Woes of a sports enthusiast in the summer


Junior Aksel Bolin shoots the ball in the game against Central Michigan University on Saturday.

By Jacob Onak

To be honest, when it comes to sports the summer isn’t too exciting.

Now that the super exciting NHL season is over there isn’t much left to keep our energy up, especially when it comes to NIU athletics. Huskie fans are counting down the days ’til football season, as well as the other fall sports, start.

When it comes to the pros, Wimbledon just ended, the White Sox and Cubs are having sub-par seasons (who would have thought the Cubs would be better than the Sox, though?), and, well, that’s all people really pay attention to.

As a soccer fan I have been lucky with being entertained by the Confederations Cup, the U-20 World Cup and now with the Gold Cup having already started. But as much as it sucks to say, not everyone enjoys soccer like I do.

The big stories will come in the next couple weeks: Let’s not forget NIU is still searching for its new athletic director. The university has said it is looking to have a final candidate by the end of the month.

Then we get to August, where most of the fall sports will start their seasons, and at the very end, on the 31st, we see what Lynch and NIU will do after their Orange Bowl-busting 2012 as they take on Iowa in the first game of 2013. Will football be able to repeat its success? Will Jordan Lynch be the same player he was last year or will new opposing defensive strategies limit his offensive output? After last year there really is no guessing as to what will happen, but I’m sure it will be big campus news.

As a fan, it seems like there isn’t much going on, but when you look at NIU athletics from the inside there are still things in full swing. Obviously you have all the coaches and players working hard in their preseason practices and getting ready for the start of their season, but there is also work going in from the NIU media relations staff, which doesn’t get the luxury of a long summer.

“It’s busy and it’s really short. The summers get shorter and shorter basically for us,” said Donna Turner, associate athletic director for communications. “For me, at least, and members of our staff, by the time we get to July 20 the

summer is pretty much over because we have a media day…kids on campus for camps for the fall sports, for soccer and volleyball, starting the first of August, basically. It is more relaxed but probably not as long as you might say.”

One of the big projects that Turner and the staff have been working on is the “Lynch for 6” Heisman campaign.

“…Coming out of last year, we knew we were going to be putting something together, a campaign,” Turner said. “So we had to set up a timeline really way back in March just of how we wanted to roll things out and hit some deadlines, and we got serious about it and started designing things like logos and websites.”

The campaign is to raise attention for Lynch.

So, as NIU fans, what has been going on with NIU sports these last couple weeks? Not much. The biggest news has probably been the fact that Aksel Bolin is playing with Norway in the World University Games. Lynch and Tommylee Lewis were added to the Hornung Award watch list for the most versatile player in college football, but it’s only a watch list.

Volleyball came out with its schedule a couple of weeks ago and most recently both men’s and women’s soccer game out with their schedules, but that’s not something fans can really sink their teeth into.

So what’s a fan to do? Just wait, I guess.