Guess there’s a game today, huh?

Get excited. There’s a Husker game tonight.

What? You’re not pumped by the fact there’s a reasonable chance that the kid who currently plays holder could end up under center this evening?

Look people, there are two important things to know about this game.

1. No matter what happened this week, it is still gameday. We don’t get many of these a year and after this one there are only three of them left, barring any awful miracle that could lead to the Huskers playing Ohio State again.

2. Minnesota is not to be confused with Wisconsin or Ohio State. Granted, potential disaster is always on the table but there’s no way the Golden Gophers will hang 62 points on the Huskers, so that’s a good thing.

Minnesota comes to Lincoln with an identical 7-2 record, with their losses coming against Penn State (26-29 in OT) and Iowa (7-14, yes, they played all four quarters in that one).

The Gophers notched their big wins of the season against… um… wait a second… uh… nope… they really haven’t beaten a team that’s marginally good.

Then again, their numbers in wins against common opponents with the Huskers are similar enough to raise concern. Try these on for size.

Illinois
Huskers 31-16
Gophers 40-17

Purdue
Huskers 27-14
Gophers 44-31

Whatever though. This is Minnesota we’re talking about. It’s important to note that both Illinois and Purdue were softened up by the Huskers first. It’s not hard to beat a team when it has already been flogged into demoralizing submission by the Big Red.

While the Big Ten scheduling gods have been mostly nice to Minnesota, this game is where the Gophers start a gauntlet to end their regular season. After Nebraska, Wisconsin and Northwestern are on deck.

Even with Ryker or Zack at the wheel, the Huskers should be able to handle this one. If there was ever a time to turn the running backs loose, it’s tonight. A steady diet of Newby, Ozigbo, and Wilbon plus a touchdown by the Blackshirts should get the Huskers all the points they need to keep the $5 Bits of Broken Chair Trophy in Lincoln for another year. As much of a gamer as he is, there’s no reason for Tommy to risk taking another shot to the head so soon.

Huskers 44
Gophers 20
(Don’t laugh. We made this prediction back in August and we’re sticking to it. YOLO.)

mike-riley-carl-spackler
Mike Riley. Master football strategist. Caddy to the Dali Lama.


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An Open Letter to Husker Nation

Dear Husker Nation,

What a week it’s been, huh? Between the uncertainty of Tommy’s health and the future direction of this county, it’s a chaotic time to be a Husker fan.

If you’re already starting to dread where this is heading, please, hang in there. Yes, this is going to be a departure from what’s usually found around these parts but there will (hopefully) be a point to all of it.

This is the third season that Big Red Fury has been around. I originally started it on a lark as a way to showcase the ridiculous things Husker fans say on the internet, hence the name. If you enjoy reading the comments section of a hot take more than the hot take itself, this mission statement would have been right in your wheelhouse.

Unfortunately (and for the better) that focus didn’t even make it to the mid-point of the first season. My obsession with our favorite team soon overcame my juvenile desire to anonymously mock those whose opinions and insights I didn’t agree with or thought were dumb.*

This pivot (which nobody noticed because no one was reading this site in the beginning) was the start of something good. Already this season we’re on pace to reach 50,000 page views (dating back to August 1) by the end of the month. That’s a very small drop in the Husker bucket but a solid improvement from all of last season which barely crossed the plane of 30,000 views.

What I want to focus on though are the 228 Husker fans that @BigRed_Fury follows on Twitter. Since it hatched, Twitter has been either a useless distraction or an incredibly useful tool. It all depends on what you make of it.

Of those 228 people, I personally know maybe 50. The rest are folks I’ve gotten to know only through 140 character glimpses.

While the sample size may be be small, those 175 or so Husker fans are a remarkably diverse group of women and men scattered throughout all corners of the US with a few living abroad. In the long days between games and excruciating months between seasons, @BigRed_Fury’s timeline is a window into the daily lives of mostly anonymous strangers. From afar, I’ve sympathized with struggles, celebrated achievements, and developed an appreciation for whichever Kansas City Royal goes by Moose.

