Illinois Football Players Dominate Water Park, Weaponize Water Noodles

Gabe Zaldivar@gabezalPop Culture Lead WriterAugust 19, 2013

Soon life will be devoid of all fun as hard work and academics take their toll. For now, we party like a group of crazy kids walking around a park filled with water slides.

That had to be what went through the mind of every last Illinois football player who visited Hap Parker Family Aquatic Center, which is adjacent to the team's practice fields.

You only have to take a gander at the images and video featured on FightingIllini.com by Derek Neal (h/t Yahoo! Sports' Nick Bromberg) to know these guys are attempting to get every last drop of summer fun out of life before the season begins.

Here are a couple of photos showing young men who have never been happier than on their rare day off.

Because someone had the brilliant idea of bringing water noodles to the party, each player who went down the slide passed through a gauntlet of smacks.

Growing up where the "10, 210 and 57 meet," I know very well the fun these guys were having thanks to summers spent at Raging Waters.

Hell, even Napoleon understands that sometimes you have to take a break from all of the hard work and just prance around the wave pool and ride down water slides.

Neal also reports that things at Camp Rantoul can sometimes resemble an actual summer camp, because last Friday the players enjoyed popsicles and pickles after practice.

Yes, that might sound weird, but it seems the frozen treats and salty pickles were the perfect way to get some carbs and sodium into their bodies after a grueling two-a-day.

The Illini take on Southern Illinois on Aug. 31, so there is little time to soak in the last remaining vestiges of summer.

Soon, it will be all football and studying. Off days like the one they enjoyed on Sunday will be set aside until after the season.

No need for parents to worry, because it looks like things are going well at camp.

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