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Illinois Announces Creation of the Chicago Athletics Advisory Board

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Old Feb 12, 2013, 11:46 AM   #1
Dan
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University of Illinois Director of Athletics Mike Thomas announced today the establishment of the Chicago Athletics Advisory Board. 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.

The Chicago Athletics Advisory Board includes: Ryan Baker, Ronald Bess, Linda Buckley, Tom DiSanto, John Giuliani, Mary Kay Haben, Cary McMillan, Mike Meyer and Chris Williams.

http://www.fightingillini.com/genrel/021213aab.html
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 11:59 AM   #2
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Mike Thomas just gets it.

Sure Beckman might be his first coaching hire miss, but he just gets it.

Love that Baker - CBS on air personality is involved.

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Old Feb 12, 2013, 12:10 PM   #3
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Mike Thomas really does get it. Love the move. Next step, dismiss Cation as PA announcer and bring back the Legend we all know and love Jim Sheppard. It was bad enough when the Chief was eradicated, but the true daunting spirit and intimidation especially at the Hall every game was a derivative of Jim Sheppard's god-like voice and unique way of calling games.. Do the right think MT. I trust in you
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 12:20 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by BRy12 View Post
Mike Thomas really does get it. Love the move. Next step, dismiss Cation as PA announcer and bring back the Legend we all know and love Jim Sheppard. It was bad enough when the Chief was eradicated, but the true daunting spirit and intimidation especially at the Hall every game was a derivative of Jim Sheppard's god-like voice and unique way of calling games.. Do the right think MT. I trust in you
I'll never understand the sentimental attachment to P.A. announcers.

Local play-by-play and color analysts, sure, I get that. But P.A. guys?

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Old Feb 12, 2013, 12:21 PM   #5
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Mike Thomas really does get it. Love the move. Next step, dismiss Cation as PA announcer and bring back the Legend we all know and love Jim Sheppard. It was bad enough when the Chief was eradicated, but the true daunting spirit and intimidation especially at the Hall every game was a derivative of Jim Sheppard's god-like voice and unique way of calling games.. Do the right think MT. I trust in you
As AWESOME as that would be, I highly doubt it happens.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 12:22 PM   #6
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Ron Bess is huge in the advertising community. Check this article out from 2011
http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2...s-cone-belding
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 12:39 PM   #7
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I'll never understand the sentimental attachment to P.A. announcers.

Local play-by-play and color analysts, sure, I get that. But P.A. guys?

To me it's not so much of a sentiment towards one guy, but more of righting a wrong done when they let him go and brought in favor of the current announcing style. I wish the announcer--and the band, for that matter--sounded more like it did in the late 80's, but that's just my own personal taste. I'm sure some people love the way it is now, but I loved the era of a classic announcing style and a huge pep band that was so loud it would tick off the opposing team. I don't mean any offense to the current guy...it's just not for me.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 01:00 PM   #8
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a huge pep band that was so loud it would tick off the opposing team.
And me.

To me, the extremely loud band is one of the worst things about attending live college BB and FB games. I do not enjoy them whatsoever, and many times they are so loud they detract from my enjoyment of the game.

If you're sitting far enough away it's not so terrible. But if you're within 50 feet of them, especially if you're facing them, it's just too much. I'm there to watch a game, not listen to annoying pop songs played by a horn section.

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Old Feb 12, 2013, 01:00 PM   #9
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I'll never understand the sentimental attachment to P.A. announcers.

Local play-by-play and color analysts, sure, I get that. But P.A. guys?

Becaues a PA announcer has a direct influence on the atmosphere at a game. Something that radio/tv announcers do not.

No disrespect to Cation, but he has the voice of a teenage boy pre-high school. As a 4 year krush member, I share many students' and alumni's opinion when I say that there was an aura to Jim Sheppard's game calls that we all identified with. "That's a 3..." and "Are You Ready.." before tip-off made the hair on the back of my neck stand-up. Now we all cringe when Cation tries to get enthusiastic, it sounds awkward and non-authentic. Even my annoying friend from Purdue commented on how our current PA announcer "sounds pathetic" (he grew up going to games at the hall w/ Sheppard on the mic)

All those years when we were considered that toughest place to play obviously was because of our great teams and the krush. But Jim Sheppard was a major piece to that puzzle.