For the past few months, and more than ever this week, that same timeline has been an endless stream of political discourse along every inch of the horseshoe. There’s been joy and rage and everything in between. Those same 175 Husker fans are just as diverse politically as they are in the TV shows they tweet about.

But you know what’s really fascinating?

For a few hours a week all that chatter goes absolutely silent.

Not so coincidentally, this phenomenon occurs only when the Huskers are playing.

I expect this trend will continue tomorrow when the Huskers take on Minnesota. During the game, and I swear this is as political as I will ever get on a football site, please take a moment to appreciate how 90,000+ fans can pack into Memorial Stadium every single gameday and rally together to celebrate one thing they all love and hold dear, no matter their personal background or beliefs. If all those Husker fans can have at least one thing in common, there’s a good chance they have a few more too.

The Sea of Red has always meant so much more than everyone got the memo to wear red.

It’s a powerful symbol of spirit and pride that has no peer.

You know how all of us in Husker Nation relish the chance to buy an opposing fan a beer or invite them to join our tailgates?

Take that same attitude apply it someone into your daily life. That Facebook friend you’ve been arguing with all week? Invite them to get coffee. I bet you would have a blast bickering over Starbucks’ new red cups in person.

Each and every one of us are so much more more than the opinions and clickbait articles we share with our social networks. The sooner we remember that, the sooner we’ll feel this country of ours take a step back from the ledge that we’ve been led to believe its standing over.

I don’t have the same opinions as those 175 Husker fans I superficially know through Twitter and the same would certainly apply the other way around. One thing I know for sure though is that I’d love to drink some beers and watch a game with every single one of them.

Because  that’s what Husker Nation does on gameday. We have a good time… unless we’re playing Wisconsin or Ohio State.

That is all and Go Big Red.

*ps: While I haven’t felt the need to roast him much this season (thanks, Omaha World-Herald paywall) Dirk may never wiggle off the hook of mockery but it will always be in good fun. Mostly ; )

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The Saddest Thing I’ve Ever Done

Saturday, November 5: 6:47pm

It’s 13 minutes before the Ohio State game and I am weirdly calm. Mike Riley has even coached me to stay calm and just relax at game time. It’s oddly reassuring. I’m just over here sipping a Budweiser and waiting for the game to begin. The Huskers have a chance to pull this off. My score prediction is 28-21. I think it’s going to be close but the Huskers want this. They know what it feels like to have a failed season and don’t want it to happen again. This Ohio State team doesn’t really know that feeling. Something just tells me that this game is going to go to the good guys. The Huskers. I know this team is beaten up and I’m sure I will be posting my post game reaction and feeling totally different. Like a moron. Because that’s what Husker fans have come to expect. Disappointment. But not tonight. I won’t accept that this season is ending tonight. I can’t.

7:15pm

Tommy threw a pick six on the first drive… might start watching Bama LSU

8:18pm

Ohio State: 21, Nebraska: 3

Actually might start watching Bama LSU

8:28pm

Punt recovered by Nebraska. I see hope. But it might be the beer talking.

8:38pm

It’s been a few minutes since Tommy went down. I’m scared. He is being carted off. He just gave the thumbs up. Who cares about this game at this point, just want him to be OK. Tommy has been the heart and soul of Nebraska for the past few years. He really is the best player on the team just because I never ever see him give up. And that’s all I can ask.

8:42pm

Ryker is in after Tommy is taken to the hospital. Morale is low. Hope is disappearing. I’m running low on beer.

9:25pm

12 seconds into the second half. Touchdown Ohio State. I feel like I’m watching a train wreck. Why am I still watching this?

9:41pm

So Tommy is just running back into the stadium in scrubs right now. The guy is a damn robot. Just happy to see him back.

10:09pm

Ohio State: something over 50, Huskers:3

I’m done with this blog

Tuesday, November 8: 6:20pm

Remember when I thought it was smart to attempt to live blog a Nebraska vs. OSU game? I do. And I’m a delusional idiot.


