December 2004

Illini celebration tame after first real scare

ST. LOUIS – It''s supposed to be the other reason to celebrate this week, cause to parade around the court, maybe to pop a cork or two. A reason to party.

But Illinois'' post-Braggin'' Rights celebration here Wednesday, after a 70-64 win against Missouri, was relatively tame.

Tate: Margin of victory won''t spread cheer


Bill Lyon, a bright C-U native who turned columnist in Philadelphia, wrote a biting article recently about his Brotherly Lovers who showed displeasure with a close Eagles victory.

Three council candidates file as write-ins

CHAMPAIGN – Candidacy filings Wednesday by three write-in candidates for the Champaign City Council guarantees that there will be a Feb. 22 primary in Districts 1 and 3.

And the list of write-in candidates in those districts could grow longer in coming weeks, depending on the outcome of objections to the nominating petitions of five city council candidates.

Brown bruised, not broken

ST. LOUIS – You could sense the tension. You could hear the worried buzz swirling around Planet Orange.

Dee Brown, he of those infamous stress fractures, was hobbling.

Tiger tangles

Tonight''s Braggin'' Rights game is the 24th since Illinois and Missouri took their series to St. Louis. A look back at the first 23:

Who''s that Illini

I was one of the University of Illinois'' famed Whiz Kids, lettering four seasons over a six-year span. Like many of my teammates, I served in World War II and fought in the Battle of the Bulge. Only 10% of us survived that deadly battle. On the court, I was known as a brilliant floor leader and as the team''s most tenacious defender. The first two Illini teams on which I played won back-to-back Big Ten titles under Coach Doug Mills. After graduating, I played 118 games in the NBA and scored 726 points. I died in 2000, and today marks the 82nd anniversary of my birth.

Groups fighting agency layoffs

SPRINGFIELD – Bill Wengelewski has worked as a natural resources coordinator at Starved Rock State Park for seven years, leading guided hikes, impersonating a 17th-century French voyageur and teaching 20,000 students and countless members of the public about history, ecology, snakes, rocks, insects, trees and wildlife.

"Much of what I've done has been hands-on things that the teachers themselves are unable to do," he said. "We're talking about science and math scores dropping. I'm frustrated because here I am teaching science in a hands-on way, and that's not valued."

Mizzou unable to escape woes on, off the court

ST. LOUIS – The 2-ton burden Quin Snyder carries around now was in its infancy a year ago.

Yes, the Missouri coach had an upsetting loss to Gonzaga on his early-season resume.

Tate: Missouri, coach look to keep their guard up

"What we need is some of the dust Santa Claus tosses on his reindeer."

– Mizzou coach Quin Snyder

Tirtiaux making impression

NORMAL – Tuesday probably was Sophie Tirtiaux''s final chance to play against Illinois. And while her Illinois State team made obvious progress in an 82-72 loss to the Illini at Redbird Arena, Tirtiaux didn''t receive any playing time.

The senior from Belgium, who played high school ball for coach Aimee Smith at Urbana, isn''t in coach Robin Pingeton''s doghouse. The ISU coach is thrilled with the way Tirtiaux has come along.