One Illini's Nightmare

Four years ago, when we signed on for this job, one of the things we considered was the fanatacism of Husker Nation. We are big fans of Illinois. Kelle and I hold three and a half degrees from that great institution and we lived in Champaign 15 and 13 years respectively. Our blood runs blue and orange.

So, we thought "No problem...we can adopt the Huskers as our next favorite team and root for both. After all, they never actually PLAY each other. So we will never be conflicted!" Right.

Enter the conference revolution of 2010. The Huskers WILL play Illinois. Perhaps every year. Now what? It is a total lose-lose for me. Lets play this out...

Assume in the Illinois-Nebraska game of 2011, the likely outcome happens. Nebraska 42 - Illinois 24. At church the next day, comments are brutal, compassion is minimal. Steve Yost does a practical joke on me during the services - along with his Husker henchmen - that brings the humiliation even deeper. I'll be forced to preach with my proverbial tail between my legs and would have to continually repeat "Sticks and stones may break my bones..." LOSE.

But what if the unthinkable happens? An Illinois upset? Even if I wear my blue and orange tie that day and get a few good jabs in during the sermon, I'll get beat up in the parking lot on the way out of church. LOSE.

My only survival strategy is to keep my head down and hope for the best. Or, maybe I'll carefully schedule myself 'off' during the weekends Illinois plays Nebraska.