Colorado: Game Day Pep Talk

It’s 22 minutes until the clock strikes midnight in the Cornhusker State and game day officially arrives. By the end of the afternoon, another chapter will be written about Nebraska’s history with Colorado.

Here in Los Angeles, the Dodgers are trying to battle their way back against the Giants. We live close enough to Dodger Stadium to see a quartet of palm trees that line its outer perimeter from the top of our backyard. The tickets we had for tonight’s game were sold on StubHub last week because seeing a battle between the National League’s fiercest rivals does nothing to get my pulse racing when Nebraska and Colorado is on-deck for Saturday afternoon.

Plus, I need my Big Red beauty rest.

To say that Husker fans are excited for this reckoning is an understatement. I’m still hobbling around from playing tennis three days ago but am so jacked for this game I know I could run through a brick wall should the need arise.

This is the day we’ve all been looking forward to since Colorado pulled a W out of Ralphie’s butt last year in Lincoln. How differently things would have gone if last season had started off with a win for the good guys is irrelevant now but BS penalties and injury inducing cheap shots on a quarterback’s knee will always linger in a fanbase’s craw.

It goes without saying that confidence would be a lot higher heading into kickoff had the Huskers trounced South Alabama the way we expected them to last week. Starting the year off with the shitty win of the season (hopefully there’s only one) can be a good motivator for the team. Plus, it makes things a lot more exciting for all of us.

Soon we’ll find out if those week one miscues were a fluke (I think they were) and we’ll get to see if Wan’dale Robinson is the real deal. (I’m not much of a conspiracy theorist but I have a suspicion he was used just enough last week to get his feet wet and give Colorado enough film to be nervous about what he’s capable of.)

More than anything though, game day in Boulder is going to be an afternoon for Husker Nation to show the college football world the Big Red is on the way back to where it belongs. If you’ve been following the mass migration by land and air into Colorado, you know the scene is already lit. Seriously, Husker fans drank a Pearl Street bar dry by 8pm on a Friday night.

The three dozen or so Colorado fans that didn’t sell off their tickets are going to be in for a rude awakening tomorrow when Folsom Field is transformed into Memorial Stadium West.

Colorado had their chance last year but it’s time for the Buffaloes to get a stern reminder about who wore the pants in the conference rivalry that was never really a rivalry. Yes, they got in a few shots and damaged a few childhoods in the late eighties and early nineties (Eric Bieniemy was right behind the Boz in my book) but when you look at the historical win/loss record, you’ll notice Colorado has won only 8 times in the last 43 meetings. That’s hardly a rivalry. Colorado is annoying neighbor at best.

And later today that annoying neighbor will be put in his place.

The Huskers got this one and let’s enjoy every minute of it.

GBR.

 

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Breaking Down Mark Kiszla’s “Hug a Husker” Column

It wouldn’t be game week against Colorado if some highfalutin sportswriter from the Denver Post took a pot shot at Husker Nation.

With Woody Paige being put out to pasture by the Post in 2016, this year’s honor falls to Mark Kiszla, a sportswriter who looks like he keeps more than one bootleg Phish CD in his trusty Subaru, which he takes up into the mountains every summer for an annual pilgrimage to see Big Head Todd and the Monsters at Red Rocks.

In his column, which you can read here, Kiszla kicks things off with a joke – a smart move, and one right out of Tom Osborne’s playbook during his weekly press conferences back in the day.

Hey, Buffs. It won’t be easy. But as the Bugeaters return to Folsom Field for the first time since 2009, kindly refrain from the Nebraska jokes. 

Here in Colorado, we’re better than this: “How do you know the toothbrush was invented in Nebraska? Anywhere else, it would’ve been called a teethbrush.”

I think Kiszla is trying to say that Colorado fans are better than making jokes at Nebraska’s expense. The kind of jokes that are such an embedded part of the public domain that you can google toothbrush teethbrush joke and get 11 million results.

I know the robber barons running the Denver Post these days don’t provide the most lavish budgets but surely Kiszla isn’t under such sweatshop like conditions that he doesn’t have time to pop an edible and think of an original joke.

But there’s no time to wait around for that gummy to hit, we gotta move right into the crux of his column:

…I humbly suggest a new theme to honor this rivalry:

Give a Husker a hug.

Yep. That’s it. Right there. Give a Husker a hug.

When you think about it, Kiszla’s idea isn’t so far fetched. There are going to be thousands of hugs handed out at Folsom Field this Saturday.

And they’re all going to be happening between fellow Husker fans.

If you’ve paid any attention to the lead up to this game, it sure sounds like there won’t be anyone inside the stadium affiliated with Colorado aside from the team itself and the Coors Light vendors. (BTW, did you know the nickname “Silver Bullet” was coined by a University of Nebraska student?)

Then we get to the best paragraph of Kiszla’s piece:

And that’s fine by Colorado athletic director Rick George, who crowed the renewal of hostilities between the Buffs and Huskers will be the biggest revenue producing game in school history. 

Holy buffalo chip! You mean a hosting a game against Nebraska is going to be an economic benefit to the University of Colorado? Shut the front door. Maybe the university would have more money if it didn’t have to go all Crazy Gideon and slash ticket prices by 40% in a sad attempt to lure students through the gates.

And after a little more word salad to make his word count, Kiszla pulls off his game plan to start strong and finish stronger with his most outlandish whopper yet…

Give the Huskers a hug. 

Goodness knows, after the embarrassment of losing to CU two years in a row, they’re going to need it.

OK. Maybe he did take an edible and it kicked in by the end. That’s the only way you can explain an ending like that.

GBR.

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