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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