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Pulse of the Illini Nation: Are You Attending the Next Home Game?

The Illini faithful are a stubborn bunch.

NCAA Football: Purdue at Illinois Mike Granse-USA TODAY Sports

No one associated with Illinois football was happy this past weekend. Not the coaches, not the players, and definitely not the fans. But what will the response be? We can’t speak for the team, but we do have a way to gauge the fans’ thoughts on their possible attendance at the next Illini home game.

Several of the first few responses were from the stalwart fans who’ve been through this before and are ready to keep toughing it out.

But it was clear that the impact of a homecoming blowout loss had left its mark on a fan base hungry for even the slightest sign of life from Illinois football.

This loss hurt worse than most. It’s one thing to get blown out in a game that we’re not supposed to keep close, but homecoming is supposed to be that one game where anything is possible, even against vastly superior teams. So an uninspired performance against a conference peer leading to a 39-point loss is absolutely crippling. That said, we’ve been there as a fan base before.

Many fans also indulged in the though experiment of how much they would need to be paid to attend the game, much less shelling out any of their own hard-earned cash to watch the Illini in person.

Few Illini fans expected to see a finished product on the field last week, but everyone at least hoped to see signs that play was improving. What we got was the exact opposite, and a performance that was likely worse than what we would’ve seen had the 2017 Illini taken the field instead. It’s hard to preach patience when progress doesn’t appear to be happening, but we can’t do anything else besides hope that experience will cure what currently ails the Illini.

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