Tag Archives: scott frost

Sunday Morning Hot Takes: Troy

Does losing to Troy suck?

Yes.

Am I mad about losing to Troy?

Eh, not really. 

It feels weird to type that because any and every Husker loss is supposed to be an end of the world gut punch but this year feels different, even if it starts out with a big pair of scarlet L’s that should have been W’s. 

It’s 11:45pm and I’ve spent the last hour charting Husker wins and losses because that’s what you do when you’re old. You make spreadsheets on a Saturday night and you’re happy about it because it means you didn’t have to go anywhere. 

Going from today all the way back to the year 2000, the Huskers have lost 85 games under five different coaches. At this point what’s the big deal about chalking up another loss? Granted, 85 losses is such an unbelievably high number that I was convinced Excel’s auto sum feature was lying to me. I added up nearly 20 years of losses by hand twice only to discover that Excel was right on the money when it spat out the brutal truth.

To put this another way, this year’s freshman class at Dear Old Nebraska U has been alive to experience 85 losses. When I stepped on campus as a freshman, the Huskers had amassed all of 40 in my lifetime. When I stepped off campus five years later, that loss total had grown to 46 but they also picked up three National Championships during that stretch and changed head coaches for the first time in 25 years. 

What does all this mean?

It means that the latest crop of Huskers fans have never known a team to be good in the sense that us old-timers have.

During the game at our watch site, I had the slightly depressing epiphany that I’m officially old enough to be old. It hit me when the youngest Husker fan at our table replied with a Keanu level “Whoa” when he learned I attended college back in 90s. I felt like my grandpa spinning yarns about life before television as I explained to the kid there was indeed a time when the Huskers didn’t lose. “We didn’t have cell phones or email addresses but goddamnit the Huskers were good.”  

By the time I was finished, the kid was in such awe that his breakfast pizza with gluten-free crust was left dangling from his mouth. 

No matter how this season shakes out, I think the best thing us olds can do is keep an optimistic front for the youngins that the Huskers will eventually find a way to get better. They have to. We finally landed the one coach who knows our wild and weird culture better than anyone and if we turn on him before he has a chance to get rolling we might as well disband the football program. 

It’s ride or die time, homies. 

Random (and Potentially Unpopular) Opinion:

This week’s Tunnel Walk was set to Let Me Clear My Throat. If we want to exorcise this team of all its past demons, then we need to delete the definitive song from the Mike Riley era off the stadium playlist. Sorry, Dj Kool.

Troy Summed Up in one Tweet: 

Larry the Cable Guy: Voice of Reason 

ScoFroFroYo Watch:

Imma paint a little picture for this week’s ScoFroFroYo Watch.

Hours have passed since the final whistle against Troy. The roar of 90,000 Husker fans inside Memorial Stadium has long faded away. The only sound to break the ghostly silence is a big red bus idling outside the stadium. (For the purposes of this story, the bus is large enough to fit the entire team and Coach Frost is pulling double duty as the driver.) 

An unmarked stadium door opens and a dejected Husker team begins to file out and head towards the bus with their heads hanging low and eyes focused on the ground. Coach Frost is the last one to board and slides into the driver’s seat. He takes a quick glance at his team but he doesn’t make eye contact. He only looks at them out of his obligation to not leave anyone behind.

He slips the bus into gear and it jumps forward to begin the journey home.

After a few minutes, the dejected player’s faces begin to brighten as they see the glow of a TCBY sign off in the distance. The anticipation builds as the bus moves closer and reaches its crescendo when Coach Frost flips the turn signal to indicate a stop for yogurt is imminent. 

He begins to turn the wheel and the bus responds accordingly. Then, with the deftness that only an option QB who led his team to a National Championship could have, he jukes the bus out of the impending turn into the TCBY parking lot and continues on its original course. 

As the players look out the window and watch the TCBY fade off into the distance, Coach Frost clinically looks at his team via the rear view mirror and says, “TCBY is for winners.” 


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Know Your Opponent: Colorado

A few years from now when we look back on this game, we’re not going to remember the start of the Scott Frost era being rained out.

We’re going to remember the Scott Frost era beginning with a vintage Big 8 style ass whoopin’ of the Colorado Buffaloes.

Here’s everything you need to know about Colorado in handy listicle form…

Remember them? Apparently Colorado still has a football team. They play in the PAC 12 these days which makes sense considering Boulder is 1,000 miles from the Pacific Ocean.

Coach: Ditch digging must not pay like it use to because they found someone to take this job.

Offense: They scored more points than Colorado State last week and their fans have been bragging about it so they can’t be that good.

Quarterback: No idea but I did spend the last 45 minutes watching Ndamukong Suh truck Cody Hawkins over and over and over again and it’s still hilarious.

Defense: Colorado State hung 13 points on them so they should pretty be a sieve against the Huskers. (And looking up that score is the most research I’m doing for this preview.)

