Of dunks, touchdowns and rabid mascots

By Jeff Kirik

Just as all good things must come to an end, so must the bad and somewhat mediocre.

With that thought in mind, I’ll put the seal on my four-year stay with The Northern Star. I’d like to think that in my 10 semesters with this paper, I’ve left somewhat of a legacy – a small, pamphlet-sized legacy, but a legacy nonetheless. Forget the fact that my most significant contribution to the publication was my brilliant idea of italicizing The Northern Star each time it’s used in a story.

Before I pat myself on the back too mush, I have to admit I realize that about 10 percent of the people on campus will rejoice at my departyure. However, my satisfaction comes in knowing the other 90 percent has never read anything I’ve written and, therefore, won’t know the difference.

In my time at the paper, I’ve covered a hefty number of sporting events and have witnessed some pretty remarkable things. I’d like to leave you by sharing some of those memories with you.

Does anyone else remeber when Kenny Battle bombarded Chick Evans field Houyse with a never-ending arsenal of slam dunks? I can vividly recall a game when he had six slams against Central Michigan, including a 360-degree masterpiece.

I also can remember when there was a verbal abuse section to cheer for Battle & Company.

I remember when an NIU First-Team All-American softball player by the name of Jill Justin gave the Huskies a late-inning lead against powerhouse Northwestern by hitting a tape-measure shot on the first pitch she saw from the Wildcats’ hotshot hurler, Lisa Ishikawa (also a First-Team All-American). I also remember how NU came back to win the game an inning later.

Then there was this year’s football game against Southwestern Louisiana, which NIU pulled out when Stacey Robinson raced for a 7-yard touchdown on the final play of the game. Both fans at the game went wild.

Most recently, I was a proud witness as the new Victor E. Huskie made several kids run in terror at an NIU basketball game. I’ll never forget watching a kid scream, “Don’t make me pet the wolf,” as he fled to his father’s arms.

Then there was trhe time

Sorry, but that’s enough sentimetality for one column. There are other memories, but let’s face it, most of them aren’t that interesting.

So, in keeping with my tradition of controlled disorganization, I’m going to switch lanes. I feel as though I should leave some much needed items to cetrain members of the NIU Athletic Department. But since I’m a poor college kid and can’t afford those things, I’ll just have to tell you what I would have given them.

To Athletic Director Gerald O’Dell: About 25,000 students at each of next year’s football games, along with a shiny new checkbook.

To Jane Albright and the women’s basketball team: A good winning percent and a friend on the NCAA Tournament selection committee. Either that or some rope and several turn buckles for the first DePaul game.

And to the student body: Good luck on finals and a good … party afterward.