Tim Beckman unveils the 2015 Illini football version of “W.I.N.T.”

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On Thursday, Illini football coach Tim Beckman spoke publicly for the first time since allegations of abuse were made public. He had the perfect platform to get his side of the story out there (or at least display some professionalism by saying the legal proceedings prohibit him from commenting).

He set up his audience by indicating that he had a big announcement to make. Beckman even made a dramatic pause. But he delivered nothing but marketing drivel and coachspeak buzzwords. All he did was introduce a new acronym catch-phrase/motivational mantra for his program.

“Whatever is Necessary Today.” or “W.I.N.T.” was the slogan Tim Beckman used to motivate and lead the Illinois Fighting Illini in 2013. It was much maligned by the Chicago media.

If W.I.N. or W.I.N.T. sounded familiar that’s because…W.I.N. “What’s Important Now” has been on the walls of the Northwestern football meeting room for close to a decade.

According to Northwestern Director of Digital and Social Communications Doug Meffley, the phrase goes back to at least the early Pat Fitzgerald era (Fitz took over in 2006) or Fitz’s predecessor, Randy Walker. So NU and Pat Fitzgerald had been using this acronym for a few years prior to Beckman “sampling and remixing” it.

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Here’s the Q&A from 2014 Big Ten Media Day, in which Tim Beckman explains how Illini football acquired it:

Q. “Where did you come up with the WIN acronym slogan because it’s the same one that Northwestern’s been using for a few years?”

Coach Tim Beckman: “We’ve always — I don’t know when Northwestern did. We used that back at Bowling Green defensively. We always did it. For us, it means whatever’s needed, we added today to it. So it’s WIN today. Only worry about one thing at a time, that’s day-by-day. We’re going to do whatever is necessary for us to be successful that day.”

The new Illini slogan, which Illini players and coaches will have emblazoned on wristbands, is “OSKEE 15” (note this article was originally published on March 4th, but since Tim Beckman felt the need to make OSKEE such an important focal point of his time on the podium today at Big Ten Media Day, we felt the need to re-run this)

That stands for “Our Success (equals/comes from) Knowledge Effort Energy.” Those close to the University of Illinois know Oskee as the first word in the title of the school fight song- “Oskee Wow Wow.” The English phrase was created to name the fight song; it does not exist in any other language.

By the way, here’s that awesome GIF of Tim Beckman doing his “listening face” at Big Ten Media Day, courtesy of SB Nation:

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Paul M. Banks owns, operates and writes The Sports Bank.net, which is part of the FOX Sports Engage Network. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, currently contributes to the Chicago Tribune RedEye edition. He also appears regularly on numerous talk radio stations all across the country.

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