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#AskTCR: Supervillains, Broken Ribs, And Baseball


It was a big rock...
It was a big rock...
Bradley Leeb-USA TODAY Sports

Basketball season is almost officially over for everyone, which means it's just about time to start paying all our attention to the football team (unless our campus liaison covers the baseball squad for us). Hooray! Football! It also means we can distract ourselves with MLB for a month (Cubs fans) or two (Sox fans). We got a good variety of questions this week, which always makes me happy.

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. We'll 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.


This is kind of tough without knowing who I'm supposed to think is Batman in this scenario, but I still love the question. Obviously Beckman hasn't earned the right to be one of the top tier villains, so we can cross people like the Joker, Mr. Freeze, Riddler, and Two-Face off the list. But his success at Toledo means he gets to be more than a henchman or some one-note hack like the Calender Man. My initial reaction was to go with the original Ventriloquist, since Beckman does come off as a bit of a dummy and a joke (unfairly, but that's the prevailing opinion), but I think Killer Croc is actually a better fit.

He's not the brightest bulb in the box, though he is incredibly enthusiastic. He has everything he needs to be a frightening opponent (is a giant crocodile man/program building plan), but just can't get it all together or not trip over his own tail. If he ever figures it all out, everyone is in some deep shit though.

Does it still hurt? Do you have insurance? If you answered yes to both, go to Carle today. Please. There isn't anything they'll actually be able to do for it if it's actually broken (or if you just bruised the area), but it's better to know that something else didn't get damaged.

Story time! I turned 21 during the summer of 2009, a summer I happened to live in Champaign. While still 20, I decided to drink heavily to celebrate having taken my last final and earning a B in biochemistry. I started at 1 PM. I stopped around 1 AM. While walking up the stairs at 602 E. Stoughton, I heard music from the roof. My French-Canadian neighbor was up there drinking with his brother and girlfriend. They lifted me up and we had a merry time. I slipped on my way down. To the tune of falling three floors to the ground. I did not bounce. Miraculously, nothing was broken. I walked up to bed and that was that.

Until two weeks later at work. While walking around the indoor pool deck at ARC, I sneezed. And then I collapsed. A friend drove me to Provena, as I was convinced I'd somehow torn an oblique. Radiographs were taken and a massive internal bruise was discovered on my right chest wall. I had walked around like that for two weeks. GO GET CHECKED.

An email from Scott-

If you were required to include your own snappy catch phrase a couple times each TCR article you wrote, what would it be?

Oh man, I hate catchphrases. Well, I don't so much hate catchphrases as I hate what I associate them with: lazy, lazy writing. When I think of catchphrases, I think of CBS comedies and laugh tracks. Sidebar: having watched three episodes ever of How I Met Your Mother, I think it's hilarious that people didn't see that ending coming. OF COURSE HE WAS GOING TO END UP WITH ROBIN. That's like being mad that Ross and Rachel wound up together at the end of Friends.

But to answer your question, I do actually say Abed's "cool cool cool" a startling amount in real life, so we'll go with that.

To start the season, I think we'll see the same starting five that we had to end this season so Abrams-Rice-Nunn-Hill-Egwu. After that though? I'm not so sure. Ahmad Starks will cut into the guards minutes. Paul and Black will do the same with the forwards. If Tate improves enough, he could completely displace Abrams. The only job that is 100% assured is Egwu's. It's going to be pretty interesting, but I'd feel comfortable betting on that being the starting five for the opening game of 2014, provided no transfer mayhem/injury bug attack.

In case you were unaware, yesterday was April Fool's Day. Which is a pretty awful day for Twitter in general, because most AFD pranks are terrible. @FauxPelini pretended to sell out yesterday in a very, very transparent gag. I'm talking rubbing a Double Down on printer paper transparent. AND BRANDON FELL FOR IT. MOCK HIM. MOCK HIM SO HARD.

As for your second question, judging by the guys in my keeper baseball league that are from Troy, I'm going to say it's that quality Troy education.

The good AFD jokes have at least a kernel of believability in them, so I can't even go as high as the Rose Bowl. But the Outback Bowl? Why, that's almost within the realm of possible! So we'll say the Outback Bowl.

Actual bowl game I could see them playing in this year? The Heart of Dallas Bowl against a Conference USA team. Is it sexy? Nope. Is it better than nothing? Incredibly so.

An email from Shane-

You're the crazy dictator of a small country. What laws do you enforce? What's your national sport?

Second question first: baseball. It's my favorite so it's the national sport. Sorry soccer, I love you too, just less.

Laws? Man, that is a lot harder. I'd probably keep it pretty close to what we have in the U.S. so as to not get homesick, though I would legalize marijuana and just tax the shit out of it (like cigarettes). I don't smoke, but my imaginary country isn't paying out the ass to keep pot dealers behind bars. I don't want to get too crazy, like banning people from saying stupid shit like "YOLO!" because it's important to know what kind of people I don't want to talk to or associate with. Drinking age goes back down to 18 though. If you're old enough to join the armed forces or vote, you're old enough to have a beer.

Not including medical (I don't like predicting injuries), I only see Michael Finke getting redshirted and maybe not even then. There is basically a 0% chance Leron Black gets redshirted, as the team needs impact talent. I'm not trying to insult Finke, but I think it would probably be better for his career with Illinois if he spent the first season not playing. We have a lot of forwards now, so we'll need to see how things shake out.

Yes. Life with baseball is always better than life without baseball. Always. Plus the Sox won't be nearly as bad as they were last season. If you can't get excited to at least watch Chris Sale pitch 30+ times, you might not have a pulse. The rotation should actually be pretty strong if John Danks' spring training was actually proof that his shoulder is fully-healed. Throw in Adam Eaton being the ideal center field/leadoff man and the preseason favorite for Rookie of the Year in Jose Abreu and you've got multiple reasons for why this will be a fun season to watch even though they won't make the playoffs. We're building something here and all the pieces matter.

I haven't heard anything you haven't. The trail is really quiet right now all around for Brunson, so take that to mean whatever you hope it to. My gut still says he isn't coming here though.

1. Helmets that don't suck. We don't have an iconic logo since we can't use the old Chief head. Just give me something original that we can stick that isn't just a knockoff of an existing pro or college team. I want what happened with Kansas State when they redesigned and landed the Powercat logo. Find something good and stick with it.

2. So much orange. We're one of the few major schools that actually wears orange. Every conference has one team. I want orange to be the identity. Navy blue is great and all, but so many schools use blue. Blue needs to be pushed heavily into the secondary color category. Orange. Orange all day. Orange every day. The Fighting Vitamin Cs.

3. Make it appeal to recruits. The jersey rebranding is not about us. It's about attracting teenagers. If they think it looks good, they'll be more likely to want to play in it. Of the three, this is probably the most important.

Florida is my only Final Four team left. I had Arizona winning it all, so really nothing matters about it any more. That being said, I'd like Wisconsin to win. I hate UConn and find their fanbase to be incredibly insufferable. I would like Florida to destroy them without any semblance or hint of mercy. And I can't cheer for UK, despite them winning it all recently winning me the grill I own. My oldest sister is a Kentucky grad/fan, so nope. Not cheering for them. So with it coming down to Florida or Wisconsin, I have to go with Wisconsin.


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