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October 31, 2021 @ 01:17 PM

Those are classes of alums we’ll never get back. Someone from the class of 2016 is at least 26 years old now, and what has Illinois done to make them invest emotionally in football now? All their friends have graduated and some of the restaurants and bars they knew have changed. Illinois would have to be consistently ranked for years before those people would decide to get into illini football and make it A Thing. And every year that goes by without making football A Thing You Gotta Do As A Student again, that’s another class that’s not coming to the games as adults.

All the adult fans that don’t remember Mackovic are trained to expect disappointment, as evidenced by most of the crowd not even sticking around to watch the defense give up the first down. I of course stayed. But we have a crowd that bailed on their Illini when they had all their timeouts and a 6 point deficit.

So, while Illini football fans in their 20’s basically don’t exist, illini football fans between roughly 30 and 50 have this learned helplessness trained into them.

This game didn’t really set us back that much in this goal; Bert could maybe still make that happen some day. But it was a stark reminder.

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