I'm tired of U of I hegemony. I go into Kohl's the other night and they have this HUGE section of Illini gear. Mosty clothes, of course. So I start looking around and I notice a few items from other Big 10 schools and a few other nationally known (sports only!) universities.
Ummmm, excuse me Mr. Kohl, but there are several other state universities in Illinois. Many of us went to those universities. We even liked them. They even had decent sports teams! But where the fuck are the EIU, NIU, ISU, SIU and WIU shirts? Plenty of Michigan State stuff but NOT ONE SINGLE Saluki garment was for sale. Why is that?
I don't want to pick on just Khol's; it's everywhere in town. The fucking Illini are the only team in Springfield for some reason. Oh sure, we have "University of Illinois in Springfield" (UIS), but that used to be something called Sangamon State University until it became a U of I wannabe. It's as real a U of I as SIU Edwardville is a real SIU. Ether way, UIS has nothing to do with THE Illini.
Now, you might think that the retail geniuses must have figured out that only Illini stuff sells. Well, I have evidence that that may not be so.
One day I walked into Walgreen's and there was a display of bag chairs adorned with the names of university names and colors . There were a lot of them of the U of I variety and then two SIU chairs and two for North Carolina (!). I actually thought of buying one of the SIU chairs but decided not to since I have way too much lawn furniture already. The next day I went into the same Walgreen's and the two SIU chairs were gone; sold out! Most, if not all, of the U of I chairs sat on the shelf. And the North Carolina stuff -are you kidding?
No, the other state universities aren't as prestigious as the U of I, but we still have a connection, and even a certain pride, in our schools too. But that's OK. I go to Carbondale at least once a year and buy my SIU stuff there. What choice do I have?