Famous Alumni: That kick return bro who was a better skier than a football player and Kordell Stewart, the greatest Colorado QB to go 0-3 in his career against the Huskers and lose his job as the Pittsburgh Steelers’ starting QB to Tommy Maddox.

Tommy Maddox is one of three people on Earth to have won an XFL Championship and the Super Bowl. His football skills are so sought after, he now coaches high school baseball.

Celebrity Score Prediction: Comedian Nick Allen says…

Nebraska 62, Colorado 36. Revenge. This one is for Frank.

Catch Nick Saturday night at the Comedy Loft in Lincoln’s Haymarket.


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An Open Letter to the Football Gods

Dear Football Gods, 

I gotta hand it to you. I didn’t see this one coming.

After having a front row seat to witness all the crap you’ve been putting the Huskers through since November 23, 2001, it should have been as obvious as a pass to a wide open tight end that you’d have a trick up your collective sleeve. But never did I think you’d flip all the way back to the earliest pages of the Playbook of the Gods and channel Zeus almighty and dial up some good old fashioned lightning during the biggest moment in Husker football in a generation. 

There will never be a more Nebraskan photo than this one from the Omaha World-Herald. Game halted due to lightning? Let’s all gather ’round the metal flag poles.

It is with no small amount of admiration when I humbly say that saving your latest spiteful act until the absolute last second was a baller move befitting of deities of your stature. It was the glistening cherry placed atop a towering turd sundae of disappointment that’s been growing taller and taller year by agonizing year.

Saturday night was supposed to be a transcendent event in Husker history. One that brought together friends and family from near and far for a monumental changing of the guard. After so many brutal years with a string of coaches who turned out to be nincompoops in their own special way, we finally landed the true chosen one who is destined to right the ship. 

Instead Football Gods, you Charlie Brown’d Husker Nation when you so cruelly yanked the football away and left us all sitting on our collective asses in the rain and at watch parties around the country wondering what the hell happened.

The gathering we hosted at our place here in Los Angeles was setting up to be a legendary evening. Some of LA’s finest GI natives were in attendance, the beer brats were grilled to perfection, and all that was missing was a can of Cornhusker whoop ass that never had a chance to be opened.

Oh, but you made sure we saw that can when you dangled it in front of our faces during that glorious Tunnel Walk.

The LA Chapter of the Wasmer Wildcats Alumni Group trying to make the most out of a bummer of a night.

Seriously, Santa Claus could go to an orphanage on Christmas Eve with a sleigh full of presents and force the orphans watch a three hour show and tell of all the gifts he was bringing to kids with real homes and it wouldn’t have been as big a dick move as canceling a Husker game. 

I’m onto your game, Football Gods. I know this was just one last crucible for Husker Nation to bear before closing the books on the nearly two decade long penance you’ve forced us to suffer through to atone for whatever it was that we did to incur your wrath. 

And trust me, the irony is not lost that you’ve seen fit to finally lift this dark cloud in time for next opponent to be the one that started this wretched curse in the first place. 

Thank you in advance for allowing the first game in the Scott Frost era to be one where he sends the Colorado Buffalos running off a cliff. 

Your pal, 

Todd

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Why I Became a Fan of Scott Frost the Coach

This is a story about my buddy Seamus.

He’s the kid standing next to me in the photo below. It was snapped while we were tailgating before the game against UCLA at the Rose Bowl back in 2012.

I took him and his dad and a couple other buddies to the game so they could experience Husker football in person. It was the least I could do after years of droning on about the Big Red during our Sunday morning bike rides. For one friend, I promised him that if he went to the game, I’d never mention the Huskers again. That deal is still (mostly) intact to this day.

But let’s get back to Seamus.

Seamus was born and raised in West Hollywood. The most experience he’s ever had with Nebraska was finding it on map in school but it was no accident that he was wearing a number 7 jersey for his first Husker game.

I custom ordered it for him so that he could surprise his friend Scott Frost the next time he saw him.

Yep. My buddy Seamus is friends with Scott.

When that photo was taken, they’d already been tight for years. Seamus’ uncle was a longtime defensive coach for the Oregon Ducks.  A couple times every season, Seamus and his dad would make the trip up to Eugene to catch a game.

In 2009, as you may remember, the Ducks hired an up and coming coach named Scott Frost and put him in charge of the wide receivers. That season, Seamus happened to be a receiver on his Pop Warner team.

When Scott found out about this after a practice Seamus attended, he pushed back whatever was next on his schedule and stayed on the field to give him some one-on-one coaching.  For the next half hour, he ran Seamus through the same the drills that he watched the Ducks perform during their practice. Footwork, blocking, catching, it was a real practice and Scott treated him just like one his players.

When I read the email from Seamus’ dad that recapped meeting Scott, I about fell out of my chair.

Seamus made friends with the new receivers coach when we were up in Eugene. I guess he’s a Nebraska guy. Have you ever heard of Scott Frost? 

If I recall correctly, I believe my reply included every 1997 Husker highlight I could find on YouTube.

