Field Trip Report: Calabasas High’s Season Opener

Two simple things will help you go far in life: a positive attitude and a cooler full of snacks.

And it sure doesn’t hurt to be a Husker fan.

All three elements were in full effect last Friday night as those of us who make up the West Coast branch of Big Red Fury took a little road trip from Los Angeles out to the far reaches of the San Fernando Valley to catch Calabasas High’s season opener against their cross freeway rivals Agoura High.

Malibu
The Pacific Coast Highway is no I-80 but it will have to do.

There’s no denying that the Calabraska hype is real and we were curious to see for ourselves just how real it was. We’re pleased to report that it is very real and very well deserved. The players, coaches, parents, and fans who make up the Calabasas High football program have built something very special. This is the kind of school Husker Nation should be proud to have a connection with and the feeling is mutual in Calabasas. Folks are very impressed and optimistic about what is happening in Lincoln.

On that note, we should mention that we went as fans and most certainly weren’t on a mission to dig up any dirt or add a NCAA recruiting violation to our list of achievements, everything about field our trip was on the up and up. We were simply out to watch a game and have a good time under the Friday night lights.

And that good time started like this…

Tailgate

Twenty minutes later, we were taking a selfie with the first of several new friends.

Our new Calabasas friend
Since we’re double teaming this recap, we’re going to audible into an option so you can get two distinct points of view in one post.

Take it away, Leslie.

The most interesting thing about tailgating a high school football game is tailgating a high school football game.

Leslie Tailgate
Leslie gets in some reps before she heads to Lincoln for the season opener.

I’m going to need this to be a thing that people around the country openly accept and embrace. JV games stink and there is no denying it. So why not fire up the grill and watch from what was called the “sky box” overlooking Frank Greminger Stadium at Agoura High. Very exclusive stuff happens here in Southern California. However, not everybody showed up on Friday (hey Husker fans, where were you?), but the important people were there.

And guys, he did come up to us and ask for a picture. I just wanted to tell you that because: 1) I hate asking people for pictures, that’s a rookie move, act like you hang out with celebrities all the time and 2) I just wanted to tell you that Keyshawn Johnson asked for a picture with me.

It was a pretty awesome night. Seeing Tristan Gebbia connect with Keyshawn Jr. for the first touchdown of the season was cool if you like to think about those guys playing in Memorial Stadium. (I do).

Skybox ViewHey football, it’s good to see you again.

There were some other pretty good players, I really liked this guy named Darnay Holmes. A WR and CB. I think he might have a bright future ahead of him. Hell, Nebraska might even start to recruit him. That could be fun.

Anyway, after a ton of penalties, two interceptions, and shaking off some first game rust, Calabasas ran away with the game 46-28. It wasn’t even close. None of the starters even played the 4th quarter which gave me time to enjoy a couple more wings and ask around about this new Darnay kid.

Watching with Keyshawn
Leslie enjoys the game from the “sky box” with her new bestie Keyshawn.

OK, Todd. Now it’s your turn to impress everyone.

Well, Leslie,  since it’s going to be hard to top your sarcasm I’ll lead with this photo I took of that “Darnay kid” sharing a laugh with Tristan on the sidelines in the fourth quarter.

Tristan Gebbia and Darnay Holmes
Tristan Gebbia’s final stat line after three quarters of work: 23 for 31 and 320 yards. Meanwhile, Darnay Holmes scored touchdowns on three of his seven catches, totaling 119 yards, and was voted the game’s MVP.

What you don’t see in this photo is me standing in the eye of the hurricane that was the Calabasas student section. Those kids brought the energy for four quarters and still were polite enough to not heckle the old guy who wandered into their turf. A good bunch of kids they were.

The same held true for the parents in attendance. Watching the game with a couple of retired NFL stars was a treat. Getting a glimpse of how differently they see a football game was mind blowing. As soon as the players lined up over the ball, they knew exactly how things were going to play out. And on top of that, they were some of the chillest sports parents I’ve ever seen. Keyshawn Sr. and Darick Holmes could post up at a youth soccer complex and charge good money for lessons in how to remain calm and relaxed while your kid is on the field. It was really nice to see.

As far as the Calabasas squad goes, they’re going to be a tough team to beat. Once Gebbia worked out the first quarter kinks, he was money. He’s going to have a lot of fun this year throwing to Keyshawn Jr. and Darnay. Defenses are going to be bummed trying to cover those two.

From start to finish, this was a great experience. The Calabasas fans showed the same enthusiasm and gracious hospitality that Husker fans are known for. Seriously, it was like walking into an alternate dimension of awesome. If you get a chance, you should definitely check out a game. You can see the full Calabasas schedule here.

