From storks to a Rose

By Wes Swietek

The Northern Star proudly presents some mid-summer column stuffers for your reading pleasure. Enjoy.

Former Huskie standout Ted “The Mad Stork” Hennings made the news recently while participating in the Chicago Bears training camp in Platteville, Wis. The defensive lineman, trying to make it with the Bears as a free agent, had the honor of participating in the first fight of training camp. The biggest transition for Hennings might not be in the level of play at the NFL, but coaching volume level as Hennings leaves the slap-on-the-back style of Jerry Pettibone for the slap-on-the-face style of Mike Ditka. Hennings’ current status is uncertain after he suffered a knee injury Monday.

In current Huskie news, Stacey Robinson and friends have started grabbing some national media attention. Street & Smith’s respected college football preview issue tabs NIU as the second best Independent in the midwest, behind only Notre Dame.

S & S lists Robinson as the quarterback for the 1990 all-midwest team and also names place-kicker John Ivanic to the squad. Robinson, who “…reads as well as any wishbone quarterback ever has,” according to Street & Smith’s, is also mentioned as a sleeper candidate for the Heisman Trophy.

The word is that “Sauce” will have the necessary summer grades to retain his eligibility for the coming season, hence the sighs of relief emanating from the vicinity of Huskie Stadium.

Huskie athletes now have some new surroundings in which to romp. Huskie Stadium got a new surface when the astro-turf was replaced by a new carpet in June. The NIU weight room (also known as the “strength and conditioning complex”) was expanded to twice its former size.

And, apparently in a move to save coach Willy Roy from having to chase after loose soccer balls during games, Huskie Soccer Field has been enclosed by a chain link fence. Work on softball and baseball diamonds as well as other renovations are continuing all summer.

“What do coaches do during the summer?” you’re asking yourself. One word answer: coach. Men’s basketball head honcho Jim Molinari’s summer camp for would-be Air-Jordans is currently underway and continues until Thursday at Chick Evans Field House.

New NIU baseball coach Spanky McFarland makes his DeKalb debut Aug. 12 & 12, when he hosts a pair of pitching clinics. McFarland, hired away from South Florida to lead the ressurected NIU baseball program, apparently knows a thing or three about pitching. McFarland has produced seven major league pitchers and several published coaching books during his 13-year coaching career.

In an ironic twist and what hopefully for McFarland is not a bad omen, his new office is the former home of NIU gymnastics coach Chuck Ehrlich, whose program was axed to make room for baseball.

In non-NIU non-news, here, courtesy of The National (the sports newspaper) is David Letterman’s Top Ten list of prison activities for Pete Rose:

10. Making thousands of “Fay Sux” license plates.

9. Trying to keep cellmate from getting to first base.

8. Practicing opening and closing cell door to prepare for future as professional casino greeter.

7. Playing Tevye in the all-tax evader version of “Fiddler on the Roof.”

6. Executing his famous head-first slide over and over until he burrows his way to freedom.

5. Discussing George Will’s fascinating baseball book with members of Manson family.

4. Starting the wave during prison riots.

3. Getting a cell ready for Steinbrenner.

2. Leading a seminar in scratching yourself.

1. During softball game in exercise yard, arguing with umpire, getting thrown out of prison.

In that spirit we present our own Top Ten list: What Roseanne Barr’s punishment for screeching the National Anthem during a San Diego Padres game should be:

10. Has to actually watch an entire Padres game.

9. Permanent sidekick on Rick Dees’ new show.

8. Share a cell with Pete Rose.

7. Ten rounds with Mike Tyson while wearing a Robin Givens mask.

6. Has to watch entire Goodwill Games.

5. One year as “cabin boy” aboard New Jersey tug boat

4. Share a cell with Zsa Zsa.

3. Get Sinead O’connor haircut.

2. Has to watch re-runs of her show.

1. No chocolate.