DeKALB – The DeKalb City Council showed off its pride in Northern Illinois University football Monday by declaring Jan. 1 as “NIU Huskies Day.”
It’s the same day NIU will take on the Florida State Seminoles in the Orange Bowl.
NIU football coach Rod Carey, athletic director Jeff Compher and spokesman Brad Hoey were there to accept the proclamation from city officials.
“This is pretty unique and pretty special to us,” Carey said. “I’m going to pass it along to our team and let them know that you’re behind us.
The city’s official proclamation lists several of the Huskies football achievements. It notes that the Huskies are the champions of the Mid-American Conference the past two seasons, in addition to being the first MAC champion to make it into the Orange Bowl. It’s also the Huskies’ seventh bowl appearance in the past nine seasons.
The aldermen looked the part as well.
Each one was wearing some kind of NIU shirt or sweatshirt – a departure from the normal business-casual attire council members usually wear. Next to each of them was an orange – an obvious reference to the Bowl Championship Series game the Huskies crashed this year.
“It’s great to walk in here and see oranges and Huskies and Huskie flags and all of you decked out in Huskie T-shirts,” Compher said. “We’re very pleased to accept this proclamation, and we’ll do our best on the first.”
Carey also thanked the council and encouraged people to watch the game no matter where they were.
“We’re sure excited to get there,” Carey said. “You should see our guys practice this past weekend. They’re flying around with a new pep in their step.”
In their comments after the meeting, each of the aldermen expressed their hope that the Huskies defeat the Seminoles.
Fourth Ward Alderman Brendon Gallagher also called ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit – who described the Huskies in the Orange Bowl as being a “sad state of college football” – a “nerd” multiple times.