Tate: I'm a fraidy cat

Tate: I'm a fraidy cat

Double, double, toil and trouble,
Fire burn and cauldron bubble
— Witches of Macbeth

Boooo! Are you scared? You should be. Halloween is upon us with hobgoblins and warlocks rising from their ghostly tombs. Those aren’t really black cats crossing your path, they’re zombies coming to life.

What frightens me? Count the ways I worry ...

— That after so many haunted football seasons, the UI’s dazed legions might be devoured in Ohio on Saturday afternoon? Or will this be a re-run of the 2007 shocker?

— That I’ll turn on ESPN and see the twin ghouls, Digger Phelps and Bruce Pearl. Arrghhhh!

— That the ripe, red apple offered by my Internet friends, while appearing tasty, might be DANGEROUS. I didn’t need new razor blades.

— That the Cubs, in their century-long walk of the dead, might accidentally don the costume of winners. They should try jerseys with upside-down bats on the bat.

— That there’ll be seats disguised as ghosts (and not Galloping Ghosts) attending the next home football game against Minnesota.

— That this cursed superstorm, the work of enchanted Sirens of deep water, may affect Tuesday’s election.

— That Bill Self, basketball’s crowned warlock, will reload at Kansas and serve another reminder of what the stingy Illini missed.

— That Boardwalk Empire’s Nucky Thompson may yet be taken down by gangster goblins.

— That the NCAA tennis tournament will be conducted here in the spring, and I’ll have apparitions to root for.

My concerns grow and grow ...
— That Syracuse’s Wicked Witch of the East might find the right broom and fly back just as campus leadership settles in. Scares me.

— That the Assembly Hall’s “House of ’Paign” will become a Haunted House of Pain for the hosts at conference time.

— That Northwestern is performing to a level where the Purple Monsters can claim the motto: Our Team, Our City.

— That Tim Beckman would earn the Scarecrow role, and not the Wizard, if he loses another 22 pounds.

— That Tom Crean and the Indiana Hoosiers may ride their crazed fandom to a long, triumphant run. Batten down the hatches.

— That the Headless Horsemen in Springfield have dug our fair state into a financial abyss that generations of magicians couldn’t haul it out of.

— That the boss will make me tweet my next article, as punishment for today.

— That Kevin Hambly might be tangled in the web that has caught some of his UI coaching brethren and will miss the NCAA volleyball tournament.

And further, I worry ...
— That basketball dynamo John Groce may need considerable time to re-route seven years of cursed Bad Luck (two NCAA wins). And further, if Groce and Matt Bollant overcome the curse of Illinois, that they’ll receive an avalanche of offers.

— That the Christmas Grinch may steal another holiday season by pinching our pennies.

— That Chicago’s evil politicos will someday make downstate votes irrelevant. Oops, it has already happened.

— That Mark Johnson might put a headlock on me if I don’t join the YMCA. And he’s the warlock who can do it.

— That Beckman’s Illini may top their longest Big Ten losing streak. They went 19 without a win (three ties) under Gary Moeller, lost 15 straight in the late ’90s, and 14 in a row in 2003-04. Did the Illini insult a billy goat somewhere along the line?

— That Mike Thomas, who insists his glass is always half full, may have it spilled in his lap by inconsiderate win-now critics. What’s in their Kool-Aid? And what did I put in mine today?

Loren Tate writes for The News-Gazette. He can be reached at ltate@news-gazette.com.

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illini82 wrote on October 31, 2012 at 9:10 am

What scares me the most:

  • As bad as the FB team is now it will likely get worse before it gets better.

  • That  we might be 5-8 or more years from a winning FB season.

  • That PSU is already on a stronger footing in FB than we are and will be for years to come.

  • That when people say Groce and Illinois they really mean "Gross" when B10 play begins.

  • That those of us over 50 who lived the heady days of Mike White and Mack, the  89' Flying Illini , the Self years, and the 2005 Final Four may never live to see days like that again.

  • That it'll be at least another 23 years between Rose Bowls

  • That Illinois eventually gets pushed out of the B10. Actually might be a relief.

  • That our income tax which was nearly doubled a few years ago will be doubled again within a few years

  • That owning homes in this state will be akin to having Confederate war bonds.

But what scares me the most is that as bad as things are now we are likely to have 4 more years of both Obama and Tim Beckman while the media and Mike Thomas tell us that warm, wet feeling on our back is just rain.

Dan Bloeme wrote on October 31, 2012 at 11:10 am

Tate says "Mike Thomas, who insists his glass is always half full, may have it spilled in his lap by inconsiderate win-now critics." Inconsiderate critics? How dare anyone criticize Thomas, or Beckman, or even ol' man Tate.  Considerate fans should accept losing unquestioning, should worship the genius that is Mike Thomas (a legend in his own mind) and bow to MAC clown Beckman (went mediocre 21-16 at Toledo, won no conference titles or even his division) who has made this Illini football team far worse than it was last year under Zook & Koenning and has assembled a staff of disjoint, squabbling, inept even more clownish assistants. How dare Tate tell readers how they must think and act, reserving all criticism of Illini coaches or DIA for himself alone. Time to retire, crotchety, hypocritical, myopic old man Tate. Time for some fresh air in town and significant change all the way around concerning football administration. Fans rightfully should be upset and no longer accept the garbage product being forcefed to us by Beckman the Clown & Thomas the Snake excused by Mighty Blowhard Tate. Enough is Enough!

Moonpie wrote on October 31, 2012 at 11:10 am

Obi Wan Tate and his little schoolboy obesssion with hating Phelps, Pearl, and "evil" Chicago. Sane folks can usually get over these things.

illinihimeyiswhiney wrote on October 31, 2012 at 11:10 am

Chubacca moonpie and his schoolboy obsession with hating Tate, the News Gazette, and opinions that differ from his. Sane folks can usualy get over these things.

OrlandoIllini wrote on October 31, 2012 at 11:10 am


How would you know what sane folks do?

chuckles wrote on October 31, 2012 at 4:10 pm

While I am not chanting 4 more years, Illini fans should know by the end of Beckman's second year if he is tricking or treating us.