The Illini student section, also known as Block I, is located in the north end zone, and when the team is good, the stands are packed to the brim. In the second half, they do a display of colored cards that make pictures representing the Illini football nation. Lately, the Illini have struggled. However, the student section remains active and vocal throughout the games. These are some of the best fans to sit with as they are very up to date on how the team is doing and have a lot of passion for anything and everything Illini.
The mascot of the Fighting Illini is Chief Illiniwek, but he has been banned recently from making appearances at games. The students do not like this little banning of their famed hero and like to continue to chants they did when he was present. It’s nice to see the students do their part to keep the team’s history alive and well. This is an excellent way to join in with the fans as it has not only been a hot issue for the fans at the University, but also for fans across the state of Illinois as Chief Illiniwek was a major symbol of the program for as long as most fans can remember.
Another great tradition to be a part of is the singing of the Oskee-Wow-Wow fight song. The song gets the crowd charged to cheer on the Illini, so join in with the fans. The lyrics are posted below, and you can find a music track here.
Things to check out
Tribute to World War I Soldiers
There are nearly 200 pillars surrounding Memorial Stadium that are engraved with the names of U of I students who served during World War I. Pay tribute to these fallen heroes by visiting these pillars.
Lettering On Luxury Suites/Press Boxes
In honor of the Fighting Illini’s football accomplishments, lettering has been added to the stadium that reads “Welcome to Memorial Stadium Home of the Fighting Illini,” as well as listing National Championships, Big Ten championships, and retired numbers.
The Grange Rock
A tribute to Harold “Red” Grange sits near the northeast end zone in the form of rock from the stone quarry in Indiana used to create the granite columns in the stadium. Players will often touch the Grange Rock on their way into the stadium.
At every U of I game, you will hear half the stadium shouting “I-L-I” while the other half will shout “I-N-I” in response.
We’re loyal to you Illinois We’re “Orange and Blue,” Illinois
We’ll back you to stand
‘Gainst the best in the land
For we know you have sand, Illinois
So crack out the ball Illinois
We’re backing you all Illinois Our team is the fame protector; On boys, for we expect a
Victory from you Illinois
Chehee, Cheha, Cheha-ha-ha
Go Illini Go Chehee, Cheha, Cheha-ha-ha
Go Illini Go Illinois, Illinois, Illinois
Fling out that dear old flag of Orange and Blue Lead on your sons and daughters, Fighting for you; Like men of old, on giants Placing reliance, shouting defiance
Amid the broad green plains That nourish our land,
For honest labor and for learning we stand,
And unto thee we pledge our heart and hand, Dear Alma Mater, Illinois
Oskee Wow Wow
Old Princeton yells her tiger Wisconsin her varsity
And they give the same old Rah!
At each university
But the yell that always thrills me,
And fills my heart with joy,
Is the good old Oskee-wow-wow,
That they yell at Illinois
Oskee-wow-wow, Illinois Our eyes are all on you
Oskee-wow-wow, Illinois Wave your Orange and Blue, Rah! Rah! When your team trots out before you
Ev’ry man stand up and yell
Back the team to gain a victory Oskee-wow-wow, Illinois
Hail To The Orange
Hail to the Orange.
Hail to the Blue. Hail Alma Mater,
Ever so true.
We love no other,
So let our motto be
Victory, Illinois, Varsity.