the Illini. I am happy and sad for the events in his life but put that on Facebook. This is not why I come to IlliniBoard.

We keep hearing about why he stopped doing things - being in the press box, going to press conferences, asking questions in press conferences, doing LLUOI articles. Being unhappy to see his work being posted elsewhere. I think Robert should suck it up and start focusing on this as his business. He needs to ask his questions that fuel the articles that have his perspective. His articles will always be published first in IlliniBoard.

I have to go to Illinilloyalty to see his tweet on the Quad 1 - Quad 4 analysis. Why wasn't that a short article? I do not want to go all over the Internet to try to find his information. I subscribe to 247Sports / IlliniInquirer to get current information and their insights about the Illini. They are a business and seem to find a way to provide content that is worth reading.

Take the LLUOI - which Robert said he quit because it did not contain the senior season insights - or something like that. Well the senior season ended in November or so. and I do not recall anything yet about the recruits like the LLUOIs. I would be Ok with the old LLUOI with a senior season update. If this is a business Robert should be willing to do more work than when it was a hobby.

Or why has there not been much of anything about one of the biggest Illini sport stories of this year - WBB? Providing some more in depth articles about them and their games would be good and something a business providing Illini sports info should jump on.

I re read the last? newsletter I got in November about fishing in lakes - talking about not wanting to compete but finding his own spot, Fine and dandy but if this is a business then expect competition. Do not reject providing content just because someone else also has access. Use your fan/analyst/journalist skills and put together a unique article. Drop in tidbits like the Quad 1 - Quad 4 chart with a few comments to put in perspective like how future games could impact it for better or worse. Show / comment the Big 10 standings and what future might look like with each Big 10 team beating up on each other.

Sorry for length but frankly I am tired about reading about the process of writing articles. I want articles.

mattcoldagelli on February 21, 2023 @ 09:42 AM

"First, this is your business, run it as you like"

[eight graphs telling you to run the business the way NaperSteve would like]

FME on February 21, 2023 @ 10:02 AM

I have always enjoyed Roberts style, especially his unique humor, hence why I subscribe. But you make fair points.

I also subscribe to 247, and while I can see why some people might find Jeremy grating, he is also incredibly hard working. I don’t think he sleeps. So I kinda roll my eyes about “the content wars”. I’m obviously addicted to Illini content. So the shots at them seem unfair.

Robert on February 21, 2023 @ 10:14 AM

All fair points, NaperSteve. Wish I had answers, but I don't. Just know that I spend at least four hours every day trying to figure it out.

NaperSteve on February 21, 2023 @ 10:25 AM

Understand your passion and effort you put into it. And do enjoy your style. Just think you have access to more information than us - like the services you subscribe to and there maybe low hanging fruit you could pick that is juicy to us and not hard for you that would get you over some humps.

MIlliniB on February 21, 2023 @ 10:37 AM

You're not wrong. I loved CTT, but Robert hasn't been able to commit to that in years. I wish he provided as much content as he used to. I hope this isn't taken personally. It's merely thoughts from a subscriber.

Shemp89 on February 21, 2023 @ 10:54 AM

As a human being, I've enjoyed Robert's writings for many years, and Robert you have my full support in dealing with the trolls as you see fit. I hope you have clarity and feel better very soon.

As a pure subscriber, I do kind of feel like NaperSteve. I love the articles on history, on scheduling differences, rivalries - anything Illini. We have a wealth of topics it seems now (WBB, conference realignments, etc.) and I'd love Robert's insights on those.

I don't think the two feelings above are mutually exclusive. Good luck Robert.

Mitch41 on February 21, 2023 @ 12:59 PM

I rarely, if ever, comment on sites or forums but feel like NaperSteve and Stemp provided some valuable feedback and I wanted to echo their thoughts. Not to pile on, but because I root for you, Robert, as the "VAST" majority do.

You like to draw comparisons and parallels to different teams, eras, etc., which is one of the things I enjoy about your writings. I view the last few yrs of IlliniBoard as I see the post 2005 Bruce Weber era. Starting out (you covering Illini full time) with promise and optimism, only to not reach the potential that many in the fandom thought possible. Then things started to change. There was a realization that the potential and fan expectations were not going to be met. Sure there were apologist and sympathizers but there were many who grew leery of the excuses and claims of how the system was broken or unfair.

In the end, it all comes down to the fine line of molley coddling. One day you'll look back and be proud of the fact that you did things your way... and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that... but you'll likely be doing it for a much smaller fan base than what was once possible.

tgb on February 21, 2023 @ 07:25 PM

Please. Do you think anyone on Roberts blog will want to read your babbling for that many words. Good God. Short and sweet. Haven't you learned that from your parents.

