Top of the Morning, April 5, 2014

Top of the Morning, April 5, 2014

Hard to top Chicago-based Nick Lynch as the headliner for today's World's Largest Softball Tailgate outside Eichelberger Field. The 31-year-old singer can entertain a crowd, knows his sports and won't get lost on the way to the ballpark.

"My aunt (Jennifer) played golf at Illinois," he said. "I followed her around a lot."

Lynch takes the stage at 11 a.m. ahead of today's UI doubleheader against Nebraska. While he's not Kenny Chesney, Florida Georgia Line or the Black Crowes, he'll perform their hits at what has become one of the UI's more popular promotions. Here's more:

The 2001 Watseka High grad misses his hometown.

"When you're growing up in a little town like that, you think you can't wait to get out of there. I look back now and miss that small-town living, leaving the front door unlocked, bouncing around puddles and having a good time."

Invited to Hollywood three times as an American Idol finalist, he never made the last cut. "I'm the Susan Lucci of reality TV."

A former Parkland golfer, Lynch remembers the good ol' days in C-U.

"I loved Illinois back in the Dee Brown and Deron Williams days, back when they were actually winning some games and had promise."

He envies Don Henley's voice.

"But he's such a (jerk). Same way I thought Tiger Woods was the greatest ever until I met him. After that, I was like 'Nah, I'm going to be likin' Freddie Couples the rest of my life.' "

He's OK with joining the family business: Iroquois Paving in Gilman.

"I don't know if this rock-star thing is going to work out. Maybe I don't make a million dollars doing this. But I'd love to get to where I can make a splash and go to Nashville. I can live with trying my butt off and maybe not succeeding."

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