Gould Headshot squareWhenever Illinois has a big win, it reminds me of a quote from former Minnesota basketball coach Clem Haskins, who used to say, “Hats off to the Illinis,’’ with a plural “Illinis.’’

And that reminds me of meticulous Peoria sportswriter and newspaperman Gary Childs, who found great delight in Haskins’ plural Illinis. And that makes me sad because Gary, one of the sweetest, most honorable men I ever knew, left us too soon—the victim of an unspeakable cancer.

But I also know that Gary, who loved Illini sports and always carried a Thesaurus, is up there smiling down on us today. Because Illinois has defeated Rutgers handily, 24-7, for Lovie Smith’s first FBS win. The rest of this article is available to subscribers only – to become a subscriber click here.