After “writing” here for over a year, I know right off that some of you will comment that the picture isn’t a club hockey player, but Bob, from the Blue Jackets. Well done on figuring that out. We’ll get back to why I included that picture in a moment.
So the Fighting Illini have a division 1 club hockey team. For those of you that are unfamiliar with college club hockey, these are kids that are playing for the love of the game, and not the accolades of the fans. Or scholarships. They are the true amateur athletes of years gone by.
And this particular bunch out of Champaign has made the “Frosty Four”. That’s the final four on the club hockey circuit. To put this in perspective, Nebraska is a division 3 squad. This is by no means a knock on Nebraska, but a testament to how many colleges have club hockey teams, even the “bigger” ones can field a lower division squad.
Sure football and basketball get the glory at most schools, but is it really easier for the lesser sports to win? Do we even care? No, we want to watch athletes perform, with a rooting interest.
Currently the Illini are battling an undefeated team, and if they manage to win, will take on Adrian College, a hard working team that is fueled by a desire to win their first championship, after so many close calls.
In essence, sports.
Bob is one of the best goalies in the NHL and has led the Blue Jackets to great success, or so I have read. He is paid millions to do so, and I don’t begrudge that fact in any way. However, these kids pay to play, and if I am going to tune into a hockey game, a sport I generally don’t follow, it’s going to watch kids that are there for the love of the game.
Fightining Illini, indeed!