February 01, 2011

I've Got Spirit

For those of you that don’t know, (or haven’t seen my wardrobe), I attended the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. I played trombone in the Marching Illini and Illini Basketball Band. I attended all but maybe a handful of football and basketball (mens and womens) games during my 5 years while a student. To say I like the Illini is an understatement.

Or until recently, anyway.

You see, my fandom has always danced that fine line between extreme and obsession. Half of my wardrobe consists of orange articles of clothing. Not only is orange clothing rare, I actually have to make an effort to not wear something orange. Have you ever done a load of laundry consisting of ONLY orange clothing? Didn’t think so.

Today is special for a reason that I’m ashamed to admit: for the first time in the last 13 years, I did not wear orange on the same day that the Illini had a basketball game. I guess I should take a few steps back here; win or lose, for the longest time the excitement I got from watching the games and the ties it had to the best 5 years of my life made Gameday the happiest day of the year. The fact it happened 30 times a year made it even better; its like Christmas happening twice a month.

But this year something different happened to me that shook my very foundation. I lost enjoyment watching this basketball team. Huh? What? (Record Scratch!) No, I still enjoy college basketball and love sports in general, but to quote a tweet I saw online, watching this Illini team places the viewer firmly in a “No-Fun Zone.” Their effort and performance on the court have certainly not lived up to the expectations they set with their victory at Gonzaga. I questioned why I would put so much energy and effort into a team when I didn’t think their efforts were worthy of my efforts to be a fan.

So I punished them by watching the game tonight instead of going. (Snowmageddon had a minor role in this decision to not use my season ticket). And just when I thought they couldn’t stoop any lower, they played “decent” and “with energy” to TOTALLY REDEEM THEMSELVES!

So if anyone has tickets to the game at Northwestern this weekend, I’d be interested.


While the CPA, tech gadgets, 3 video game systems and love of cartoons all help with my nerd credentials, my music collection certifies my nerdiness double platinum. (See what I did there? Classic). Classical. Alternative. Hip Hop. Electronic. House. Classic Rock. Country. You name it, and you can probably find it in my music collection. To give you an idea, my iTunes collection currently stands at 8617 songs, 73.33GB, with a play time of 26:06:44:39, whatever that is, and there are still probably 50-60 CD’s in a binder that have yet to make their way to the digital library. It’s taken me almost 20 years to amass that type of collection. Some certainly stick out more than others, but we’re going to discuss one of them:

1994. Weezer. Blue Album.

This album is special to me for many reasons. The obvious is, of course, this album is ballz awesome. If you do not like love this album, we cannot be friends. This was the first album that turned into an absolute obsession for me. I had my mom drive me to Record Swap in downtown Homewood to purchase this album and I instantly fell in love. I could listen to this album three times in a row and never get bored with it. Later, my friends and I would jam out “Say It Ain’t So” and the “Undone: The Sweater Song” in Collin’s basement over and over again. So when I found out that Weezer was going on the Memories Tour playing the Blue Album and Pinkerton in their entirety, well it was something I very well couldn’t miss.

To say these shows rocked is an absolute understatement. The pure energy in the crowds as well as on stage made both shows a true rock experience. While there I couldn’t help but think of us back in Collin’s basement. As good as I would like to think we were, the real deal is so much better. So high fives to Weezer, The Greatest band that ever lived.