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God Damn It


Ball State v Illinois Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Jesus Christ......

God damn it.....


This is some bullshit.....

Is it the turf? It’s gotta be the damn turf right?.....

Were Dudek’s knees designed by committee? Is he cursed? Is the rule that Illinois fans can’t have nice things all too real?......

I hate this. It’s heartbreaking. It’s just so damn awful.

Dudek was the most exciting player of the decade for the Illini. His freshman season was pure joy. He came out of nowhere to put up a 1,000-yard season and make countless defenders look stupid. He was the 2014 offense and the reason the doofus Tim Beckman ever went to a bowl game. He single-handedly won the Ball State game in 2017.

And all Illinois ever got out of him for the next four years was three season-ending knee injuries and another injury filled season in 2017 where he play in 7 games making 24 catches. He should have been on the the leaders in every receiving category for the Illini.

This has to be the most devastating set of injuries for a college football player since Marcus Lattimore. And like South Carolina has done with Lattimore, Illinois needs to take care of Mike Dudek.

Give him a player development job. Put him on staff as a GA. Do anything and everything to pay him back for what he gave to Illinois because of these archaic NCAA rules he will never see a dime from his football playing career at Illinois. He could give the NFL a go, but really, it seems like a longshot at best he can have the health to ever make a living with football. Illinois should just straight up give this kid a million dollars because he deserves it.

Despite the idea that staying healthy is somehow a skill, it really is at the end of the day just luck. Luck of genetics — the angles of joints and bones, etc. — and luck on the field to not be injured. Dudek did nothing wrong. He doesn’t deserve any of this. He is just unlucky. So fucking unlucky.

Of course this is going to hurt Illinois on offense and make the development of this offense stagnate, but right now, I couldn’t give a shit about that. All I care about is making sure Mike Dudek is OK. Please share words of encouragement on Twitter for him (@MDFlash_7). Send him some real mail. We can’t as a fanbase let Dudek forget what he means to us and how we’ll always support him.

Dudek was is special. He gave everything he had for Illinois. He’s a player that always gave his absolute everything when he was on the field. He made some of the most exciting plays for Illinois in a dark, dark period of its football history. Dudek is everything you could ask for in an Illini.

I leave you with this tweet from Dudek. And I’m serious about the Twitter thing. Do it.