Maybe you thought this Chief Illiniwek controversy was not that big a deal. You have probably not talked to University of Illinois grad student Dan Maloney--aka Chief Illiniwek XXXVI--lately. Here's what he said to the Daily Illini yesterday, about his last dance as the school's mascot, scheduled for tonight: "It feels like a huge chunk of my past, of my experience on this earth, is disappearing. ... It's such a humbling experience. It reminds you that no matter what you can achieve on this earth, there are things that exist that are above you. They transcend age. They transcend the brief time we spend on this earth."
So serious! Also serious: the dozens of Facebook members who have made the Chief's face their profile photo. Perhaps our contest has more existential gravitas than we thought ... Send ideas for a replacement mascot to firstname.lastname@example.org.