Posted by: Chris Sandel | February 9, 2008

A Night At The Collusium

On Thursday night (and almost into Friday morning after two overtimes) Melissa and I were lucky enough to be at the biggest Illini game of the year, Illinois vs. Indiana.  Sadly, the game wasn’t the biggest because of the implications for the team in the Big Ten race or the postseason.  It was important because it was the first game for Eric Gordon in the REAL Assembly Hall.  (For those of you who don’t know, Gordon committed to Illinois, only to back out months later, after a little somewhat shady recruiting, and go to Indiana, leaving us in a rough spot.  Wow, that is a lot of commas.) 

If you can look beyond the outcome, it really was an incredible game to watch.  But the most interesting part of the night was being a part of the crowd as they booed Gordon.  Every time Gordon touched the ball he was booed.  Every time!  The worst chants I ever remember hearing at an Illini game were yelled at another hated Hoosier, Tom Coverdale.  The chants I heard Thursday night though, put those old chants of, “Go to hell Coverdale” to shame.  An older gentleman next to me asked what they were saying and I couldn’t repeat it.  There were multiple explatives used, not by loan fans shouting but by groups of hundreds heckling the Hoosier player.  If you know me you know that screaming obscenities is not something that would be remotely tempting to me.  However, being a part of that crowd made it incredibly easy to root for the miserable failure of another human being.  It was easy to revel in every mistake and scream at him whenever he touched the ball.  At times I felt a little like someone at a gladiator match in ancient Rome.  I could feel a bit of what it might have felt like to scream for blood.  During one strech, as I found myself booing the Indiana freshman, I stopped and looked at myself and it was a little scary.  I wondered what it said about me that I took pleasure in rideculing and booing a fellow human being…but then I remembered that he plays for Indiana and started booing again.  Go Illini!



  1. Great video, Chris. You got a really long BOO. And thanks for sharing your split personality with us all, loving Eric as a child of God but not loving him much at all as a Hoosier!

    Weren’t they yelling “Love you, Gordon!” or something like that?????

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