Feb. 8, 2007
Champaign, Ill. - Throughout the season, select Illinois women's basketball players will reveal what life is like behind the scenes in a periodic Women's BasketBlog. In the sixth edition of the season Lori Bjork wonders about the status of global warming and talks about Sunday's big game against Ohio State.
Women's BasketBlog // Feb. 8, 2007 // Lori Bjork
After almost two years of mild Champaign winters - the kind that make my native Des Moines seem like the frozen tundra - this week forced me to realize that the bitter cold hasn't completely forsaken central Illinois. Let's just say that the single-digit temperatures of the last week have provided about the only convincing refutation of global warming I have yet seen. Taking a shallow, shortsighted view (a perspective I am quite comfortable with), days like today make the future catastrophe of global warming seem like an almost welcome development. I know that the green among you, namely some members of my own family, will chastise me for such an irresponsible comment, but let's be honest: convincing people of the danger of warmer weather is a tough sell, especially when the nonbeliever is forced to walk around bundled up like a mummy just to stave off frostbite, windburn, and a host of other, more serious cold-related maladies.
But enough with the useless drivel about the weather, and onto the more important business of Illinois basketball. Tonight we have a huge road test at Purdue, and then coming up this Sunday we get another shot at the team atop the Big Ten Conference standings: the Ohio State Buckeyes (I have always been confused by that school's propensity for capitalizing the article "the" before the university's name, and in the interest of avoiding over-capitalization in the sentence, I'm risking the lawsuit and going with a lower-case "t"). We played them on January 21 in Columbus, and despite stumbling out of the gate; we managed to play them pretty even the rest of the way and lost by 10. However, one of Ohio State's hidden weapons (no, not the type that doesn't show up in the box score...look closely at the last line) were the 7,000 fans that arrived to support their team, even with roads so slick that our flight home was delayed several hours.
In round two against the Buckeyes, we would be grateful for a similar weapon: a raucous crowd that is anything but hidden. Thanks to the News-Gazette, this may be possible, but we still need a little help from you. The DIA and News-Gazette are sponsoring "Paper the Hall", distributing free tickets to Sunday's game. I know the loyal fans that skim this column regularly don't need me to get on my soapbox and inform them that this team could go places (i.e. NCAA) with a few more wins, but I hope they realize that a huge home-court advantage on Sunday would be a big help. So tell your friends, tell your neighbors, tell your coworkers (even if they aren't your friends), and let's "Paper the Hall" on Sunday (and while you're at it, you better tell them that the ticket is for a basketball game, and not some origami craft show). We'll try to make the free ticket worth every penny.
Lori Bjork #20