An Open Letter to Colorado and Iowa Fans 

Hey there Husker neighbors to the east and west,

I just wanted to drop a quick note to share how delighted I am with the interest that your respective fanbases have shown towards @BigRed_Fury this season.

Every week without fail, fresh rounds of zingers (some of them are almost funny even) get lobbed into @BigRed_Fury’s mentions following the Cornhuskers’ latest miscue on the field.

How y’all found @BigRed_Fury I’ll never know, but I’m flattered that y’all take the time to write to show that you care.

Because I sure don’t care about either of you.

Even if the Huskers find a way to do the impossible and lose to Northwestern to move to 0-6 on the year, it’s not going to bother me because this season is a down to the foundation rebuilding project. And if we go down the road a few years and discover Scott Frost isn’t the chosen one, big deal. There will be a new coach and I will still be a Husker fan.

Like Bane being born into the darkness, I was born into Husker Nation. I was molded by it. I didn’t see the light until I was already a man.

You know what my earliest Husker memory is?

Seeing them lose the 1984 Orange Bowl and a National Championship to Miami. In one night I fell in love with the Fumblerooski and endured the heartbreak of my team coming up short on the biggest stage. When you’ve experienced your team suffering the worst possible outcome before even getting the faintest whiff of what a victory feels like, it fundamentally changes a person.

But that’s not the only Natty I’ve seen the Huskers lose.

Nearly 10 years to the day later, I got to watch the Huskers lose another National Championship at the Orange Bowl. This time around Florida State was the opponent and the game was even more of a heart breaker thanks to a Seminole TD that should have been ruled a goal line fumble and a missed last second field goal that would have won the game for the Big Red and left Bobby Bowden soaking wet.

Then eight years after that I got to see the Huskers lose yet another National Championship at the dastardly hand of the Miami Hurricanes. I was in the third row, straddling the 50 yard line on the Huskers’ side of the field of the Rose Bowl for that one and it remains the most disappointing game of my life. 

So what’s this all add up to?

In my lifetime I’ve seen the Huskers LOSE more National Championships than Iowa and Colorado have played for combined during the same stretch.

And I’ve also seen them win three titles, which according to my math is exactly two more than the Colorado Buffaloes and the Iowa Hawkeyes have won.

When you come at me to heckle me about the Huskers losing to Troy, please know that a game like that doesn’t even make a ripple in my pool of Husker heartbreak. It means nothing to me.

Your tweets can’t hurt me because I’m already dead inside.

Your College Football Buddy,

Todd


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The Big Red Shawshank Redemption

The Shawshank Redemption opened in theatres September 23, 1994. 

The following afternoon, the Huskers rolled Pacific 70-21 in front of the hometown crowd. 

While we all know how that year turned out for the Big Red, Shawshank was mostly overlooked at the box office and during award season as Forrest Gump and Pulp Fiction took home most of the hardware. 

It wasn’t until a few years later that it began to receive the acclaim it missed the first time around. Thanks to nearly daily showings on basic cable that are still running strong today, The Shawshank Redemption has cemented its status as very arguably one of the greatest films ever made and currently occupies the number one spot on IMDB’s list of the top 250 movies. 

“Remember Red, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.”

But we’re not here to do a dissertation on the legacy of Shawshank.

We’re here to talk about a theory.

It’s called the Shit Tunnel Theory. 

I can’t tell you exactly when I came up with the it but I can tell you I was on the couch watching Shawshank for probably the 100th time and was faded enough to have an epiphany that changed my outlook on life.

Allow me to set it up. 

According to Shawshank lore, Andy started tunneling his way to freedom with his tiny rock hammer two years into his 19 year stretch. That’s 17 years of chipping through the concrete wall of his prison cell piece-by-piece. An estimate from someone a lot smarter than me put Andy’s progress at 1/64th of an inch per day, or about the thickness of your fingernail. 

So after 17 long years Andy final breaks through and has to face one final crucible-The Shit Tunnel. In a film that’s full of cruel moments, this was the cherry on top of a turd sundae. 

But Andy give up?

Not a chance. 

He grabbed a rock, broke through that pipe, and dove right in. He charged through that “river of shit,” to quote Red, like he was a plumber named Mario on a mission to save a princess. It was 500 yards to freedom and after all he’d been through he was not going to stopped by a Shit Tunnel.

Now if we can go back to me on the couch for a moment, it was during this breakout scene that I realized no matter what goal you’re working towards, there’s always, without fail, going to be an unexpected obstacle that pops up when you have the finish line in sight. Even if it’s not a literal Shit Tunnel, the concept is the same. If you have something you want to achieve, you gotta pay the price by conquering the Shit Tunnel.

Husker fam, if Memorial Stadium is our Shawshank, we have just entered the Shit Tunnel. 

So what if the Huskers leave Wisconsin with an L and an 0-5 record for the first time since who knows when? It’s already been a miserable decade and half, what’s another year at this point?

All this losing now won’t mean shit if hang onto the hope and belief that better days are ahead. Sometimes you just gotta hold your breath and barrel down that Shit Tunnel towards where the light should be. 

Go Big Red. 


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