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 firstname.lastname@example.org.