Last week, the University of Illinois Athletic department sent out an email to fans/alums/supporters/donors hawking this 24" Red Grange sculpture that is an exact replica of the spectacular statue that they put up a few years back at Memorial Stadium in Champaign. The idea is great, but the price is crazy. $4800 for one. I understand that they're limiting the production to just 77 pieces (get it? Red Grange's number was 77), but they should make something more affordable. A few years back, I bought a bronze(ish) statue of Chief Illiniwek. I'm not certain what it is made out of, but it wasn't crazy expensive. Probably a few hundred bucks. I would like nothing more than to add this Grange statue to my Chief statue. But, until they make a ton of them out of something other than bronze, I have a feeling that I won't be able to explain a $4800 charge to our credit card to Nat.
As a side note....have you checked out the Grange statue in person? It is pretty awesome. When they do the *rest* of the Memorial Stadium renovation (horseshoe), they'll have to add a Butkus one too? After all, he's the only OTHER number the Illini have retired. Speaking of which, one fun story I have from my time as a punter on the Illini team is that when I was on the team, the lockers were organized by number - not position. Sure, a lot of the guys were grouped together because their numbers were close (think offensive linemen being #60's and #70's), but that wasn't always the case. But there were 2 lockers that went unused. #51 (Butkus) and #77 (Grange). I thought it was a pretty neat tribute to the 2 greatest players in Illini history.