A short while later, Seamus’ dad came down with a full blown case of Scott Frost Fever.

You never told me about him. He took down Peyton Manning! Dude played in the NFL for years. Bill Walsh and Tom Osborne were his coaches! 

The best part about  Seamus’ coaching session with Scott was that it was far from a one time deal. Every time Seamus was up in Eugene or the Ducks would be down in LA prepping for the Rose Bowl, Scott would stay after practice and run him through drills. It got to the point where Seamus basically had a private coach.

Here in LA, kids have private coaches for every activity they do and the fact that Seamus had Scott working him out is the kind of thing that starts a coaching arms race among parents.

Coaching Seamus was not something Scott had to. It was something he wanted to do simply because he loves coaching. Every time I’d get an update on their latest practice session, it made me like Scott even more.

Seamus and Scott before the 2012 Rose Bowl.

If he can have that much enthusiasm for coaching a random kid who showed up to watch practice, I can’t help but imagine how he’s molding the Huskers into a completely different team than the one we’ve seen the past few years. Husker Nation is going to be in for a treat on Saturday.

Seamus has never given me a straight answer if he ever wore his Husker jersey to an Oregon practice and he certainly didn’t text me a photo of Scott marveling at how good he looked in scarlet and cream. Whenever I’d ask him about it, he’d quickly change the subject to Star Wars and our conversation would be off in a new direction.

I have a hunch that moment can still happen though.

Seamus hung up his shoulder pads after his freshman year to focus on music. He’s grown up to become an incredible drummer and will be graduating high school in June. His band is already playing gigs in and out of town and  record labels are starting to get curious about them.

In a few years, if you see a hot new band playing Pinnacle Bank Arena and the drummer happens to be wearing a number 7 Husker jersey, that’s probably my buddy Seamus behind the kit.

Grab a picture for me, will you?


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November, you were the worst sports month of my life

Prologue: A story in two photos.

January 3, 2002

One of these guys grew up to be a brain surgeon. The other thought dying his hair red was brilliant idea.

For 15 years, this photo of my brother and myself represented the happiest moment of my life as a sports fan.

Thanks to a ridiculous string of miracles and some computer magic, a Husker season that had been torpedoed by the Colorado Buffalos was salvaged from the depths of despair as the Big Red was chosen to head west and face off against the Miami Hurricanes for the BCS National Championship.

After a couple days showing my brother and his buddies who road tripped out from Lincoln all the best that my still newish city of Los Angeles had to offer (we feasted like kings at Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles and got to see a dancer at Jumbo’s Clown Room beat the ever loving crap out of a disrespectful patron who dared to tip her by snapping a quarter at her head) it was time for the main event.

And there we were. In the second row, straddling the 50 on the Huskers’ side of the field. My  brother scored our tickets through his roommate who was a student trainer on the team. While we had hopes, we really didn’t believe our randomly assigned face value tickets were going to be the best seats in the house until we found ourselves sitting eye ball to eye ball with the prominently displayed Sears Trophy that would soon belong to the Huskers.

And then they had to play the damn game.

November 1, 2017

12 years after I tried talking her into stealing a tub of spicy mustard at our first game together we were at game 7 of the World Series. 

Cut to 15 years later. Somehow I’ve managed to become a semi-respectable adult who married a diehard Dodger fan. Since we first started dating in 2005, we’ve been to nearly 200 games together. The previous four seasons were spent in our seats in Section 2 watching Dodger playoff runs come to disappointing finishes.

But this season was different.

The Boys in Blue slugged it out to the end of the line and Dodger fans were treated to November baseball for the first time ever in the form of game 7 of the World Series.

The night before, we spent our Halloween at the ballpark watching the Dodgers deliver a game that was all trick and no treat to level the World Series at three games a piece. Contrary to the reputation of the average Dodger fan, Section 2 remained full an hour after the final pitch. There were hugs, high fives, and group photos. When you spend so many seasons sitting next to the same people, they become your summer family.

That energy carried over the next day to game 7. Imagine if the Huskers ever get the chance to play for a Natty in Lincoln and you have an idea what the scene was like in Dodger Stadium. Every playoff game up until this moment was just a warmup for what was going to be the grand finale to a dream season. The stadium and city were ready to celebrate.

And then they had to play the damn game.

November 4 – Northwestern

I snap out of my Dodger induced depression long enough to entertain some friends and a neighbor who’s a Northwestern alum, which causes my wife to break out the fancy snacks and put me on my best behavior. Up until that crushing game 7 loss, I’ve never experienced a Dodger defeat that felt anywhere close the pain of a Husker loss (back when losing was a rarity, of course). The fact that game 7 mirrored the Huskers’ loss in the Rose Bowl only added to the misery. Being down 5-0 in the second inning brought back a lot of memories of seeing the Huskers down 34-0 at halftime. Being there to see your favorite teams play for a championship is truly a special, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity but seeing them get shellacked will leave some very deep and painful memories.