For real time hot takes from Leslie, follow her on Twitter- @lesmicek

 

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Sunday Afternoon Hot Takes: Ohio State Edition

In case you were lucky enough to miss last night’s debacle, here’s a recap of all you need to know.

Where do we even begin? This was such a vicious, unbridled ass kicking it should have come with a trigger warning.

Without subjecting myself to the digital paper cuts of verifying exactly where this loss ranks among historical beat downs, these are the first pummelings that come to mind that no amount of therapy has been able to erase.

Texas Tech, 2004 – Remember how we were tricked into thinking  this game could be chalked up to the growing pains of installing the West Coast Offense and not the harbinger of doom that Bill Callahan was a lousy coach?

Colorado, 2001 – The go-to game when it’s time to point to the one that ruined it all.

Miami, 2002 – Proved the previous game wasn’t a fluke.

Miami, 1992 – The shutout that led to a dynasty.

Arizona State, 1996 – The shutout that ended a dynasty.

Missouri, 2008 – Remember how we were tricked into believing that these meltdowns would stop when Bo Pelini had “his” players and not the harbinger of doom that Pelini was a lousy coach?

Wisconsin, 2014 – OK we get it now. Please make it stop.

Laser Tag, 1987 – Out of all the savage and merciless beat downs I’ve ever endured, this one hits the closest to home and is the most analogous to what transpired last night in Columbus. This one bubbled up while listening to Big Red Overreaction on the way home. Thanks, Damon Benning.

Buckle up, kids. It’s story time.

The scene, Grand Island, NE. 1987. Fifth grade. The martial arts fad inspired by the Karate Kid had finally died out and what had been a downtown dojo was transformed into a futuristic Laser Tag arena.  No longer would we be subjected to playing in dingy basements. (Playgrounds and parks were off-limits after a kid in California was shot by a police officer who thought he had a real gun.) We finally had a real Laser Tag arena that was worthy of the booming metropolis that was Nebraska’s third largest city.

My friends and I played there every chance we could. The arena boasted pro-level equipment, a maze of unfinished plywood, and more black lights than an above average bong store.

It wasn’t long before the management invited us to join a league that was forming. We knew right away that this was destined to be our first step on the path towards becoming professional Laser Tag players. There was no professional league yet but there would be. Laser Tag was the sport of the future and we weren’t going to waste this opportunity.

In the two weeks leading up to our first match, we put ourselves though boot camp. We had conditioning workouts at recess and strategy sessions after school. Down in our basement we built a replica of the arena out of refrigerator boxes that we dragged home from an appliance store so we could practice close quarters combat in secret. We were so driven and obsessed we should have planned a bank robbery instead. We probably would have gotten away with it.

Our debut match was on a school night which made it that much more special. After enduring the longest day ever, my mom dropped the four of us Lazer Boltz (the still crummy team name I had to think up on the spot when we signed up for the league) off outside the arena.

We were still on the curb when our competition pulled up.

In their own cars.

Not only were they high school kids, they were the kind of of long haired metal heads you avoided at the pool and ran from at the mall. The deep end and arcade was their turf and we were grateful to be occasional guests.

Now we were about to be locked in a pitch black room with them and would be trapped in there until victors emerged.

Still, we liked our chances. While these kids were busy smoking cigarettes and listening to records backwards, we were training. In an egalitarian and utopian sport such as Laser Tag, it didn’t matter that we were each outweighed by 100lbs.

Until it did matter.

The Lazer Boltz started out strong but we were soon over matched when our foes realized that no referee in the arena meant that an abstract concept such as “rules” didn’t need to exist. They systematically chased us down like a pack of raptors and wrestled us into full nelsons and executed us at point blank range.

The yellow belt I earned in that very room six months earlier would prove to be no match for brute size and strength but at least I knew how to take a punch.

The Lazer Boltz disbanded after our first and only match. My mom flew off the handle on the guy who ran the place when she returned to find a quartet of sniveling kids on the curb. Turned out we were the only actual children in the league and were invited to only to help boost the numbers.

None of us ever returned.  The arena went out of business a few months later.


