Here are some shots from the first college football game I ever attended
(homecoming of the 1981 season, Illinois versus Wisconsin):
Here are some more recent shots, taken during the 1995 season:
- Block I, the largest and possibly the
oldest organized student cheering section in college football,
does several cheers throughout the game, including some in conjunction
with the band, which sits next to the block. Block I also does a card
show at halftime of every game.
- Orange and blue balloons swarm out of
Memorial Stadium to mark the start of the game
- The band forms the dual UI symbols at the start
of the pregame show while playing a more upbeat version of the otherwise
sappy Illinois state song, "By Thy Rivers Gently Flowing"
- The band forms an outline of the United States
(with the percussion section forming the outline of Illinois) as they
play "God Bless America" in the second-most tear-jerking moment of
the pregame show
- Red, white and blue banners unfurl as the band
forms a simple star and belts out the emphasized chorus of "God Bless
America" while two color guards march with the Stars and Stripes toward
the east sideline (this is the most tear-jerking moment of the
- Block I demonstrates with their cards that
Chief Illiniwek is about to appear during the halftime show as the band
plays (and sings, a capella) the moving "Three in One"
- Chief Illiniwek, the world's first school
symbol (a concept which has been copied by every other school, albeit
in the form of a "mascot", which greatly differs from the meaning of
the Chief), leads the band back across the field during the second of
the three songs in the "Three in One"
- Chief Illiniwek stands at midfield with his
arms raised as the fans sing the Alma Mater ("Hail to the Orange")
- Bombs explode above the stadium (barely
visible against the dark skies) to mark a score by the Illini
- The bell from the USS Illinois sits at the
far end of the endzone and is rung out after each Illinois score to
mark the number of points the home team has. My friend Dan was one
of the bell-ringers from Navy ROTC during this game.
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Last updated 6/23/96
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