Being a walk-on is tough, and I respect those who are willing to do it. They do everything a full athletic scholarship entails, minus the actual scholarship. Last year, we Illini were lucky to have Bubba Chisholm because he had it all. The hometown hero had the commitment, the enthusiasm, the fan appeal...hell he might have had a bit of sex appeal too and for a rookie walk-on that could be a lot to live up too. Obviously, he's no Mark Titus of Club Trillion fame, but nonetheless it's some big shoes to fill.
Into the picture comes Kevin Berardini from Lake Forest, Illinois and it doesn't matter that I haven't correctly pronounced his last name yet because he's also known as The New Bubba. Kevin was thrown into the fire just in time for our fall conditioning workouts, and the glorious events college basketball coaches around the country like to call individuals.
The team full of jokesters we are, as we were showing Kevin the ropes that is Illinois basketball, we also had a little fun; comparing how physically tough it is to be a walk-on to unfeasible, ridiculous feats outside of basketball. The jokes started off tame, and believable, but soon got to crazy, and hysterical. If you don't know what I mean by now, here's a list I made with some of the best ones.
A walk-on has got to be able to lick their elbow without dislocating their shoulder...AND be able to sneeze with their eyes open. Can't afford to miss a blink of the action.
A walk-on should be able to find a word in the English dictionary that rhymes with orange.
A walk-on's got to be able to pick a fight with Chuck Norris...and win.
A walk-on's got to be able to drown a fish, compute the last digit of Pi, and slam a revolving door.
Did you know a walk-on has to know how to squeeze apple juice out a banana or milk a cow and get lemonade?
A walk-on has to deliver a sandwich faster than Jimmy John himself. That's really freaking fast.
A walk-on's got to be able to walk on fire without getting burnt.
To be a walk-on, you have to memorize all the final fatalities on Mortal Combat, and perform them in person if need be. You should also be able to achieve all 120 stars on Super Mario 64 in less than 120 minutes.
A walk-on's got to be able to head butt a rhino and hurt the rhino.
A walk-on's got to be able to take a charge on a full speeding LeBron James, run through the middle against the Ravens and Ray Lewis, get hit by a pitch from Randy Johnson in his prime, and stop a point blank slap shot from The Great One.
To be a walk-on you got to be able to swim without getting wet.
And finally, a walk-on should have something like a 77.7 GPA on a 4.0 scale, to offset any questions the NCAA might have about team GPA and eligibility.