Monday, October 24, 2005

That will be $5 please

Please explain this to me: My soon to be 8 month old daughter, the Illinette, can fly to Atlanta and back for free but to attend an Illini football game, she must have a $5 "lap ticket"? Are you kidding me? Is the athletic departmetn really this hard up for cash? Apparently, they are. Oskee Mom Mom, the Illinette, and I made the trip to Champaign-Urbana this weekend for Homecoming. It was great to catch up with friends and family who also made the trip and to do a little tailgating.

However, the football game was a total debacle. First, as we are waiting in line to get into the stadium, we are told we need to go all the way back to Gate 16 to buy a so called lap ticket for the Illinette. If you have kids and know what it is like to take an infant around with you and all the stuff they require, you know getting out of line, going to buy a lap ticket, and then waiting in line again wasn't exactly a picnic. Back to my thoughts when we were told we needed a lap ticket--Sarcasm Alert: Hello, she is sitting on my lap. I should be charging you $5 for providing the seat! End Sarcasm Alert. Why in the world would you need a ticket in this case? I was told that everyone must have a ticket in order to keep track of the people in the stadium. Not really sure what his means since the lap ticket looks like one of those little raffle tickets people use and once you give it to the ticket person at the gate, you don't get any part of it back. There would be no way of tracking the infant who used the ticket, and frankly, (warning, more sarcasm) I certainly don't think they are a security threat! Anyway, we bit the bullet and paid the $5. I can live with spending $5 but I have to say that I think this is one of the most ridiculous policies I have observed in recent years.

Moving on, we were a bit late getting to our seats due to the ticket issue. As we came into the stadium, Illinois had just scored a field goal to go up by 3 points. We should have taken a picture of the scoreboard then! The next thing we know, Penn State is up 35-3 with 10 minutes left in the second quarter. By halftime, it was 56-3. This is progress? We are tied with Purdue for last in the Big 10 with even Indiana ahead of us. This was just a terrible game. It is going to take longer than I expected for Illinois football to get back to a winning program. However, I fully support Coach Zook and believe he needs to be given time to let the current players continue to learn his system, let his starters mature (there are a lot of sophomores/freshman getting playing time), and to get his own recruits in the program. I think Illinois will have a good football team again but it is going to take longer than many of us may have anticipated. On the positive side, Zook seems to be keeping his head up as you can read here. Also, some interesting comments from Joe Paterno here.

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