Eastern Illinois (90) vs University of Illinois at Chicago (76) 12-4-16

#38 of 351

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On a snowy day, today was the second game on my Windy City tour. The snow kept down the crowd to minimum. I would bet that the total number of players, cheerleaders and pep band members outnumbered the fans. Both teams are 4-3 and not much is expected this year from either team. The UIC staff should put curtains around the upper level since it was completely empty.

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I felt sorry for the mascot seen above. There was nothing for him to do except wander around and high five the few kids that were there. The cheerleaders and dance team were trying their best to ignite a non-existent crowd. Kudos to the few fathers who brought out their little girls to watch this game. I tried very hard to get a thrown T-shirt from the cheerleaders but I would have given it to this little girl who cheered unashamedly despite her beloved Flames losing throughout the game.

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The display underneath the scorer’s table had a cool effect. The UIC are named the Flames. Occasionally  flames would come up from the floor on the screen. I have a picture below to illustrate this. It looks like the player is sitting in a fire.

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As far as the game goes, Eastern Illinois led most of the way before the quiet crowd. I was very impressed with Panther (EIU) Cornell Johnston. He is listed at 5’7″ and 150 pounds. That is being very generous. Johnston was the player of the game by far. He drove by his defenders with ease. His dribbling skills were amazing to watch. This St.Louis product is a junior who will make some noise in the Ohio Valley Conference.

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UIC plays Valparaiso late this year. It was publicized as a national broadcast game on ESPNU something that the big programs take for advantage. If you ever feel jaded  or take for granted the success of your P5 team, come down and watch one of these games. It will do you wonders.

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