We’ll definitely be back for some more Coyote Football. That’s for sure.


 

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Gear Up For Gameday

If you search ‘Huskers’ on eBay, a bunch of things that don’t need to exist happen to show up for sale. So whether you are looking for a new jacket for October tailgating or some artwork for the man cave, get ready for gameday with my eBay round up. In honor of Ryker Fyfe, here are the top 17 Husker items up for sale.

17. Youth Nebraska Cornhuskers Taylor Martinez Small Jersey

Who this is for: A little kid that you hate.

Why you should buy it: I don’t know. It’s basically free, I guess.

Taylor Martinez kids jersey
Too bad it’s not autographed

16. Women’s Nebraska Huskers Lingerie Night Gown

Who this is for: The very lucky lady in your life.

Why you should buy it: As seen on Victoria’s Secret models, probably.

Somebody actually owns this
Somebody actually owns this

15. Vintage Nebraska Cornhuskers Glass?

Who this is for: CU Fans.

Why you should buy it: To break it.

This Ebay user should be reported for listing this as a Nebraska item
This Ebay user should be reported for listing this as a Nebraska item

14. Vintage Nebraska Pager Cover

Who this is for: Somebody who still has a pager.

Why you should buy it: There is only one of these and probably only one person with a pager so it’s a match.

Only one left in the world
Only one left in the world

13. Nebraska Cornhuskers Vinyl Stadium Seats

Who this is for: Awful  people who use these.

Why you should buy it: You shouldn’t. If you sit next to me in these, I’m going to hate you. They take more than one space. You are at a football game, I have faith that you can survive for a few hours without cushions.

If you have to sit on these, you have no business being at a football game
If you have to sit on these, you have no business being at a football game

12. Corn Coozies

Who this is for: Men, women, and children.

Why you should buy it: This is one of those items that you didn’t know that you need, but you definitely do.

A Budweiser would look good in one of these
A Budweiser would look good in one of these

11. Nebraska Cornhuskers bed in a bag

Who this is for: I could see Taylor Martinez having this in his room. Or people who like to have nightmares about mediocre football.

Why you should buy it: It will match your new lingerie.

Act quickly. There are only 10 available, so not everybody will get one.
Act quickly. There are only 10 available, so not everybody will get one.

10. 1997 National Champions T-shirt

Who this is for: Somebody looking for a faded gray t-shirt

Why you should buy it: They haven’t made any of these since 1997

Over priced since you will be able to buy a brand new 2017 version soon
Over priced since you will be able to buy a brand new 2017 version soon

9. Portable Tailgate Cornhole Set

Who this is for: Anybody that wants me to visit their tailgate.

Why you should buy it: Because it’s awesome.

Screen Shot 2016-08-22 at 2.15.20 PM
More than 10 available means I better see some of these at the tailgates

8. Vintage 1997 Huskers Football Unisex Glass

Who this is for: Anyone who loves equal rights and the 1997 Cornhuskers.

Why you should buy it: Not often do you come across a glass that both men and women can drink out of.

Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 5.36.03 PM
Equal rights for all drinkers

7. TOM OSBORNE Nebraska Cornhuskers artist signed FOOTBALL ART vintage champions

Who this is for: People who are fans of vintage champions, that’s a nice way of saying they haven’t been recent champions.

Why you should buy it: Art is pretty good investment, and lucky for you, there are more than 10 available at the low, low price of $14.99.

Looking good, Dr. Tom
Looking good, Dr. Tom

6. Nebraska Huskers 90s Starter Jacket 

Who this is for: Someone who can fit in a child’s XL.

Why you should buy it: It’s cool as hell and there is no denying it.

I'm going to look so good in this
I’m going to look so good in this

5. Taylor Martinez Signed Photo

Who this is for: Somebody with $40 too much money in their bank account.

Why you should buy it: Probably don’t.

Closed eyes, full hearts, can't lose
Closed eyes, full hearts, can’t lose

4. Tom Osborne and Bo Pelini Signed Football

Who this is for: A true fan who remembers the best of times and the worst of times.

Why you should buy it: Similar versions with only a Tom Osborne signature are about $100 more. This is a bargain. Just white out Bo’s signature.

Free shipping because the owner wants this out of their house
Free shipping because the owner wants this out of their house

3. Rare Warren Buffett and Tom Osborne Autographed ball

Who this is for: People who weren’t interested in the bargain Bo Pelini ball above.

Why you should buy it: Maybe it comes with an authentic email from Warren asking why you just wasted $3,500.

