COLUMN: Advice on becoming an Illinois super fan

By Meghan Montemurro

For all of you sports fanatics or students that just enjoy going to a basketball or football game, Illinois offers great opportunities for you to get up close and personal to the action and have an impact on the game.

Orange Krush is the student cheering section for the men’s basketball team. The organization was founded before the 1975-1976 season under Hall-of-Fame and Illini coach Lou Henson and is one of the oldest and most well-known cheering sections in the country. During the 1997-1998 season, the Orange Krush Foundation was established making the organization what it is today.

In order to become a member, students need to first become a member of Illini Pride, to become a part of the sub-group of Orange Krush. With the focus of Orange Krush revolving around charity towards the University and surrounding communities, students must raise money to obtain either All-American, Varsity or Scout status, based on the amount of money raised.

I have been a member of Orange Krush for the past two years and plan to continue to be a part of the organization for the last two years of my time at Illinois. There is no better time than waiting outside Assembly Hall in the freezing cold before a big game. Or as the opening tip draws near and 16,618 fellow Illini fans clad in their orange with your fellow Orange Krush members jumping up and down. Don’t miss out on the opportunities to go on the road trips to rival Big Ten schools, like Penn State, which will create some memories you’ll never forget.

With a new batch of highly touted recruits and a more experienced team, the time has never been better to become a part of the football student section, Block I. Also a sub-group of Illini Pride, Block I has tradition dating back to 1910 making it one of the oldest student sections in the nation.

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From the 8,000 cards used for the card stunts asking “Got Juice” to the renovation of Memorial Stadium, Block I offers students the chance to watch a program with a rich history. This year, the team begins to reestablish itself in the Big Ten and across the country. With over 1,200 members, it is a great opportunity to meet new people and have a fun time tailgating and welcoming the players during the Illini Walk.

Pep rallies at Memorial Stadium before home games each Thursday also offer students the chance to interact and talk to the players and get their opinions on the upcoming game. I have been a member of Block I this past year and it was a blast. Each year a select number of members get to go on a road trip and invade another Big Ten’s stadium.

Make sure to go and send in the application for tickets as they run out fast due to high demand.

For more information on Orange Krush or Block I, visit the Web site at