Illinois Continues To Be Awful At Firing Shots In Dumb Rivalry Thing

We've already covered how Tim Beckman's jilted-ex-girlfriend-esque passion for petty, meaningless symbolism downplaying Northwestern in a rivalry - "rivalry" - where Illinois should hypothetically be the "Big Brother" out of the two schools. is silly, counterintuitive, and besides all that, bad. But Illinois' Slighting Illini campaign of firing subtle shots at Northwestern doesn't seem to be over. No, in fact, they've just been getting ready for more and more vicious ZING-level... well, zings.

As an expert in zings, having consumed Buffalo Wild Wings "Asian Zing" flavored wings - mainly jokes about the Olympic badminton tournament - I feel qualified to point out why this is dumb and more dumb, which is a grammatically incorrect name of a movie.

1. Last week, Illinois announced a new marketing slogan, "Illinois. Our State. Our Team." Yeah! Illinois, Illinois' Big Ten Team! You see, this is a problem because Northwestern is in Illinois. It's probably a response to Northwestern's "Chicago's Big Ten Team" slogan. What they should've done when Northwestern unleashed that campaign was be like "hah, we have significantly more fans than y'all, even in the limited, albeit populous and economically significant portion of the state you've selected to be your region of popularity, suckers". (The "suckers" is where the zing is concentrated.) This is not what they did.

Instead, BOOSH, new marketing campaign trying to point out that people from Illinois - the state where Illinois is located - should root for Illinois. I don't really have a problem with the message here - they should try to get people from the state to root for them! That's what I'd do if I was them I tell ya - as much as the reasoning: Illinois is already the more popular of the two schools. Not to compare Northwestern-Illinois to any other rivalry, but Illinois is ostensibly the school that should be playing off Northwestern's attempts at rivalrizing - now a word. Michigan wouldn't put up posters all across the state like "MICHIGAN: OUR STATE, OUR TEAM, REGARDLESS OF WHAT THOSE PRICKS IN EAST LANSING SAY" because they don't need to. If someone in Peoria wants to watch some football on Saturdays, they'll probably be rooting for Illinois anyway. As a word of advice: just stay out of it, Illinois. This makes you look insecure and implies that you're sorta worried about Northwestern rustling your jimmies and grabbing your fanbase, which you shouldn't be.

But that doesn't really bother me. It's postureless posturing - hot air - and makes me convinced a middle-aged employee in the Illinois marketing department recently bought a sports car.

2. This almost bothers me, but more confuses me:

I'm not even sure what this is supposed to imply. Is it like:

  • "Hah! Look at Greg over on the sidelines with the torn ACL! He's just like those wimpy cowards at Northwestern who sit out when they get injured!"
  • "Hah! Look at Greg over on the sidelines with the torn ACL! He's recuperating and diligently working better to improve just like those guys at Northwestern!"
  • "Hah! Look at Greg over on the sidelines with the torn ACL! Let's make fun of our friend for being hurt!"

My initial thought is that its some vague and somewhat irresponsible notion that admitting to being hurt is bad and wrong, just like Northwestern. Perhaps Beckman is just trying to instill a Pavlovian hatred of the color purple in his players, which is less reckless but pretty dumb regardless.

I would ask them to stop, but this is really fun. I look forward to more confusing, immature COME AT ME BRO tactics from a school that historically beats Northwestern's in football, because if they ingrain the rivalry in their heads enough, maybe people will forget that whole history thing.

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