By Dan Bernstein–
670TheScore.com senior columnist
(670 The Score) In the latest chapter of the never-ending story of idiots dressed up like pretend Indians and the goobers who love them, a University of Illinois professor was suspended for ambushing Chief Illiniwek in a bathroom to take pictures of him.
I’m not making this up — it happened last week at a basketball game down there. Nor am I making up the continued existence of Illinois basketball.
Noted anti-Chief documentarian Jay Rosenstein was convinced the school was secretly aiding and abetting the weirdos who still dress up in buckskins to delight retrograde farm folk, and any support of the discarded mascot by the university would be a violation of its 2007 agreement with the NCAA. So he staked out a concourse of the arena, overheard some security guards talking about the Chief, followed them toward a bathroom while recording video on his phone and then went in to indeed find one of the known cosplay boys in there.
Rosenstein was arrested. The silly charges of illegal recording were dropped, but he has been placed on administrative leave by the school as it investigates on its own.
This is our taxpayer dollars at work an an institution of higher learning that’s still fighting itself over an obviously racist symbol that too many people insist is something else, because of whatever bad and wrong reason they they choose to concoct at any particular time.
Student groups against, student groups in support and the U of I still dithers over naming a new mascot as it should have done a decade ago like so many other, quicker-thinking colleges have. Their inaction has allowed for more simmering of perhaps the dumbest culture war imaginable, one that may see its next skirmish at State Farm Arena on Feb. 22, when Purdue comes to Champaign to win by 20.
As reported by the Chicago Tribune, a Facebook movement is urging fans to “wear Chief gear with pride” that night, daring the evil media to display them all in their costumes on live TV.
That’s sure to show those durn upstate know-it-all elitists who’s boss, allowing the oppressed to re-assert their true “heritage” of … a character stolen from the Lakota Sioux and portrayed by a frat boy doing a dance he made up.
Long live the entirely self-inflicted Chief controversy and the ongoing ridiculousness of all of it. Those of us who find this a boundless source of entertainment don’t ever want it to stop.