Riddle of the “Boneyard” lives on

There is a very sacred place somewhere on this campus. You don’t know where it is.

Heck! I don’t even know where it is.

A gory ritual took place there just ten years ago.

Nearly once a week, a wild pack of dogs would go to this sacred place in the middle of the night and bury the bones of their victims. At these rituals the dogs would howl, and bury only a single bone.

By now you should have guessed that these were not real dogs, but the hard nosed (or should I say “cold nosed”) Huskie football team.

In the 1983 season, these underdogs of the Mid-American Conference, won their first game on the road beating Kansas 37-34.

Every win after that was followed by the burial of an object taken from the victims of that week.

During the season the Huskies managed to rack up ten wins including a 20-13 win over Cal State-Fullerton in the California Bowl III. This was the last time a Huskie team made it to a bowl game.

Some people might argue that this was done to boost the ego and confidence of the team. Kind of like an after-the-game pep rally.

But it wasn’t.

The ritualistic style these midnight howlers carried out their Burial Ceremony proved there was more involved than just getting pumped up.

They would meet at the Sacred Boneyard in the middle of the night where they would sing and chant. The grave would be dug with the Sacred Shovel.

After burying the “bone” the members of this sadistic cult would write the name of the team the “bone” belonged to.

As if to say chalk up another victim.

This ritual quickly became superstition.

Some say that you shouldn’t tell people about your superstitions because they won’t work out for you.

The 1983 Huskies would not involve anyone in their ritualistic burial ceremonies, and still will not tell where the burial ground is.

There are plenty of superstitions in sports, and no matter how silly they seem, the players will rely on them to improve their game.

Superstitions shared by a whole team are even better, because the group energy will help summon the Mojo, and good things will follow.

We can experience something at NIU that hasn’t happened since the Mojo was around in 1983, a conference championship and a bowl bid.

This year’s Huskies should seriously consider summoning the Mojo while they still have time.

But they’ll have to remember that superstitions only work once.

In other words, find your own Mojo.