Monday, February 28, 2005

Illini Reflections Down Under

I'm back from Down Under. Skinny Sweetcheeks and I had a wonderful time. Aside from the 80 degree weather, getting to see kangaroos and koalas as well as the beautiful Australian countryside, one of the best parts of the trip was the flight. But more on all that later.

First, a few reflections on the Illini:

Thank goodness for Young Man. We landed in L.A. last Sat. just as the IL-IA game finished. But I couldn't find a TV to get a score b.c I was waiting for a bus to take us to the international terminal. Seriously, anyplace else, taking a bus half a mile is no big deal. But in LAX airport it's a living nightmare. If you haven't experienced this, just trust me and take my word for it. The place was a gong show.

Anyway, Young Man got ahold of me and gave me the score and a short recap. Then he gave me a bonus: he gave me minute-by-minute of the end of his alma mater's (Iowa State) upset of Kansas. Seriously, I don't think I could have left the country any happier...Illinois stays undefeated by beating the Hawks and Iowa State beats the Phog. See, I told you Young Man is a stud.

I couldn't get any Illini news down in Australia. The main sports down there are cricket (which is definately tougher and more fun to watch than its name implies), soccer and Australian rules football. Lemme tell ya something about Australian rules football: this is not a game for the faint of heart. Real men play this game and they play it well. Those Aussies are tough.

Anyway, I did manage to get ahold of Good Hope Orange to get the score of the IL-NW game. This was a very good thing. And thanks to the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics scheduling the games around our travel, we didn't have to miss a game this past weekend since the Illini don't play again until Thursday.

So we got in late last night and I wake up today to find out Illinois won the Big Ten title outright. (see Good Hope Orange's post below.) This was great news as well.

As for today, the experts are out with their new bracket predictions: ESPN, CBSSportsline and SI.

Finally, back to the trip. I said one of the best parts was the flight. That's because we flew business class. On Qantas. For those not familiar, a look at this link should tell you all you need to know.

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