Illini columnist: A message for the people of Quad Day


Illinois’ Isaiah Martinez attempts to bring down Nebraska’s James Green during the wrestling match vs. Nebraska at Huff Hall on Jan. 23. The Illini lost 22-9.

By Kevin McCarthy

If your Quad Day experience is anything like my Quad Day experience, the crowd of eager and electrified freshmen will soon become a mass of overwhelmed, sweat-soaked students being pushed through the midwest’s best version of a Middle-Eastern bazaar.

By the end of the day, you’ll have more flyers than one knows what to do with, and you’ll probably be overcome by severe perspiration.

But you have just stumbled upon a hidden pearl of Quad Day: my column.

My name is Kevin O’Brien McCarthy and I’ll be your flight attendant as we navigate through another year of Illini sports. Expect some turbulence but plenty of smooth sailing as well.

A long, long time ago, in a suburb of Chicago not too far away, I was born with a love for sports that was beyond measure. Yet, my athletic abilities did not match my affinity for the games. Sure, the coaches on my high school basketball team would let me fill the water bottles for the other players on occasion, but beyond that, I was nothing more than a high school version of Brian Scalabrine.

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So I turned to what I was good at: talking.

That is why I wrote this column.

What are these columns going to look like? Some weeks my column will be a transcript of sit-down interviews that I conduct with Illinois athletes and coaches. For one interview last year, I sat down with Illinois gymnast C.J. Maestas and asked him about everything from his favorite hair products to his hopes for the upcoming Olympics.

Other weeks, I’ll write about my humbling experiences of trying to compete against the best athletes at the University of Illinois. From trying to stop a penalty kick from one of our soccer players to attempting to hit a 90 MPH fastball — this column will never fall short on fun.

This is where you, my newest friend, come in.

Look, you’ve only been here at college for a few days and you’ve already got another friend. Isn’t this place great?

Tweet, email or send a message via carrier pigeon — somehow give me suggestions for my column.

If you want to read an interview with a specific player, let me know. If you want to see a video of me wrestling undefeated, national champion Isaiah Martinez, and are willing to pay my medical bills AND convince my mother to allow me to do it, let me know. We might just be able to make it happen.

So, as you retire for the evening to your new place of residence, keep me in mind. If you have suggestions, check out my Twitter handle at the end of this column and send me 140 characters of your best ideas and suggestions.

It’ll be a fun trip this year, guys, whether the Illini win or lose, you can always turn to your good buddy Kevin for a dose of Illini fun.

[email protected]

Clever and handsome, #Illini columnist @KevOMcCarthy’s first column of the year is here