The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

EIU football teammates share controversial opinions in Q&A

Redshirt senior Mark Aitken and junior safety NiJhay Burt answered questions ranging from which celebrity they would bring to campus to their opinions on if the Earth is round or flat. 

Mark Aitken (2) congratulates his teammate NiJhay Burt (34) on his interception at the EIU vs. Indiana State game Thursday night. (Ashanti Thomas)

 Q: When did you start playing football? 

Aitken: “I played one year in sixth grade, and then my mom didn’t let me play because I had bad grades. Bad grades to her were Cs and stuff, so I wasn’t able to play for the next two years. I didn’t play again until high school.” 

Burt: “I started playing football at around 8 years old.” 

Q: Were you always in your position? 

Aitken: “I started as a running back and a wide receiver. I moved to defense during my sophomore year of high school.” 

Burt: “Believe or not, I played almost every position except for lineman.” 

Q: Favorite meal before a game? 

Aitken: “I don’t really have one. I’m not a ritual type of person.” 

Burt: “So believe it or not, I don’t eat before a game because I’ll throw that right up from experiences. [I] just drink water and keep it light, like some fruit.” 

Q: Favorite postgame food? 

Aitken: “I always eat candy after every game. I eat the little sour rainbow strips.” 

Burt: “If it’s available, Chipotle. If it’s available, I’m going to always get Chipotle after.” 

Q: Do you have a favorite NFL team? 

Aitken: “The [Chicago] Bears.” 

Burt: “[Pittsburgh] Steelers.” 

Q: How do you eat your steak? 

Aitken: “Medium rare if it’s at a fancy restaurant. Medium if I don’t know where it came from.” 

Burt: “Medium rare. It’s the best way.” 

Q: What sport would you do other than football? 

Aitken: “UFC or boxing.” 

Burt: “Baseball. I can run pretty fast.” 

Q: Apple juice or orange juice? 

Aitken: “All pulp orange juice.” 

Burt: “Apple juice.” 

Q: Do you think the Earth is round or flat? 

Aitken: “Flat. I just think it’s flat.” 

Burt: “Flat. I feel like the round theory isn’t real. It’s flat.” 

Q: Pancakes or waffles? 

Aitken: “Waffles. Pancakes are bad.” 

Burt: “Waffles. Big waffle guy.” 

Q: Do you put anything on your waffles? 

Aitken: “Fried chicken and syrup.” 

Burt: “I either put Oreos in the mix or afterwards, along with some powdered sugar– not too much, or it’ll be super sweet– and then syrup and that’s it.” 

Q: Which teammate would you let get the aux? 

Aitken: “Probably Chris Williams because we like the same stuff.” 

Burt: “Phoenix Porter, one of our linebackers. I can vouch that he has good music.” 

Q: If you had the power to ask one celebrity to come to this campus, what celebrity would it be? 

Aitken: “Elon Musk.” 

Burt: “Will Ferrell.” 

Q: What is your favorite season?  

Aitken: “Spring because it’s not too hot or cold. It’s perfect.” 

Burt: “Summer. That’s my birthday. I’m a Leo, so summer for sure.” 

Q: Who’s the funniest person on the team? 

Aitken: “Jamal [Jeffers]. He’s like Kevin Hart from the movies in real life.” 

Burt: “Jamal [Jeffers]. Jamal’s hilarious.”  

Q: What would you tell your younger self? 

Aitken: “I would tell my younger self that you’re gonna be a star. Just keep going.” 

Burt: “To stay focused, stay focused, stay focused. Stay faithful to God, [and] build a relationship with God. It’s about yourself.” 

  

The Sports Staff can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]. 

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About the Contributors
Zaria Flippin, Sports Editor
Zaria Flippin is a junior sports media relations major. This is her first year at The News.
Payton Liggins, Reporter
Payton Liggins is a freshman sports media relations major. This is her first year at The News.
Ashanti Thomas, Photographer
Ashanti Thomas is a senior digital media major. She previously served as photo editor and assistant photo editor at The News.

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