McGuive on February 21, 2023 @ 10:28 AM

Robert, I can say with near certainty that the VAST majority of us (99.9%) follow you for your humility, vulnerability, and unique perspective. Your individuality and personhood shines through the words that you write. We follow you not only for your insight and analytics, but because you allow us to get to know you, without ever having to meet you. We follow you because it feels right that you are pacing in the top row during the final several minutes of an away game, because we are at home pacing too. We follow you because we can feel the genuine joy and interest when we read articles like "There's No Spiral Staircase" because we know you. I smiled when I logged on that day and saw that article on the home screen.

You have cultivated something that is very special. I know that there are a TON of people who don't comment on these articles or interact with you on Twitter, but who read and take in everything that you post, because it's such a unique and special experience. It sounds corny, but it's hard to put into words.

That is why my heart is heavy about the comments on the previous post that you mentioned. When I read them, I couldn't believe my eyes. I can tell that it has shaken you, it has shaken many of us, too, albeit in a much MUCH less personal way.

We feel for you, we support you, and I want to speak for everyone who may not be able to find the words to comment when I say this: although there are a few rotten people in this world who have seeped into this community, you have a LOT of loyal people who are in your corner, and all of us want to do everything that we can to continue to cultivate this as a safe space for you to come to and genuinely express yourself, in any way that you see fit, which is why we have followed you for all this time.

Robert on February 21, 2023 @ 10:51 AM

Thank you, McGuive. Tears in my eyes reading this. In life we all just want to be understood, and I’m really hard to understand, so when someone gets where I’m at, it means a lot.

McGuive on February 21, 2023 @ 11:17 AM

You're welcome. We have your back.

IlliniJoe81 on February 21, 2023 @ 02:57 PM

Yep. Agree with so many commenters sending this message.

jdl on February 21, 2023 @ 11:15 AM

Yeah vulnerability and social media can be a terrible mix. The internet is just a big ol' amplifier.

The greatest thing about the internet - everyone has a voice! The worst thing about the internet - everyone has a voice!

Good luck to you my friend.

Robert on February 21, 2023 @ 06:35 PM

Thanks, JDL. See you at Grayhawk. :)

thethrash on February 21, 2023 @ 11:32 AM

Robert, I love your style, and have always respected your humility and willingness to show your vulnerability. Regarding you being so hurt about the comments that go against your vaccine bias in the “Check Back Tomorrow” article, those were from my brother and me (I came to his defense). There are two things I’d like to address. (1) That article wasn’t a sports article so a person should have the liberty to post a comment that is not directly related to Illini sports in the comment section. I wouldn’t have done so myself, but I can understand someone doing so. I wouldn’t have because I don’t think there is anything that can be accomplished as both sides are dug in on their positions. (2) Most people that follow the news associate “died suddenly” these days to the COVID vaccine. Therefore, in my opinion, I think a reasonable person should expect speculation around someone’s sudden death. I would find that inappropriate if it was the sudden death of someone very close to you (but as you even stated in the article, it wasn’t someone very close to you). Instead, your reaction to my brother’s comments were, in my opinion, met with shock, and disgust, which I think made you post hastily and emotionally. This shouldn’t surprise most of you, but there is a huge chunk of this country that never got the vaccine for what they consider to be paramount reasons and never will. I won’t elaborate on those because that isn’t the point of this comment.

I post this at further risk of being isolated and ostracized from what is at least a vocal minority on Illiniboard - those that look down on others that are anti-COVID vaccination, those that throw the word “Christian” around as a derogatory term, those that label anti-COVID vaccine proponents as ignorant, and those that have traditional conservative Christian values as something to look down upon.

I have considered cancelling my subscription due to the hatred my brother and I received from some of you. I know that would make a lot of you happy. For now, I am not cancelling because I like Robert’s unique content, and like him as a person so I want to support him doing what he loves to do. I look forward to Robert’s coverage of what I hope is a magical March tourney run and hopefully open media availability of Spring Camp.

McGuive on February 21, 2023 @ 12:24 PM

Again, you are just quite simply missing the entire point.

thethrash on February 21, 2023 @ 12:38 PM

That is your opinion. I agree on not using the comment section of Illiniboard to debate non-sports topics. However, the scope of what this is about expanded past that contention when Robert and the rest of you that commented labeled him/me as “disgusting”, as a “crazy” and in effect assaulting his/my character. It has compelled me to speak out in his defense, and now mine. This is one comment I received on the slack channel: “keep on “winning” patriot, Christian and STFU!

