Wednesday, February 09, 2005

An Advertising Gig for Dee?

If college basketball players were allowed to sign endorsement contracts, Jay Mariotti made a reference to a company in his column today that would be an excellent match with Dee. Mariotti says, "While Deron Williams couldn't hit a jumper, Roger Powell's offense disappeared, and the bench was nonexistent, we saw a hoops version of the UPS commercial: What Brown can do for you." Awesome!

Chief does a great job of pointing out some inconsistencies in Mariotti's article but I give Jay credit for an excllent line. It is amazing to me, however, how quickly columnists/reporters jump on and off the bandwagon. If Illinois had lost, it doesn't mean they are a fraud or overrated as Mariotti implies. Let's keep everything in perspective. What happens in one game does not change what happened in all the games that came before. Let's look at the whole body of work and judge a team on that, not just the team's performance in one game.

Illinitalk also takes issue with Mariotti's contention that Illinois would have 2 or 3 losses by now if they played in the ACC. While Illinitalk recognizes that the ACC is very good this year, we believe the Illini would have more than held their own. Maybe somebody should remind Mariotti of what happened when Wake Forest visited Champaign in December. Let's wait and see what happens in March and April before making statements like that.

Back to what's important. The Illini won yesterday and that means Illini Nation should be happy this morning. There are some reasons for concern, such as a lack of bench production, failure to get to the free throw line more, a long scoring drought, etc. But we should also keep in mind that the Illini were coming off the toughest and most draining portion of their Big 10 schedule, had just played Sunday and were delayed flying to Michigan until Tuesday morning due to fog, were playing their 3rd Tuesday road game in a row, etc. In the end it all balances out. The Illini keep proving they can find a way to win even when they are not at their best. That is a mark of a championship caliber team.

Finally, although I am not a fan of MSNBC, there is an excellent article on their website that talks about four reasons why Illinois is undefeated: Motivation, Grace, Menace, and Stamina. Well worth a read.

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