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Confessions Of A Terrible Illini Fan

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It's time I admitted something.

I chose this?
I chose this?
Kevin Jairaj-US PRESSWIRE

We all have moments in our fandom that we're not proud of. No, I'm not talking about the time I poured a Sprite on a Hoosiers fan's head at Homecoming in 2006. I felt bad about that for three minutes. I'm not a good person.

No. I'm talking about something else entirely. I'm talking about missing out on a major moment in team history. I'm talking about missing the Arizona game.

Backstory: I was 16 years old. I had helped my uncle move some equipment out of his laboratory on the UIC campus so that he could take it north to Madison. He rewarded me by giving my dad and I tickets to that night's Bulls game.

Yes, I missed potentially the greatest comeback in Illini basketball history to watch Reggie Miller's last trip to the United Center. Miller drew two technicals and got booted, which was amazing. But doesn't quite compare to what was happening in Rosemont at the same time.

They kept flashing the score of the Illini game on those running scoreboards around the arena. It was depressing watching the gap between the Wildcats and our Illini. But then the magic started happening and that gap shrank. When we saw that the game went to OT, people started filing out of their seats to go watch the Illini game in the hallways. It was amazing. When the final score went up some time in the fourth quarter of the Bulls game, the entire arena erupted in cheers. Eddy Curry never looked more confused. None of the players could understand why everyone was cheering so loudly during a timeout.

I'm not upset that I missed it. But it would have been nice to have seen it live.