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Coach Beckman delivers pizza to the Marching Illini

It truly is the giving season!

Mike Granse-USA TODAY Sports

As an alum of the Marching Illini, it is often said that the team and the band develop a relationship that's mutually beneficial to both programs.  Both groups practice long, hard hours during the week and bond over the work ethic that is required to be successful on the field either during the game, or during halftime.

During the pre-season, the team and the band meet for a one-on-one which gives the team the opportunity to hear some of the stand tunes that band plays during the game.  There's usually a good amount of dancing on the player's part, and everyone has a good time getting excited for the football season to start.

We all know that not every game goes as planned, and fans usually leave early when the team isn't performing on the field.  However, there is always 350+ people that stand with the team win, lose, or draw...and that's the Marching Illini.  Sitting through a 2 and 3 win season in 2009 and 2012 wasn't the most exhilarating time for me on campus, but it was cool to see the support the team showed the band long after the final whistle blew.  It also showed me how much each group respected each other, which is something most people don't get to experience with ANY team.

On Tuesday (the 23rd) at 4:30pm, the Marching Illini boarded their coach buses and began their 15+hour bus ride south to Dallas, TX.  Along the way, the convoy of 8 buses stumbled upon some trouble, and the band's journey was put on a brief delay.  Once everything was sorted out and back to normal, the convoy continued their journey south. In order to make up the time they had lost, the band had to skip a few rest stops in order to arrive in Dallas at their designated call time.  Once they arrived in Dallas, the band was greeted with pizza sent from Coach Beckman to make up for a food stop they had to skip.

I'd say they were very appreciative of the gesture from Coach and the team...

This was a message from a band TA to Coach Beckman, followed by Beckman's response...

And even Ed Bond (producing engineer for Illini Radio) spread some Christmas cheer...

It's the little things like this, that truly go a long way.

Go get 'em today band, and...

GO ILLINI, BEAT THE BULLDOGSssssssssss