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Illinois Announces Creation of the Chicago Athletics Advisory Board

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Old Feb 13, 2013, 02:35 PM   #51
Blue
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It's a joke to think that there's something 'fishy' about this, right? Ugh. People with influence and big connections in Chicago tend to have more money. That is sort of how the world works.

Mike Thomas isn't going to go knock on the door of some random alum and ask him to head up the effort in making Chicago a bigger Illini town. Come on. Half his job is to get money from alumni. Not all donors are trying to cheat. I really hate that stigma.

Even if they WERE to cheat, do you think they would put together a LIST and PUBLISH the names of the people involved?! Haha.

I'm sure you're thinking, "Idk, there's just something fishy about it..."

Come on, dude.
Rant over.
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 03:14 PM   #52
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There's also the fact that they are the colors of a popular gang.
Why can't we have a popular gang adopt OUR colors?!?

That's why we aren't elite.
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 03:27 PM   #53
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Why can't we have a popular gang adopt OUR colors?!?

That's why we aren't elite.
Blood stains are hard to get out of Orange.
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 03:59 PM   #54
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I think one of the big problems we have with Chicago is that the population is so big, the U of I can't possibly admit all the people who would like to go there (or at least have interest). Over time that builds a lot of resentment.

I'm not saying it to sound elitist, but it is so hard to get into Illinois now, a lot more so than even when I went there 10+ years ago. I know family after family from the suburbs who had kids not quite able to get in who ended up elsewhere. And these kids don't go to lower level schools like NIU, ISU, or SIU where there's a chance they may maintain some allegiance to Illinois. They end up at our "rivals" like Iowa, Indiana, Purdue, Wisconsin, and Michigan St. Once your kid has been turned away and your tuition checks are going to one of these schools, there's no love left for the Illini. We've lost any hope of ever making a fan out of that kid and their extended family. On top of that, some of the kids who actually can get in to Illinois view it as passe` and would rather end up at places like NW, Michigan, Stanford or an Ivy.

I try to compare Illinois to Ohio St. because they have such a rabid, loyal fanbase statewide in a similarly populated state. But there are some key differences. For one, their population is more highly dispersed, including a large amount in their college town. Also, there aren't many rival options within a few hours drive. Lastly, Ohio St. hasn't historically been nearly as difficult to get into, although it is improving. For these reasons, many students end up at one of the 6 MAC schools in Ohio which allows them to maintain some allegiance to Ohio St. as well. Even at schools like Dayton and Xavier that don't have D1 football teams, OSU ends up being the default team.

I would love for Illinois to reach the level of loyalty that a school like Ohio St. enjoys. But with so many schools having a foothold in Chicago, it is going to be hard to do. I think this board is a step in the right direction though.
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 04:35 PM   #55
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They seem to be just trying to draw some more interest in ILLINI athletics around Chicago... more interest we have= more money donated. more money donated=better facilities. better facilities (hopefully)= better recruits and more winning. more winning= more fans and we start the cycle all over again with more donations.
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 06:25 PM   #56
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I think one of the big problems we have with Chicago is that the population is so big, the U of I can't possibly admit all the people who would like to go there (or at least have interest). Over time that builds a lot of resentment.

I'm not saying it to sound elitist, but it is so hard to get into Illinois now, a lot more so than even when I went there 10+ years ago. I know family after family from the suburbs who had kids not quite able to get in who ended up elsewhere. And these kids don't go to lower level schools like NIU, ISU, or SIU where there's a chance they may maintain some allegiance to Illinois. They end up at our "rivals" like Iowa, Indiana, Purdue, Wisconsin, and Michigan St. Once your kid has been turned away and your tuition checks are going to one of these schools, there's no love left for the Illini. We've lost any hope of ever making a fan out of that kid and their extended family. On top of that, some of the kids who actually can get in to Illinois view it as passe` and would rather end up at places like NW, Michigan, Stanford or an Ivy.

I try to compare Illinois to Ohio St. because they have such a rabid, loyal fanbase statewide in a similarly populated state. But there are some key differences. For one, their population is more highly dispersed, including a large amount in their college town. Also, there aren't many rival options within a few hours drive. Lastly, Ohio St. hasn't historically been nearly as difficult to get into, although it is improving. For these reasons, many students end up at one of the 6 MAC schools in Ohio which allows them to maintain some allegiance to Ohio St. as well. Even at schools like Dayton and Xavier that don't have D1 football teams, OSU ends up being the default team.

