Illini Nation is everywhere!

Proudly displaying your orange and blue, everywhere you go, you hear an "I-L-L" or see a fellow fan in Illini gear.

The Alumni Association is proud to be a sponsor of the Quarterback Club. We wanted to share President Michael Byrd's recent newsletter to QBC members about how far and wide our Illini Nation really is.


Dear fellow Illini,

I just spent nine days in North Carolina. Visiting family and spending a little time in a part of the country that I call home. I was actually raised in Va. Beach, Virginia, but North Carolina just feels like home.

But, now I am back and it is time to get ready for those dreaded Buckeyes. No particular insight from me, my opinions are generally formed by listening to the observations of others who know more about the game than I do. Yes, the offense looks good and yes, the defense is young. And, yes, it's a drag to be 3-6. General consensus seems to be we have our hands full with Ohio State. But, then comes Purdue and Northwestern. Two wins make us 5-7. So, if W's and L's are all that matters, there it is. Deal with it.

But, to this Alum, to this season  ticket holder and to this supporter of Illini Nation and UI football, I find myself looking beyond just the wins and loses. Spending Saturdays with friends and family at Memorial Stadium will be a part of me until well, forever. Wearing Orange and Blue and experiencing the traditions of Illinois football is something that will forever be very special to me.

While traveling last week, I wore Illinois and Quarterback Club apparel everywhere I went. In restaurants, at Lowe's and Home Depot, at the park, at the the wonderful children's museum and alll day when we went to the coast and spent a wonderful afternoon walking in the sand at Wrightsville Beach. And, you know what? Everywhere I went there were loyal Illini. An ILL from across the restaurant, eager employees to help out a fellow Illini and Alums everywhere.

There was always a story about when they were last in Champaign or their years as a student. Yep, if they asked about Kam's or the Six Pack, you knew they were real Illini. Sure, we talked a little football and, outside of Champaign, it is always politically correct to talk about the Chief. Yeah, I felt like I was home. But, then again, when you're an Illini, you are never very far from home. I am proud to be an Illin.

Go Illini, kick some Buckeye butt!

Michael Byrd

For more info about the Illini Quarterback Club, visit



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