Warren would not approve of this investment
Warren would not approve of this investment

2. Nebraska Huskers Recruiting Machine Telephone 

Who this is for: Anybody that has the numbers for Darnay Holmes or Joseph Lewis.

Why you should buy it: If a recruit knew you were calling on this, they would probably commit immediately.

Probably the only missing piece in the recruiting process
Probably the only missing piece in the recruiting process

1. Bo Pelini business card

Who this is for: A collector of rare items, misprints, and mistakes.

Why you should buy it: Stick this in your man cave so the next time the Huskers lose, you can remind everyone who is really at fault.

Integrity-Trust-Respect-Teamwork-Loyalty The 5 pillars of Bo's existence
Integrity-Trust-Respect-Teamwork-Loyalty: the 5 pillars of Bo’s existence

 


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The Big Red Fury Season Preview: Our Most Optimistic Post of the Year

As the calendar lurches towards the start of the season, each passing day brings fans new reasons for hope or dread as college football prognosticators trot out their previews.

Well, we’ve got nothing but good news and better news for you, dear reader. All three of us here at Big Red Fury summoned the ghosts of football future and came away with a consensus opinion.

The Huskers are going to kick a lot of ass this season.

The only question mark is exactly how much ass will be kicked.

Pour yourself a glass of Kool-aid. You’re going to enjoy this preview.

Game 1: Fresno State – September 3

FRESNO STATE FAN
At least one guy is pumped to be living in the Grand Island of California.

KUBRICKIAN GLEE: Tim DeRuyter got off to an auspicious start as Fresno State’s head coach when he landed in the raisin belt capital back in 2012. He won two straight Mountain West Conference titles while amassing a solid 20-6 record. Since then, Tim’s luck has gone to shit. The Bulldogs are just 9-17 over the last two seasons. You may remember Nebraska terrorizing these bastards on their home turf back in 2014 in a 55-19 waxing. Things aren’t going to get much better for the Bulldogs when FSU hits Lincoln for the season opener. Nebraska 49 Fresno State 10.

TODD MUNSON: It’s not BYU so I’m happy. Does the dad from Orange County Choppers still coach the Bulldogs? Huskers roll 42-17 and give fans visions of somewhere between 1995-1997.

LESLIE MICEK: I think it’s going to be a bigger blowout than 35-14 but I’ll stick with with something more realistic. This is the part of the season where anything is possible. I would have said BYU would have been a blowout last year but then I watched them throw a Hail Mary.

Game 2: Wyoming – September 10

WYOMING FANS
Pull your pants up, son. You’re wearing a bucket, old man.

KG: Right about now Craig Bohl might wonder why he exchanged the dynastic FCS bounty of Fargo, North Dakota for the massive headache of trying to run a Division 1 program out of Laramie, Wyoming. Sure, the scenery beats the hell out of Fargo, but former Husker Bohl had become the Tom Osborne of the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision, forging a run not dissimilar to Nebraska in the mid 1990s. But now? Bohl is the owner of a 6-18 record playing in the God-forsaken Mountain West. Relish those 2015 victories over Nevada and UNLV, Craig, because you and your Cowboys aren’t waking up from your prolonged nightmare any time soon. Nebraska 45 Wyoming 14.

TODD: It’s a rude return to Lincoln for Craig Bohl. Nebraska wins 52-21 in such a convincing fashion that fans will momentarily forget that Oregon is coming to Lincoln the following week.

LESLIE: Wyoming stinks. Huskers win 45-7.

Game 3: Oregon – September 17

Sad Ducks Fans
When your Tinder date turns out to be a juggalo

KG: It’s Duck season! Nebraska fans have this date circled on their calendars the day these two teams were scheduled. Some of the luster may have fallen off, though, after the recently mighty Ducks fell back to Earth a little in 2015 with a disappointing (for them) 9-4 campaign. Offensive coordinator Scott Frost’s departure to UCF also saps a little of the intrigue this game had going for it just a year ago. But seeing Mike Riley get a crack at his old in-state nemesis with an arsenal like he’s never had in Corvalis— there’s still plenty to get excited about.

The Ducks, as usual, will be able to put up some points on the Blackshirts. But Oregon’s own defense is a definite liability. Opponents scored an average of 44 points against Oregon in 2015. And most of that personnel returns in 2016. Throw in a questionable quarterback situation (that has former Husker commit Terry Wilson in the mix), and conditions seem favorable for Mike Riley getting a little payback against the old neighborhood bully. Nebraska 42 Oregon 38.

TODD: This game is the only question mark on the Huskers’ home schedule and there’s no middle ground. A win for the Huskers will mean the sky’s the limit for the season (at least until October 29). A loss, no matter how close, will mark the return of  the dark cloud of doom (at least until October 29.) Best case scenario for this game is that Coach Riley channels his inner John Kreese and sweeps the leg for a full 60 minutes. Huskers win 28-24.