By this point,  Husker Nation should know how to take a gut punch and roll with it. A team can practice hard and do everything right but sometimes it’s going to walk into a buzz saw from which there will be no escape. All you can do is take your lumps, move on, and get better.

Last night, Ohio State was that buzz saw and the Huskers were humiliated on the national stage. It’s wasn’t the first time and it won’t be the last time. Shit happens and sometimes that shit is a scoreboard that reads 62-3.

In my preview of the game, I said that Tommy Armstrong Jr. could cement his legacy at Nebraska by leading the Huskers to victory. Instead, he cemented it by walking back onto the field in medical scrubs 58 minutes after he was strapped to a spinal board and taken to the hospital with his future hanging in the balance. In a night marked by defeat, this was the bigger victory.

Now for the usual Sunday stuff.

Mike Riley’s Balloon Watch
mike-riley-happy-balloon-hindenburg
Shout out to @KingJHip for suggesting the Hindenburg.

Our Score Prediction

fullsizerender2Just a little off with the Huskers winning 28-21. Then again, nobody saw this one coming.

It should be noted that the contingent of Ohio State fans was (mostly) gracious in victory and just as concerned for Tommy as Husker fans were.

img_9974Hey kids, don’t lick dry erase marker.

img_9976Thanks for helping make us forget this game ever happened, Vinnie.

NUMBERS TO IMPRESS YOUR FRIENDS WITH

Add the first four items up and you get a pregame YOLObomb. (Click the link to watch a video of the shenanigans.)

img_9969
Nothing says eating your feelings like an ice cream sandwich of defeat.


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Sorry Ohio State, Nebraska Nice is Over

Another week, another big game for your still-in-the-top-10 Huskers.

Following last Saturday’s disappointing loss at Wisconsin, Mike Riley said that his team would be “playing mad” tonight against Ohio State.

The Huskers should be playing more than mad. They should be playing with the intent to rip the collective throat out of the Buckeyes. There’s no way to sugarcoat it. Their season is on the line.

If there was ever a time for this team to show the college football world the Huskers are back, it’s tonight.

Under the prime time lights.

On Ohio State’s home turf.

Imagine how hard Kirk Herbstreit will be losing his shit if the Blackshirts swagger onto the hallowed ground where he once posted a minus 200 QB rating and kicked the crap out of Ohio State like they were reenacting all the best parts of Road House.

It’s time for The Horseshoe to turn into the Double Deuce with Nate Gerry playing the role of Dalton. He needs to be the cooler who keeps the Buckeyes out of the end zone.

Tommy Armstrong can play the wise old sage Wade Garret because that’s who we need Tommy to be tonight. This evening is as good as any for him to solidify a place in Husker lore. Beating Ohio State in Columbus will go a long way towards forgetting all those YOLObombs.

However, if bad Tommy comes out to play, it will be yet another knife in the chest for Husker Nation- just like Wade Garrett.

Spoiler alert: Wade doesn’t make it out alive.

But the Huskers will be leaving Columbus with a win

Huskers 28 – Ohio State 21.


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Ohio State Fans Are a Burning Couch of Humanity

Nebraska and Oklahoma’s 1971 Game of the Century was billed as the “Irresistible Force Meets the Immovable Object.”

45 short years later, you could say the Huskers’ Saturday night matchup with Ohio State could be billed as the battle of “The Classiest vs The Trashiest Fans in College Football.”

A person only has to go as far as YouTube to find exhibits A-Z why Buckeye fans are absolute trash. Simply search “Drunk Ohio State Fans” and you’ll be rewarded with a never ending stream of tear gas, shit, and vomit.

I’m not going to lie, people. It was hard work wading through the Buckeye muck to bring you the following videos.

If you only feel like wasting 2 minutes and 17 seconds of your life, make this the one video you watch. It’s a 100% sincere hype video filled with Natty Light, bouncing boobs, and swimming pool basketball (wtf?) that an Ohio State student named Mitch Hoover made as part of his application to be a Shmacked Brand Ambassador. I hope his dreams of being a sweatpants rep came true.

