The Illinois football drinking game

The Illini hit the road this Saturday, which means you have no obligation to go to Memorial Stadium and sit in a vacant arena deprived of arguably the only thing that makes Illinois football watchable — alcohol.

While you’re sitting on your couch back home, soaking it all up, here’s the best gift I could think of to keep you occupied — the Illinois football drinking game.

Now of course, there’s a reason no alcohol is allowed in Memorial Stadium — Illinois football is a family activity and takes place in a family atmosphere. But we can’t deny our school’s, er, festive culture.

You can try this with soda, too.

Here are the rules:

1. Don’t play if you’re not of legal drinking age. If you’re getting too drunk, stop. This game is for fun, not for children.

I’ve obviously never played this before, so I can’t gauge how sauced these rules will actually get you. Never binge drink, make good choices, basically all that stuff your parents tell you.

2. Take a shot after every Illinois touchdown.

First thing’s first. You’re wearing orange, aren’t you? Showing school spirit and what not? You’re here to support, so this one’s obvious. This constitutes the happy-drinking portion of the game. Plus, Illinois is playing Purdue — a beatable opponent, and you’re watching, so if you wanna stick it through the whole thing, you need to believe by the end that this game means everything.

3. Every commercial break, take a drink.

This is the last of the pace-setting rules. It’s Illinois vs. Purdue we’re talking here, so when you think about it, if you’re watching commercials for this game, and maintaining your anticipation for the game to return from break, just what does that say about you?

It says you could use a drink, is what I’m getting at.

4. Every time Aaron Bailey comes in, take four drinks. If he runs the ball on a designed run, take four more. If he does so on a third-and-short or fourth-and-short situation and fails to get the first down, take five more.

5. If Steve Hull catches a pass, stand up, raise both your arms and shout “Steve Hull!” High five anyone in the room who gets the reference. Take one drink per each high five doled out.

6. Take two drinks for each Josh Ferguson high step or spin move.

Assuming Ferguson gets a lot of touches, this one could do you in.

7. Every time Ryan Lankford is shown or mentioned, pour some out for one’s homies.

8. Every time Bill Cubit tries a trick play, take four drinks. If it backfires on Illinois, take six more.

Cubit’s trick plays have gone down in usage lately, but I imagine we’ll get an increased dosage of them against a generally hapless Purdue squad. No reason not to empty the playbook anymore anyway.

This is the last of the offensive rules.

9. Every time a Justin DuVernois punt goes awry, take three drinks. Every time DuVernois boots an outstanding punt, take two drinks. If Beckman should have just gone for it, take another drink.

10. Take a shot for every opposing touchdown of 40 yards or more.

I’m sorry.

11. Take a drink for every Illinois tackle-for-loss. Two drinks for every Illinois sack.

It’d just feel really weird not drinking when this happened. It’d be like seeing a shooting star and not making a wish.

12. Take a drink every time defensive coordinator Tim Banks is shown on television looking like he’s trying not to think about job security.

Banks’ job may be totally secure, for all we know. But the way his defense has performed, in this cruel and crazy market for coaches, it certainly wouldn’t be insane to think these may be his last two games on the Illinois sideline — his final game if Purdue bullies the Illinois defense.

If I were Mike Thomas, I’d give him another year. But I’m not Mike Thomas.

13. Take two drinks every time an opposing player catches a ball with five or more yards of space around him.

Illinois has tightened the screws somewhat on its coverage in recent weeks, but it seems the tighter coverage was cancelled out by the increased allowance of big plays (see rule 10).

14. Every time an opposing runner gets into the secondary untouched, take two drinks.

There’s a reason Illinois’ defensive backs frequently get so many tackles. It’s not because Banks has a hyperaggressive scheme. It’s because they’re the last line of defense, which makes them a frequent customer for taking the hits of opposing backs.

15. If Illinois wins, take a shot. If Illinois loses, take a shot.

You’ve put in a lot of work by this point. Reward yourself and enjoy the rest of your Saturday.

Eliot is a senior in Media. He can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @EliotTweet.