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Eric Heisig

Eric Heisig

Federal courts reporter | Cleveland.com | Class of 2009

It’s a tradition like no other, passed down from generation to generation of journalists:

After sending the last page of the next day’s newspaper, proceed immediately to the nearest drinking establishment before last call.

For Eric Heisig and many of the Daily Illini journalists of 2007-09, that place was Legends, conveniently located next door to the Illini Media Building at the time.

“It was never my favorite bar — nothing against the place, it just wasn’t — save for Thursday nights when it became the place to be for ‘DI Fridays.’ The celebration was because we didn’t have to put out another edition until Sunday,” Heisig (BS ’09, news-editorial journalism) says from Ohio, where he covers federal courts for cleveland.com.

“I had my share of Killian’s on each DI Friday, as I believe it was on special on those nights. The Daily Illini, like many student papers, could be a pressure cooker. Legends was the place to let loose.

“It was an opportunity to see the people you worked with every day in a different light. They weren’t your boss or your reporter. On Thursday nights, they were just your friends.

“As a transfer student (from Illinois State), I didn’t attend U of I until my junior year, and didn’t have the history with the folk at the DI that others enjoyed. If I remember correctly, Adam Babcock, my best friend from high school and a DI photographer, brought me to Legends for the first time. I was intimidated at first by a group of people that I thought was miles ahead of me experience-wise.

“They welcomed me in, though, forming some of the best friendships I had in college. I still keep in touch with many of them.”