Before it crashed the BCS party on Sunday, Northern Illinois had humble beginnings as a perennially successful mid-major football program. Look no further than its equipment cases as proof of that.
A photographer standing behind the Huskies’ sideline during Friday’s MAC Championship Game snapped a picture of such a case. It sports an NIU decal, but ingrained into the side of the case is a logo for the XFL.
Yup. That XFL, the league founded by World Wrestling Entertainment owner Vince McMahon that ceased operations after its inaugural 2001 season. The eight-team league had a franchise in Chicago, so it’s not out of the realm of possibility that some of the team’s equipment made its way 67 miles west to Dekalb once the Enforcers folded.
Other outlets that have reported on this photo suggest NIU take a portion of its Orange Bowl payday and use it to buy new equipment cases. We suggest that the Huskies keep the XFL one as a reminder of where they came from before their unexpected BCS berth.