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Huskies call out UT in ticket ad

Published: Thursday, April 15, 2010

Updated: Thursday, April 15, 2010 07:04

The official Web site for Northern Illinois athletics references Toledo and depicts them as the “Evil Empire.”

The site,, contains a splash page which lists NIU head coach Jerry Kill’s top 10 reasons to buy season tickets for the Huskies. The top reason Kill listed was “TOLEDO SELLS TWICE AS MANY TICKETS. ENOUGH SAID!” The word “TOLEDO” also linked to a photograph of the Star Wars character Darth Vader wearing a Toledo shirt in front of a UT flag and Rocky Rocket, Toledo’s mascot.

“Coach Kill’s done a great job with [NIU], that’s tough,” Toledo head coach Tim Beckman said. “I guess with Northern Illinois and being in this league, they don’t have that rival per say, and they want us to be it. That’s good, I want to be rivals and I want to be that team that people try to put themselves up against, saying ‘I want to be like them.’

Senior cornerback Desmond Marrow echoed Beckman’s statements of Northern Illinois’ efforts to start a rivalry with the Rockets.

“Wow, that’s crazy,” Marrow said. “We’ve been hearing that we’re kind of ‘the game’ they look forward to every year and it is becoming somewhat of a rivalry on their part. I think it’s hilarious, but it makes us look good I guess.”

Beckman said that he felt being singled out by NIU was humbling and he would use the attention as motivation for their Nov. 9 matchup against Toledo in DeKalb, Ill.

“He’s a great coach and has done a good job with them,” Beckman said.

“[Toledo] is the top program in the MAC, in my opinion, and the championships [we have] kind of state that it has been very successful. I’m proud to be the head coach here and I want to get it back to being very successful and I want to get another football up there in Larimer [in our trophy case].”

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