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#AskTCR: In Which We Remember I'm Weird For Mike LaTulip


Don't pretend you don't want to go to New Orleans with him.
Don't pretend you don't want to go to New Orleans with him.
Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

For the past two weeks, a solid amount of questions have been kind of time sensitive. Which is okay, except for one thing: unless you want me to look like some sort of sorcerer or rube, it's kind of silly to ask me questions that will be answered themselves on Tuesday night when the post goes up on Wednesdays at noon. So maybe let's work on that for next week.

There are two ways to ask The Champaign Room your questions. You can tweet them at us on Twitter using the hashtag #AskTCR -- it just makes it easier to keep track -- or you can email them to us at And if you've got a personal question and you're worried about your privacy, just tell us. Well change your name to Tom Crean when we publish it on the site. And remember, you can ask us ANYTHING. It doesn't have to be about Illinois or even sports.

It's almost like people have forgotten that my answer to any question asked in the vein of "Which Illini basketball player would you like to do (insert activity here) with?" or "Which Illini player is essentially the coolest?", my answer is always going to be the same: Mike "the Snap Dragon" LaTulip (that's his nickname now that Tom left).

But seriously, it just makes sense in this scenario. If you pick one of the giants on the team, you're going to stick out like sore thumbs, and not in the traditional Mardi Gras "Look at the strange outfit I have on!" way. No, you're going to stick out because someone that tall must play basketball. But LaTulip? Just looks like your average Joe. But he has hidden tenacity that will get you through the madding crowds quickly to the best bars and parties. That's a necessary skill in a city you don't know. That's why my answer, once again, is the Snap Dragon.

An email from Scott Stein-

First off, bigger fan than Tim of The Champaign Room.

Any predictions on what next season's "Rayvonte's 35 pounds"/"Mike Tisdale's 6000 calorie diet" will be?

Also, Shaun White's gubernaculum.


I'm tempted to go with the Ahmad Starks transfer rejection storyline, but that doesn't quite feel right. So I decided to give you two answers, one team based and the other a single player. The single player story is going to be about how Darius Paul is the younger brother of former Illini standout Brandon Paul. It's not a terribly interesting story, but neither were the Rayvonte Rice nor Mike Tisdale ones. The other story will be how Illini basketball has recently turned into Transfer U. It's only been one player per season the past few, but next year's team will have three new transfers on top of Rice. That's a lot of roster spots for players who weren't originally Illini. Get ready to hear about that all winter.

It does help lessen the hurt a bit. Matthews would have been a pretty fantastic get even with the fact that the team is somewhat flush with twos and threes. Having a lot of talent is never bad. But it still sucks. If we land a giant and/or Jalen Brunson, the pain will be completely alleviated. I don't advise you to get your hopes up on either of those fronts though.

If we look back to each team's most recent season, the baseball team is in much better shape than the football one. But the College World Series is pretty danged hard to actually make it to. Every so often, Illini football catches lightning in a bottle and pulls of a miracle season out of nowhere that confuses and astounds everyone. I think they're more likely to pull that off again before the baseball team ends up in Omaha. I would love to see an Illini playing in MLB in the near future.

An email from Shane Baker-

What is the better show Futurama or American Dad?


What object, if it screamed its name every time it was used would be the most annoying?

First, going to have to go with Futurama, especially if we just consider the old episodes. The new ones aren't bad, but they just aren't on the same fantastic level as the ones from my childhood. American Dad is a lot better than I ever figured it would manage to be when it launched, which is a pretty impressive feat. The best cartoon on Fox is Bob's Burgers by a landslide. Bob's Burgers is the best non-Adult Swim cartoon on TV.

Second, laptop. I use it more than I use anything else. I would go insane if it yelled out "LAPTOP" every time I pressed down a key or clicked on something. The funniest would be toilets. I would never tire of a bar urinal screaming out "URINAL!" every time I had to use it. I would frequent that bar on purpose.

Landing both? <1%. I don't have any insider recruiting info, so it's not like I know any more than the rest of you. I'm just potentially more realistic than most. I don't think either is coming to Illinois, but I'd put slightly better odds on landing Brunson than landing Bragg. So if I have to put a number on each name, I'll say 10% for Bragg and something more around 25% for Brunson. They're fairly fake numbers though, so don't bet the farm on them. Well, actually you could bet a lot on them not coming to Champaign, because then if you're wrong, you'll be happy anyways!

Yes. Get your sweet buns to Kansas.

It has been a great deal of fun to watch him develop into what he is over one season. If Groce can do that with every four star recruit he lands, the program's future looks incredibly bright. It might sound a bit bullish, but I think his ceiling is honestly that of an All-Big Ten guard. A more realistic outlook might be second team. Either way, if he reaches his true ceiling, the fan base is going to remember him for a long time. If Groce misses out on landing a quality point guard, I wouldn't be too surprised to read about Nunn working on it at practice.

An email from Jeff Rittenhouse-

With another season of The Walking Dead in full swing, I'm forced to ask: is Carl the worst child character of any current or recent TV series? I just hate him so much. I easily put him ahead of Joffrey from Game of Thrones and even ahead of Dana from Homeland. Awful.

I can't fairly answer this question, as I abandoned the Walking Dead after the first season. The show had potential, but the whole CDC explosion ending just made me realize it wasn't ever going to amount to something I cared enough about to keep watching. Same thing happened to me with the third season of Dexter. People keep championing both shows later seasons as proof that it gets better, but I'm firmly off the boat for each.

As someone who absolutely loves Game of Thrones and has a Night's Watch recruitment poster hanging on the wall above his press pass, I disagree with the characterization of Joffrey as a terrible character. Joffrey is supposed to drive you insane. He's meant to be a completely irredeemable piece of shit. Unlike his father Jaime or grandfather Tywin, you aren't supposed to see a single aspect of the character that makes you want to root for anything more than his complete comeuppance. Jack Gleeson has truly nailed it.

I'm struggling to think of which show I actually enjoy watching that didn't effectively use a child character as well as they could have and I think it's a good sign that the only one I can actually think of is Breaking Bad and Walt Jr. He was a pretty one note character throughout, but they managed to fix that a bit when he protected Skylar from Hulk Walt near the end of the series.


Thank you for all the questions and sorry if I didn't get to yours. If you're curious, yes, Mike did submit another bowl game question because he is the most consistent human being alive. I look forward to what you guys (and girls) will come up with for me for next week.

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