LESLIE: I’m glad they don’t have  Vernon Adams or Scott Frost anymore. Easy to root against them again. Huskers. 28-21.

Game 4: at Northwestern – September 24

NORTHWESTERN FANS
A moment of silence for these poor kids who were rejected by Ivy League schools.

KG: Let’s be honest, before Nebraska joined the Big Ten, what would you have predicted Nebraska’s record would be against Northwestern five seasons in if you’d have bothered to even think about it? 5-0? 4-1, allowing for some strange fiasco of an upset somewhere along the way?

Well, Nebraska is now 3-2 in conference vs. Northwestern. And all but one of those games has turned out to be a nail-biter. Last season’s match was one of a gamut of frustrating, heartbreaking losses within the final minute of play, despite Nebraska outmatching the Wildcats in virtually all facets of the game. The difference in that contest (as with most in 2015) was turnovers. Nebraska had just one against Northwestern, but it was a big one — a 72-yard pick-six with just over seven minutes left in the half. Nebraska was marching on that drive and, had Armstrong’s pass gone the other way, it would’ve meant a 17-7 lead that probably wouldn’t have been relinquished. Instead, the Wildcats took a 14-10 advantage, giving them just enough to stave off Nebraska’s control of the game in the second half.

If Armstrong is new and improved in the turnover department, as some observers have said, things probably won’t be quite as rosy for Northwestern this year. Even with the game in Evanston which, let’s be honest, isn’t a particular advantage for the home team. Nebraska 31 Northwestern 21.

TODD: The good thing about playing Northwestern on the road is you don’t have to worry about the Wildcats coming into Lincoln and finding a new way to humiliate the Huskers. Nebraska hasn’t lost at Evanston since 1931 and they won’t do it again this year. Huskers win 31-17.

LESLIE: Not only am I planning on sneaking onto the sidelines again at that embarrassment that they call Ryan Field, I’m planning on dancing after a bunch of touchdowns. Huskers 34-does it even matter? Northwestern is losing.

Game 5: Illinois – October 1

ILLINOIS FANS
Sorry, Chief. Lovie Smith won’t save your Illini from another horrible season.

KG: Prior to the Purdue debacle, Illinois was the absolute nadir of Nebraska’s season in 2015. I still boil with anger when I recall the manner in which Nebraska squandered a 13-0 4th quarter lead only to lose in the final ten damn seconds. It was like watching the scene in Austin Powers when the security guard screamed for a solid 60 seconds as Powers’ steamroller inched toward him. All he had to do. All Nebraska had to do. Was step out of the way.

When the Illini come to Lincoln this year, expect something more akin to the Pelini-era outcomes. Nebraska 49 Illinois 17

TODD: Just to prove that last season was a total aberration, the Huskers should run the ball every time they face a 3rd & 7 and rack up 150+ bonus yards in the process. Chief Illiniwek gets wrecked 42-10.

LESLIE: I’m worried because Illinois will be coming off a bye week and I’m just kidding. Huskers 31-14.

Bye week – October 8

KG: I’ll be driving the choo-choo at Vala’s Pumpkin Patch.

TODD: Do some yard work. Reintroduce yourself to your family.

LESLIE: I predict Nebraska will win.

Game 6: at Indiana – October 15

INDIANA
A capacity crowd was on-hand for Indiana’s season opener last year.

KG: One of the most intriguing matches of 2016 is Nebraska’s trip to Bloomington. The Hoosiers have the most statistically dominant offense in the Big Ten — although, talent-wise, that title probably should go to Ohio State. Nonetheless, Indiana can put up some points and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Just ask the 2014 SEC East champions, Missouri. The Tigers fell to Indiana 31-27. On the heels of an Indiana loss to Bowling Green, too. 

The Hoosiers will be game for a basketball-type score (what else would you expect), but Nebraska should have no trouble tearing through Indiana’s defense. This one is going to be a track meet (and a little too close for comfort) but I see Nebraska pulling it out. Nebraska 41 Indiana 34. 

TODD: This is Nebraska’s sixth season as a member of the Big Ten and it’s their first time squaring off against Indiana as a conference opponent. Your days of dodging the Big Red are over, Indiana. Huskers win 55-21.

LESLIE: A battle to the death of two teams coming off 6-7 records. Only difference is that Nebraska is a lot better than their record shows. Also, Indiana plays Ohio St. the week before and Nebraska comes off a bye. Sorry, Indiana. Huskers 45-17.