In this game, Northwestern added to the pain by gashing the Blackshirts with a few option runs straight out of TO’s playbook. Still, the Huskers were in control until they weren’t. The shit really hit the fan in overtime as Wildcats started with the ball and proceeded to run it down Nebraska’s throat. 7 rushes. 25 yards. One game winning touchdown. And one stunned neighbor after I had to step outside and scream for a moment.

November 11 – Minnesota

Breakfast of Champions for the worst Husker game of my life.

There’s no way to sugarcoat this one. This was the worst Husker game that has ever been played in my lifetime. Sure, you can argue that Texas Tech or Kansas were worse but having a bad (by Minnesota’s own low standards) Gopher team hang half a hundred on the Huskers takes the cake. Or in this case it had me taking down enough donuts to fill a freshly dug grave that will be the final resting place of this dreadful season. Out of all 19 losses in Mike Riley’s three years at the helm, this one hurt the worst because the team flat out quit against a mediocre opponent. By the final whistle, I was laying on the floor in a semi-conscious sugar coma wondering what Husker Nation did to deserve this misery.

November 18 – Penn State 

This place used to be full of happy Husker fans.

To try and break out of the funk and get things back to the good ol’ days, some friends and I make a plan to meet up at the bar that has been Hollywood’s Husker headquarters since 2010. Including ourselves, the number of Husker fans in attendance peaked at 7 and our table was the only one that stuck around until the bitter end. That glimmer of hope in the first quarter was a welcome sight but this game was so ugly that even Ohio State’s meanest fan offered her sincere condolences.

November 24 – Iowa 

Seven fans the week before is no reason to open a bar early on Black Friday so the three of us who are suddenly without a place to take our lumps in public head over to Barney’s Beanery where we are outnumbered by a table of real-life Central Florida fans who, by the basis of arriving before us, got to control the sound on the TVs so we got to enjoy watching the Huskers get taken to the woodshed in silence.

But that’s OK because by the time you read this, we’ll have taken their coach.

Bring on a frosty December.


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Ten Questions with UCF Fan @AustinHeff

Welcome to the greatest weekend of the season, Husker fans.

It’s bye week!

There’s not even a chance the Huskers are going to lose another game.

And because we all need a second favorite team to root for so we can have a reason to avoid mowing the lawn for another week, I interviewed Austin Heffernan, a die hard UCF fan to get the scoop on the Knights football program and their currently undefeated season thanks in no small part to their upstart coach Scott Frost. (You may have heard of him.)

Speaking of Scott, I met Austin on Twitter the day he was hired away from Oregon. Somehow, we found each other’s tweets and traded some thoughts about Scott. (There’s a good chance I told him to make sure UCF takes good care of Nebraska’s next head coach. )

Anyway, Austin is a huge UCF fan and cheers for his other local teams in Florida. He’s the kind of ride or die sports fan any team would be proud to have. He was nice enough to answer all my dumb questions with some valuable insight about the Knights so you’ll enjoy watching UCF (and Scott Frost) take on Navy Saturday afternoon.

1. Along with being a UCF fan long before the Knights cracked the top 25, you’re a fan of your local teams across the sports spectrum which is something of a rarity these days as sports fans aren’t as tied to geography as they were before. As background, how would you describe your fandom and what it’s like to be such a dedicated fan of Florida teams? (For the record, I was pulling for the Marlins when they went on their late summer run.)

Austin: Growing up in Miami was really fun. In my younger elementary school days, I was blessed with nationally dominant Miami Hurricanes teams that set the city on fire.  [Ed note: Husker fans remember the that 2001 team. Too bad you’re too young to have missed those 80s teams.] Rumor has it that those Hurricanes players from the early 2000s were skipping Dolphins players in the club. We then had the Marlins make their run in 2003 and the Heat in 2006 and also again in 2012/2013. Miami definitely has the most diverse sports fan base in terms of ethnic backgrounds. The best picture I can paint of Miami sports fandom is pots and pans in musical rhythmic unison while celebrating.

Since I moved to Orlando, I’ve been a part of the soccer movement and have attended a handful of Orlando City Soccer games. We have the 2nd highest attendance in the MLS despite not having made the playoffs in the 3 years we’ve been in the MLS. That has been a fun experience and celebrating a scored goal is unlike anything I’ve been a part of as a sports fan.

2. Florida certainly has its share of college football teams. What was it that made you pick UCF, or did the Knights pick you?

Austin: I decided to not attend an American school and I got into a school in Rome, Italy at the last minute. UCF still had open rolling applications and decided to roll with them instead. I was still rooting for the Canes up until the 3rd home game of my freshman year, where we beat Boston College by 40+ points. We ended up winning the C-USA championship that year and that season cemented my passion for the University and all of their sports teams.

3. In 2013, UCF went 12-1 and ended their season by beating Baylor in the Fiesta Bowl and finishing in the AP Top 10. Then in 2014 they when 9-4 and followed that up with an 0-12 season in 2015. Last year Scott Frost got things turned around and the Knights posted a 6-7 record. Now, they’re 5-0 and ranking in the top 20. What’s this roller coaster ride been like for you and how does it to have been on it the whole time?

