We Love No Other 6.3 - Illini Basketball 1993~1997
It's basically the Jordan Flu Game.
I recorded this podcast episode with Will Leitch last week. We recorded using Zoom, so even though it's just an audio recording, we're looking at each other the whole time. And as we neared the end, he was not looking good. Maybe it's best to let him describe it. Here's a snippet from his newsletter on Saturday:
I wrote a backpage piece for the All-Star Game program despite barely being able to see the screen, I taped the Seeing Red podcast with Bernie Miklasz that morning at about three-quarters speed and then taped an Illinois basketball history podcast with Robert Rosenthal at IlliniBoard that wore me out so much that by the end of it, I had tilted the computer so I could continue the Zoom by lying down on the floor. (If you listen to this podcast, please forgive everything I said, I might have been hallucinating.) I immediately went to bed, still couldn't sleep, decided to finally take the test, and then boom, there it was, right there in my face. It was a bit of a bummer to realize that I was not, in fact, an indestructible god. The more you know.
So now picture my side of the screen. I've asked Will - someone who had pieces published in New York Magazine, The Washington Post, MLB.com, and Vulture last week alone - to join me for an hour and a half of Illini overanalysis. He told me he wasn't feeling the best before we started (but that he wanted to still record), so we pressed on and discussed all five seasons. And as we reached the final two seasons on our list, the guy on the screen in front of me is... laying down on the floor while he talks about Kevin Turner.
Podcasts aren't live, so what I should have done is take a moment to see if he's OK. Just hit pause after the Lou Henson retirement discussion and ask "DUDE, are you OK?" But I didn't. And so he soldiered on and we finished all 100 minutes of the recording. And then I hit stop. And then I asked "DUDE, are you OK?". He said he just needed some rest. And I thanked him for pulling off the Jordan Flu Game of podcasting.
The next morning I received a text from Will. It was simply a photo of his positive Covid test (the cover photo of his newsletter linked above) and the text "to further explain the Jordan Flu Game." He said he's feeling much better, so this is not to cause you to worry. I just wanted you to be aware of how he drained all of these jumpers for 100 minutes while barely able to otherwise function.
And also why it sounds like his voice gets further from the mic near the end. It's because he was further from the mic. He was laying on the floor.