So, Mr. Bergethon spent his formative years in Champaign, up through part of college, and the only thing of value he can find to return to is the frickin' halftime show? That's truly pathetic. We still have the "cool, crisp, sunny days" and the falling leaves and the marching band, and the football team is actually good. But because a white kid no longer dresses up in a headdress for 5 minutes a week, it's all for naught.
Chief's gone, so what is point of returning?
I was disappointed to learn that Chief Illiniwek is no more. How sad. I grew up in Champaign, graduated in 1964 from Champaign High School and went to the University of Illinois for two years before the U.S. Army came calling.
I remember going to many games at Memorial Stadium as I grew up. We'd park on the grass on the west side of the stadium and walk through the falling leaves to the stadium; I loved those cool, crisp, sunny days.
Even though we lived in Kansas and now reside in Colorado, I'd bring my family back to Champaign occasionally and go the UI's homecoming games specifically to watch the halftime show. The football games often weren't very good. But I still got chills when the band would march across the field, and Chief Illiniwek would crouch down, sneak out through the marching band and then appear to cheers from the crowd.
I used to point him amid the band members to my son. He'd try to find him before I did.
Now I wonder what will happen to the Chief Illiniwek logo that was so common. As for the name Fighting Illini, how long before it will be in danger? Will we call the UI's team "the Fighting Midwesterners" or the "Fighting Central Illinoisans"?
The local Chamber of Commerce should know that I won't be coming back to Champaign and spending several hundred dollars while there. If Chief Illiniwek is gone, so is my desire to return to Champaign. Goodby.
ERIK (RIK) BERGETHON, Pueblo, Colo.
Well, I'm glad you won't be here. I'll enjoy it more without you.