Jim Rossow

Jim Rossow

Rossow: For every Illini positive, there''s also a negative

CHAMPAIGN – Sorry to blow an inadvertent whistle on an otherwise splendid day at Memorial Stadium. But for each positive produced by Illinois against Illinois State, there was a negative lurking somewhere close by.

Like those fighter jets that zoomed over before kickoff. As exhilarating as the moment was, the pilots might want to clear the goal posts by more than a couple feet next time. Ears in the upper deck probably still are ringing this morning.

Rossow: Redbirds reserving reaction

   We know what will happen today if Illinois somehow loses to its Division I-AA guests. The coach will schedule a midnight practice. The players will ask Dwayne Smith how to transfer. And 6,000 angry Boy Scouts will storm the ticket office demanding refunds. Or at least candy bars.

   What we don''t know is how Illinois State will react.

Illini start orange, end blue

   ST. LOUIS – You wouldn''t have blamed the Illinois football players for thinking they had walked into the wrong locker room. Like the Denver Broncos''. Or Clemson''s.

   Instead of their usual home blue jerseys and orange pants, the Illini found nothing but orange waiting for them Saturday morning.

Rossow: Gutsy play''s a definite inspiration

   ST. LOUIS – He could order up even more orange, maybe some socks and shoes to match the tops and bottoms. He could gather the starters at South Farms and castrate to motivate, a trick that got the Mississippi State coach in hot water a few years ago. Or he could have the team give up its normal swank digs the night before kickoff for something more spartan, like Forbes Hall.

Opinions wanted

Starting this season, The News-Gazette sports section will produce an opinion page each Monday, and we need your help.

We''re looking for opinions from SportsFacts subscribers who regularly watch Illinois football games. Here''s how it would work: On Saturday, you''d watch Illinois on TV. On Sunday morning, you''d e-mail us a paragraph or two on what you thought about the Illini''s performance. On Monday, we''d run selected responses  including your name and hometown  on our opinion page.

Opinions wanted

Starting this season, The News-Gazette sports section will produce an opinion page each Monday, and we need your help.

We''re looking for opinions from SportsFacts subscribers who regularly watch Illinois football games. Here''s how it would work: On Saturday, you''d watch Illinois on TV. On Sunday morning, you''d e-mail us a paragraph or two on what you thought about the Illini''s performance. On Monday, we''d run selected responses  including your name and hometown  on our opinion page.

Opinions wanted

   Starting this season, The News-Gazette sports section will produce an opinion page each Monday, and we need your help.

   We''re looking for opinions from SportsFacts subscribers who regularly watch Illinois football games. Here''s how it would work: On Saturday, you''d watch Illinois on TV. On Sunday morning, you''d e-mail us a paragraph or two on what you thought about the Illini''s performance. On Monday, we''d run selected responses  including your name and hometown  on our opinion page.

Citizenship latest step in love affair

   Sujay Lama never intended to stay so long. His plan was to come to America, get a college degree and then hit the road.

   But he met a beautiful wife here, had a beautiful child here, found wonderful work here. He was living the American dream in vivid color, even if he wasn''t an American citizen.

Rossow: Assembly Hall could take new direction

   Some things to think about as anticipation builds for the home nonconference basketball schedule, especially the Maryland-Eastern Shore game:

   The question no longer is if the Assembly Hall will remain home to Illinois basketball. It''s who''s going to be running the joint?

Rossow: Tournament still looking good at 50

   SAVOY  The golf has always been good at the UI Open. But, after 50 years, the stories are even better.

   Like the time Marty Schiene won the area''s classic amateur tournament.