I would love for Illinois to reach the level of loyalty that a school like Ohio St. enjoys. But with so many schools having a foothold in Chicago, it is going to be hard to do. I think this board is a step in the right direction though.
I think that it is partially the large population (as well as the host of transplants) that is to blame, but a lot of large cities have close connections to their flagships. Detroit is full of loyal Wolverines, Houston is in love with the Longhorns, and Atlanta is close with their Bulldogs. All of them have noticeable minorities (Spartans, Aggies, and Yellow Jackets), but there is no doubt that the flagships own those cities.

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Old Feb 13, 2013, 06:27 PM   #57
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:laugh: You were giggling the whole time you wrote that post, weren't you? As a science geek, I approve.
I was. And, when I explained to my wife (a writer) what was so funny, she said, "Its just a pun."

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Old Feb 13, 2013, 06:34 PM   #58
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Well, I am quite glad we got Cation. I would hate to have his brother Anion. It would be so negative.
Well I'm sure either one could get the crowd charged up.
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 02:18 PM   #59
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Illinois aims for stronger Chicago presence

In about a month, the Chicago River will be dyed green for the city's St. Patrick's Day celebration.

If Illinois athletic director Mike Thomas gets his way, the river could soon turn a different shade.

"There's certainly things we can do to brand and market our program better to create a much greater presence up there," Thomas told ESPN.com on Thursday, "whether it's on billboards or whether it's dyeing the river orange. I know that may not go over well with the powers-that-be."

An orange river certainly would attract attention in Chicago. And that's the goal for Illinois, which is trying to penetrate the Big Ten's largest market, one filled with Illinois alumni and fans but also saturated with other sports and leisure activities.

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Old Feb 14, 2013, 03:13 PM   #60
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Original photo by fourth photography. (Photoshopped dramatization by me.)

Last edited by Dan; Feb 15, 2013 at 09:25 AM.
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 03:34 PM   #61
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 06:13 PM   #62
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Flashbacks to Ghostbusters II


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Old Feb 15, 2013, 06:51 AM   #63
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I don't know if I would mind this. Do it in March when the Illini make the NCAA tournament (Would be a week or so after the river is green).

Does anyone know how long the green dye stays in the river after St. Pats?



On a side note, orange would be a good tribute to the Irish protestants in the Chicago area.
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Old Feb 15, 2013, 08:53 AM   #64
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So, Dan, funny story but this is actually MY picture!

I took it back in 2010 when a few of my friends and I went downtown to experience St. Patrick's Day in the city. You can see the original post of this picture on my Flickr. It's made its way around the internet since then and was also used by Crate & Barrel on their Facebook page last year. I asked them to take it down since they didn't credit me (I blogged about that...). Anyway, I actually appreciate the modification for visualization purposes, but can I get a photo credit?!

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Old Feb 15, 2013, 09:28 AM   #65
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So, Dan, funny story but this is actually MY picture!

I took it back in 2010 when a few of my friends and I went downtown to experience St. Patrick's Day in the city. You can see the original post of this picture on my Flickr. It's made its way around the internet since then and was also used by Crate & Barrel on their Facebook page last year. I asked them to take it down since they didn't credit me (I blogged about that...). Anyway, I actually appreciate the modification for visualization purposes, but can I get a photo credit?!
Hi ivwilsoniv, great photo I put your photo credit on the home page & in this thread, let me know if that works. If at any time you want me to modify the credit or take the photo down let me know by PM. Thanks
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Old Feb 15, 2013, 09:29 AM   #66
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"The board consists of a very loyal and supportive group of alumni and donors with deep connections to Chicago and a love of Fighting Illini Athletics".

What deep connections? When I read that it makes me think of deep pockets. And when I think of that, it makes me think of something fishy.
You're reading into "deep connections" way too much. I'm almost certain that implies people who live in the area, grew up there, have Illini connections, and are well respected in Chicagoland.

Nothing more.

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Old Feb 15, 2013, 02:05 PM   #67
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Original photo by fourth photography. (Photoshopped dramatization by me.)
It's...........it's beautiful.

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Old Feb 15, 2013, 03:33 PM   #68
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LOVE that. It should be an annual tradition that on Selection Sunday, the river is dyed Orange. Emphasis on annual, because we'll always be in the Tournament.
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Old Feb 15, 2013, 03:48 PM   #69
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Does anyone know how long the green dye stays in the river after St. Pats?
... um, never?


