Spt_column_mb_9/5 What a difference a week makes

By Gus Bode

I checked. I double-checked.

I called and sent an e-mail. I used a fax machine, a passenger pigeon and a telepathic Haitian priest.

I talked to Genghis Khan, Joseph Stalin and the guy who invented the designated hitter rule, and they all assured me that hell had not frozen over and that, in fact, it was a comfortable 120 degrees, despite what happened this week.


Saluki sports went undefeated.

Seriously. I wouldn’t mess with you that way. For what seems like the first time in modern history football, volleyball and cross country are undefeated following a full week of play by all teams.

Football crushed Kentucky Wesleyan Friday. Or, more accurately, they killed the Panthers, dismembered the corpses, burned them, put the ashes in a titanium safe and deposited it in the middle of a glacier at the South Pole.

Volleyball’s wins were not worthy of a homicide reference, but they were impressive. SIU beat four teams in Texas last weekend including Mississippi State, which plays in the Southeastern Conference.

And Saluki cross country was responsible for the men’s and women’s winners at last weekend’s meets.

So why is this shocking? Why were the damned expecting frostbite?

Because in the last few years, these teams won about as often as Osama bin Laden expressed his undying love for the United States.


SIU football and volleyball were a combined 12-29 last season, with volleyball chipping in 11 of those wins.

Saluki football, which was once a campus joke, has turned into a main topic of discussion during classes.

I overheard a girl in my biology class say:”78-0? But I thought they sucked.”

That would have been true last week, but it’s amazing what a 78-0 excommunication of a Division II team can do to a campus’ attitude.

Last season, starting at quarterback for SIU was about as prestigious as being president of the curling club. This season, Joel Sambursky can’t even walk into the bank without being recognized and congratulated.

“I think there’s a buzz,” Sambursky said. “I’ve gotten a lot of congratulations, a lot of hugs. People are fired up, and we’re fired up.”

What a difference a week makes. Fans who once considered football the ugly stepchild of SIU now have more confidence in the football team than the players do. The team thinks they played “OK” last Thursday, but most of the student body has already penciled it in to play Miami in the Fiesta Bowl.

If this continues, the Salukis will be an NFL expansion team by October and SIU volleyball will be asked to join the Pac-10.

And it is quite possible that SIU will remain undefeated after this weekend, which may prompt fans to write in Tom Koutsos and Kristie Kemner when they vote for governor.

It could happen. SEMO isn’t intimidating anybody after barely edging out Division II Arkansas-Monticello. The Indians needed double overtime to defeat a team named the Boll Weevils. Yes, the Boll Weevils, a name that should strike fear in every child under eight seconds old.

I’m sure the Salukis are shaking in their jockstraps at the thought of facing the team that could barely beat the Boll Weevils.

Though volleyball won’t face any teams as tough as the Boll Weevils (last one, I promise), it has a decent shot against the Chippewas, Racers and Kangaroos in its home tournament this weekend. Those three schools are a combined 3-6 so far this year, so volleyball should hold up its end of the undefeated bargain.

Perhaps the Salvation Army should consider Fed-Xing a few blankets to the underworld. They’re going to need them.

Michael is a junior in journalism. His views do not necessarily reflect those of the Daily Egyptian.