Hello Kennel Clubbers! We hope you are as excited as we are about Saturday’s classic West Coast/Mid-West battle of the greats. This is legitimately one of the biggest games, exhibiting the highest quality of basketball, that the MAC has seen in a VERY long time. With the Zags coming in at #10 in the polls this week and Illinois only three spots back at #13, Saturday’s match-up is going to be one for the record books. As members of the greatest student section in the country, it is our duty to adequately prepare for this game with as much focus and seriousness as Kev, E, Guy, GBJ, Sammy D and the rest. So, here’s your study guide, Zags. There is no better stage to showcase your true talent as a nationally ranked fan than in the Kennel, in the MAC, on ESPN, screaming your lungs out. Get ready cause…what time is it?! GAME TIME. What time is is?! GAME TIME. What time is it?! GAME TIME. Zags, lets roll.
First order of business, meet Senior Guard #3, Brandon Paul and Junior Guard #2, Joe Bertrand. I’ve deemed these two characters the most outrageous on the team after (probably too much) research. Here’s why:
Brandon (@BP3) is one of the sneakiest, a true prankster if I do say so. With a vibrant YouTube Channel , TheBrandonPaul847, @BP3 documents himself doing things like jumping off a counter and hiding behind a door to scare some innocent guy, and putting salt in his roommates drink and then watching him drink it ( good one!). Much of his extensive prank repertoire is documented on YouTube. The vid with the most hits is his parody titled “Things Student-Athletes Say”…pretty embarrassing for the Illini, yet still decently entertaining.
Unlike his social media enthusiast teammate, @BP3, Joe Bertrand is different story, completely mysterious and unknown by the online world due mostly to the fact that he doesn’t have a Twitter account. Because of this very reason, #JoeTales, an online collection of stories, snippets, and quotes about Joseph Bertrand, was created by @BP3, with the additional agenda of ultimately getting Joe Bertrand to conform and get his own Twitter. #JoeTales are pretty hilarious and proof that Bertrand is a prime candidate for Kennel heckling. Here are some of the great #JoeTales tweets from @BP3:
Can’t get enough? Search #JoeTales on Twitter or check out this collection: [[http://storify.com/thedailyillini/joetales]]
One specific #JoeTales incident was too intense to be described in the confines of a 160 characters on Twitter, so @BP3 orated the narrative in a YouTube video on his channel (#OCDOnlinePosting). For a true flavor of the man behind the hashtag, here is: “#JoeTales: MI:4 Ghost Protocol (Joseph Bertrand style)”
In the Illini’s game on Nov 28th against Georgia Tech, Joe Bertrand had a particularly good play that yielded a rather unfortunate picture, for both him (his dignity) and the guy getting a face full. Here’s both the play and the pic.
In some turn of events, where @BP3 got 823 RT’s on a post about #JoeTales, as promised, he FINALLY convinced Joe Bertrand, now known as @iJoeTales, on board with a Twitter profile.
My plug to the Kennel Club is this:
1. Follow @BP3 and @iJoeTales on Twitter
2. Write up your own Joe Tale using the hashtag #JoeTales about what is going to happen when the Illini come to the MAC on Saturday and tweet it at one or both of these guys. Don’t be overly rude or offensive, or you will probably be ignored. I’m guessing these two yahoos will just disregard anyone who is nasty towards them, but hey, if you just bring your wittiest A-game, who knows what could happen or if they’ll have a response for you.
But enough about those two, the Illini team has more than two players with lives we can study up on in an attempt to ready ourselves, as educated fans for Saturday’s showdown.
Take for instance, senior, Sam McLaurin, is new to the team this year after his decision to transfer from Costal Carolina to finish out his final year of eligibility. He claims he transferred for academic reasons, which I didn’t believe until I saw this. Going 9-9 in trivia questions, (a statistic that has never been used to describe his shooting percentage), rumor has it that Sam is being recruited by University of Illinois Knowledge Bowl Team to follow his true passion, random facts. So my question to Sam is: What the heck is an “illini” anyways?
Senior Guard, DJ Richardson, has apparently been an online sensation for quite some time. In fact, his time and attention was in such high demand, that in 2009 he decided to answer all questions posed on his MySpace (wait, that’s still a thing?), Facebook, AiM, and Yahoo on YouTube in a video response. Most notably, his favorite food (Wings) and drink (Strawberry Lemonade) are discussed at 1:02, the way he chooses a movie to watch based on his mood at 1:23, and what he looks for in a girl at 2:16 (ladies…take note). Thanks, DJ, all things we really needed to know.
A Kennel Club Dirt Report would be incomplete without a video of the opposing team’s groovin’ moves, so here is your token opponent dance clip, courtesy of #21 Devin Langford. Why worry about getting to the Big Dance, when Langford’s already mastered Dancing Big? Get it gurllll.
Outside of just the individual stories behind the players, the Illinois Fighting Illini Basketball has had a hard time staying out of the media spotlight thanks to their former teammate, Jereme Richmond, who played on the team during the 2012-2011 season, “was suspended before the NCAA tournament for an athletic code violation and never suited up again for the Illini. He left school early for the NBA draft, but he was not selected.” The saga of upstanding citizenry continued with his arrest in “August of 2011 on felony charges of aggravated battery, unlawful use of a weapon and aggravated assault after allegedly confronting his ex-girlfriend’s father.” He has been in an out of jail since then. To read the entire article go here: [[ http://espn.go.com/blog/chicagocolleges/post/_/id/7487/richmond-released-on ]]
Moral of the story is this:
1) it’s a BIG GAME
2) they’ve got some funny players
3) New #JoeTales will be written, when the Zags beat the Illini
4) All underclassmen who can’t go to social club Saturday night: Who want’s to play Trivial Pursuit with Sam McLaurin after the game?
5) the Kennel is about to get weird. #ScoreZagsScore
6) Alright, put your shirts back on.