Game 7: Purdue – October 22

PURDUEPhotos of Purdue fans do not exist on the internet so here are some Indiana fans insulting the ladies of Purdue.

KG: Revenge will be at hand. Purdue is the worst team in the Big Ten and they will come to Lincoln having poked the gorilla with its ridiculous 55-45 win last year. Look for Nebraska to eliminate the five turnovers that turned last season’s match into an embarrassment. Nebraska 49 Purdue 17.

TODD: The Huskers should save the Boliermakers the trouble of a road trip and just schedule an Indiana/Purdue double header the week before. Or, they could give Tommy the week off and let Ryker start so he can get chance at cold-blooded revenge. Huskers win 38-24.

LESLIE: Goals for the Purdue game this year: under 4 interceptions, rush more than 77 yards, and win. Simple. Huskers 37-14.

Game 8: at Wisconsin – October 29

badgersfansWisconsin fans are creeps.

KG: Quick trivia question: What is Nebraska’s combined record vs. Big Ten juggernauts Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State and Penn State?

Is it a) 4-10 or b) 10-4?

If you said “b” 10-4, give yourself a cigar! This cherry-picked bit of knowledge belies the notion that Nebraska has struggled in its time in the Big Ten. Nebraska has, in fact, posted the 4th best league record since joining the conference in 2011. While it hasn’t quite hit the mark that most Husker fans anticipated heading in to the Big Ten, Nebraska has held its own in virtually every category. Except one.

Playing Wisconsin.

Oy. I wonder if Barry Alvarez has any mixed emotions seeing the Monster of Madison he created bat his alma mater around like Lennie Small petting a scared bunny. While Mike Riley’s Huskers did a great job of not allowing the Badgers to embarrass Nebraska (in a way Pelini rarely could), the last second loss was still among the hardest to stomach in 2015. Andy Janovich’s 55-yard burst up the middle in the waning minutes of the game had Husker fans believing the Wisconsin demon had been exorcised. But no, the Cheesehead Linda Blair had one more gullet of projectile vomit to spew in our collective faces.

It will be tough. But I think Nebraska goes to Madison and takes care of business. It helps that Wisconsin, I believe, is on a slow downtick from its respectable run of the last decade. Nebraska 28 Wisconsin 24.

TODD: Welcome to the first installment of the most terrifying two weeks of the season. Since joining the Big Ten, the Huskers’ average margin of defeat when playing at Madison has been a robust 33 points. For the sake of it being August and all, I’ll go out on a limb and say Mike Riley delivers an eat shit and FU of his own to the troglodytes who call themselves Badger fans. Huskers 24 Badgers 21.

LESLIE: Don’t be scared, Todd. The Blackshirts won’t be. Huskers 24-17.

Game 9: at Ohio State – November 5

columbusriot1
This is what happens when Columbus runs out of Cincinnati Chili.

KG: Ohio State. What’s there to say, really? Urban Meyer scares the shit out of me. And so does the talent level in Columbus. Still, in this age of parity, no team is absolutely invincible. Nebraska will get beat in The Horseshoe. But make no mistake, Riley and his squad will make a game of it. Nebraska 28 Ohio State 34.

TODD: If you’re traveling to this game, here are two things to know: 1) It’s only 175 miles from Columbus to Youngstown and 2) Bo Pelini and his Penguins will be playing on the road at North Dakota St. If you regret not egging his house when he lived in Lincoln, this is your big chance to make amends and give yourself at least one thing you’ll want to remember because I don’t see how the Huskers can escape that burning couch of a state with a win. Ohio State 35 Nebraska 21.

LESLIE: Todd doesn’t seem to understand that it’s August and this is the time right after depression and right before reality. The perfect time for optimism. The Huskers are going to walk right into that dump called Ohio Stadium and make that WR coach Zach Smith want to delete his twitter account. I hope they pass the ball 100% of the time and win so we can all tag him with the #Shhh hashtag that he loves so much. Westerkamp, DPE, Reilly, and Stan the Man are gonna get savage all up in Coach Smith’s face. Honest to god, I hate that guy. Shut him the hell up. Huskers 28-21.

Game 10: Minnesota – November 12

sel 4078Minnesota Nebraska
If you don’t have enough fans who are willing to spell out your team’s name, you don’t deserve to have a team.

KG: Jerry Kill had a remarkable run at Minnesota, moving the Gophers from an after-thought to a solid middle-of-the-conference program. I genuinely feel bad for Jerry and his health issues. But I’m not sorry to see him absent from the opposite sideline of Nebraska. The Husker dominance of Minnesota resumed in 2015. Onward. Nebraska 45 Minnesota 21.

