This post will not be meaningful to all of you, I realize. But read through it anyway and skip the video. This video, my friends, tells the abbreviated and not-very-well-videotaped tale of what was a great day in Illini basketball history. And if you’re a fan, you’ll remember where you were when you watched this game! And let me just acknowledge the atrocity that is this year’s basketball team, which we don’t even watch…I realize it’s bad people, but it will get better.
The date, I believe, was March 27, 2005, and Illinois (who had only lost one game the whole season) was playing Arizona in the Elite Eight game. I remember the date/time so well because I was T minus 10 days from giving birth to Bennett. The Final Four was to take place in St. Louis the next weekend, April 2-4, so if Illinois could pull off a victory against AZ, they’d be playing, here, and Matt. Had. Tickets.
We watched the game from our living room, with a sick-with-a-stomach-virus, 2 1/2 year old Luke sleeping on the floor. I kept insisting that Matt, who gets incredibly emotional during a good game like this one (because the coaches/players can hear you, of course, when you yell at the TV), keep it down so that Luke wouldn’t wake up. Both of us were pacing and screaming by the end, though, and I was crying when they finally won in OT. Here’s the video for those of you who care.
By winning, Matt was able to see his beloved Illini play here, in our town, and because he took customers to the game, he got the tickets for free (which is good, because we would have had to sell one of our kids to pay for them). If had been anything other than 9 months pregnant I’d have thrown a fit about not getting to go. But really, I was in no condition. Matt’s being at April 2nd’s game also potentially posed a problem, since I was so very pregnant, and Matt was sure that he wouldn’t hear his cell phone ring in the Dome if I went into labor. By Illinois winning the first game of the Final Four, it meant that I had to be nervous about this again on Monday, April 4th. And, if Illinois won that game, we’d be celebrating the biggest victory in the history of the program by giving Bennett the middle name “Weber,” after the coach. I’m not joking.
In the end, Illinois didn’t win the championship game. We were pretty bummed about that, but HELLO! we were about to have a baby, and we went into the delivery room for my induction on the evening of April 6th without a middle name picked out for baby boy #2….if you don’t already know Bennett’s name, stay tuned for a post in the very near future about names, and a little game I want to play with you, my readers! (That post is here.)