Austin: The 12-1 year, or as we call it, “the dream season,” was my senior year at UCF. That year was so incredible and the campus was electric all the time. If you would’ve told me before I went to UCF that we would win a BCS game while I was there, I would’ve recommended you take me to the local mental hospital called Lakeside. The following year we won the AAC again but it took some miraculous plays, including the miracle we needed to clinch a share of the conference championship.

And then we hit rock bottom. Our head football coach at the time, George O’Leary, was acting as the school athletic director at the time. His attention wasn’t fully set on the team, and the team suffered mightily. Following that year, the Lincoln Legend himself, Scott Frost, made his way to UCF. Since we hired Frost, the football team’s confidence appeared to have instantly jumped to the ceiling. Since then, I’ve had no complaints and have been following along for this fantastic ride that I never want to end.

4. Two things Nebraska fans take a lot of pride in are a sellout streak that’s been going since 1962 and having a reputation as being the “greatest fans in college football.” How would you describe the UCF fanbase? Are there a lot of dedicated, hardcore fans like you, or is the bulk of the fanbase more casual?  And how has the the momentum and energy been this season? Is the bandwagon running out of room?

Austin: The fan base is really young. The school opened up in 1963 so our alumni base isn’t as strong as most other schools. Orlando is mostly a Gator town, which makes it tough to get local non-students and non-alumni into the stadium. Last year, following a winless season, I was surprised at how many people were in the stands at all the home games. It made me proud to be a Knight fan to see everyone screaming at the top of their lungs despite the product the team produced the year prior. [Ed note: Just like Nebraska!]

5. 
The UCF program started out as a Division III team in 1979 and steadily worked its way up to Division !. What are some traditions, both for the program and during games, that the rest of the world should know about? 

Austin: My favorite tradition is Spirit Splash. Every Friday of homecoming week, students gather around the fountain called the Reflecting Pond in the middle of campus and there’s a pep rally of sorts. Then a countdown starts, and all the students gathered around the Reflecting Pond run into it. A video will explain it better than I can.

6. What’s a game day like at Spectrum Stadium? How would you describe the atmosphere? And I gotta know, how did Zombie Nation’s song Kernkraft 400 become an anthem?

Austin: Tailgating at UCF is my favorite hobby. The whole campus is wet and you can bring an open container anywhere, so it makes for a great atmosphere.  I actually have no idea how Kernkraft 400  became our pre-kickoff anthem but I just found myself joining in my freshman year back in 2010.

 7. A lot of Nebraska fans will probably be spending their Husker free Saturday watching UCF take on Navy. What should they know about the Knights’ offense and defense in terms of attitude and identity and who are some of the key playmakers they should keep an eye on? 


Austin:
McKenzie Milton, our quarterback, has progressed in a way that I didn’t think was possible. He has brought life to the passing game, so I would definitely keep an eye on him. Tre’Quan Smith is probably our best wide receiver. I would also pay attention to our defense. A couple of players I would pay attention to are Mike Hughes, a cornerback, and Shaquem Griffin, a linebacker. Those two are both playmakers and will be huge factors in stopping Navy’s triple option.

8. Nebraska fans have prior experience with UCF when Dante Culpepper came to Lincoln in 1997 and roasted the Nebraska defense (we call them the Blackshirts) for 318 passing yards in what turned out to be a very close (by Nebraska standards) 24 – 38 loss. (Btw, Scott Frost put up 120 passing yards and ran for another 50.) Who are some of UCF’s other legends that Nebraska fans should be aware of? 

Austin: Blake Bortles led us to a Fiesta Bowl win so he’s probably going to have a statue on campus at some point. [Ed note: OMG.] Coach George O’Leary put us in the national spotlight by winning 4 conference championships during his tenure. Kevin Smith finished the highest in the school’s history in Heisman voting at 8th place. He had insane rushing numbers and is our best running back in school history. Brandon Marshall, the wide receiver who now plays for the New York Giants, is probably the best professional player to come out of UCF. Another great NFL pro was Asante Samuel.


9.
What would you like to say to Nebraska fans (or Florida or Tennessee fans) who have their eye on Scott Frost? Do you think he’ll be temped to jump to a new program or will he stay put and keep building what he started?

Austin: This is a conversation UCF fans have been having frequently lately. It’s impossible to know at this point what the man is thinking. All that I know is that I will be OK with whatever decision he makes. He’s done more for this program than I ever expected him to do. I will always admire Frost, whether it is here or at another institution.

10. Finally, what’s your prediction for Saturday? Do you think the Knights will be able to handle Navy’s option attack and a hostile road environment? Oh, and what did you think of Scott Frost playing QB on the scout team?

Austin: I think we have the personnel to stop the triple option and the offensive weapons to put up enough points to win. However, playing on the road is its own animal but Frost has our kids focused. Also, Navy’s Coach Ken Niumatalolo has his team playing as probably the most disciplined team in the country.