"Let's everyone sing...
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 01:04 PM   #10
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And me.

To me, the extremely loud band is one of the worst things about attending live college BB and FB games. I do not enjoy them whatsoever, and many times they are so loud they detract from my enjoyment of the game.

If you're sitting far enough away it's not so terrible. But if you're within 50 feet of them, especially if you're facing them, it's just too much. I'm there to watch a game, not listen to annoying pop songs played by a horn section.

Good point. I did sit in A-section behind the band a while back and I couldn't stand it. Without this getting into too much of a music critique, I do think our band used to sound good, but now it sounds weak and sloppy. If they're good, then crank them up like they used to, but if not, fire up an MP3 player.

Sorry to get off topic. Seems we had a "Gameday Experience" thread for football...maybe we should have one for basketball, too?
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 01:07 PM   #11
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Becaues a PA announcer has a direct influence on the atmosphere at a game. Something that radio/tv announcers do not.

No disrespect to Cation, but he has the voice of a teenage boy pre-high school. As a 4 year krush member, I share many students' and alumni's opinion when I say that there was an aura to Jim Sheppard's game calls that we all identified with. "That's a 3..." and "Are You Ready.." before tip-off made the hair on the back of my neck stand-up. Now we all cringe when Cation tries to get enthusiastic, it sounds awkward and non-authentic. Even my annoying friend from Purdue commented on how our current PA announcer "sounds pathetic" (he grew up going to games at the hall w/ Sheppard on the mic)

All those years when we were considered that toughest place to play obviously was because of our great teams and the krush. But Jim Sheppard was a major piece to that puzzle.

"Let's everyone sing...
The bolded sentiment, I agree with it.

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Old Feb 12, 2013, 01:10 PM   #12
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All those years when we were considered that toughest place to play obviously was because of our great teams and the krush. But Jim Sheppard was a major piece to that puzzle.
Hey, I understand if you liked his style or whatever. Personally, as I already stated, I couldn't care less about the P.A. guy. I'm there for the game. But that bolded sentence up there leads me to believe you might place a little too much emphasis on the importance of a P.A. announcer.

Crowds create great environments, and great teams/great games create great crowds. When AH was at its best it's because we were dominating opponents on the court. If our program hadn't hit such a low bottom, not many people would care who was behind the mic. It's not Cation's fault he came in when Illini basketball turned to garbage.

But, whatever helps keep interest up. Lots of different ways to be a fan. I'll never tell someone they're wrong if a P.A. guy enhances their experience. I just don't feel the same.

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Old Feb 12, 2013, 01:11 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Crow View Post
.

Sorry to get off topic. Seems we had a "Gameday Experience" thread for football...maybe we should have one for basketball, too?
Sorry, didn't mean to get off topic. I just feel strongly about Jim Sheppard being the voice of the Hall and Memorial Stadium.

This advisory board excites me. Can't wait to see how MT and JG can take over the city of big shoulders.. I'm sure this excites the CPL coaches as well.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 01:17 PM   #14
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Hey, I understand if you liked his style or whatever. Personally, as I already stated, I couldn't care less about the P.A. guy. I'm there for the game. But that bolded sentence up there leads me to believe you might place a little too much emphasis on the importance of a P.A. announcer.

Crowds create great environments, and great teams/great games create great crowds. When AH was at its best it's because we were dominating opponents on the court. If our program hadn't hit such a low bottom, not many people would care who was behind the mic. It's not Cation's fault he came in when Illini basketball turned to garbage.

But, whatever helps keep interest up. Lots of different ways to be a fan. I'll never tell someone they're wrong if a P.A. guy enhances their experience. I just don't feel the same.

Completely agree that we had an intimidating crowd/venue because of our outstanding teams. But I think you're a little naive if you don't think a PA announcer matters.

I also agree with you that it's not Cation's fault, you can't control how your own voice/tone sounds. However, when you have a guy (Jim Sheppard) who has that voice that you cannot teach. And that style that is so unique that gets fans like myself and many others SO attached, why discontinue that??

There's a reaosn why Gene Honda was given the White Sox PA job, and why he was then given the Blackhawks job, and why he does the Maui Invite every year, and why he does the Final Four every year....oh and did I mention he was doing OUR FOOTBALL games this year! One reason: he has an unprecedented style and intimidating voice that is the pulse of a crowd.

