There is a yellow labrador beneath all that orange. Yes, she looks ridiculous, but oddly enough, she seems to go along with whatever goofy costumes my mom puts on her. My mom sends us pictures of Molly dressed for every occasion... Except she thought I didn't care about the Illini in the Rose Bowl so she didn't send this one.
Yet on New Year's Day, I watched the Fighing Illini get trounced by the USC Trojans. While it is true that I don't watch much sports anymore, my mom forgot a few things:
- I attended the University of Illinois prenatally, politely waiting until after final exams to put her into labor. So I've been associated with the school since before I was born. Then we lived in Champaign for the first three years of my life.
- The last Illini Rose Bowl appearance, when I watched them get crushed by that other damned southern California team, UCLA, was one of the top five sporting events of my youth. Leading off 1984, that game should have steeled me for the disappointment that lay ahead in October, when the Cubs choked in the National League Championship Series after winning the first two games (at least the 1985 Bears followed through and won Super Bowl XX).
- In 1992, I almost went to the U. of I. for an MBA until I decided I'd rather make money than stay in school. I received my acceptance letter the day after I decided not to go. It turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever made, but that still makes the school either my "almost mater" or "alma not-er" (I can't decide which term I like better).