Close game day

Started out ok; cold; teens when I started my walk, and I did my old “1 Cornstalk, 1 lower loop” 5.3 mile walk at 14:34.

Later, Mat picked me up at 10 am and we made the 11 am kickoff, due to almost no one being there. I was as cold as I’d ever been at game (hands, mostly.

Few people were there, and they missed a rock-em, sock-em Missouri Valley battle. The Redbirds scored right away, thanks to an interception off of a trick play. But then it was even..even Western dominating the scrimmage line. Western missed a field goal into the wind, but scored in the second quarter off of a long drive; mostly running.

And that is how the first half ended. Second half: 3’rd quarter, a long drive lead to a touchdown, with two key penalties: late hit out of bounds and then perhaps the most blatant pass interference I’ve ever seen (defender fell down and pulled down the receiver. But the Redbirds missed the extra point.

Later, the Leathernecks got a tough 42 yard field goal to cut it to 3.

Then in the 4’th: final drive..or second to final drive, the Leathernecks hit a big field goal to tie it at 13 with 45 seconds to go. A last ditch drive by the Redbirds lead to a 50’sh yard field goal attempt which was wide right.

In the first overtime, the Redbirds got a first down and scored a TD, then held the Leathernecks on downs to win.

Overall, Western Illinois did NOT resemble a winless team; they played hard.

On the way home, I heard the heartbreaking Illinois vs Michigan score (9 seconds!), the upbeat Navy score (upset no. 20 UCF!)

I made it with about 8 minutes left in the Bradley vs Southeast Missouri State game, and Bradley was down by 5. BU rallied to win 73-60; nice win vs. a not-that-bad team. I missed the Women winning their game, vs. an opponent who lost 100-38 to Illinois.

There was a decent crowd.

Illini drop 2 in a row at home but..

Well, we can talk about questionable or downright bad calls.

But we cannot dismiss how badly Purdue outplayed the Illini. Yes, it ended 31-24 when the Illini kicked a field goal with 22 seconds to go to pull within one score (a good call; down by 10, we need the FG anyway so may as well get it)

Anyway, to the game.

It was COLD.

Fortunately, my buddy Tom showed up and, well, a “slightly rubenesque” (and attractive) Purdue fan showed up and she sat to my right for most of the game, so I had some wind protection (and Purdue fans to talk to)

This was the coldest Illini game I remember. It was only in the mid 30’s, but there was a strong wind, so it felt colder than some Bears games did. I felt good, except for my feet; should have worn boots.

We were fortunate; there were a LOT of no-shows (announced attendance was 45K, but there were far fewer at the game) Technically, I am in this photo, off to the left.

So, how did the game go down?

Purdue got the ball and drove into the wind; turned it over on downs at the Illini 25. It was too windy to have a reliable FG attempt.

The Illini promptly marched it 75 yards for a touchdown, looking sharp. I was feeling good.

Purdue drove it again, got close again, but missed a field goal. Then the Purdue defense started to stiffen just a bit. Purdue threw an interception, but then the Illini had to punt, and finally, given a short field (the Illini let a Purdue punt roll)..Purdue drove it in to tie.

The Illini responded with a beautiful 10 play drive to score, then forced a Purdue punt..but then went 3 and out themselves, but they gave themselves 3 minutes to work with.

Then came the aformetioned questionable PI call..followed by the game tying touchdown pass and..that is where the “here we go again” feeling came back.

The Boilers gained momentum in the second half; forced a punt, then got another touchdown drive..90 yards! This was the key play…set up a spectacular pass to the tight end (we’ve had trouble with that; the Iowa tight end hurt us too)

Still, the Illini did fold; the offense got ANOTHER nice, long drive to tie the game again…so going into the 4’th quarter, it was all even at 21.

I still felt ok; though I worried our defense could not stop them.

And of course, we couldn’t. A long drive with a pass to the right end who drug our DB over the goal line gave Purdue the final touchdown of the day.

The Illini could go nowhere and though the D forced 2 Purdue punts, an interception with 3:4x left allowed Purdue to make Illinois use their time outs and gain just enough yards to kick a FG into the wind to go up 31-21 with 1:05 to play.

A last gasp Illinois drive lead to an Illinois FG with 22 second to play, but an onside kick failed.


Of course, I did my own workout before the game: PT followed by a 5K walk where I got gassed in the final mile; blood donation yesterday.