OK, so this one technically didn’t come up searching “Drunk Ohio State Fans” but it is one of my all-time favorite videos ever. In 2006, Carl Monday, an investigative reporter in Cleveland, caught a young Ohio State fan pleasuring himself in a public library computer lab and confronted him about it. Right when you think things couldn’t get any more awkward, the kid’s parents show up.

Drunk Ohio State fan at Buffalo Wild Wings. The genius of this one is in its simplicity.

Fights breaking out during an Ohio State/Michigan game are about as not surprising as a crotchety old-timer yelling “Run the dam ball” at Memorial Stadium. The big twist to this fight is that it features Buckeye fans fighting each other. And the body slam is LEGIT.

Two things bro: 1. Act like you’ve been there before. 2. It was the team that did it. You were at home crying on the floor.

Once you notice this passed out fan is stewing in a Lake Erie sized puddle of his own chunky vomit, this video gets gross in a hurry. Watch at your own risk.

Don’t let the humble title fool you. This six minute vignette filled with countless crushed beer cans is the Heavy Metal Parking Lot of college football tailgating videos. In 20 years historians will look at it as an anthropological masterpiece.

Did you catch the 434 minute Godfather Saga when it was on HBO GO a while back? This is like the same thing. Parts 1-6 of the great Ohio State Michigan Riot of 2002 are combined together to make one epic 9 minute video.

This one is 7 seconds of sheer brilliance.

Hey lady, you’re not really supposed to dance like nobody is watching.

This Ohio State fan really did try to steal “literally an entire cow of meat.”

No fists fly in this video but the Michigan State fan throws a mean one two punch of insults. I know we’re not supposed to use the word ‘retard’ anymore but this video makes a great case for it to be used when the time is absolutely right.

This dumb ass Ohio State fan probably could have made it across the field if he wasn’t trying to run in loafers.

This girl probably loves glow sticks.

This guy gets a shout out solely on the merit of looking like the Kylie the Possum in The Fantastic Mr. Fox.

Does anyone know if this drunk girl ever stopped walking?

Last, but certainly not least, we have the most embarrassing Ohio State video of all. This is how Buckeye fans act when they beat IOWA in overtime.


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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: My Buddy Dave Shot Der Viener Schlinger

Sometimes in that Facebook haystack of baby pics and political rants you can find those priceless moments you really want to see.

Following the Illinois game, Facebook’s mighty algorithm bestowed upon me one of the most glorious things I have ever seen.

My longtime buddy Dave hoisting Der Viener Schlinger to the sky like he was some sort of Husker Rambo and blasting a Fairbury Brand Hot Dog into the Sea of Red.

dbo

Dave and I go all the way back to our freshman year at Husker U. when someone in our dorm (I don’t even remember who) decided we need to know each other based on the fact that we both spent our mornings religiously watching CHiPs.

It was pretty much a Step Brothers moment the second we bro’d down over Ponch and Jon. From there, was nothing but several years of some pretty ridiculous hijinks. I’d share details but honestly it’s all a haze (and my mom has been known to read this thing from time to time).

Besides, we’re not here for stupid stories from the days of yore. We’re here for incredible stories from right now.

Or as close to right now as possible.

The events that follow transpired during the Illinois game. Shortly after, Dave got lost on a motorcycle tour for a while so it took a minute to coordinate our big interview. Enjoy.

So you and the Mrs (happy anniversary, btw) went back to Lincoln for the game. Did you do take the train to from Denver to the Haymarket like you’ve done before? If so, how does that set the table for your gameday experience? That has to be one of the coolest ways to roll into Lincoln for a Husker game.

This is the first time I’ve hopped the train back for a game in a couple of years. It’s a pretty amazing experience overall. Some of the comforts of flying are erased, but you can most certainly listen to loud snoring and iPad use with no headphones. A couple of beers and a dram of whiskey and I can pretty much sleep through anything. Arriving in Lincoln early in the morning, refreshed, and ready for coffee sets the perfect tone for a wonderful game day. I love what they’ve done down in the Haymarket area. It’s much more inviting then a decade ago.  

