CHICAGO -- Ned Colletti and the Northern Illinois Huskies have something in common. They're both underdogs who have achieved tremendous success.
Colletti is the General Manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, a road to succcess that started with humble beginnings. ".I lived in a garage until i was five years old my dad was very handy, and we did not have a lot of resources." Colletti told us while sitting in a Starbucks in Chicago's western suburbs.
Growing up on the west side, Colletti credits his family for keeping him on the right path. As he was the first one out of the bunch to attend colege. "Education was important and having a chance to work hard and continue to prove ourselves was one thing our famliy always looked to do.." That tight knit bond with his family was why chose to attend Northern Illinois University. "It was close enough to chicago where i could get home, and far enough from chicago where i could get the collegiate experience."
Now as an NIU alum, Coletti is embracing every moment of the Huskies playing in the Orange Bowl. "What they've been able to accomplish is really what sports is all about."
Colletti feels the lack of pressure that comes with being an underdog will benefit the Huskies come New Years Day. "Whenever you're not given much hope or your expectations are not much, sometimes its easier to plan, its easier to compete," he says. And as far as the outcome "I think it will be a major upset, it will be a close game but a major upset."
But until gameday, he's just soaking it all in like the rest of us. "What an awesome time for this university and for those who go to school there and follow this team."