TODD: A week of many hack Caddyshack jokes being made by this site culminates with the Huskers starting a new win streak at the expense of the Gophers who will find themselves hiding near the bottom of the Big Ten West standings. Huskers win 31-17.

LESLIE: If the Huskers could beat you last year, they can definitely beat you this year. Huskers 55-21.

Game 11: Maryland – November 19

MARYLAND FANS
Supposedly this is what Maryland fans look like.

KG: Maryland and Nebraska meet for the first time ever in Memorial Stadium. Since the two teams are unfamiliar with each other, it’s good news for Nebraska that the Terps are about as intimidating as a squad of actual turtles. Nebraska 51 Maryland 24

TODD: You might remember Maryland as the team who had those atrocious uniforms a couple seasons back, or for their most famous alumni (Shawne Merriman) dating Tila Tequila. If you need to use this weekend to prep for Thanksgiving you’re in luck. This game won’t be close. Huskers 42 Maryland 20.

LESLIE: Three wins last year? Good lord. Stick to basketball, Maryland. Huskers win by a billion.

Game 12: at Iowa – November 25

IOWA FANS
When Iowa fans realize their welfare checks aren’t big enough to cover Powerball tickets or an oil vaporizer pen and the Vape juice.

KG: The worst 12-0 regular season program I’ve ever had the displeasure of witnessing take the gridiron. As snake-bit as Nebraska was in 2015, Iowa was itself holding aces all season. But both teams showed their true colors in bowl games — a solid 37-29 victory over UCLA by Nebraska (a healthy margin that, quite frankly could’ve been even healthier) and a 45-16 ass shellacking of Iowa by Stanford in the Rose Bowl. Iowa made rings to mark their 12-0 regular season accomplishment. Good for them. Fucking losers. Nebraska 45 Iowa 10.

TODD: Mike Riley puts the exclamation point on #IOWAHATEWEEK by stealing the keys to Herky Hawkey’s El Camino and burning some donuts on the 50 yard line of Kinnick Stadium following a Huskers blowout victory.  Huskers win 38-14.

LESLIE: If I was running things, Iowa would have to sit out a year for that Rose Bowl performance. But since it doesn’t look like that is going to happen, Nebraska is going to have to play them. Unlike last season, Iowa actually has to play some real teams before Nebraska, so there is no chance they go into this undefeated again. As you can tell, I actually have the opposite. Nebraska is going in there undefeated this year and kicking some Iowa ass. Leave me alone. A person can dream. Huskers 21-17.

(But for real, watching Iowa collapse at the Rose Bowl was the highlight of last season.)

Final regular season tally:

KG: Huskers go 11-1 with a loss to Ohio State.
TODD: Same.
LESLIE: Huskers run the table and go 12-0.

Remember, what you just read is published on the internet, so you know it’s true. GBR.

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Hey K-Dubs, Here’s Your Guide to Watching Husker Games at Home

Good news, everyone! Keith Williams didn’t get fired.

From what I’ve been able to decipher through the flurry of tweets leading to stories blocked by paywalls, K-Dubs will remain suspended without pay through August 31 and won’t be attending the first four games in any capacity.

Games three and four, as you may know, are Oregon and at Northwestern. Good thing being good at catching the ball has never been important when playing the Wildcats.

In the interim, Mark Philipp can double up as strength and receivers coach. We all know that K-Dubs has ingrained such a T-1000 level of  killer technique in his receivers that the only coaching they’ll need in his absence are occasional subtle, yet stern reminders to not drop the ball.

And who’s better to do that than a guy who could rip you in half?

Mark Philipp
Mark Philipp, a guy who could rip you in half.

Now that we’ve solved the temporary coaching crisis, let’s move on to the topic at hand.

The stark reality is that K-Dubs has probably never watched a Husker game at home. Up until last season, he never had a connection to the team and before that, the guy was busy doing football stuff with other teams. Best case, he might have randomly caught one between 1997 and 2000 when he was out of football according to his bio.

OK K-Dubs, here’s how you Husker like you’re one of us.

STEP 1: STAY THE F HOME

Don’t go try to crash some tailgates or check out the scene at the Railyard. As much fun as it is to be a fan, you need keep a low profile, my friend. The last thing you want to do is wander through someone’s Snapchat story.

STEP 2: FOOD 

FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, DON’T ORDER A PIZZA. Everyone and their brother who isn’t at the game will all have the same brilliant idea to order a pizza. If you’re lucky (which, let’s face it, you are and we’re glad), it will show up in the middle of the third quarter but if your luck has run out, expect to see it on your porch by Sunday morning.

