Illinois, ah Illinois. My beloved corrupt home state.
I'm serious about the corruption. 4 out of 7 of Illinois's former state governors from both parties have been sentenced to prison.
Take THAT, New Jersey and Louisiana!
There's so much going on here in Illinois, from the beauty of Starved Rock National Park, to the shores of North Avenue Beach, the commerce, entertainment, architecture and sports teams of Chicago, the science research at Argonne National Labs and Fermilab, and everything Abe Lincoln down in Springfield. Plus tons of other good stuff downstate.
However, if you look at a map, there's a festering boil located in the middle of the state called Champaign-Urbana, where the most notable thing is a football team that's been absolutely horrible since World War 2.
I'm still not sure how the hell Dick Butkus went there. That was a nice thing that shouldn't have happened.
It's not just horrible, Illinois football is schizophrenic.
I think this tree is rotten to the core, so let's take a look:
Illinois should be good at football because they can draw upon the 12.88 million people in-state and the 2.8 million people in the Saint Louis metro area. Illinois is the fifth most populous state in the country and the biggest in the B1G footprint.
Now out of those roughly 16 million people, there has to be at least 20-25 excellent high school seniors available yearly to build a powerhouse football team. I mean, it's just basic number theory and odds, right?
Illinois football has been so bad for so long that the sheer suckiness has spread a shit-sandwich cloud across the entire state.
If Illinois were good at football, the school would attract halfway competent athletic directors who don't hire abusive coaches.
If Illinois were good at football, they never would've hired SEC reject and eventual bank officer Ron Zook.
If Illinois were good at football, it could afford a secretary to remind Beckman when his mom's birthday is.
If Illinois were good at football, young boys statewide and especially in the Chicago area would be encouraged by their fathers and families to take up the sport and dream of playing for the Illini.
If Illinois were good at football, they would lock down the state's best recruits and only allow the scraps to go to other schools. Right now MSU has been on a tear recruiting Illinois's best players.
If Illinois were good at football, it wouldn't lose recruiting battles to Northwestern. The only recruit Northwestern lost to Illinois recently was Aaron Bailey, and he has since transferred away from Illinois. Figures.
Heck, if Illinois were good at football, it would raise the high school talent state wide.
Illinois does not punch at it's weight class when it comes to producing good football players. Illinois is more populous than Alabama and Louisiana, and they produce better football players than Illinois. Heck, even Ohio and Pennsylvania produce better football players. See what having a bad state football team does, Illinois?!?
How is it that Florida and Maryland and New Jersey are recruiting hotbeds, and Illinois isn't? Illinois is bad at football.
If Illinois were good at football, they'd have a decorated former player from the mid 90s like Simeon Rice or Kevin Hardy coaching the team instead of a frigging moron from Toledo.
If Illinois were good at football, Maryland's enslaved mascot would not be subject to the indignities and depravities of Columbus, Ohio the vast majority of the time. Not that Chambana is any better.
If Illinois were good at football, they would play for a better trophy than a Cannon with Purdue. You'd think the engineering schools between those two schools could play for something better, like stealing an old Purdue Pete head or something.
If Illinois were good at football, it might have gotten a player drafted in the NFL this year.....I mean, even PURDUE had a player drafted.
If Illinois were good at football, Jason Whitlock wouldn't still be singing the praises of Jeff George.....no, wait, that would still be happening regardless.
If Illinois were good at football, J Leman would be able to afford a full first name, and would be remembered as much of a patriot as Ricky Stanzi.
If Illinois were good at football, the NCAA would allow Chief Illiniwek to still perform at halftime. I don't buy the NCAA's official reason that native tribes like the Seminoles or the Chippewas have to approve: the NCAA is punishing Illinois for sucking.
If Illinois were good at football, they wouldn't have to move a home game against their main rival closer to their main rival's campus. Come to think of it, if Illinois were good at football, they wouldn't be "little brother" in football to a small private school with 1/4 as many students. I'm sure the bars, restaurants, and the entire towns of Champaign and Urbana are thrilled with this!
If Illinois were good at football, Northwestern and Illinois would play for the Sweet Sioux Tomahawk instead of a hat.
Abe Lincoln's hat, but still, a hat. And it sucks being hatless.
It sucks that a buffoon from Toledo who has the worst case of foot in the mouth disease I've ever seen is in possession of the Hat.
GIVE BACK THE HAT ILLINOIS!! MUST RECLAIM HAT!
I want hat. I have need of hat. I feel incomplete without hat. HAT HAT HAT