Friday, March 18, 2005

Austin Peay It Wasn't...But I Wondered

It's something I've told myself all season. These are young men. And we are hoping, expecting and trying to will them to perform the extraordinary.

Sorry folks, but I refuse to call them kids. A kid is someone who you take to the park and push on the swing. Or push in a stroller. Or tuck into bed at night after reading them "Goodnight Moon."

A young man is someone who can live on his own and pay his own bills...even if his parents are helping him through college. Too bad the males in the NBA who are "young men" age in my book behave like "kids" most of the time.
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Anyway, back to the Illini. Their victory last night over Fairleigh Dickinson was more hard-fought than we expected it would be--especially for the good guys. But what game isn't in the Big Dance? Certainly nothing past the first round by any means.

Am I concerned that that Illini can't seem to hit the broad side of a barn the past few games? Of course.

But was I concerned that the death of Bruce Weber's mom would be a distraction that stretched from the Big Ten Tourney all the way through the early rounds of the Big Dance? Sure. But we still won the Big Ten Tourney Title.

And fighting through adversity and big stage jitters when you're 21 years old is part of winning the title.

Remember, these Illini have been here before. Dee Brown hated losing to Duke and Notre Dame the last two years on this stage. Last night was the wake-up call. He won't let it happen again. I'm just glad we didn't see something last night that would make the loss to Austin Peay a few years ago pale in comparison.

Welcome Hamburglar's Hideout and Ieron as regular readers...Rick Morrissey rocks the house today as usual...

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