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On a side note, orange would be a good tribute to the Irish protestants in the Chicago area.
My first thought was, "We have those in Chicago?"

Every Irishman and Irish-American I know is Catholic. Even the ones who don't attend mass anymore would be livid if anyone referred to them as a Protestant.
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Old Feb 15, 2013, 04:34 PM   #70
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Exactly. To be skeptical of this you have to be pretty negative. It's really a no-brainer and something we should have been doing for decades. It costs us nothing and has huge potential, it can't hurt. You get alumni in the city together and excited about UI sports and it creates more buzz, then bars see that and do things to capitalize on that buzz and it just snowballs from there.
I prefer to be called cautiously optimistic rather than skeptical. For you and others that may not be familiar with the history, the DIA (GIA before it) have had a staffed office in Chicago or the suburbs since at least the late 70's. The current office has been there for at least ten years, but probably longer.

I have always looked at the Chicago area as four different groups from an Illini perspective. The first is the active fan base that has some level of interest regardless of the on field/court success. That would be everyone on this board and others. The second group is those alums that didn't care about sports in college and care less now. This is a much larger group than many of us realize because our perspective is so different. The third group are those that are interested when things are going well and not when things are not. I'm guessing this is the largest group. The last group is the non-alumni that like sports and will attend games if things are going well.

I personally believe that the only way to impact recruiting is to win. Consistently. I don't envision this group as having much impact on recruiting, but perhaps they can in some way.

I'm not sure what having a "presence" in Chicago means, but I hope it works. I can tell you from some experience, the downside of having passionate Illini involved is because they aren't objective.

NU has spent an incredible amount of money on marketing over the last few years and I'm not sure what impact it has had outside annoying Illini fans. They still can only sell out football or basketball based on the opponent. They even have something Illinois doesn't and that is a successful football program. I can't speak to any impact it has had on recruiting outside of on field success.

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Old Feb 15, 2013, 05:19 PM   #71
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I prefer to be called cautiously optimistic rather than skeptical. For you and others that may not be familiar with the history, the DIA (GIA before it) have had a staffed office in Chicago or the suburbs since at least the late 70's. The current office has been there for at least ten years, but probably longer.

I have always looked at the Chicago area as four different groups from an Illini perspective. The first is the active fan base that has some level of interest regardless of the on field/court success. That would be everyone on this board and others. The second group is those alums that didn't care about sports in college and care less now. This is a much larger group than many of us realize because our perspective is so different. The third group are those that are interested when things are going well and not when things are not. I'm guessing this is the largest group. The last group is the non-alumni that like sports and will attend games if things are going well.

I personally believe that the only way to impact recruiting is to win. Consistently. I don't envision this group as having much impact on recruiting, but perhaps they can in some way.

I'm not sure what having a "presence" in Chicago means, but I hope it works. I can tell you from some experience, the downside of having passionate Illini involved is because they aren't objective.

NU has spent an incredible amount of money on marketing over the last few years and I'm not sure what impact it has had outside annoying Illini fans. They still can only sell out football or basketball based on the opponent. They even have something Illinois doesn't and that is a successful football program. I can't speak to any impact it has had on recruiting outside of on field success.
I agree with your assessment of the groups of Chicago Illini fans, however, I don't think it's set in stone and it's those who are on the edges that this is aimed at. Look at it this way, this board brings us ardent Illini fans together and because we see others obsessing like we do it makes us even more passionate.
That's the point of this committee, to make it so every Illini game is a bar event in downtown Chicago through marketing and exposure. And when that happens you have the casual fans looking forward to games. Look at the Blackhawks, you can see that once their games started to be broadcasted on TV and gamenight became a barnight, there were people who never watched hockey before going crazy during games. It's sort of the back of the house workings of any successful team. Look at all the big tailgating football schools, they keep their attendance through losing spells because nobody wants to miss a tailgate even if they don't know the QB's name.
You mention the DIA and the fact that they felt they had to create this committee speaks to their success. I have feeling the DIA is being outmanuevered by the marketing team at NU. This new committee seems to be more current and forward thinking and that's what's going to take to get the ball. You can debate about recruiting and wining as a chicken and egg argument, but getting smart people with connections behind your program never hurts (Phil Knight - Oregon). All it takes is one recruit to notice that and it snowballs.
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