Thursday, February 22, 2007

Farewell Chief Illiniwek - Goodnight Sweet Prince

Last night was the final halftime performance of Chief Illiniwek at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The NCAA has decided to discard its stated mission of "governing competition in a fair, safe, equitable and sportsmanlike manner, and to integrate intercollegiate athletics into higher education so that the educational experience of the student-athlete is paramount." Instead it has decided to regulate politics and free speech in America. Mascots and symbols have nothing to do with "fair safe equitable and sportsmanlike competition." The despicable and underhanded way the university and the NCAA handled the situation is deplorable. Adding fuel to the fire, schools such as FSU can retain their "symbol" because they have a relationship with the Seminole tribe. So because there is no existing Illiniwek tribe, Chief Illiniwek has to go. Dumb...really dumb.

After years of battle the politically correct left have finally won by using the almighty dollar! Since the UofI was prohibited by the NCAA from hosting post-season championship tournaments and competitions, they would be losing sponsorship, brodcasting and general revenue from these events, and I guess they couldn't bear that loss anymore. I assume that there is some financial considerations going on with the Seminole again they win, we lose.

While I couldn't make it down to the game last night, and also couldn't watch it on tv (stupid local broadcasting combined with crappy Illini record this season), I was able to scrape some videos off of Youtube showing the halftime performance. An honorable end to a longtime tradition. The curtain call at the end was probably the best part (probably the only time the Chief has ever acknowledged his own performance).

*Full performance with the pre-roll video, from higher up in the stands.

*"Official video" by Illini Productions including high quality pre-roll footage, continues until Chief stops to wait in the hallway for the team.

*Full performance from television feed. Shows Chief exiting into the hallway.

*Courtside view of whole performance, little shaky, but good enough.

*Better quality courtside view of whole performance, 1st half.

*Better quality courtside view of whole performance, 2nds half.

Apparently there was also a large movement to coordinate a switch to black clothing for the 2nd half of the game. Partially documented by this picture.

Chief Illiniwek

Update: illinoishomepage has some good videos and news coverage as well. Though their streaming sucks right now (probably because they don't use Cachefly). Should be better tomorrow or in another day.

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