Give Queen Mom a 50,000-fan coronation

Tashio Martinez

Tashio Martinez

By David Just

Equality has never been our strong suit – at least when it comes to the crowning of Queen Mom and King Dad.

It is an Illinois tradition to crown one mom and one dad every year and designate them with a royal title. The King Dad is honored at an Illinois football game, front and center on the field at halftime. The Queen Mom is honored at a banquet at the Illini Union.

Where’s the love for moms? I think the banquet is great, but why not a venue of equal size? Dad gets honored at a half-full Memorial Stadium (maybe three-quarters full considering the additional parents in attendance) and mom gets a banquet at the Union? Well, that’s just not right; someone needs to speak up for the moms of the world.

Let’s not forget the importance of the Queen Mom. She is responsible for presiding over scheduled festivities and gets a lifetime membership to the Mom’s Association. Those responsibilities make Queen Mom more important than British royalty.

So why don’t we treat them that way? Here is the way Queen Mom should (and deserves to) be honored:

First, I think if dad gets Memorial Stadium, mom should get Green Street. A parade, perhaps? Yes, a parade. With floats. And boy scouts tossing candy to the thousands lining the street. No, strike that. Let’s make it girl scouts giving away thin mints and peanut butter patties. Much better.

I already have plenty of great float ideas. How about a “Famous Illini moms” float with mothers of distinguished alumni standing side-by-side with their Illini child. We could do a float for every Illini sports team with moms and their athletes waving to the crowds. I think the best float idea would be the “Moms of Illini moms” float. What better way to honor so many generations of Illinois mothers?

Now, it just wouldn’t be a parade if local politicians and high school bands didn’t show up. On second thought, I don’t want this to feel like a Memorial Day parade. Let’s scrap the politicians and have guys riding unicycles instead. There we go; that’s more original. The Shriners can stay, too – but only if they wear their fezzes.

The parade will kick off at the corner of Green and Neil streets and head east. We can end the parade at Wright Street, just outside the Illini Union.

I’ve heard they do a wonderful banquet in the Union ballrooms every year, so let’s end with that. We can honor Queen Mom some more, and follow it up with a festive meal. It’s simple; it’s elegant; and our Queen Mom deserves nothing less.

But Mom’s Weekend is about more than Queen Mom. Isn’t it achievement enough to give birth to an Illini student? Moms, you’re all queens to me, you just don’t get a capitalized name like the Queen Mom.

Next year I’ll work on making all moms a Queen Mom – for equality’s sake.