J. Thomas McNamara

Back in late August/early September I got a lot of laughs and not so kind jokes about my prediction that Illinois and Lovie Smith would go bowling. I was the only scribe at the time who forecasted without fear that Illinois would go bowling.
Well, he who laughs last laughs best and I’m smiling broadly right now after Illinois’ miracle finish as Brandon Peters hit Daniel Barker with five seconds left for the game winning touchdown, 37-34 win over Michigan State in East Lansing.
Do you believe now, Illini fans?
Your Decatur Tribune sports editor was ahead of those who cover Illinois daily and I trusted Lovie and his team even after their loss to Minnesota, who just surprised fifth ranked Penn State earlier Saturday afternoon.
Illinois has its six wins and Lovie and his team are going bowling for all you doubting Thomases out there. Oh, and they did it with out their outstanding linebacker Hansen, who missed the game because of injury.
An Irish Toast to the Illinois, who certainly will enjoy this win and their trip home from East Lansing.
I remember the late Jimmy Valvano of North Carolina State fame, “Don’t Give Up, Don’t Ever Give Up.”
I will have more on this developing story in a future print edition of the Decatur Tribune.

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