Never forget that you can skip my melodramatic meditations and go straight to the Infographics. It’s pretty easy.
Damn, I sure am writing a lot this year.
I had some time to reflect on my reaction to last week’s game, especially how I was still super mad about it after going to watch The Only Sports Team That Never Lets Me Down play. Really, all this angst is probably just the worst manifestation of a thing I’ve been struggling with a lot: chasing memories I remember fondly.
Now yes, it’d be nice if Illinois got a full Memorial Stadium for a team that has a reasonable shot to win at least half the games it plays, but their failure to do so in the last decade doesn’t mean the experiences I had before then are any less special. More importantly, even if they did, it wouldn’t magically take me back to 2007. It would be a new experience. At every stage of my life I’ve found myself coveting aspects of a previous stage of said life that no longer apply. When I add up what I have now at this stage, there’s a lot of great stuff here that I’m not getting the most out of because I’m too preoccupied with what I don’t have anymore and to a lesser extent what didn’t happen.
I’m sick of being locked in to this. I’m no worse off because Illinois loses all the time. It doesn’t even stop me from flying my flag or wearing my colors. Not only should I stop expecting the scorpion not to sting me and kill us both, but I should really stop getting so upset that I can’t go back to the 2011 Arizona State game. I was already there. It ruled.
So, I’m trying to have a healthier relationship with this particular football team.
HOWEVER. If we lose our next three, I’m just not sure how much more I’ll be able to say for a few years. You’ll probably get a couple rageposts after the Charlotte loss, and then it’s just purgatory for a few years. Not because I’ll be too exhausted or depressed, but because...what can I say that I didn’t say in 2016/2017/2018?
Don’t worry. I won’t leave you with nothing.