Have a good day and Go Illini.

Dix on February 21, 2023 @ 02:14 PM

“Disgusting” or “crazy” didn’t seem to be in response to you being anti-vax (or Christian or whatever other categories you want to use to play victim), it was the time, place, and launching point for this “debate.”

But you know that.

thethrash on February 21, 2023 @ 02:43 PM

We are going to have to agree to disagree. Telling me what I know is pretty presumptuous. The moral outrage about this is ironic when compared to what moral outrage there should be (and is for those of us that have stood against the vaccine mandate and those harmed by it) for the infringement of free speech, and personal liberty that has occurred and continues to occur.

Ellisrt1031 on February 22, 2023 @ 11:18 AM

Simple..this isn't the place for this. You are free to believe it but no reason to post it here.

Damnear_Kroopalija on February 21, 2023 @ 03:15 PM

I facetiously called your brother a “Christian Patriot” because you both are neither. That’s what the quotes were for. If you really were a Christ like Christian, you never would have said any of this. And as for “Patriot,” y’all lost the right to say that on January 6, 2021. So, ya, STFU!

thethrash on February 21, 2023 @ 04:03 PM

I don’t have to prove my faith to you. It is obvious what kind of person you are by your language.

Damnear_Kroopalija on February 21, 2023 @ 04:28 PM


OrangeBlazer on February 21, 2023 @ 01:42 PM

"(2) Most people that follow the news associate “died suddenly” these days to the COVID vaccine. "

No, this is not what most people think. Most people hear "died suddenly" and assume what people have always assumed (and what continues to be true): maybe a heart attack, or car accident, or other tragic event.

thethrash on February 21, 2023 @ 03:08 PM

I shouldn’t have said most. I’ll give you that. Those of us that haven’t been vaccinated do associate “died suddenly” with the COVID vaccine. That said, I would find it hard to believe that even a COVID vaccine proponent would claim ignorance to hearing about “crazies” attributing the increase in stories of people dying suddenly to the COVID vaccine.

FME on February 22, 2023 @ 01:12 AM

Anyone with a shred of real empathy would get their facts before using a person’s death to “start the conversation about (insert literally anything)” It’s just terrible taste

thethrash on February 22, 2023 @ 08:37 AM

I already agreed that he shouldn’t have posted what he did. What those that are pro-COVID vax can’t see is that my brother’s intent was born from empathy (care for the health of others). He should have exercised better judgement by knowing it would not be well received (circumstance and place). But anyone with real empathy for others would also not disparage someone’s character in a public forum. I don’t expect any of you to agree, since you all are dug in on your position. And I can see why you all ate - it would be hard to psychologically to deal with the possibility that you and your loved ones might have made a huge mistake (mostly due to no fault of your own - as some might have been coerced by employers).

Robert on February 22, 2023 @ 01:07 PM

I need to address you and your brother with one thing:

You speak (above) of how your "traditional Christian values" are being looked down upon in the responses you received. And I just need to let you know how far your actions have departed from that. You wounded me and don't seem to care (besides "shouldn't have said that BUT..."). In my view, you've chosen the way of the Pharisee, the belief that you're doing The Right Thing blinding you to how much damage you're inflicting.

I'd be willing to meet to discuss this if you two are up to it. You have my email and you can reach me on Slack. Personally, I want to tell you more about my wife's friend who passed away. I want to tell you what kind of person she was, and what she'd want to see come out of all of this.

Fidago on February 22, 2023 @ 01:12 PM

Doubling down when you are speaking in the wrong topic in wrong forum at the wrong time means that your and your brother's intentions no longer. Just stop posting here. Go to whatever site you want to talk about vaccines. This is NOT the site for it.

IlliniJoe81 on February 21, 2023 @ 03:06 PM

Even if you were 100% right, it's more just about the idea of "not the time and place."

I've made comments that I felt strongly about but just landed entirely differently than I intended. It can be hard to take a step back and see that when you're on Twitter or making internet comments.

I assume you care more about the humanity of the people you are engaging with rather than the specific idea you are debating. If you expressed that feeling I think most everyone would move on.

Robert is an empathy guy. We love that about him, but it means he's making himself vulnerable in a public way. He's had a rough time lately and I hope some of the commenters here can lift him up the same way that the 15,000 lifted up RJ last night. That's what our Illini family is all about.

thethrash on February 21, 2023 @ 03:14 PM

Thank you for the reasonable comment. Yes I do care about the person more than the argument. My brother should not have posted what he did in this forum. I admitted that. However, the vitriolic response from those on this board is much worse than him not “reading the room”.. that is why I keep defending him and me. The intolerance of differing viewpoints is read.

