Dolphins at Bears Open Thread

I am just too busy so I am unable to represent at the game today. I think Carl will be there though. Lets make this one unexciting and just pound the fish into the Soldier’s Field’s turf.

Interesting Comment on Illinois Football

One “t. dussault” dropped in a great comment from my post of a while ago “Not Sure if I want It”. It reads:

I attended Illinois in the late 60’s, graduating in 1971. Even started to play.

Its too easy to claim we play straight. That suggests the only way you find wins, is avoiding rules. Baloney. My university just never prioritized its football program. Hard as it is to believe, you can be successful and do it within the rules.

Illinois is bad because it never committed to excellence. What it needs to do is find a name coach who can induce athletes to matriculate. Someone who will immediately make people notice. John Gruden is probably perfect.

Beckman should NEVER have been hired. He has no appeal, is considered a clown, and was that prior to getting the job. It was another testimonial to the brilliant athletic department that hired the new A.D. Another sure fire star.

What is so sad, is that the Illinois endowment could be massive with our having the largest living alumni body in the world, and their contributing if they felt some pride. The program is a joke and the sparse 25,000 fans that go to Memorial Stadium are about the only few left who care. Very sad.

There is a lot of good in this comment, so I want to take it apart a bit and discuss. First, I scoured the Illinois rosters for the time period “t. dussault” mentions, and I didn’t see him. That doesn’t mean that he wasn’t on the team, or that he isn’t using an internet handle, but I thought that should be out there. On to the meat of the comment.

T. Dussault takes me to task by saying that my main point was that we don’t win because we aren’t playing by the rules. I guess this is part true, but part not. If you don’t blatantly flaunt the rules, you will NEVER be a top tier program. But, there is no reason you can’t follow the rules and be successful. Look at Northwestern and Stanford. The key is that you have to define what, to you, is success. Northwestern knows that they will never be a Florida State or Auburn and they are comfortable with that. I would love for Illinois to have a good team and go to a bowl every year. I think that is not unreasonable. But we have to define what we want.

But, I give you Wisconsin. They are on the cusp of being one of the top 15 or 20 programs in the nation and are intentionally putting teams like LSU and Alabama on their schedule. How did this happen? I give you another part of t. dussault’s comment. A commitment to excellence. This all started with Barry Alvarez. And the whole damned state is supportive. Everyone is on the same page. There is no reason this cannot happen at Illinois. As t. dussault mentions, Illinois has a giant alum base all over the world (someone once said wherever you go, there are Illini) and even some modicum of success would be met with new donations and a likely resurgence of pride.

But t. dussault is also right in demanding a coaching change. I have said for a long time that Beckman is a clown, and he is. We have to start all over. Again. Probably a pretty good idea to get rid of the AD too. Whether starting over would be with a certified star like Gruden, or an assistant at a big program like Alverez was, it needs to happen. And we need to define success. Do we want thugs that are terrorizing citizens like Jameis Winston or do we want to do it Northwestern style, and get players who actually go to school and are productive people? With the latter style, we will only go so far. But I would be fine with that.

FanDuel Analysis and Question

Over at my “mothership”, LITGM, I put up a post analyzing FanDuel and give my take on it. Click here if you are interested. Also, I had a thought of starting up some challenges there for us 12 guys that read this website. Probably a $2 entry fee, limit six players, salary cap rules. If we don’t get six, the contest for that week would be cancelled and FanDuel returns the money. Let me know in the comments. And yes, I know fantasy football is dumb.

No wonder I feel Depressed: Sayreville War Memorial High School

The Sayreville War Memorial High School football program has been cancelled.

Seven Sayreville football players have been arrested on charges ranging from aggravated criminal sexual assault to criminal restraint. It is unclear at this time whether the students will be charged as juveniles or as adults.

Hundreds of school supporters attended a rally on Sunday, seeking to promote the community! Some community residents are quoted as saying that there is “anger” over the season being cancelled!  One, a sports reporter, is quoted as saying “Some people say that because only seven people have been charged, why punish the whole team?”

Further, District Superintendent Richard Labbe is represented on ABC news as already saying “[he]… does not believe that the coaching staff was aware of the incidents!”

The team’s head coach, George Najjar, is represented as taking the stance that his future coaching at the school is “unknown!”

It is only after sifting through the comments following the many online stories about this abomination at Sayreville that one comes across opinions such as “I hear parents saying that it’s not fair for the whole team’s schedule to be cancelled, but what about the rights of the children that were sexually assaulted?”; “Didn’t the coaches notice when underclassmen started changing clothes outside of the locker room?”; and “Upperclassmen have described it as a tradition at Sayreville.”

Bears vs. Falcons Open Thread

Damn we are condition critical and NEED this game. The line is Atlanta -3.

Not Sure If I Want It

So we all know that Illinois is a bad football team…again. Beckman is on his way out. We will get absolutely crushed today here in Madison. No, I will not be there to witness the slaughter.

But I am not sure if I want Illinois to be good. Because I know what it takes.

It takes an athletic department that will sell its soul, is in cahoots with the local police, will set up fake classes and/or fix grades, set up the boosters with the ability to pay players and all the rest. The New York Times (of all places) put out a devastating article today about the FSU program. And that is all they know about. Imagine if the Times actually knew about ALL of the crimes there. The athletes getting money for autographs and crap like that doesn’t bother me. But the crimes against innocent citizens that go unpunished makes me puke.

And lets quit pretending that guys like Winston are actually in college to learn. He can hardly put a sentence together.

Likely, years from now, we will also hear about the Wisconsin program, and issues being swept under the rug.

I am pretty torn. It gets tiring watching our guys get outclassed week after week in embarrassing fashion, but I sleep pretty well knowing that in the end, our closet is relatively skeleton free.

Condition Critical

Astute commenter Gerry said this in the last thread:

As a seasoned skeptic I expected much better this season. What’s the problem? I am confounded.

Beats me. The second half of yesterdays game was insanely bad. Forte fumbling, Gould missing a short field goal, and much more.

Here is what I do know – if the Bears don’t get the ship righted, and fast, we might as well shut it down, and we will see you next year. Cutler has one more year on his contract that is meaningful (only $3mm dead money for 2016) and realistically, he will probably be used up by 2016 anyway.

Trestman will have one more year and that will be that. Mel Tucker will likely have to fall on the sword.

But all is not lost. If the Bears can get it together soon, we still have a chance at this thing. I am not counting on it, though.