Something to get you going today, courtesy executive editor Jim Rossow.
Bill Keaton hopes to see his cousin at this summer's Corbin Bailey family reunion in Champaign. And he hopes Alvin Bailey doesn't come alone.
"I'd like to see a Super Bowl ring on his finger," Keaton said.
With no former Illini in the big game for the first time since 2001, we turn to Alvin Bailey to provide an area connection to Sunday's Super Bowl. He's a backup left tackle for the Seahawks, a 6-foot-3, 320-pound rookie from Arkansas who wears No. 78. In the NFC championship game against the 49ers, he provided a key block on Marshawn Lynch's 40-yard touchdown run.
Bill Keaton figured football might be in Alvin's future early on.
"I knew he'd be a monster because he was a big baby," Keaton said. "He was a big baby. I called him 'Tank' the first time I saw him. Some babies are chubby but he was solid. He was like a little bowling ball."
The Keaton family is hosting a Super Bowl party in Champaign that Central grad Bill said will draw up to 20 friends and family, many of whom will come dressed in No. 78 T-shirts. No one, he said, will be rooting for the Broncos. And no one, he said, will cut Alvin much slack at July's family reunion even if his team wins it all.
"You don't get any points for making it to the NFL," Bill said. "I'll definitely razz him no matter what. I'll probably ask him where my (Super Bowl) cut is."