Perceptions from the north end zone

By Kevin Spitz

So many interesting musings popped into my head as I watched the most recent victory against No. 5 Wisconsin that I felt I should share them with the campus community. I call them: perceptions from the north end zone.

Cheers go out to the crowd for controlling itself and not charging the field after the game. I know it’s a great victory over a very highly ranked team, but there’s just something not right about charging the field when you’re favored to win the game …

Jeers to the crowd for chanting “overrated” with 13 minutes to go in the game. First off, it would have been mighty embarrassing had we lost that game after yelling it out, and secondly, the chant doesn’t make sense. The whole reason it’s such a great victory is because we’re beating a really good team. Doesn’t chanting overrated devalue the win for us? Wouldn’t, if anything, we want them to be underrated, but we still beat them …

Anyone else find it a little suspect that Illinois had three personal fouls and Wisconsin had one personal foul? It was a very physical game with a lot of pushing and shoving after plays, and the only personal foul Wisconsin received was an offsetting penalty because an Illinois player got the same foul. There were quite a few calls that Wisconsin deserved for unnecessary roughness but got away with. What happened to home teams getting calls …

I would like to congratulate senior safety Kevin Mitchell, someone who I call the “Original Juice” for another stellar performance at safety. That diving pass deflection and later interception might have been the difference in this game …

I have seen the games at Memorial Stadium and still hate my seats in the north end zone. The sight lines are terrible and we can’t even hear the band because it is facing away from us. But, I hear from others that the stadium is really a lot more aesthetically and aurally stimulating with a sea of orange to the north. So, if anybody in the east or west bleachers wants to become part of something that looks really cool, e-mail me; I’m willing to trade tickets with you …

The part that angers me the most is that it looks like the seats where I used to sit (and I say looks like because there really isn’t much depth perception from the north end zone) is where they put the visiting fans. They moved me to the north end zone so they could treat the visitors better? Division of Intercollegiate Athletics, I just don’t understand you …

Bruce Weber was at the game sporting his pink basketball shirt. Bruce, I know it’s for a good cause, but at least wear the orange blazer over it …

Anyone else notice that Jason Reda kicks 55-yard field goals at halftime with relative ease? Wow …

I’m not really for people taking their shirts off at sporting events, but to the guys sitting in row 12 of section 137 in the north end zone: kudos to you. Soon you will be so sunburnt that your torsos will match the orange shirts around you …

Hey, why doesn’t Chancellor Richard Herman ever go on the video board anymore and welcome us to Memorial Stadium …

College football is notorious for games that end up taking forever. Why do we have to stop the clock on every single first down? I understand that if they want to do it in the last five minutes of a half it adds a unique dimension to the game, but seriously, the games take forever to the point where I prefer Illinois just missing the first down marker so that the clock keeps moving. It wouldn’t be a terrible problem if the games weren’t at 11 a.m. It’s just that we students want to get to our Saturday afternoon naps a little faster …

Last but not least, I really want to give thanks to Coach Zook. He has done a marvelous job so far turning this team around, but more than that he takes the time to pump the crowd up and it genuinely looks like he is excited, not only for himself, but for all of Illini nation. I have not been to many other school’s games, but I doubt you’d find a coach who does more to acknowledge the crowd than Zook …

Congratulations Illini, and good luck next week in Iowa City.

Kevin Spitz is a senior in Engineering. He can be reached at [email protected]