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#AskTCR: World Cup Fever


We all know the Illinois arm tattoo made it possible.
We all know the Illinois arm tattoo made it possible.
Laurence Griffiths

Since the last mailbag a mere fortnight ago, I turned 26, helped a friend move to Colorado (lovely state), purchased a scooter, and watched more soccer than humanly healthy. What a summer! I also dug ditches and got covered in ticks, but that's less fun to remember. We're not terribly far away from Rantoul and basketball recruiting is hitting that weird midsummer stretch so hopefully we'll have more Illini intrigue and whatnot to write about.

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.


Damned if I know. I guess he felt he'd completely lost the starting job to Nate Sudfeld, which in all fairness, would make me want to transfer away too. But Illinois State? The Redbirds? How was there not an FBS team willing to give him a home?

He's not an amazing quarterback, but he did complete 60% of his passes last year at 8.2 Y/A. His TD/INT ratio of 15/4 is pretty nice and he even has mobility to boot. It's pretty weird. I guess he really wanted that automatic eligibility.


His desire to make no statement either way until after returning from vacation with his family makes it a great deal harder to predict. It feels like the grand experiment that was the uber-Heat is about to come to an end though. I don't buy the "Carmelo Anthony to Miami" rumors for a second. Yes, it would make the team ungodly good, but do you really think James, Chris Bosh, and Dwayne Wade would all honestly take the necessary paycuts to make that happen? I don't.

All that being said, I'm going to take the safe bet and say he stays in Miami. The Heat are still near the top of the contenders list next year. It would be pretty fun to watch him take a new team to those heights, but I don't think that happens this season.


An email from David-

Which Illinois sport brings us the next national championship?

Men's golf. They've been on a tear the past few years, finishing second in the nation in 2013. They're the closest team to the mountain top and easily have the best chance of bringing home the next national championship, that will sadly go unnoticed almost everywhere. But not here.


Even worse for you is that you're a Cubs fan, so there's no respite there. But reasons to live? Bob, there are many.

  • Because no one who lived on the 3rd floor of Scott Hall or had Brian Gordon as their Psych 100 TA should die this early
  • Because it's summer. That winter was miserable and long and it's finally nice out!
  • Because even though it's months away, the Illini should actually be fun to watch this year in football.
  • Because John Groce is making headway with top recruits.


An email from Jon-

Last week spoiled me so now every time I go to the site I expect to see the next great recruit of the Illini football future has just committed. However that has not happened. What are you doing wrong?

I left Kansas, however so briefly. Seriously though, the day I drove west, Flynn Nagel committed to Duke. High schoolers stopped throwing their lot in with us. I come back and mere days later Raphael Barr joins the 2014 roster. I've accepted my fate that for the Illini to successfully recruit, I can never leave the Sunflower State again. I carry this burden for all of you.


The win over Ghana has the USMNT halfway there. Now they just need a draw against either a Portugal team missing most of its back half from either injuries or rage stupidity or the BMW that is Germany. So it's looking pretty good.

The non-conference schedule for the Illini all but guarantees them three wins, so they're also halfway there. Toss in that home game against Purdue and really all they need to do is manage to go 2-6 over the rest of the schedule and they're in.

I do think we go bowling this year, but I have more faith in the USMNT. All they need is one draw. All we need is six wins.


For those who didn't grow up two blocks away from me, this question might seem all sorts of creepy. My oldest sister (who graduated high school with Don) went on to graduate from Kentucky. The middle child decided she liked Peoria and earned her degree from Bradley. I am trapped in Kansas. The Illini flag is over the north window of the porch by the driveway I park my car in when I come home to visit. The orange has faded harshly in the light of the eastern windows.


Go back to your room and write more articles. You are on summer break, Matthew. Act accordingly.


An email from Shane-

The US win overshadowed it today but can we get some Tony Gwynn love? The guy was special and made 90s baseball fun.

If you could write a sequel to any movie that doesn't have one what movie would it be and what's the plot?

I'm an American League fan, so I didn't watch nearly enough of Tony Gwynn while he was actually playing. That being said, only a baseball ignoramus couldn't appreciate what he was. The internet is full of wonderful tributes and anecdotes about the man, and it all makes sense. He was one of those rare athletes who is actually as genuine and wonderful of a person as you hope they'd all turn out to be.

Tony Gwynn reminded me of the ultimate affable suburban dad. Just a big ol' guy who would tell you incredibly cornball jokes after inviting you in for a Coke and some cookies and asking you how classes had gone and if you were still with your significant other (whose name he of course remembers). It always sucks losing the good ones, especially to something as preventable as cancer brought on by dipping. Just don't dip. It's a stupid habit and it's going to have some terrible consequences down the road.

I don't think I would make a sequel to any of my favorite movies that aren't adapted from some other source. One, a lot of the movies I thoroughly enjoy have endings that would be completely ruined or invalidated by a sequel. How do you make a follow-up to In Bruges, Inception, Drive, or Layer Cake? Cool Hand Luke and Unforgiven end just how they should. Spiritual sequels are better for me, like Hot Fuzz or Seven Psychopaths, but I'm struggling to think of a movie I love that could use one. If it comes to me, I'll be sure to put it on Twitter and in the comments.


Nope. Barr was added to make up for RB Matt Domer not academically qualifying. A scholarship was freed up and some offensive talent was brought in to replace some offensive talent.


If the people care about the USMNT, you're not going to be able to. Since 2006, Illinois has been to three bowl games and won two of them. Until Monday night, the USMNT had played Ghana twice since 2006 and lost both times. Both losses ending World Cup runs before they really got started, all after the 2002 World Cup, in which it finally looked like we were ready to break through and join the big boy table. Illini bowl wins are lovely and rare, but a World Cup victory over Ghana (even in the first round) is even more rare.

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