Hello Illini fans!
I'd like to introduce myself as the newest writer for The Champaign Room. As you can see, my name is Matt. The last writer to join before me - also named Matt. I'd like to thank Jack's fixation with the name Matt for this amazing opportunity. And my parents.
Okay, so Jack doesn't really have a fixation with my name. I would, however, like to share how I came to this point. Remember when Tom Fornelli wrote his TCR farewell statement? He mentioned that if anyone was interested in taking his place to email Mr. Luke Zimmermann. Well, I did that. After what felt like a Rocky montage of sample writing and push ups, I finally made my way to Jack in tip-top writing shape.
A brief history on me: I've been a diehard Illinois fan for the majority of my life. I won't lie. I was enamored with Michigan's winged helmets and Fab Five as a kid, but I grew out of that stage like most respectable humans do. I enrolled at the University of Illinois in the fall of 2001. Fourth floor Weston, what up?! I did the whole fraternity thing and graduated in 2005. The highlights of our two major sports programs while I was on campus included a Big Ten Championship, I mean B1G Championship (there wasn't a hip conference logo back then), and a Sugar Bowl appearance by the football team during my freshman year. My senior year was blessed with the utter domination of college basketball by Dee, Deron, Luther and the rest of the basketball gang. Unfortunately, as you all know, neither fairy tale story had a fairy tale ending.
After graduation, I moved to Chicago, drove to the 2008 Rose Bowl with some crazy friends in a rented mini van, went through my Durkin's phase, and, this past year, moved to New York City where I am a proud member of the University of Illinois Alumni Club of Greater New York. I also write with some of my buddies on a private blog that we created for fun called the Illini Round Table. Promised shout out...check!
So here I am; writing about our beloved Illini for this amazing site. My focus will loosely be on recruiting for basketball (I'm praying for a Matthews/Bragg commitment) and football (we're in early with some very talented juniors). Expect a weekly update on both. Remember to check out Matt Silich's latest post on this weekend's football Junior Day as well. Also, expect a "wild card" post thrown in the mix once in a while where I put on my blue shades, chug some orange kool-aid, and get keyboard happy on anything and everything Illini related. I thought of a sweet name for this post too, but I can't reveal it yet. I'll let the suspense build.
I'm thrilled and honored to be a part of the team. I'm looking forward to continuing this great thing these guys have going.
G - O, Illini GO!