I’m sure our audience’s patience has been exasperated by our insistence on bringing you constant ramblings involving Indiana University football. But hey, we’re proud alums and apparently enjoy self-torture.
But just when you think it can’t get any worse, another fall Saturday rolls around.
Luckily, I was at a wedding Saturday night and wasn’t able to watch Indiana’s game at North Texas. Unfortunately for a good friend of mine, he made the trip from Chicago to Dallas to take in the game. Sucker. North Texas was winless and hadn’t beaten a school from a BCS automatic qualifier conference since it beat Baylor in 2003. So imagine my surprise when I get a text from my friend reading, “Awful.” I asked the score. “24-0.” Yikes. I remind you, Indiana was playing North Texas. A team whose defense entering the game was the worst in the country (42 points and 559 yards a game worst). So naturally it took IU until six minutes left in the game to score its first offensive touchdown.
Good thing we brought in that offensive genius from Oklahoma to run things.
The Hoosiers lost 24-21.
It didn’t help the Hoosiers’ chances that junior running back and tormenter of Michigan the last two seasons, Darius Willis was out injured.
Ah, The Furious Case of Darius Willis.
A highly touted recruit for Bill Lynch, Willis was named to the Big Ten All-Freshman team and led the team in rushing with 607 yards in six starts. But injuries have been an issue for the tailback, limiting him to four games last season (though he still managed to score three times against the Wolverines, but then again, three against Michigan is pretty modest).
Whilst injured, Willis was arrested for domestic battery. The police report wasn’t pretty. It read Willis threw a female IU student against a wall, grabbed her by the throat and tossed her onto the bed, stood over her and exclaimed, “What a rush! This is the best I’ve felt in years!” Chillingly disturbing. The student decided not to press charges, but filed a protective order against the star football player.
IU never officially suspended Willis and with the whole upheaval in the football program, it was always a gray area. Regardless, new coach Kevin Wilson hasn’t had Willis at his disposal because of lingering injury concerns. In fact, last week the Indiana Daily Student reported that not only was Willis’ season likely over, his football career might be done. News that would have normally bummed me out as a Hoosier fan, but then again it’s not like we’re rooting for a patron saint here.
So while the Hoosiers were being embarrassed by a team from the Sun Belt, so much so that the Indianapolis Star’s Terry Hutchens opined where the loss stood in the pantheon of IU football embarrassments, Willis remained in Bloomington.
But Willis didn’t watch the game on ESPN3, and it wasn’t because he’d rather use his XBox 360 to shoot and maim as many creatures as possible. Instead, he was partaking in a local pro wrestling match. Yup, that’s right. Indiana’s star player wasn’t on the football field Saturday, he was inside the ring.
The ring announcer introduced him as “the former Indiana star running back.” Sounds about right.
Fortunately for Willis, pro wrestling is a non-contact sport, so he might actually have a future in it. Because, you know, we’re totally rooting for him.
(I’m getting drenched down here from that comment dripping with sarcasm.)