The Der Viener Schlinger… walk us through how that happened. How did you get picked? How much of a rush was it to fire off a Fairbury Brand Hot Dog into the East Stadium stands? Did the Der Viener Schlinger guy give you any tips? Did it have a lot of kick? Who was the guy yelling DBO in the video? Did he get a hot dog?

My friend Jenna walked us down to the sidelines after the start of the 2nd half.  She asked if I had any interest in shooting off Der Viener Schlinger and I shyly responded, “If he wants me to.”  She nudged her way over towards the artillery and got me positioned in line for firing. The operator of Der Viener Schlinger then forcibly moved a 6-year-old girl out of my way to get me cued in line. I was on cloud 9 with my finger on the trigger ready to blast on Illinois fans who had their eyes fixed on the game, but was instructed to shoot it at people paying attention and pull the trigger. No kick, you could blast weenies all day with no shoulder soreness. My homeboy JD was the one yelling my name, all my homies were as excited as I was. No hot dog for him though. We mashed on Runzas until our stomachs hurt the first half of the game.

dbo
Dave lives Der Viener Schlinger dream while a jilted 6-year-old plots her revenge.

How has your life changed from shooting the Der Viener Schlinger?

I feel as though that people who are in tune with what it means to shoot Der Viener Schlinger are beyond impressed and really want to know how the opportunity happened upon me. I’ve become a B list celeb in the Husker fandom world. The emails and texts haven’t stopped since gameday.  

Will a going to a Husker game ever be the same for you again?

Every Husker game is a memorable one for me, but unless I’m shooting weenies into the crowd, it’ll never be the same.

Do you remember that time we spent 18 straight hours watching Molly Ringwald movies in those recliners you had in whatever dorm that was? (I don’t think we even moved until Katie T. brought us Burger King if I sort of remember correctly. Sometime we’ll all have to combine brains and see if we can remember at least some of the stuff we pulled.)

I wish I could remember half the shit we did in college. Let’s recreate the recliner gig. It was a good one.  

Does it weird you out if I tell you I still have a glossy 8 x 10 of your snowboarding injury somewhere?

That actually warms my heart and makes my scar tingle.

These days you’ve got quite the business going in Denver. Would you mind telling our readers what Bear Creek Distillery is all about and what they can expect if they visit?  

Bear Creek Distillery is a grain to glass, grain to bottle distillery nestled into the heart of Denver. We currently have a Silver Rum, Cask Strength Rum, Spiced Rum, Rye Vodka, Wheat Vodka, Rye Whiskey, Wheat Whiskey, White Whiskey and we will be releasing our flagship product Holiday 2017, which is a 3 grain Bourbon. We have a full tasting room open 5 days a week. We feature handcrafted cocktails and offer tours of our facility to the public. I’ll be shopping Nebraska distributors next year to place our product in Omaha and Lincoln.  

dave-bear-creek
Dave in his element at Bear Creek Distillery.
If you’re there and someone shows up wearing Husker gear, what typically happens?

High fives ensue and if I’ve had enough whiskey we get a classic “GO BIG RED” call and response going. This place literally glows red on Saturdays and we welcome Huskers in here with open arms.  

Finally what’s your outlook for the Huskers for the rest of the season? How far do you see this team going? 

We look great and seem to be applying a little bit of smash mouth football this season. I predict we have at top ten finish and a Big Ten Championship to look forward to.

070401
Chuck, Dave, and your author, circa 1995. Photo courtesy of the Lane Hickenbottom archives.


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Halloween Huskers 2016

Happy Halloween, Husker Nation.

As is tradition around these parts, we took the liberty in suggesting some costume ideas for Husker players and staff. You can see our previous Halloween spectaculars here and here. (Trigger Warning: the latter link includes photos from the previous regime.)

Here are this year’s costumes…

Mike Riley as General Francis X. Hummel

mike-riley

Yes, General Hummel was technically the villain in The Rock but his heart was in the right place. More importantly, he was a total bad ass much like Riley has been this season when it comes to deciding to go for it on 4th down.