Did a second exercise walk on campus (carrying a bag full of gear) trying to be mindful to not get too sweaty. The weather WAS pleasant for walking.

Other remarks: didn’t see Illinois State get smacked at South Dakota State (not a surprise).

Navy: bless them; down 35-13 at the half in Baltimore to ND, rallied to cut it to 35-32 but didn’t get the final onside kick. ND was coming off of a big win vs Clemson.

Texas: I openly wondered why UT was favored over TCU, and the more I watched the game (a defensive slug fest at first), I wondered some more. It finished 17-10, but that was because TCU fumbled a read option hand off (no defensive pressure causing it) and UT got a scoop and score. It really wasn’t that close of a game.

Kicking off October with a race and football

AM: only exercise was a race: it was to be enough today. it was a campus 5K and I was to power walk it (right support leg was slightly bent which would be a race walk violation)

1 mile warm up (16 minute) after all of my PT and I stretched my shins.

5K in 33:31. (10:42 mpm) It was not one of my faster walks (of all time) but it was my fastest walk in several years and uncomfortably close to some of my 2018-2019 “runs”.

Then a 1 mile cool down.

I did resort to some “street walking” early in mile 3 as I sped up in mile 2, trying to catch some slower runners. That was a mistake; I am not used to pushing myself like that. But as I walk more, I’ll get better.

Glute: felt is slightly in the evening after sitting for a long time.

I was good to see Mike again; I remember him from a race in 1997 when I chased him and Danny (and someone else) during the Crime Stoppers 5K.

It was a perfect day for walking.


I watched most of Illinois 34-10 destruction of Wisconsin; the game did not start well with Wisconsin taking advantage of the Illini’s stacked defense and passing very well. It was 7-0 early and 10-7. But two Wisconsin interceptions set the Illini up with short fields and gave them a 14-10 lead.

At this point, it appeared that the Illini were taking over and dominating. Second half: drive to put it 21-10 and then:

That lead to a field goal; then on the next drive, the Illini star running back broke a 49 yard touchdown run (after being bottled up for most of the game)

and it was 31-10; 34-10 final.

It as if the teams had reversed their traditional roles; the Illini were the disciplined team and the Badgers were just sloppy: multiple penalties, fumbles, interceptions, etc.

I see the Illini, along with the Boilermakers (who beat Minnesota) and the Gophers (especially if they get their star running back back) as the top 3 contenders for the Big Ten West….though all teams are 1-1…whoops ..Badgers are 0-2. I am scouting out Illinois vs Northwestern tickets..might go to that game.

Late I switched to Navy vs Air Force and while the Mids tied it at 10 in the 4’th, the Falcons made that key drive to kick a field goal to win 13-10. Mids are looking better than the they did in the beginning of the season, but could improve some more.

Later: I went to a very entertaining Southern Illinois vs Illinois State game.

Early on: all Salukis. ISU had to answer to their short (and long) passing game, and aside from a missed and blocked extra point, it was domination: 19-0 at the half.

But then in the short third quarter, ISU found short passing game of their own and the second half was a mirror image of the first: 19-7 after 3, then 19-14 early in the 4’th. But then on ISU’s final drive (using tempo), there was a critical “no call” on PI in the end zone…then ISU failed on 4’th down.

There was 1:35 left in the game and ISU had 3 time outs. But the Salukis made a first down to seal the win.

Some sights:

Illinois State Defense powers 35-7 win over Eastern Illinois

Eastern came in with a narrow loss to FBS Northern Illinois (34-27) and a 38-20 loss to Tennessee Chattanooga (Illinois next opponent)

And at first..the Redbirds forced a punt and then scored on their first possession possession off of a long drive. But Eastern answered with a drive of their own, getting receivers wide open over the middle. So, it was 7-7 in the first and I settled in for a shootout.

The Redbirds countered with another drive to lead 14-7..then the tide really started to turn.

A 41 yard interception return just before the half (Eastern tried for one last drive) made it 21-7 at the half.

It was to get worse.

Second half: the Redbirds had a fourth and short inside the Eastern 40 but decided to pooch punt it, and downed the ball at the 1! That paid off as a screen pass was intercepted at the 2 and run in for the score, and now it was 28-7.