IlliniJoe81 on February 22, 2023 @ 11:39 AM

I'm good with that. Best wishes to both of you.

Big Angry Fish on February 22, 2023 @ 12:18 PM

My Christ wouldn't have taken Robert's grief and sorrow as a sign to politically educate him as to the nefarious actions of the Roman vaccinators. Instead, he'd have consoled him and comforted him in his time of need. Perhaps you and your brother know a different Christ and God?

thethrash on February 23, 2023 @ 01:17 PM

Again another personal attack claiming I know a different Christ than your Christ. And it wasn’t a political attack aimed to educate - intent was concern for others health.

Jesus did overthrow the moneychangers and scourged them to get them out of the temple. That is an example of righteous anger. My brother (from his perspective) has righteous anger (like a very large, censored portion of this country and the world) toward the perpetrators of this vaccine. My brother tried to politely diffuse the potential of a vitriolic response, by explaining his intent in his first post in the “Check Back Tomorrow” article.

I do agree that he was inappropriate in his choosing of where and when to broach the subject. However, I disagree with making the assumption that Jesus wouldn’t call out the evil of the vaccine, and instead would stay silent in order not to upset someone. God’s word is supposed to be preached to admonish and correct (and encourage)us. Sometimes that upsets us - It’s called conviction. I know in many churches these days that there is no hard preaching that convicts a sinner to change their life to conform to God’s word. Instead what is predominately preached is a prosperity feel-good gospel. Everyone then becomes right in their own eyes, continues in sin, and is unable to discern truth. This is really a retort only to your assertion that Jesus would ignore the evil around him. on February 21, 2023 @ 11:43 AM

Thanks for having the courage to be vulnerable and post today's note to everyone! I completely get your feelings, and understand why you feel this way!! As a long-time subscriber, I can only imagine what it must be like for you when posting articles where you pour your heart into it and share your unique and wonderful perspectives about the Beloved Illini and get crazy comments!

My only ask is for you to do your best to NOT internalize every comment posted (which I know is not easy) and try to ignore comments such as our vaccine friend's crazy post....easier said than done, I know! That said, at this stage of your writing career, you certainly should know that there are "crazies" out there waiting to post garbage comments and I hope you can accept that the internet always allows for that; learn to ignore it by not being surprised by the crazy comments; and try to rise above it such that you do not allow the crazies to "silence" your creativity and the sharing of your thoughts that creates so much enjoyment for so many--......hang-in there, Robert, and keep the faith!!**

IRONMERCHANT on February 21, 2023 @ 12:16 PM

Robert, I don't know if I've ever commented before - but I've read your blog for years. Great information and perspective on UI sports, but that's not why I read. I see the unusual (for this setting) compassion and empathy you bring to the table in how you do this, and that inspires me to bring more of that to my daily life as well. I'm a better person as a result of what you do, and I appreciate you deeply. We live in a broken world, and that response proves it - but I think we all already knew that. In such a world, all any of us can do is show kindness and love to the people we come into contact with. That will fail to reach many, but you have reached me and made a difference for good.

Robert on February 21, 2023 @ 06:34 PM

Damn, man. Thanks. I appreciate you matching my vulnerability with your own vulnerability. This comment means a lot to me.

Chief4ever on February 22, 2023 @ 12:30 AM

This comment is so why you need a “like” or upvote button. :) Trolls gonna troll. Gotta ignore the negative and keep spreading kindness. on February 21, 2023 @ 01:39 PM

Thanks for sharing your feelings. I am grateful for your writing gifts and your humanity.

OrangeBlazer on February 21, 2023 @ 01:40 PM

As someone who has occupied many of the same Illini internet spaces that you have for the last 20 years, and as someone who is pretty active on social media and has family and friends who occupy every end of the political spectrum, my blood also ran cold reading the comments after the article in question. Like most of us I'm sure, I've seen a lot of internet conversations derailed over the years, and I still found myself calling my brother at midnight to express disbelief at the comments on that article.

And that is not to make this about me, but simply to try and relate--if I found myself shaken by the comments, I can only imagine what you felt.

All I can do is echo what others have said, and try to offer the same reassurances: you do really good work and people want to and enjoy reading that work.

Unfortunately, whether it's here, Twitter, or message boards, there always have been and will be an extreme (but vocal) few interested in turning these conversations into something personal or whatever their own particular pet topic/agenda is. I'm sure getting around that isn't easy, and I hope you find a way.

