PantherU

A Jerk’s Guide to the UIC Flames

PantherU has decided to forego the usual ho-hum season previews of basketball teams in the Horizon League, instead…well…we’re just gonna trash your team in the style of Deadspin (yeah, we’re not even covering up that we’re ripping them off). For years, PantherU has been second only to the Horizon League office in pissing off Horizon League hoops fans, and it’s high time we embraced the villain. It’s all in good fun, so don’t take it seriously and be ready to enjoy the previews. If you are a fan of a Horizon League team and you want to be a part of trashing your own team, feel free to send all to jimmy@pantheru.com.

The team: UIC Flames

2014 Record: 6-25 (1-15 Horizon League)

The coach: Howard Moore, who parlayed a decent career as a wide receiver for the Detroit Lions in the ’90’s into a college basketball coaching career. What’s that you say? That was Herman Moore? Oh. Well who is Howard Moore? Oh, he’s the guy that got a three-year contract extension for going 18-16 against a weak non-conference schedule, then responded by winning six total? Yeah, this is who I’d want in charge of my program (sweeps Rob Jeter’s conference record the last two years under the rug).

When it’s all said and done with Moore, was it him or was it UIC? Or was it that Jimmy Collins’ stink lingers so heavily on this program that it’s going to need a bath of ammonia and bleach just to be wearable again. Hard to tell. Moore’s hiring was so late in the offseason three years ago that his first two years were a wash. But you can’t say that about this past year. Except that really awesome game on February 25th, they have been god-awful. Who did they play? Oh crap.

Full disclosure about that game: from my courtside seat, I made the joke when UIC had the ball that I used to date a girl named Kelsey. Instead of ignoring it, Kelsey Barlow said “I’ve f*cked plenty of girls named Kelsey.” He is now my hero and I hope he makes millions as a pro. He also made a three right before he said that. What a boss.

The star: Uh…Marc Brown, right? Gotta be Marc Brown.  Sure. Whatever. He started last season on fire, scoring 20+ in three straight against college basketball behemoths Drake, Roosevelt and Eastern Illinois. Seriously, Roosevelt is the pride of the CCAC. Wait a second. CCAC? Isn’t that the website we go to see if our neighbors have any DUI’s to their name? Oh, that’s CCAP. Rob Jeter has nothing to his name, I looked for you.

Brown is one of those guys who you look at the box score and say, “Wait, he score 15 points? When did this happen?” He’s unassuming and mostly invisible, much like UIC in the Chicago recruiting pool. When he does score a bunch of points, it’s usually when the other team has totally checked out because the game was over at halftime. It’s the UIC Way.

Could be worse: I mean, you could have no one coming back. Howard Moore could have a long contract with a terrible buyout. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign could be getting a medical school. Oh wait, they are? Shit. Better mail it in, Circle.

The Flames have been a total disaster since they won the conference tournament in 2004 at the UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN DASH MILWAUKEE PANTHERZ AREEEENA. At least they didn’t promote Tracy Dildy, who is one turd of a person and the head coach of Chicago State, a school that makes UIC look like freaking Duke. Holy crap, Chicago State won a conference title in 2012-13 with Dildy at the helm. Did they have to beat Roosevelt in the CCAC Title game on the Ocho? Oh, they’re Division I? How about that.

They’re lucky the school is built to withstand. Basketball may be in a prolonged shit storm, but the academic side of the university is outstanding and they can afford to shovel more garbage while the team gets on its feet. They’ve got facilities, outstanding secondary sports in soccer and baseball, and an AD with a great Chicago moustache. Seriously, you could substitute Jim Schmidt into Da Superfans segments and no one would notice. Is that George Wendt? No, it’s Jim Schmidt, and he’s the AD at UIC. We’ll see if there’s a Horizon League AD opening he can apply for soon, but for now he’s a Flame!

This is the worst: The Lighting of the Flame. Seriously, if you’ve never been to a game at UIC, get thee to the Pavilion this season. The Flames conduct this little tradition, which is simultaneously the most revered and laughed at tradition in the conference. UIC fans will be moved to tears, hats off, and the other team’s fans will be crying tears from unbridled joy at seeing something so cheesy.  It’s cheesier than the cheesiest deep dish pizza in Chicago. It’s cheesier than anything in Wisconsin. They roll out the red carpet for…you know what, you just have to go see it for yourself.

Look forward to: Being able to leave games early! No late nights for you! No pounding hearts – if the Flames win four conference games this year, it will be a miracle. They had only five conference games decided by five points or less. So it’ll be nice to go out to the game knowing that it’s pretty much in the bag before tip-off. You know, unless you’re Milwaukee. We seem to shit the bed against the Flames at least once a season, and oh boy that was a good one at the arena.

How about that: The Flames got Chris Granderson to put up $5 million (the biggest gift ever from a former athlete to his alma mater) to build what is an outstanding home stadium, totally finished for the 2015 baseball season. Hey – gotta have something to look forward to, right?

What flames fans have to say:

Big D:

The time-out music is played at unhealthy volumes to drown out the boos.

Speaking of music, UIC should switch to the Benny Hill theme song throughout the game to accompany the ongoing blooper reel.

Sparky is the most entertaining part of the game. Actually, the most exciting is waiting for a fight to break out when Sparky passes out one medium pizza for a section of 100 kids to share.

Remove the kids from the stands and you’re left with 4 people.

The best we could do in 20 years is tie for one regular season title…ok now I’m depressed.

UIC is a leader in innovation…of novel ways to lose.

UIC Pavilion: Home of the Away Team

Axaguy:

Going to a UIC game is similar to attending a mime convention.
If a ball falls in the basket when no ones is around does it make a sound???? Does anyone???

UIC’s best defense is a bad offense. At least we keep the ball away from the opponent for 35 seconds a few times a half. A shot clock violation on us is considered a defensive stop by us…..

Our coaches are so dumb. They thought looking for a 65% shooter was a guy who shoots the ball 65% of the time he touches it….
( hey, can’t score unless you shoot!!, right)

When told that tomorrow’s practice would center around clearing the boards our bigs brought all the erasers from Douglas Hall to practice….

When the starting point guard was told to limit his traveling he didn’t show up for the next away game……….

Concession lines at the Pav are so slow that “serve by” dates have all expired by the time you reach the counter

BUT the wait is good for your health…..keeps you from throwing up if you were inside watching the game….

When explaining how to run a “fast break” the star guard asked, “Who’s driving the get-away car?”

WE topped one poll last year. Best 5-23 team in the country………

One player thought references to a “post season” was a fence sale at Menards

How does a man-to-man defense work against a team with transgender guards????

The Pav is a great study hall……..free admission, lots of room to spread out and quiet……………………….

UIC does have higher admission standards than the rest of the Horizon League. Admission Office is 18th floor of UH!!!!!

Big disappoint

Circle70:

One of our players told Coach Moore that he couldn’t be the shooting guard—he didn’t own a gun!!!

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