DeKalb-Sycamore game packed Convo


Over the weekend 4,727 people packed the Convocation Center for a basketball game. It was a high school game. The annual DeKalb-Sycamore game put more people in the seats than both weekend NIU basketball games combined, which totaled 4,359 people. Sports editor Jerry Burnes and staff writer Seamus Brennan debate what NIU should do about the empty seats at the Convo.

Jerry Burnes: So Seamus, I didn’t see you at any of the games this weekend. Then again, I wasn’t there either.

Seamus Brennan: I know, Jerry. I was watching my new favorite team, the DeKalb Barbs.

JB: Go figure, a high school game outsells NIU’s weekend combined by almost 400 people; it’s not too surprising though. But someone has to take the blame, and I blame the fans for lack of spirit. I, at least, had a feasible excuse that didn’t involve a hangover. I mean, the women’s team was playing for first in the MAC. Fans should be not fair weather fans because more dust is collecting on the Convo seats than at US Cellular during a losing season.

SB: Oh, a shot at White Sox fans, how original. But seriously, can you blame the students for not going out to basketball games? I don’t. Would you keep supporting a fruit market that sold rotten apples? No, and students shouldn’t support a team that loses to other teams that no one cares about. Until NIU starts taking advantage of a rich Chicago recruiting pipeline and getting teams here that people want to see, we’re going to see more dust in the Convo than the Chicago Cubs trophy case.

JB: Talk about original. I agree that better opponents would help. Who wouldn’t come if Illinois or Texas traveled to the Convo? But those aren’t really realistic. Those programs want those games at home so they avoid the upset. The solution is simple: NIU students should simply stop being lazy and actually get out to games to support their peers on the team. The program is turning around right in front of their eyes with Mike DiNunno, Sean Kowal and Jake Anderson. Time to jump on the bandwagon.

SB: If those programs have the mentality that they might lose to lesser-known programs on the road, they shouldn’t be playing sports. I would argue that it would be a cheap RPI booster to route NIU at the Convo, so I think it is realistic to get a big-time program to come. Non-game attendees, you have my support to do whatever you want until NIU starts producing real results.

JB: I don’t think I’m going to convince you that NIU is a better watch than DeKalb right now, so I’ll make my closing statement. Students should be proud to be Huskies and support those teams, win or lose. Look at Cubs fans; we pack 40,000 into Wrigley Field when the team is in last place. Is 4-5,000 students that much to ask on a Saturday afternoon with no college football or baseball on TV?

SB: Probably not, but I’d rather be proud of my team because of its wins and losses and not its attendance figures, something you Cubs fans can’t quite grasp. As ex-Kansas City Chiefs head coach Herm Edwards once said, “You play to win the game.”

JB: Yeah, look where Herm is at — unemployed.