If not Sheppard, then get Honda in the Hall. That's all.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 01:44 PM   #15
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Mike Thomas just gets it.

Sure Beckman might be his first coaching hire miss, but he just gets it.

Love that Baker - CBS on air personality is involved.
I know this is on a much smaller level but just a couple days ago I saw an Illini billboard in Bloomington-Normal. I don't recall ever seeing any kind of advertising in this area. Understandably, we see a considerable amount of Illinois State advertising but there are many Illini alumni and fans in the area. I agree... Thomas gets it like our previous AD did not!!! I'm excited about the direction of our athletic department in general, even if, like you, I'm a bit worried about the football program.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 01:45 PM   #16
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I guess this is Thomas putting his plan into action. When he got the job all he did was talk about expanding our footprint in Chicago. I think this is a great idea. Illinois' presence is pretty weak in Chicago. The majority of State schools dominate the major metropolitan areas in their states. Illinois needs to get to that level in Chicago. Obviously its harder when so much of the population is from other Big Ten schools.

I was also thinking this same thought when Groce did the enormous Chicago media rounds last Friday. It's great to hear him on Chicago sports radio. It's great to hear him on Comcast Sports Net in Chicago.

Chicago is where the $$$$ comes from. Thomas realizes that. If we want to keep up with the likes of OSU and Michigan we're going to need the money. We have the alumni base it just needs to be targeted better. This is a step in the right direction.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 04:41 PM   #17
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Mike Thomas has created a Chicago Athletic Advisory Board to increase Illini exposure in Chicago

http://www.fightingillini.com/genrel/021213aab.html

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CHAMPAIGN, ILL - University of Illinois Director of Athletics Mike Thomas announced today the establishment of the Chicago Athletics Advisory Board. 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.

The Chicago Athletics Advisory Board includes: Ryan Baker, Ronald Bess, Linda Buckley, Tom DiSanto, John Giuliani, Mary Kay Haben, Cary McMillan, Mike Meyer and Chris Williams.

The focus of the Chicago Athletic Advisory Board will be to provide support and direction as the University Of Illinois Division Of Intercollegiate Athletics looks to increase exposure and grow support for Fighting Illini Athletics throughout Chicagoland. The group began meeting the first week of February.

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Old Feb 12, 2013, 04:58 PM   #18
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New slogans, new scoreboards, new game day atmosphere, and now this. Can't critique Thomas for trying.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 05:23 PM   #19
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I know this is on a much smaller level but just a couple days ago I saw an Illini billboard in Bloomington-Normal. I don't recall ever seeing any kind of advertising in this area. Understandably, we see a considerable amount of Illinois State advertising but there are many Illini alumni and fans in the area. I agree... Thomas gets it like our previous AD did not!!! I'm excited about the direction of our athletic department in general, even if, like you, I'm a bit worried about the football program.
This happens down here in Louisville, too with University of Kentucky and vice versa. They advertise in the oposing cities, as there are many alumni within the state, living at opposite rivalries cities. I wish Illinois would have caught on to this "My Team, My State" a long time ago! Keep it up MT
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 07:12 PM   #20
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Sorry but I don't see how this is going to help in the short / long term. How are they going to make Illinois cool to a kid from Chicago who doesn't have or see state loyalty? To change how we are viewed, we need to win. Simple but not simple.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 07:22 PM   #21
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Chicago Athletic Advisory Board??? Hmmm, something smells fishy. I hope they're careful.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 07:25 PM   #22
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Chicago Athletic Advisory Board??? Hmmm, something smells fishy. I hope they're careful.
What smells fishy about that?
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 07:36 PM   #23
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What smells fishy about that?
"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.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 07:37 PM   #24
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Sorry but I don't see how this is going to help in the short / long term. How are they going to make Illinois cool to a kid from Chicago who doesn't have or see state loyalty? To change how we are viewed, we need to win. Simple but not simple.

Everything depends on everything is the best way I can say it :laugh:. Yes we need to win to gain exposure and make it "cool" again. Yet to win you need talent on your team, much of which is sitting just north of us in the windy city. I think this is a step in the right direction.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 07:38 PM   #25
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Chicago Athletic Advisory Board??? Hmmm, something smells fishy. I hope they're careful.
Huh? Would it be more or less fishy if this was the Peoria Athletics Advisory Board?
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