Nate Gerry as Colossus

nate-gerry

We all know Nate loves Bane but when your NECK IS WIDER THAN YOUR HEAD there’s only one comic book character right for you.

Bruce Read as Mark Davis

bruce-read

He Mark, if you want a really, really, really good special teams coach, we bet you can snag him for only $455,000 plus some free buffet coupons after you move the Raiders to Vegas.

Ross Dzuris as Bill the Butcher

ross-dzuris

Ross is already 90% of the way there thanks to his sweet, sweet mustache.

Billy Devaney as a 90s era Frank Solich

billy-devaney

Eh, you can’t win ’em all.

Dylan Utter as Harry Knowles

dylan-utter

Both of these guys weigh over 300lbs and have monolithic chin beards. The only difference is one is the King of the Nerds and the other could rip me in half for comparing him to the King of the Nerds.

Michael Rose-Ivey as Teddy Pendergrass

michael-rose-ivey

Michael is known for playing lights out. Teddy is known for his hit Turn Off the Lights. And they both have kick-ass beards.

Brandon Reilly as Brian, the overly friendly Chotchkie’s Waiter.

brandon-rielly

We all remember Brandon’s history with a waiter, right? Right?

Clete McLeod as the Men’s Warehouse Guy.

clete-mcleod

Strength Coach Celete will get the Huskers ripped. He guarantees it.

Creighton Hamik as a Jaysker

creighton-hamik

When your name’s Creighton but you play for the Huskers, there’s really only one choice.

Bo Kittrel as David St. Hubbins

bo-kitrell

If you’ve got the hair, you might as well use it to your advantage. Then again, would a kid in 2016 have even heard of Spinal Tap?

Todd McShane as Dirk Chatelain

todd-mcshane

Sorry, Todd. On the upside, you could make your Dirk costume interactive by blasting Springsteen while blocking people on Twitter.


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Sunday Evening Hot Takes: Wisconsin Edition

Well crap.

This is a weird one. It’s been nearly a full day since the Huskers lost to Wisconsin 23-17 in overtime and the typical post-Husker loss depression has yet to kick in. Maybe it was all the beer during the game, followed by more beer after the game, followed by a late night rampage through Halloween candy that helped make this loss feel not as horrible as all the others.

Let’s break it down:

Did the Huskers have chances to win? Yes.

But did they piss the game down their leg? No.

Were there some odd offensive play calls during crunch time? Yes.

But were they as fatal as throwing on 3rd and 7 against Illinois? No.

Did these Huskers prove they have a lot of fight in them? HELL YES.

You never want to call a loss encouraging but it’s hard to be discouraged after this one. The last time I felt borderline optimistic after a loss was back in 2008 when the unranked Huskers went down to Lubbock and forced #7 Texas Tech into overtime by rattling off 21 points in the 4th quarter.

Like the Badgers last night, the Red Raiders scored first in OT but opened a window for a Husker victory when their extra point try was blocked.

Unfortunately that game would end two plays later on a Joe Ganz interception but it gave Husker Nation hope that the team had turned a big corner.

Seeing these guys slug it out for 60 minutes plus only to come up short hurts but it makes you look forward to seeing what they can do next Saturday in Columbus. The Huskers have a solid chance to get out of town with the win.

We just need Good Tommy to show up for all four quarters and perhaps a revised offensive game plan for those extra tight moments. There really should have been more urgency to close out the game in regulation and it doesn’t seem like Danny Langsdorf has a solid quiver of go-to plays when the Huskers need to get yardage.

In overtime, it was two Newby runs up the gut for a pair of yards and a pair of incomplete passes with the final one being a swing and a miss for a touchdown when a mere first down would have kept the Huskers in business.

As much as this game deserves to be stuck in our collective craw for a long time, it’s best if we let it go.

Twitter Drama

In case you missed it, the high school aged son of a former Husker coach who shall not be mentioned took a swipe at his dad’s old team following the game. Shortly after, he claimed to be hacked. Of course.

patrick-pelini-tweet

Mike Riley’s Balloon Watch

Our first sad balloon of the season.
Our first sad balloon of the season.

