Why Won\\\'t You Be Our Rivals?


As college football season starts to kick in to full gear, I get particularly excited while engaging in meaningless, drunken Big Ten rivalry banter among my friends who are convinced that their school is better than mine. While it’s been all fun and games in the past, this year a terrible realization came to my attention: nobody outside our dream world of Champaign-Urbana cares about the Fighting Illini football.


Being surrounded by orange and blue daily, it’s hard for us to see the larger Big 10 picture of successful football teams. We’ve been delusional all this time, thinking that teams like Ohio State, Northwestern, and Michigan consider us fair rivals. I know our mascot, the measly 9th letter of the alphabet, can’t quite compare to everyone else, but that’s no reason to shun us from Big Ten rivalries. We want to be taken seriously, god dammit! Who do they think they are anyway?!


OHIO STATE. We’re all excited for the “big game” this weekend against the Buckeyes, but have we ever stopped to think that our “big” game is the equivalent of their “ugh-get-me-out-of-this-hick-town” game? Contrary to popular belief, they don’t care that we beat them out for the spot in the 2008 Rose Bowl because we looked like jackasses on national television. And if you asked anyone from Ohio State, they would tell you that the way Illinois calls itself an OSU “rival” is the equivalent to some bro bragging to his friends about scoring with some hot girl when in reality it was more like a sexual fumble.


NORTHWESTERN. Ah yes, the fight for the title of our state’s Alpha. Being two Big 10 schools in one state almost forces the rivalry, right? I mean, we’re taking the competition and moving it to Wrigley Field, how legit is that?! But what’s that you say? You don’t give a damn about football and you’re not going to make Wrigley tickets available to Illini fans because you think we’re annoying? Does the Land of Lincoln traveling trophy mean anything to you people?! I would donate my firstborn child to science to win that trophy this year, and you stuck up Evanstonites are more concerned about your pre-med classes and copious glee clubs? I give up…


MICHIGAN. “Muck Fichigan! Yeaaaah brah, Ann Arbor is SUCH a whore,” said the freshman Illini fan, quoting directly off the shirt that he and his twelve buddies all happened to be wearing on the same day… Yeah, we all have “the shirt”, or happen to encounter it at least five times when walking through the Quad, so this generated group-hate thing we’ve got going on automatically makes them our rivals right? Wrong. In all honesty, Michigan fans are too hopped on the goofballs to realize that we’re on their schedule this season. When they see our shirts, they are terribly confused and retreat back to their dormant states, damn hippies.


So why, Big 10, why won’t any of you be our rivals? Desperate times call for desperate measures… I think we’re going to have to give Nebraska a call. It could be fun; we could make shirts and stuff about how we never wanted them to join our conference in the first place. Welcome to the Big 10, assholes.


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