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By ERIC THOMPSON
Rantoul Press columnist
Here’s hoping that you and yours had a wonderful Christmas surrounded by loved ones and good cheer.
Heart of the Matter is skipping politics for another month to yak about sports, although it would be easy to mix the two. Lord knows liberalism’s hideous tendrils reach into almost every aspect of American life.
Egalitarian tennis anyone?
It turns out my favorite college football team in the whole world made it to a BCS bowl game. The Northern Illinois Huskies are in the Orange Bowl! Hot diggity dog!
I’m going to be at Buffalo Wild Wings on New Years Day surrounded by my two friends, scarfing down some hot wings and adult beverages, watching NIU show the Seminoles who’s boss.
Most of you surely bleed orange and blue and couldn’t care less.
I was a huge Illini fan once. My father is an alumnus, and my soon-to-be wife was going to grad school there, and they were still holding out against the PC, anti-Chief crowd. Remember?
I gave up on Illinois when they gave up on themselves.
Now I’m back to my roots as a hard core Husky and couldn’t be more jazzed. I grew up going to Huskies games and at one time knew almost every nook and cranny of NIU.
Some FSU fans have to be among the most jaded and arrogant in the world. They’re very upset at having to play lowly NIU.
Just for kicks, look up “Hitler reacts to NIU in BCS” on YouTube. It’s R-rated for language, but it’s a stitch and dead on in terms of how many FSU fans must have reacted in much the same way. They go on and on about crushing NIU by 30 points.
Of course a blowout is the big fear, but I don’t think so. NIU is at the apex of a long and steady climb to the top of the Mid-American Conference.
The Huskies played in the MAC championship game three years running and have won the last two. They have the longest home game winning streak as well as the longest conference win streak in the nation.
Their QB, Jordan Lynch, has been putting up unprecedented numbers and deserved more Heisman Trophy love than he got.
So I think this will be a great game. NIU by far deserves to win this one. FSU’s fans are arrogant, cocky and disappointed at having to play us.
This attitude probably permeates the locker room and down on the field.
On the other hand NIU is incredibly jazzed about being in the BCS, and after a month of disrespect is hungry to prove the naysayers wrong.
Also, NIU has cooler uniforms, a better logo and the best fight song in college athletics. Google “NIU fight song” and hear for yourself.
I could be wrong, and we could get crushed, but I think a lot of factors in the upset equation are lining up in NIU’s favor.
Man, I sure hope so.
If you’re getting upset at Illinois’ flagship university not being able to put together a winning football program you might want to check out NIU.
The Illini could use some lessons from them.
Have a happy new year’s, and gooooo Huskies!
Eric Thompson, a resident of Rantoul, writes a monthly column for the Rantoul Press.