Dear Brad Underwood: All I Want To Do Is Take A Charge For You

Dear Brad, 

I may have written this blog in the last month or so but I can't remember so I'm just running back the concept start to finish and maybe this time it sticks a little strong with the audience: You are HANDS DOWN the most passionate coach in college sports. You get more out of the orange and blue than any other coach on the planet. Just watching these real, raw reactions brings a welling-tear to my left right (bad tear ducts on the right) 

After Michigan: 

After Ohio State

These are the kind of mob scenes that would make a sidebar Red Lion homecoming fight look like a peaceful 7am check-in at the nice Merry Annes downtown Champaign. The one that doesn't have all the bullshit drama. And why do I feel this way? One simple 57 year old answer: Brad Underwood. Just look at the face on this man as he coaches up his boys

Jeff Haynes. Shutterstock Images.

You will always have your players' backs. You were meant to wear the orange and blue and heavens to betsy there isn't another man in the galaxy better prepared to lead Illinois back to its first #1 seed in 16 years. Think of all the downs (no ups) we've endured along the way and it really blows you away: multiple athletic directors, horrible football seasons, no momentum only to have the first notable NCAA appearance ripped from our quarantined COVID hands. Really puts things in perspective when you think about everything it's taken to get the University of Illinois back at the top of the national conversation. The resources are finally there but more importantly, the guy to use them effectively. 

All of the credit to you, Coach. But also obviously some love thrown around to Orlando Antigua and Ayo and Kofi and Trent and basically everybody else. But really that's not how life works. You have to pick one face, one leader. One big body to lead you through the darkness that is a Big Ten conference basketball schedule and holy fuck are we lucky that big sumbitch Is Brad Underwood. Never in my life have I wanted to sacrifice mind body and will for another man much less university. And turns out I already maxed my NCAA eligibility so riddle me that? You can't other than just accepting that Brad Underwood is a special man and I'm here to do whatever he needs to me help the boys get over the top heading in to march. 

I love you coach. Thank you for everything. 


Every living breath fan of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Tune in this week on Red Line for a more thorough, balanced conversation on how the Illini shape up in March