Here’s the tweet.
It’s been deleted, so here’s it being shared by our good friends at Indiana’s SB Nation site, Crimson Quarry.
It’s silly that Illinois felt like it had to delete this tweet because a few days ago, Nebraska was *still* on its hands and knees begging for credit https://t.co/kQBWuOSYFO pic.twitter.com/ccK2kNWOOf— crimson quarry (@crimsonquarry) November 21, 2020
If you spent any time on Twitter in the hours after the Illini’s dominant 41-23 win over Nebraska on Saturday, you saw that tweet.
Need some background?
Nebraska has said for MONTHS that it is solely the reason there is Big Ten football this fall (instead of in the spring OR not at all). Nebraska has also not done anything to back up its talk on the field, instead falling to 1-3 after arguably the best looking conference win of the Lovie Smith era.
So, then Illinois actually comes through on Saturday, and then the OFFICIAL @IlliniAthletics account tweets: “Good game Nebraska. Thanks for bringing back B1G football.”
Pardon the missing comma (“Good game, Nebraska”) and the shortened Big Ten (personally, I hate seeing B1G as such), it’s a helluva tweet. To be honest, I was stunned it came from the official account at first. Seems more TCR than DIA, if you know what I mean?
It garnered so much reaction. Like national attention.
The Illinois athletics department has now deleted their great tweet thanking Nebraska (who they beat 41-23 today) for bringing back Big Ten football. But the tweet is preserved in a screencap here: https://t.co/hMDPSIBEk2— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) November 21, 2020
Illinois deleted the tweet, and I’m pretty mad about it.— Tom Fornelli (@TomFornelli) November 21, 2020
But my personal favorite.
On this note: Scott Frost talked all week about how much he respected Lovie Smith's approach to this season.— Sam McKewon (@swmckewonOWH) November 21, 2020
I'll be curious to know what Smith and his boss, Illinois AD Josh Whitman, thinks of this tweet. https://t.co/ylzBhqwjWF
Which led to...
Hi Sam, I am the Illinois director of athletics, and I can confirm that this tweet is hilarious https://t.co/nPRCUBTdFx— Holly Anderson (@HollyAnderson) November 21, 2020
And from TCR’s very own...
And then, just like Nebraska’s chances at being a winning football program under Scott Frost, the tweet, vanished. It was deleted.
As someone who works in news and runs large social media accounts for a living, I get it. If there’s something that is going to cause a stir, you want to get that out. Take out the trash. And just delete it.
But, except for the crabby Cornhuskers, was this tweet doing any bad? If anything, it was doing WONDERS for the program.
It’s not a bad thing to have some swagger. You think about UMBC after it became the first No. 16 seed to upset a No. 1 seed (Virginia) a few years back. UMBC’s Twitter still carries that weight, and now, I often think about the Retrievers’ Twitter page.
Let’s make people think of Illinois. Let’s go from Lovie’s lovable losers — or, in some cases, Lovie’s losers — to that team in Champaign that has attitude, can win some football games, and can make fun of itself in the process.
Saturday’s game was the most complete game I’ve seen from the Illini in years. Why not celebrate it that you’re not in the cellar anymore of the Big Ten West?
Enjoy it, Nebraska. And thanks for bringing football back.