Posts Tagged ‘Bloomington’

Yes, there’s actually a reason for the skipping class and making bad decisions. I mean, it is college so most students don’t need one, but there is at least some motivation behind this crazy week.

Howdy Wilcox Jr. founded the the Little 500 cycling race in 1951 after the Indianapolis 500. Howdy’s father actually won the Indy 500 in 1919.

The Little 500, or just Little 5, consist of 200 laps around a quarter mile track. Between 4 riders, the teams race to complete 50 miles in the fastest time. There are only four rules:

  1. All riders must use the official Little 500 bike that is provided to them for that year. There can be no toe clips or grips, kick stands, water bottles, air pumps, untaped or unplugged handlebars, or any other add-on accessories.
  2. For the safety of all riders, hard helmets must be worn and buckled at all times, as well as biking gloves.
  3. Each team is required to complete 10 exchanges during the course of the race.
  4. At the 198th lap, all riders not on the lead lap will be asked to move to the back or exit the pack. This is done so that all teams in contention on their last 2 laps can make their attempt to win the race. Teams which do not comply with this rule are believed to be impeding the progress of another rider and will be given a 5- to 20-second penalty or even disqualification, depending on the severity of the violation.

The event has grown into a week long festivity you don’t want to miss. The women’s little 500 was added in 1988 and consists of only 100 laps, or 25 miles. Little 50, a running race, and other Alumni races have been added as well.

But with all that hard work and training, there comes a time for celebration. A lot of celebrating. Every year Bloomington hosts several concerts by some big names in mainstream music. The students and bars take in on themselves to host the rest of the celebrations.

Throughout the years, Little 500 has evolved from just the largest collegiate cycling races, to one of the largest collegiate events, period. It’s not just a day anymore. From the Sunday before to the Sunday after, saying “Little 5” refers to the entire week, not just race day.


Jennifer Hooker now Jennifer Brinegar loved it.  Jennifer and I share a little bit more than just birthdays… we share the love of Indiana as well as the love of Bloomington.

Photo Courtesy of:

Photo Courtesy of: homepages.indiana.eduUniversity as well as the love of swimming, even though she would beat me in a race every time.

Jennifer was born here in Bloomington, IN and started swimming when she was two years old.  Once she was a little older, she started attending swimming camps and lessons on IU’s campus.  This is where Doc Counsilman first saw the young star.  From then on, Doc started allowing her to come and watch the men’s practices.  She just watched and listened as he helped each and every swimmer whether they walked on to the team or on scholarship.

Once she started high school, Doc encouraged her to go to a different more challenging school than Bloomington South.  Jennifer ended up at Kentucky where she finally qualified for nationals in a couple different events.

After graduation, she moved back to attend IU.  Even though the women’s swimming program wasn’t the best, she helped it along.  She helped usher in their first Big Ten Championship while breaking record after record, some of which still stand today.

Doc Counsilman kept pushing her to try out for the ’76 Olympics while Jennifer wanted to wait til ’80.  In the end, she was glad she tried out because she became part of the US’s gold medal relay team as well as placing top five in two other freestyle events.  Jennifer also was thankful she didn’t wait till ’80 because of the USA’s protest during those games.

Jennifer left Bloomington for many years to obtain a Law Degree, but eventually came back and worked in a few offices on campus, including the one that turned in Sampson for his unethical recruiting practices.

In 1999, Jennifer was finally inducted into the Indiana University Athletic Hall of Fame.  The Herald Time’s even wrote an article about her and all of her accomplishments.

Doc Counsilman as well as Bloomingotn was Jennifer’s key into swimming stardom.  She not only realizes this, but she also embraces it.

I was just really fortunate to be born where I was born and live where I lived and to work with someone like Doc Counsilman. If I had been born anywhere else, I might not have had those opportunities.

Photo Courtesy of:

Photo Courtesy of:

Photo credit: Redskins/

I’d compare Ben Chappell to Jordan Hulls. Both Bloomington born and raised. Both Bloomington South grads-turned IU athletes. Both team leaders. Both beloved Hoosiers. The difference? Ben Chappell played on the gridiron, not the hardwood.

Chappell graduated from IU in June 2010, and finished with a stellar senior season. He closed out his career as Indiana’s career leader in completion percentage (61.1), 300-yard games (nine), 250-yard games (13) and 200-yard games (18), ranked second in passing yardage (7,251) and passing touchdowns (45).

So Chappell made his mark in the IU record books. Those weren’t the only books Chappell hit during his time in Bloomington. Ben was Awarded an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship as a National Football Foundation National Scholar-Athlete. He was also named as an ESPN Academic All-District V first team, and was a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar Award recipient. Not to mention, Chappell was an Academic All-Big Ten selection, where school and football are both considered.

Chappell left Bloomington with a bachelor of science in accounting from the renowned Kelley School of Business, and hopes of a career in the NFL. Not a bad tenure at IU. Chappell says his parents have had a huge impact on his career as a player and student, and enjoyed having them local.

Chappell’s profile on Linkedin

“They’ve never missed a game, so that’s about as good as it gets as far as support;” Chappell said.”Having my parents support around here has definitely helped.”

Chappell thought sometimes about what it would have been like to go somewhere outside of Indiana, but ultimately knew Indiana was the place for him.

“I don’t think I could have come to a better place than this,” Chappell said. “With the school and football overall, and the experience of being around my family and having my parents coming to every game, I don’t think I could have had it any better.”

Chappell was passed up on NFL draft day, but wasn’t ready to give in on a chance at a pro career quite yet. On July 26, 2011 he was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Washington Redskins, with his competition coming in the form of a Donovan McNabb on his way out of Washington, John Beck from BYU, and well, Rex Grossman. Despite the quarterback issues in Washington, Mike Shanahan confirmed that the team cut Chappell on August 30, 2011.

This marked the end of Chappell’s NFL run. Fortunately for him, his work in the classroom at Indiana landed him another job. Not to mention, some guy named Robert Griffin III was taken with the second overall pick in 2012, and the rest was history.

Ben is currently an accountant for BKD CPAs & Advisors, and resides in Denver, Colorado. Not too shabby.

Your move, Jordan Hulls.

Who exactly is “that guy” who always gets saved for last on the “I’m a Hoosier” video during IU basketball games?

If you’ve followed Indiana sports for some time now it might seem like a no brainer, but for those of us who threw themselves into the IU community when freshman year rolled around and for all the band wagon fans now that IU Basketball is back, the name Calbert Cheaney probably means nothing.

A Hoosier basketball star from 1989-93, Cheaney returned to the great state of Indiana as the Director of Basketball relations.

cheaney IU player Cheaney IU director

Calbert is known to be one of the best players IU has ever produced. He started his college career with a bang scoring 20 points in the team’s season opener, the only freshman in IU history to do so.

The left handed guard finished out 4 incredible years with two conference titles and 2,618 points to his name. That makes him the all-time leading scorer of not only Indiana, but the entire Big Ten.

Cheaney roster shot

Cheaney was the 6th draft pick and went to the Washington Bullets. His second year there he reached his career high of 16.6 points per game. He played a total of 13 years between several different NBA teams before he declared his retirement.

The Hoosiers were more than happy to welcome him back into Assembly Hall. Last year, the position of assistant coach was opened up to him, but he declined. He says he’s happy with where he is and the timing of the opening just wasn’t right. Either way, it’s safe to say that all the Hoosiers enjoy his presence in Bloomington.

We all have a certain love and respect for what Calbert Cheaney did as a superstar player, and yes, we love that he is still a Hoosier.