Sunday, March 27, 2005

I'm so pumped I don't know what to call this post!!!

No words can describe what I am feeling right now. The best I can do is say I am pumped, excited, wired, jacked, relieved, tired, amazed, in awe, and thankful plus about a million other adjectives. What an unbelievable game. That was probably the most exciting and memorable Illinois game I have ever seen. To come back like that after being down double digits and time running out was simply amazing. If anyone had any remaining doubts about this team, they should now be gone. The Illini proved again tonight that the possibility of bringing home Illinois' first national championship remains very real.

I watched the game with Oskee Mom Mom, the Illinette, Red Rock (one of my brothers who is also an Illinois alum), and other members of my family including my parents, 2 other brothers, and my grandparents. The room was pretty grim at the 3 to 4 minute mark. I think almost everyone in the room thought the game was over and Illinois was going to lose. (Warning: What comes next may sound a little cheesy but I don't know how else to describe/explain my feelings during this time) Doubt was creeping into my mind as well but every fiber of my being screamed that this was not how this season was supposed to end--I held on to one tiny strand of hope and belief that some way, some how, the team would find it in themselves to pull this game out. AND THEY DID!!!

I am not used to the various teams that I root for finding a way to win games like that. But this Illini team did. It speaks volumes to their make-up, heart, and character that they never quit and managed to do what seemed almost impossible to most of the fans watching. It just shows once again what a special team we have been so fortunate to be able to watch this season. Everyone contributed tonight but special recognition has to go to Deron and Luther for what they did during the final few minutes of regulation and in overtime. It was simply amazing. They put the team on their backs and would not let them lose. Talk about leadership and a will to win.

Playing in a game like this can only make the Illini better prepared
for what they will face next weekend. But let's not think about that just yet. Enjoy this moment Illini fans. Savor every bit of it. We have plenty of time to worry about Louisville but tonight and tomorrow, just let all of this sink in. FINAL FOUR, BABY!!! The special season continues.


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