CHAMPAIGN – When it comes to using catch phrases, football coaches trail only politicians and advertising executives.
Get it done.
Deal with it.
Suck it up.
After most home games, Dustin Ward slips unnoticed into a tailgate party thrown by friends of his parents on the west side of Memorial Stadium. He's been a guest of Gary Lovingfoss and Tim Bridges since he wore diapers, and his routine hasn't changed since he went off to college.
But when the Illinois redshirt freshman showed up late Saturday afternoon, he was greeted by applause from the group of about 20. He grabbed a sandwich, a soda and everyone's attention, his face turning an Indiana shade of red in the process.
Jason West (1991-92) and 1975 NCAA champion Craig Virgin finished 1-2 in the annual men's alumni cross-country race Saturday at the UI South Farms.
Ask Howard Griffith if he's the Denver Broncos' MVP, and he lets out a hearty laugh.
After all, the humble eighth-year pro authored a book called "Laying it on the line: Notes of a team player". He used to wear out his thumb playing himself on "Madden Football" on the Sony PlayStation – "So I could get the ball," he said.
CHAMPAIGN – Fred Wakefield would like to see a stat sheet, please. The Illinois defensive end is ready to get his name listed on the offensive ledger.
Keep in mind, Wakefield had as big a hand in California's first touchdown pass as Bears quarterback Kyle Boller.
Luther Head is playing in a basketball tournament this weekend in Baltimore.
Mom misses him dearly. His four younger brothers and sisters don't want the trip to end.
"They get his bedroom," said Head's mother, Bonnie Gallion. "Right now we're kind of short on rooms around here. Sometimes it's hard to find a place to sleep, but not when he's gone."
CHAMPAIGN – Senior Betsy Spicer will leave the University of Illinois never having lost a match in the Illini Classic.
If junior teammate Shadia Haddad can't say the same a year from now, she'll be one disappointed volleyball player.
CHAMPAIGN – When the Illini are scoring 63 points in a bowl game and averaging 43-plus through six games, the defense doesn't expect to receive much recognition.
But coordinator Tim Kish and his corps stepped front and center Saturday as they performed yeoman work in a 17-15 squeaker at Memorial Stadium.
CHAMPAIGN – Illinois fullback Jameel Cook made a friend Saturday. And won himself a souvenir.
Stuck to his garment bag after the game was a decal from a California helmet, courtesy of Bears linebacker Chris Ball.