The Redbird defense took over after than, getting a fumble recovery at the 4 yard line (after a bad shotgun snap..Eastern had trouble with this for much of the second half)

That made it 35-7, and then the Redbirds focused on running and grinding out the clock.

The Redbirds sacked the quarterback 4 times and had 11 tackles for losses. In fact, until the final Eastern drive, they had negative yards rushing.

Catch up (all over the place)

Sports (spectator)

No live football this weekend but a couple of Chiefs games on tap. Ok, I saw one last night; the Timberrattlers pitching kept the Chiefs at bay and allowed no hits through 7 innings; the Chiefs got 2 in the 8’th and even loaded the bases, but could only get one run. Still it was 2-1 going into the 9’th when the visitors got 2 more and won 4-1.

But there was at least a little bit of excitement. And it was fun to have the wife along.

TV football: I missed Illinois State getting run over by Wisconsin 38-0; I didn’t miss Navy getting outplayed by Delaware and losing 14-7. First 3 plays told the story: play one, Navy fumbled it to Delaware. Play 2: pass interference on Navy (obvious call). Play 3: Blue Hen touchdown.

I also watched Illinois lose to Indiana 23-20. The Illini were hurt by a bad call on a pass in the end zone

but still lead 20-16 with 2 minutes to go and the Hoosiers 75 yards away with no time outs. But the defense, which had switched to more blitzing to stop Indiana’s passing, played soft and allowed a march down the field.

Time and time again, the Illini made bad decisions and mistakes. Here, they passed on a field goal and went for it on 4’th down..leading by 1.

The positives is that the running game and short passing game looked decent for most of the night, and Virginia, the next opponent, gave up 170 rushing yards to FCS Richmond. But the problem will be Virginia’s passing: we don’t defend the pass well…not without blitzing. I still think this match up favors Illinois and I expect a hard fought win.


Saturday: PT, walk 1 (hard 5K), weights. Then a slow second walk after watching a football game on TV.

The first one tired me out a bit; I went pretty hard.

Pull ups: 12 sets of 5 with either 30 seconds rest or PT rest, push ups: 3 sets of 30 incline, 10 flat

bench press: I found that I still had back issues with my feet on plates; legs up is the best:

5 x 156, 4 x 156, 10 x 134, 10 x 134
curls 3 sets of 10

high incline: 3 sets of 10 x 94

Then came the 2 mile walk (after watching TV); first 1.5 was very pleasant ..some issues in the final 0.5

Today still some stuff with the back; I have to remember to NOT arch when I roll.

Went out for a walk intending 1-2 but felt good enough to do a slowish 5K; some issues in the final 0.5 miles or so.

Note: my Garmin recorded my watch stops to cross roads; those amounted to about 30 seconds or a 10 seconds per mile faster pace, but it does not matter.

After that, shoulder PT and deadlifts:

low: 10 x 134, 10 x 184
backed off the heavier sets: 10 x 234 4 inch

10 x 260 8 inch (easy)

My back won’t allow for true strength training; I am working to keep tone in my glutes and legs.

Back: sometimes I get the radiating pain on my back when I roll, and I think it is because I am used to arching my back when I roll.
I need to work on that, and I need to figure out a nice posture for my downhill walking. Flat walking and uphill walking is progressing nicely.

Toward Thanksgiving

Workout: some rehab, 31 minutes cycling (6 miles harder) after deadlifts:

10 x 134, 10 x 184, 10 x 228
every 3 minutes: 3 x 271, 5 sets. First were so easy that i did the last one with the smaller ball just to be sure.

Single with 305 (not easy…legs fatigued); best in decades. My hips shot up too soon; legs were trashed.

But that was it; no high handle work today.

Last night; watched the Bradley women beat Wisconsin 64-57; it was close for a long time but the team kept it together.

Today: watched Illinois State lose to Indiana State 15-10 in a game that saw ISU red score on their first play from scrimmage and went up 10-0 on the last drive before halftime…but that was pretty much it for the offense.

Indiana State outgained the Redbirds but mostly between the 20’s; they missed 2 field goals. Still, an interception set up the TD that cut it to 10-8 and a fumble on the final possession sealed the game.

As usual, Harry was good company.

Ball games:

Two on the road

I watched Illinois beat Penn State 20-18. Ok, this went to 9 overtimes, with overtimes 3-9 being a single 2 point conversion attempt. It was 10-10 in regulation and the teams traded 5 unsuccessful attempts at a 2 point conversion. Then in the 8’th, both teams made them.