I’m predicting a 24-17 win for UCF.


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Husker Valentines

Did you forget Valentine’s Day is this Sunday?

Not to worry, we have you covered with an assortment of Husker themed valentines. There are a dozen to chose from and dare we say they are perfect for expressing your true feelings to your Big Red sweetheart.

Feel free to poach whatever valentines you like… right click, screenshot, whatever floats your boat. You can also find a gallery on the Big Red Fury Facebook page that is perfect for sharing.

Tommy Armstrong ValentineThere’s no bolder move than chucking up a #YOLObomb when you only need three yards. If you want to go big this Valentine’s Day, Tommy Armstrong has you covered.

Jordan Westerkamp Valentine
Jordan Westerkamp is a receiver, get it? Yes, this is our version of the Choo-Choo Chose Me.

And while you’re here, check out our new Westerkamp highlight reel.

Josh Banderas Valentine
Perfect for when Cupid steals your heart… or your bike.

Michael Rose Ivey Valentine
Michael Rose-Ivy’s valentine will hit you like 1/8th of a ton of bricks.

Mikale Wilbon Valentine
Remember that time Mikale Wilbon actually got to play and he looked really good?

VINCENT VALENTINE
Vincent Valentine is ready to help you erase any doubts about commitment issues and let your boo know that you’re in it for the long haul.

Mike Riley Valentine
This digital Valentine was made with all-natural, allergen-free pixels. 

Nate Gerry Valentine
Unlike Nate Gerry, you won’t get ejected for delivering this fierce, yet perfectly legal valentine. 

Sam Foltz Valentine
Step aside Cupid, Thunderleg Foltz is delivering this one.

Scott Frost Valentine
It’s not stalking if you know it’s true destiny.

Tommie Fraizer Valentine
Sorry, Tommie. We had to do it.

Bo Pelini Valentine
Relationships are a tricky business and sometimes there’s a person you just can’t quit.

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Did Tommy Armstrong Roll to a Press Conference on an NCAA Violation?

Tommy Armstrong sent Twitter aflutter and into confusion when he took the podium astride a self-balancing board at the Huskers’ weekly press conference on Monday.

Despite the World-Herald referring to Tommy’s gadget as both a hoverboard AND a Segway, it is neither. Until a catchy name is found for this decade’s Razor Scooter, we’ll go ahead and keep calling it a self-balancing board. There are many of brands on the market but you can find one that adjust to your person at the Electric Rider.

A quick search of the internets tells us that Tommy’s gizmo is not a “Swagway,” (oh, you were so unintentionally close, OWH) which can be found at Modell’s for the bargain price of $399.99.

And while it cosmetically looks similar, Tommy’s wheels aren’t the ones listed on AliExpress for the low, low price of $208.00 (just lookout for that $99 shipping charge).

Based on the slew of photos and videos, it’s most likely that Tommy is rolling around on a Vengatti in the “Fire and Ice” series which boasts an MSRP of $649.99.

Here’s Tommy in action.

Now, watch this video from Dodgers super utility player Kike´ Hernandez.

Other than a slightly different deck, the two devices look identical all the way down to the LED side steering lights.

One look at Vengatti’s Twitter account and it’s obvious that they are in the “influencer” stage of building brand awareness ahead of the busy holiday shopping season. Seemingly anyone with the right amount of hair gel and enough social media followers is getting hooked up with a free set of wheels. You can get the latest updates on hoverboard technology from the Hoverboard Lab right here.

This is just a small sample of what you can expect if you follow Vengatti on Twitter…

And then there were these two tweets that stood out for their lack of spray tan.

According to Austin’s Twitter bio, in addition to being part of the University of Indiana’s class of 2018 and a fresh contender for most obnoxious guy on campus, he’s an “official promoter of Vengatti” which likely means he got a discount code, a few stickers and something to put on his resume.

If Lovey “As seen on season 14 of American Idol” James getting 13 retweets is enough to garner a free Vengatti, Tommy’s little press conference stunt is a total “Then Again Maybe I Won’t” moment for Ventgatti. It will easily rack up at least 100 times the exposure by the time Husker Nation gets distracted by the next shiny thing on social media.

With it getting harder for coaches, boosters and other nogoodniks to hook up college players with free cars, are self-balancing boards the next frontier for dolling out swag?

Let’s hope not.

And let’s hope Tommy and his teammates used some of their new stipend money to pay for their toys and not a credit card that came with a free cheeseburger down at the Student Union.

As someone who took until the early years of the 21st century to pay off a top-of-the-line VCR and 35mm camera bought back when Scott Frost was under center, I can say with reasonable authority that college years purchases don’t have much of a shelf life once you’re out in the real world.

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2015 Oregon Ducks Preview

This site did not get hacked. We really are running an Oregon preview.