Robert on February 21, 2023 @ 06:34 PM

You'd think I would have learned this by now, right?


purcy51 on February 21, 2023 @ 07:52 PM

Right, one would think that you would've learned that by now. But what would be the result? Inevitably, you'd change how you do what you do. And we ( your subscribers) would be the lesser for it. I think I can speak for most of us when I say we don't want you to change. So don't beat yourself up about it. I identify so much with how you view sports in general and Illini sports specifically. That helps me to feel less lonely in this world, and I need that after the last few years! And I imagine I'll need it more in the future if current trends continue. Let reiterate: don't beat yourself up and keep being you.

TheScribe on February 21, 2023 @ 03:05 PM

You own and control the Board. If you get comments that are off point, delete them. Offer the commenter a refund if he paid for a subscription. Move on. You are A Lion Eye. Focus on the reason you are here.

thethrash on February 21, 2023 @ 03:18 PM

I agree with you - Robert can feel free to delete my comments and my subscription. It is his site. I think in retrospect he should have just deleted my brother’s post and moved on. I would have agreed with that decision.

jdapisa on February 21, 2023 @ 10:04 PM

I echo this Robert. Remove the noise and the things that make you unhappy here - if I had to guess the vast majority of us agree with you. You are a good dude that has lots to offer the Illini fan community. Don’t let the crazies prohibit you from doing what makes you happy. Deactivate, delete, refund, and let’s all move on.

Robert on February 22, 2023 @ 12:14 PM

I'm not objecting to the content, though. I was hurt by the action and noted that in my initial response (using our friend's lifeless body as a prop for a political debate).

Deleting does nothing at that point. Processing the hurt is the only way through.

tgb on February 21, 2023 @ 07:34 PM

Robert, Your an old school Illini believer. It takes decades to reach that devotion, and total fandom. I just wrote in the word fandom and thought there is no way that is a real word. Hey you can teach an old dog new tricks. I personally don't think you have to tell us everything in both sports, because that in my mind is a lot of extra work, when your on your blog time frame. Relax, because you're very good at what you do.

wetscheid on February 21, 2023 @ 11:20 PM

Robert, like someone else said this is my first post. But I have followed you for a long time. I just want to say I support you and will wait for you to get right. As for the line of critique comments I wanted to say the reason I subscribed to you is because you are different than 247 and Illini Guys and others. Don't change to be like them. My wife is also a big fan of you. Thoughts and prayers for your loss.

HailToTheOrange on February 22, 2023 @ 12:40 AM

Just a quick post to say that I really disagree with naper Steve and the 2-3 other commenters who echoed his sentiments. I truly appreciate Robert's analysis for both football AND bball (and the occasional golf, vball, baseball post). But I also deeply appreciate him showing his humanity, including his struggles with Illini-related topics as well as topics that are more personal in nature. That's what gives this site, the slack channel, the email, etc. a unique take because it is so human. You can rail that one comes at the expense of the other, but I think that's BS. And if you are all in for analytics and analysis and nothing else, there are plenty of sites to give you that. Stop complaining and patronize those sites. I know that I'm not alone in being grateful for Robert's unique perspective and big heart. So sign me up for more posts on flight paths, train travel, world's cutest granddaughter justification, sharing on why the braggin rights games mean so much, etc etc.

droidillini on February 22, 2023 @ 10:47 AM

I know what will get your writing brain back on track. Tomorrow night, NW vs. ILL! Huge game, can't stand NW. Win or lose, I think you will find your words again! Keep doing your thing Robert, always enjoy reading those words.

22 on February 22, 2023 @ 01:03 PM

Robert, I literally wouldn't be where I am today without you and your words, but more so your overwhelming kindness. There's plenty of places to spew ignorance and this amazing space that you have built is not one of them. With you during this time and always -Bryce

Robert on February 22, 2023 @ 02:25 PM

Thanks, Bryce. So glad you reached out.

22 on February 23, 2023 @ 03:08 PM

Just seeing your post and of course this comment. Lots of very eloquent supportive comments above so I won't try to add much other than, please don't change a thing and I really hope writing what you wrote, which was incredibly brave, and seeing this support, helps get you back to doing what you do best. You're a gifted writer and I've long appreciated your perspective.

With support, 22sr

Alaskan Illini on February 23, 2023 @ 12:43 PM

Robert, remember that it's wise not to mud wrestle with a (n internet) pig. You'll both get dirty and the pig will like it.

Keep doing that voo doo that you do . . . . - Hedley Lamarr

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