Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Journey: I'm starting to See a Trend

So I've finally caught up watching Illinois Football: The Journey episodes from about the last four weeks. That's the beauty of DVR...that my laziness doesn't punish me. Well, at least not always. And in this case, I actually think my DVR is rewarding me. By watching all the episodes one after the other, I've started to pick up a few trends in the show:

1) J Leman is a certifiable BTN STAR! I know that I've posted about his appearances on the show before, but he has taken it one step further and shown slow white guys everywhere what a magical Rose Bowl season can do for them. I mean one has capitalized on the Illini's Rose Bowl run more than J Leman. He went from a no-name outside Chambana to a national name and now a college football gig at the BTN. At first, I made fun of him for it, but after consulting blog friend Whetst1, I realized that it was good for J. He's not making the NFL, so he might as well move on. Now, if he could only get a haircut and a suit that fits...he'd be in business.

2) Ron Zook is pretty much awesome. After watching this show, who wouldn't want to play for this guy? He comes across as genuine as can be, shockingly intelligent, and certifiably bad-ass. The guy has a motor that doesn't stop, and you can tell that there isn't much in life that gets him down. Plus, he can water-ski with the best of them, and that's double points in my book.

But probably the most important reason that my laziness in watching the show has been a reward, is that watching all the shows in a row has allowed me to see...

3) Intensity has been a consistent problem for the Illini. It's a fact with this team. Every show that has gone into the locker room before a game or at halftime has shown coaches 100x more fired up than the players. Every week, they are harping on them to get their intensity up, and get their passion to higher levels. Watching 3 or 4 episodes in a row, it seems to me that this is a team that forgot where the program was two years ago. Loaded with young talent that didn't suffer through the 2-9 seasons, this Illini team seems like they forgot all the work that went into last year's Rose Bowl season. The energy isn't there. The passion isn't there. The fire isn't there. And not shockingly, the wins aren't there. If I had watched all those episodes before the Illinois vs. Minnesota game, well, let's just say I would've scored better than the 4/50 I did in the F&BT College Pick'Em Challenge this week.

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