The Illinois Fighting Illini began playing football in 1890. That was an eventful year. It was also the same year EA McIlhenny shot a record 19 foot- 2 inch alligator in Louisiana.
“That’s not an alligator. That’s a dinosaur!” said a local man.
The Illini have won 5 national championship, the first in 1914, coached by Parke H Davis. This guy was amazing. He started a law club, he played leading roles in Operas, he read poetry at galas and was a winning football coach.
A bystander said, “I know something he couldn’t do. He couldn’t predict the weather by feeling his elbow…(feels elbow)…it’s going to rain!”
Davis wrote a famous essay tracing football back through history to Biblical times.
One witness in the Bible reported, “It’s a a little known fact that Jesus and the Apostles played football, and he was a very good quarterback. One year it rained bad, but they played anyway. Danged if this guy would run right on top of the huge puddles on the field. Right on top of the water. Craziest thing I ever saw.”