But what you want to do is bribe your extraordinarily understanding and loving wife with whatever it takes for her to swing by the nearest Runza drive-thru for you and pick up a few of Nebraska’s greatest sandwiches that can’t really be classified as sandwiches.

(My inner-fat kid also suggests stopping by Taco John’s for some Potato Olés to cross the streams of Nebraska deliciousness but we won’t press our luck. Runzas will have to do.)

runza-largeThe venerable Runza.

To go with your Runzas, you’ll need some sodas, maybe some sparkling water, and a party tray of carrots, celery, etc. If you need to stress eat, you might as well try to be healthy about it.

STEP 3: THE TV

Bigger and high-def’er is always better but as any Husker fan in the western reaches of the 308 will tell you, a Husker game can be just as stressful and exciting when you’re listening to it on a crackling radio while on the edge of your seat in a combine (the tractor, not football kind). But you’re city folk, so you can get the best of both worlds: TV and Radio.

Download the official Huskers app so you can stream the radio broadcast instead of listening the schlubs on TV drone on about Tommy and Jordan being roommates. Spend the first couple minutes of the game synchronizing the stream to your TV. It takes a little trial and error but once you get it locked in DON’T TOUCH ANYTHING.

One last important detail, make sure your cable package has the Big Ten Network. If you need a password to watch online, hit me up. You can use the one I borrowed.

STEP 4: YELLING AT THE TV

Since you’ll be streaming the radio broadcast, you can pop-in your ear buds and have the TV on mute. Your wife will love you for that but what she won’t love is the inevitable screaming and yelling.

You have three options to prepare for this:

1. Treat your extraordinarily understanding and loving wife (and however many friends she’d like to bring along) to a spa day. (After she picks up your Runzas, of course.)

2.  Buy a screamin’ pillow to muffle the sound. Scream PillowThis is pretty self-explanatory.

3. Adopt a kitten. Todd and WillardThe calmest Husker game of my life took place on October 30, 2010, mere days after Willard was sprung from the pound. It also helped that the first quarter ended with the Huskers up 24 – 0 over Missouri thanks to Roy Helu Jr. running wild.

STEP 5: SOCIAL MEDIA

Think of this as the digital version of strolling through the Big Red Sea of tailgaters. No matter how hard you’re tempted, DON’T TWEET DURING THE GAME. It will just open the doors to trolls and you really don’t need to give that butthole coach at Ohio State a reason to be a bigger butthole.

What you can do, and I highly recommend it, is slide into the game thread on Huskermax. You don’t need to be a member unless you want to comment. Depending on what exactly you read though, you might want to become a member just so you can cool off some of the inevitable the-sky-is-falling hot takes and conspiracy theories. Seriously, bro. It’s like that every game.


Welcome to the other side of Husker Nation, K-Dubs. While it will be nice to have you among us, we can’t wait to see you back on the field.

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The Season Doesn’t Have a Reset Button. We Gotta Roll With It.

We’re still 19 sleeps away from the season opener and it’s already becoming one for the books.

The news of Keith Williams‘ arrest on a suspected DUI appeared on my phone Sunday morning (thanks, Leslie) right as I was about to do a swan dive into a $12 breakfast burrito.

My appetite vanished as I read the details of what happened… crash at 9th and N (at least it was only a four block ride to jail) and a possible third DUI, tipping the scales at a .15 BAC.

Honestly, even one DUI isn’t excusable but, if we’re really being honest, there’s a good chance we’ve all been one faulty taillight away from finding ourselves trying to walk a straight line on the side of the road.

But three DUIs? Hell no. Completely inexcusable. Especially in an age where an Uber, even in Lincoln, is a press of a button away. Then there’s the fact that the Star City is one of the greatest cities to pedal a bike around at night shitass drunk. I did it for five years and it was awesome. Plus, every bar has a bike rack out front so it’s a win-win for everyone.

Here in LA, a DUI ends up costing the lucky recipient around $10,000 just in fines and legal fees. That’s 1,000 $10 Uber rides and translates to a lot of nights out without having to worry about anything other than if your driver can properly follow GPS directions. (Hey, since you’re here, get a free Uber ride on us. #ad)

Will Williams stay on with the Huskers? That’s a hard decision and one that has to suck for whoever ends up having the final say on the matter.

Did he instantly lose all his credibility as a respected coach and mentor to college kids? Well, a person can learn a lot by messing up and taking the steps to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

Williams seems to know this all too well.

But will he be standing on the sidelines come September 3rd?

As much as the Huskers rule everything around us, he has more important stuff to worry about and let’s all hope he finds the support he needs to fix it.