Statistically, SAVE THE TURNOVERS, Illinois dominated the game, running almost at will between the 20’s. This was the mirror image of the Wisconsin game. But at the end of regulation, it was 10-10.

But this time, Illinois made the plays.

After that, I switched on ESPN+ to watch the conclusion of the Illinois State vs no. 15 South Dakota and the Redbirds held on to win, 20-14, making a stop on downs with 2 minutes to go (at the 4 yard line) and then getting an interception to seal the win.

Weekend part I

Back to back football for me this weekend.

Today: North Dakota State (undefeated FCS powerhouse) at Illinois State: it went more or less the way I expected: 20-0 Bison. It was 10-0 at the half and going into the 4’th quarter. The Redbirds failed to gain 100 yards in offense (sound familiar?) though one good 4’th down stand and two red zone interceptions kept the score down.

This is one of the interceptions:

I worked out yesterday (weights only) and today (weights and exercise bike). I’ll have to get up extra early to get a few minutes of spinning on the bike so I can get a good stretch.


pull ups: 40 singles, 10, 2 sets of 5 chins
push ups two sets of 20 sissy, 2 sets of 20 feet elevated, 20 almost flat (super-set with pull ups)
some shoulder rehab:
curls: 3 sets of 10, rows: 3 sets of 10; 94, then 116, 116,

shoulder presses: 10 x 65, 10 x 75, 10 x 81 (went ok)

more rehab.

Today: 31:30 on the bike; rehab…deadlifts came first:

10 x 94, 10 x 134, 10 x 184, 10 x 224,

work sets: 5 sets of 3, every 3 minutes; 256, 256, 256, 261, 261

4 inch handles: 3 x 274 (easy), 3 x 301 (tough, but had another rep or 2 left)

8 inch handles: 10 x 260.


Almost 2 months down in 2021

Yes, tomorrow..I know that.

Here are some photos of today:

Yes, they had limited fans but I am not vaccinated so..none of this for me until I am. ISU lost to South Dakota 27-20..the Redbirds took a 17-0 lead and then turned the ball over 7 times. The first 4 of those lead to 24 points.

Our bat is hanging around outside…a bit cold, I think.

Workout notes

Weights then a slow but deliberate walk in lovely weather; unseasonably warm for this time of year.

pull ups: did sets of singles: 15, 10, 10 then a set of 5, 10 and 5. Last 5 were chins and 1 of the 10 singles was a chin (watch: elbow pain)

bench: 10 x 134, 3 x 184, 2 x 184, 2 x 184, 3 x 174, 3 x 174, 5 x 165

rows: 3 sets of 10 x 134
shoulder: 8 x 105 (crackle in right shoulder), 2 sets of 10 x 94, 1 set of 10 x 44 dumbbells.

curls: 2 sets of 10 with 10k on both sides with 1 kg collars: 22-23 kg I think (yes, light).

pushups: 40, 30 , 10

then a leisurely, pain free walk at 16:20 mpm.

Note: shoulder, wrist, elbow, of those days where I felt all of the small niggles…eyes burned a bit.

1/3 of the way through

I wasn’t terribly motivated but I did walk 11 miles in 3:00:14. It was the River, Goose loop, Ball field (port-o-potties), Glenn Oak, Prospect, finish via sort-of-Boredom via Broadway (lots of traffic!).

I felt a bit heavy legged. Glute pain: minimal that wen’t away.

Of interest: on the goose loop, I saw another walker who was trying to follow the planets. I directed her to the trail and the small trail past Glenn Oak; that sped me up slightly.

Second: I got some nods of approval from the “Trump supporter gray goatee crowd”..I didn’t understand it until I realized I was wearing a Memorial Salute 5K t-shirt: it was read and has a US flag on it.

I am feeling just a bit guilty relaxing a bit this weekend but, well, I am going to be ready for tomorrow.
Football wise, I saw Texas rally from 56-41 down late in the 4’th to beat Texas Tech in OT, then I saw the Bears rally from 26-10 down in the 4’th to win 30-26 vs. the Falcons. Yeah, this is TV, not in person. I didn’t feel safe going to the Colts vs. Jets. But…if COVID simmers down by March, maybe some ISU Redbird football at Hancock?

Last year’s star Redbird running back is starting for the Jaguars this season.