Our Score Prediction

We’re starting to run out of Hollywood Bvld Spider-Men to star in these.

NUMBERS TO RATIONALLY DISCUSS WITH YOUR FRIENDS
(We’re not to depression levels… yet.)

2.8: Call Wisconsin lucky, call the refs blind, but no matter which way you shake it, the Badgers have averaged less than three penalties per game this season. They put up goose eggs in their games against Akron and Iowa so getting a single flag thrown on them for all of five yards isn’t that big of a stretch. Meanwhile, the Huskers were penalized just twice for 10 yards in their cleanest performance of the year. HOWEVER, THAT NO-CALL ON THIRD DOWN IN OVERTIME IS STILL BULLSHIT.

32: Wisconsin’s advantage in total yardage. They outgained the Huskers 337 to 305 on the evening. It would have been only a seven yard advantage for the Badgers had the Huskers found the end zone in OT.

12: Believe it or not, the Huskers actually moved up in Ed Johnson‘s book following their first loss of the season. Last week, Johnson, the Assistant Sports Editor at the Albuquerque Journal, had Nebraska slotted at 14, their lowest ranking among AP voters.

16: The Huskers’ new low ranking in the AP Poll is brought to you by Tom Murphy from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette who dropped the Nebraska from 10  down to 16.

-5: DPE’s total rushing yardage under Mike Riley on 11 carries. (That’s -0.45 ypc.) If you add his freshman year into the mix, his career rushing numbers jump up to 5 yards on 16 tries. I know HCMR likes the jet sweep but maybe we can put it on the shelf for a game or three?

37.5%: Tommy’s completion percentage. He was 12 for 31 on the day with the Badgers clawing down 10 of those incompletions. Might not be a bad idea to use a few of these bad boys in practice next week so Tommy can get used to throwing around flailing arms.

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It’s Time For a Happy Little Win: Here’s Your Wisconsin Pep Talk

Ask yourself this.

Did you really, like, really, really think the Huskers would be undefeated and the 7th ranked team in the nation heading into the Wisconsin game?

If the answer is yes, congrats. You might be qualified to be an expert contributor to this site. Our preseason predictions for the Huskers were nothing but Ws… until things potentially go off the rails next week in Columbus.

But let’s focus on tonight in Madison.

This is game is exactly what we all wanted. The only way it could be any better is if Wisconsin wasn’t already softened up by Michigan and Ohio State. Taking down an unbeaten (and surely top 5) team would quiet any complaints about the Huskers’ weak schedule. Still, joining the Wolverines and Buckeyes in the elite club of Badger pummelers isn’t too shabby.

The Huskers are long overdue for a win against Wisconsin and there’s no better place to do it than their home turf.

On a Saturday night.

On Bob Ross’ birthday.

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The greatest American painter who ever lived would have turned 74 today. While I never saw him celebrate a victory by his college football team, there’s no doubt he would have been a hip hip hooray kind of guy. Then he’d go right back to being the chillest rascal who ever lived.

Is it going to be disappointing in the unlikely event that the Huskers lose? Hell yes. Will the Earth stop spinning? Only for a few days.

Until that happens though, let’s enjoy this one as much as possible.

Husker Nation is living the dream right now and there’s no reason for one game to turn things into a nightmare season.

The deck is going to stacked against the Big Red in Camp Randall Stadium but do you know who’s going to be standing strong on the Nebraska sideline like a happy little tree refusing to buckle during a mighty storm?

Mike Riley.

By now we should all accept the fact that, like Bob Ross, Riley is completely unflappable. Granted, an errant YOLObomb is a little more severe than a happy accident but there’s nothing he hasn’t seen before. If the shit hits the fan we can rest easy knowing he’s not going to lose his. And that’s going to make a huge difference this time around.

Things might get a little hairy but we gotta let the game play out for a full 60 minutes, especially if we want to get to the part where the Huskers have been owning the last 15.

Nebraska wins this one 26-20. GBR.

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