Students glad ‘Da Bulls are back

By Jermaine Pigee

DeKALB | Bulls fans are partying like it’s 1991-1998, with a two-year hiatus over the ’94-’95 seasons, all over again.

Following a four-game sweep of the defending champion Miami Heat on Sunday, Chicago advanced past the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs for the first time since Michael Jordan sank his game-winner over Utah’s Byron Russell to clinch the Bulls’ last championship in ’98.

Bulls fans across NIU are celebrating Chicago’s renewed success in different ways.

Freshman communication major Hany Abdel-Motaleb, watches the Bulls by himself so he can yell at the television freely.

“I just sit and watch the games all by myself so I can scream and yell all I want without anyone getting mad at me,” Abdel said.

On the contrary to Abdel’s game-watching philosophy, Sheffy Abraham, freshman business administration major, likes to watch the games with his friends.

“A bunch of my friends and I go over to someone’s apartment, usually someone with a huge 50-inch TV, and watch the games when we can,” Abraham said.

Nick Delmonte, a senior physical education major, considers himself a Bulls fan, but hasn’t gotten as into the Bulls’ playoff run as much as he did with the Bears this past winter and the White Sox in 2005.

“My plans aren’t quite the same for the Bulls as they were for the Sox and Bears,” Delmonte said. “Despite being a big Bulls fan, there just doesn’t seem to be as much excitement around campus like there was for the Sox and Bears, so there aren’t as many parties for the Bulls games.”

The memory of Chicago’s last real playoff run nine years ago hasn’t escaped many long-time fans.

“I was in middle school when Michael Jordan played,” said junior communication major Holly Martin. “I watched him with my friends and family.”

Delmonte added that he recalls watching the Bulls capture their sixth championship with his family when he was 13 years old.

Abdel’s memory does not go back quite as far.

“The last time the Bulls won it all I was about nine, so I don’t exactly know what I was doing,” Abdel said. “I was probably watching it at home with my family not knowing what was going on.”

Abraham cannot recall Chicago’s last championship, but hopes to make new memories of a Bulls victory this summer.

“I don’t even remember the last time the Bulls won the title,” Abraham said. “It was so long ago, and that’s the sad part.”