Thoughts From a Message Board: Bruce Weber Edition

17
Feb
2012

It’s official: Bruce Weber’s last meal has been served. Another frustrating home loss to Purdue was the final appeal to a sentence now certain to be carried out.

It seems like forever ago that Weber coached Bill Self’s players to the national title game. Why, back then the Edward Jones Dome was a state-of-the-art facility capable of hosting a Final Four. That’s how long ago that was.

And since that time Illini fans have compiled a long list of complaints against Weber. His motion offense offers surprisingly little of it. While most college coaches are criticized for not deviating from the standard “coach-speak,” Weber is lambasted for being brutally honest, often calling out players that underperform by name, as he did during Wednesday night’s now infamous postgame press conference, where a despondent Weber essentially raised the (orange) flag of surrender.

The biggest complaint is that the Illini have one NCAA tournament win in the last five years and will likely miss the tournament for the third time in that same span. To put that in perspective, the Illini missed the tourney five times in the 27 seasons prior (twice due to NCAA sanctions).

Yes, hating Bruce Weber has become all the rage with Illini fans. And of course, nowhere is this more evident than on fan forums, such as the popular IlliniHQ – known for its sizeable contingent of Lincoln Land crazies.

Return to the top of the Big Ten? This doesn’t sound like the right place for us, but let’s head in anyway, starting with replies to a post entitled, “Every Time I See Weber.”

Go ahead. Tell us how you really feel, “peetMOSS13.” Don’t hold back. Geez, you’d think someone with that handle would be more the gentle gardening type.

Not to be outdone though, “dtrain79” ups the ante:

Actually yes, that would be the best thing for the program really, you know, if Bruce Weber could just get into a knock-down-drag-out with Brandon Paul or D. J. Richardson. Weber vs. the 7-footer Meyers Leonard would also make for an interesting matchup.

Perhaps the real measure of how much the fan base has turned against you is when something as benign and commonplace as you eating lunch causes forum nerds to tear into a bag of cheesy poofs and take to their keyboards.

I’m not sure I could either, not with guys like “peetMOSS13” running around, waiting to punch me in my big mouth.

Again, Weber has been roundly criticized for not taking responsibility for his own team’s performance. In this case however, he probably just yelled at the Panera Bread cashier for forgetting to ask him if he cared to add a pastry for 99 cents. But perhaps this next comment says it all:

Yeah Weber, way to grab lunch you jack ass. Next thing you know the son of a bitch will be eating dinner. The former Naismith Coach of the Year can’t even purchase and consume meals right anymore as far as many Illini fans are concerned.

Who’d have thought three months ago that Frank Haith would be the most beloved coach in the area and Bruce Weber would be the most reviled?

Who’d have thought the name “Bruce” could evoke such intense hatred in the hearts of Illini fans? Unless of course the name that followed was “Pearl.”

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3 Comments

  • Scott says:

    While the venom of the message boards is regrettable, the basic premise of fail is correct.

    With Mizzou looking good and the current trainwreck in Champaign, it’s tough to be an Illini these days.

  • Myers says:

    Wrong, Scott. It’s never hard to be an Illini. I am an Illini all day, every day, all year long… good football, good basketball, bad football, bad basketball.

    I know what you mean, and I share your frustrations, but it’s never tough to be an Illini.

    A hoosier… now that’s a different story.

    It’s tough even to be in a ROOM with a hoosier. ugh

  • Anon says:

    I’m happy to be an Illini because my diploma is worth more than the paper it’s printed on, unlike a Tiger.

    Yea, I had to.


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