Opinion: Enjoy Jimmy G’s Super Bowl path

Dillan Schorfheide , Sports Editor

Eastern is in the Super Bowl!

Yay, we made it, everyone!

We have two weeks to prepare, so everyone needs to be up early every morning to get ready for two weeks of lifting weights, running drills and watching film.

As fun and tiring as that sounds, none of us have to actually do that (some Eastern athletes probably do).

Speaking of which, former Eastern quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo will be participating in Super Bowl LIV Feb. 2, and the simple fact that Eastern has a direct connection to this year’s Super Bowl should not be enough for us students.

Sure, it is great to see a former Panther be the starting quarterback on a team that has a great chance to win the Super Bowl, but Eastern should not be satisfied with the two weeks of celebration up to the game (including the day of the game), the one week of celebration after the game (mainly if San Francisco wins) and then move on. 

Seeing a former Panther in the Super Bowl should incite bigger side effects (positive ones) for Eastern than simply being able to claim a former player of ours won.

This is a time for Eastern students, fans and alumni to relish and make it count.

Eastern is still recovering from the effects of the budget crisis in Illinois, and on-campus enrollment is still below 5,000, according to the fall semester’s 10th day numbers.

For reference, in Garoppolo’s last season at Eastern (2013), the on-campus enrollment at Eastern was 8,726 during the fall semester.

I would not be so brash to imply or say that should the 49ers win the Super Bowl, Eastern’s enrollment would jump up that much.

What I am saying is that if the 49ers win the Super Bowl (to a lesser extent if they lose), Eastern’s attitude and atmosphere should change.

Football recruiting, student recruiting and overall campus atmosphere could benefit greatly.

Think about it: “Come play where Super Bowl champion Jimmy G played,” or, “Come experience EIU, like Super Bowl champion Jimmy G did.”

It would be a great recruitment campaign, but it should go further to help create buzz and excitement on campus and in town.

Put inspiring posters and banners all around campus for students, faculty and prospective high school seniors to see wherever they walk around campus. 

Hell, designate a certain day each year or semester to be called “Jimmy G Day,” where events are held around campus to get students engaged and excited about being at Eastern.

Of course, this plan relies on the fact the 49ers win the Super Bowl, and sure, some aspects of it may seem a little weird.

But the media loves Garoppolo, students love Garoppolo and this campus needs a boost to its atmosphere.

Everyone on campus and on Twitter, current and former Eastern students alike, are already talking about how cool it would be if he won.

So we should turn the excitement we already have before the game into excitement that can last after the game to help Eastern have some buzz around its name again. 

Also, come on, Eastern, if the 49ers win, give away Garoppolo jerseys to the students on campus, it would be so cool. 

Or, at the very least, put a hefty discount on the $75 price tag; seeing a sea of blue Garoppolo jerseys around campus would also help the campus attitude improve.

Dillan Schorfheide is a senior journalism major. He can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]