With Oregon being the team that the majority of Husker Nation covets… what with their explosive offense, head coach in-waiting Scott Frost, and those fancy pants non-adidas uniforms, there’s no denying the Ducks are the cat’s pajamas so it makes perfect sense to give a glimpse of just how much greener the grass grows in Eugene.

Plus, there’s that whole thing about the Ducks being Mike Riley’s Oklahoma, K-State, Colorado, Miami, and Wisconsin rolled into one AND Oregon just happens to be the marquee non-conference match up for the next two years. And let’s not forget about this season’s common opponent Michigan State.

So, in an effort to help Husker Nation to decide if we should start quaking in our collective boots about next season, we enlisted the help of Jason Selby, a junior at the University of Oregon and a contributor to FishDuck.com, the go-to site for Oregon sports. (Think HuskerMax without the doomsday vibe in the message boards.)

Jason was kind enough to write a preview for us. Our only word of warning is read it at your own risk. If you think the Ducks are going to have a drop off following the end of the Marcus Mariota era, guess again. Like the Huskers of yore, they don’t have to rebuild. They just reload with fresh young talent.

Take it away Jason…

If you asked for my opinion on the Ducks offense coming into this season immediately after the brutal loss to Ohio State in the College Football Championship Game, I would have been concerned.  Losing Marcus Mariota made everything seem difficult again – fans were happy for him, but worried about the team.  Questions about who the quarterback was going to be formed a thick cloud over what was still a very talented offense to be.

The Spring Game on May 2 helped answer a lot of questions.  Long-time Mariota backup Jeff Lockie commanded the offense, throwing for 223 yards and three TD’s.  When asked after the game about Lockie’s performance, head coach Mark Heflrich said, “He played well.  As far as being ‘the guy,’ he has done everything right.  He has had an awesome spring.” Former Eastern Washington star QB Vernon Adams Jr. has graduated from his alma mater with a year of eligibility remaining, and is now officially a Duck. We’ll see how long Lockie can hold up at the top of the depth chart.
(UPDATE: Vernon Adams Jr. has been named Oregon’s week one starter.)

Jeff Lockie
With that #8 guy now in the NFL, Oregon’s offense could be helmed by longtime understudy Jeff Lockie. (Photo Credit – Kevin Cline)

Adams has been off limits to media and will remain so until he sees action on the field, which is in line with Oregon’s policy that no first year players (even if they’ve have years of experience) are allowed to speak to the press until they play. While his play making ability during fall camp has been impressive, Adams is self-admittedly behind Lockie when it comes to mastering Oregon’s complex playbook.

The Ducks get a dynamic scoring threat in Bralon Addison back from an ACL injury that caused him to miss the entire 2014 season.  Along with Addison, the Ducks have Byron Marshall, Devon Allen (hopeful to return from an ACL injury), Darren Carrington (suspended from the Championship game because of a positive marijuana test), Dwayne Stanford, and a slew of freshman talent that are sure to find roles in the offense throughout the season.

Heading into fall camp, Oregon’s high flying receiving corps was expected to complimented by a heavy run based attack but that plan hit a snag when it was announced that 5 star running back Thomas Tyner would be out for the season following a shoulder injury.

With Tyner out, sophomore Royce Freeman looks to retain his title of Oregon’s feature back which he rightfully earned after Tyner was out for a stretch during 2014. Freeman had an incredible freshman campaign (Pac-12 Offensive Freshman of the Year) that saw him run for 1,365 yards, and 18 TDs.

Royce Freeman
Sophomore running back Royce Freeman will again shoulder the load for the Ducks’ ground game. (Photo Credit – Craig Strobeck)

In a recent interview with FishDuck.com writer Daniel Kantor, Ducks linebacker Rodney Hardrick praised the Pac-12 freshman of the year: “He reminds me of some guys we played last season, not going to name any names.  He is such a great athlete; it is exciting to play against him every day.”

Look for red shirt freshman Tony Brooks-James to be Freeman’s top back up with Kani Benoit and possibly receiver Byron Marshall rounding out Oregon’s rotation of running backs by committee.

Even with Oregon’s 1b running back out for the season, the amount of talent that this offense has is enough to make coaches in the Pac-12 dizzy.

Oregon Defense

 Last season, the Ducks gave up close to 430 yards per game, including a total of 2,481 yards on the ground.  However, the defense finished at No.31 in the country with 23.6 points per game.  With an offense that averaged over 46 points per game, the defense just needed to survive in order to win.

The disparity caused by the actual amount of yards given up, compared to the amount of points allowed, is due to the opportunities that the defense created for itself.  Much like Florida State did in the Rose Bowl, teams marched down the field on the Ducks, but made one mistake, leading to a very costly turnover.

This year’s defense will have to deal with replacing massive defensive end Arik Armstead, who was drafted with the No.17 pick by the San Francisco 49ers.  Very talented senior DeForest Buckner, along with 5-star recruit Canton Kaumatule look to solidify a defensive line that underachieved on many levels last season.