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Two Husker Fans Walk Into Dodger Stadium…

Like a lot of things these days, what turned out to be an awesome real-life moment started out on Twitter.

With the Philadelphia Phillies in town to play Los Doyers,  I half jokingly suggested to my friend Leslie, aka Big Red Fury’s newest contributor, that we should go to the game in Husker gear to show some Big Red love for former Husker and current Phillie Cody Asche.

She was down so the hard part became deciding which Husker shirt to wear. In the meantime, I tweeted to Cody to let him know that Husker Nation would be at the game.

Oh snap. Since he knew we’d be there, that meant it was time to break out the big gun, the mighty foam finger.

FOAM FINGERFoam finger. (File photo.)

If you’ve never done so, I can’t recommend going to a sporting event decked out in the gear belonging to a team that is A) not even playing and B) the completely wrong sport. The odd looks from security are totally worth it.

We slid into the fancy seats near the Phillies’ dugout for their half of BP and waited for Cody to take his turn in the cage.

Cody Asche - Batting CageWhy yes, Cody, Husker fans are stalking you.

When he took his final cut in the cage, I couldn’t help but let a Go Big Red rip. It was my first one of 2016 and felt good. Darn good.

Cody then walked over to some fans who were on the field for BP and it looked like he was signing a ball for one of them. But it turned out he was borrowing a pen.

Cody Borrowing PenA fan flips Cody his pen. 

The next thing you know a ball was coming our way. There’s nothing that instantly brings back every haunting memory of missed Little League pop ups like a big leaguer tossing you a ball.

Luckily, I didn’t muff his perfect throw and here’s what I found when I un-cradled my mitts.

Cody Asche Go Big Red Ball
So awesome. 

As our friend Marc snapped a souvenir photo for us, he remarked that Husker Nation is on a completely different level than any other team. He’s a die hard Dodger and USC fan and was just boggled by how much deeper Husker fandom goes.

You’re damn right.

With the ballThanks for the ball, Cody! 

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We’re doomed anyway so we might as well win.

Here are a couple dates to chew on.

January 9, 2017: The College Football Playoff National Championship Game will be played in Tampa, Florida.

January 20, 2017: The 45th President of the United States of America will be sworn into office.

No matter which way you swing on the political spectrum, one thing we can probably all agree on is that this country seems to be spiraling towards an embarrassing face plant faster than an Iowa fan on her 21st birthday.

No matter whose hand is on that bible this January, be it a very tiny one that’s never seen a hard day’s work or a normal-size paw that lacks the motor skills to properly send an email, there’s a good chance President Camacho will be their successor.

So what’s all this mean to Husker Nation?

Well, if we want to see a day when the Huskers return to national dominance, they should probably work on that sooner rather than later.

Best worst case scenario, a National Championship this year would give us a 11 solid days to celebrate before we have to start living under a cloud of worry about the Commander-in-Chief’s stubby little finger accidentally launching a nuke instead of firing off a late night rage tweet.

Even if that doesn’t happen, what are we, five to ten years away from tackle football going the way of the lawn dart? Unless someone can clone Teddy Roosevelt STAT, football as we know and love it will be changing. Wouldn’t it be great if the Huskers could win one more championship before sport becomes as hard hitting as a game of quidditch?

On that uplifting note, the good news is that if you play (or go through life) like you’ve got nothing to lose, you’re going to win. The scoreboard might not always agree with that philosophy but at least you can sleep well at night knowing you gave it your best.

In the case of Mike Riley, his career head coaching record might stand at a humble 153 – 151 but entering his second year at Nebraska, it’s a safe bet that the win column is going to start shooting up at a faster clip. Over the course of this off-season, it seemed like he realized he’s playing with house money and is using that giant stack of chips to build something great.

To paraphrase the life motto of the late, great Lemmy Kilmister from the legendary band Motörhead, Riley may have seemingly been born to lose but right now he’s living to win.

A coach who’s supposedly in the “twilight” of his career wouldn’t be spending his summer criss-crossing the country or waking up at the stroke of midnight to retweet recruits. Much like Lemmy being on tour barely two weeks before he dropped dead from an undiscovered brain tumor, Riley is not slowing down as his golden years are fast approaching. Lemmy went out as the undisputed most rock n’ roll bad ass to walk the Earth and Riley is setting the table to walk into the sunset with a powerful legacy of his own left in his wake.

Don’t be shocked when he cranks up his win total by 11 this season.

OK Huskers, it’s time to get out on that field and snap some necks and cash some stipend checks.

Mike Riley and LemmyHusker head coach Mike Riley (left) and Motörhead’s Lemmy Kilmister (right). Two disparate dudes with nothing in common but a burning passion for their life’s work.


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