DeForest Buckner
DeForest Buckner probably doesn’t get a lot of run, DeForest, run heckles. (Photo Credit – Kevin Cline)

Losing All-American defensive back Ifo Ekpre-Olomu will be tough for this team to overcome.  Guys have been stepping up from all over, and it’s still unclear who will steal the show.  Charles Nelson, who many got to know for his play making ability as a freshman wide receiver last year, has made the switch to defensive back to help the depleted unit.

Charles Nelson
Charles Nelson-  Oregon’s version of DPE. (Photo Credit – Kevin Cline)

The defensive woes last year came from the inconsistent play of the linebackers.  This was made very evident in the thrashing that Buckeyes running back Ezekiel Elliott handed out to the tune of 246 yards, and three TD’s.  Returning linebackers Joe Walker, Danny Mattingly, Tyson Coleman, Christian French, and the aforementioned Hardrick must work on securing more tackles and giving up less big plays.

Joe Walker
Oregon linebacker Joe Walker. Not to be confused with Nebraska’s Joe Walker. (Photo Credit – Kevin Cline)

Much like the offense, the defense has the players it needs to be successful – it’s all about finding the right combination.  In an interview with Chantel Jennings of ESPN.com, defensive coordinator Don Pellum said, “We lost some terrific players, but I think overall in terms of depth and experience, we are far ahead of where we were a year ago.”

I’m Buying the Ducks in 2015

 I am betting big on the Ducks this year.  I expect the Ducks to reel in 11 wins during the regular season, with the most difficult match up being at Michigan State week 2.  A late season match up against USC comes at the perfect time, as the Ducks will look to cement its top dog status in the Pac-12.

The immense amount of talent that this team has will certainly be exciting to watch.  It will be interesting watching the offense operate without Marcus Mariota, but there comes a time where every program must move on.  This will be another exciting year for the Oregon Ducks.

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Our Top 25 Google Search Terms

How do you Google?

Thanks to the wonderful powers of magic, it’s easy to see exactly how some of you have used the Google when it comes to finding this little corner of the Husker internet. Most searches were bland and normal, some were a little crazy, and a few are worth immortalizing.

These are the top 25 Google searches that have lead people to Big Red Fury.

25. husker fanny pack

Husker Fanny Pack
Pity the fool who got one of these for Christmas.

24. scott frost girlfriend

Don’t know who Scott is currently dating but on more than a few occasions I did witness him cruising for chicks in his Wood River letterman jacket at the Conestoga Mall way back in the day.

23. mike riley affair

Wait… what? Does Coach Riley have a secret sidepiece a la Frank Solich?

22. tim miles dumb

Tim Miles

After this week’s loss against Iowa, Coach Miles is probably more frustrated than dumb.

21. wisconsion badger racoon selfie

Have you ever seen so much confusion in only four words? There may be two Os in Goose but there’s only one O in Wisconsin. We’ll just leave it at that.

20. selfie de old yeller

Not to sound like a broken record but have you ever seen so much confusion in only four words?

19. faux pelini knock knock joke about new head coach

If you have to turn to the Google to find a knock-knock joke that was made on the Twitter, how are you able to even dress yourself in the morning? This search was so bizarre Faux had to know about it.

Faux Pelini Knock Knock Joke Twitter

18. nebraska cornhuskers suck

Hey now.

17. dirk chatelin writer omaha world herals paper

From this point forward, the World-Herald will now be referred to as the World-Herals and Dirk Chatelin is the evil twin of Dirk Chatelain.

16.  usc song girls at the holiday bowl

15. holiday bowl usc cheerleaders

14. usc song girls holiday bowl

13. holiday bowl 2014 song girls

12. song girls usc nebraska

When in doubt, boobs in sweaters get the page views. Every time. Thank you for reading this far. Song Girls are your reward.

USC SONG GIRLS

USC SONG GIRL DIVING BOARD

11. analysis of the bad news bears

Bad News Bears - Open Liquor in the Car

Uh OK. Through the lens of 2015, the original Bad News Bears is a wonderful time capsule, capturing a bygone era where causal racism, drunk driving, and beating kids in public were all socially acceptable. Its underlying theme of valuing fun over competition and doing the best you can remains true to this day.

10. forum huskermax www tunnel walk shame

After a long season, all Husker sites start looking alike.

9. gif jake cotton knocked over by jedi husker

Poor guy will never live that down.

8. which husker player recorded bo meeting

That’s a secret we’d all love to know. Maybe the Omaha World-Herals’ Dirk Chatelin will tell us some day.

7. bear riding a shark

Bear Riding a Shark

Seriously. This one warms the cockles of my heart so much.

6. mike riley gotta make dur

Mike Riley gotta make dur what? Big bucks? Playoffs? Dur-licious tacos?

5. mike riley is full of shit

I respectfully disagree. Coach Riley seems like a very nice and sincere guy.

4. is ron brown going to be able to stay coaching at ne after peleni let go

You very easily could have been reading a list of the top 25 Google searches for Ron Brown. This was by far the best.

3. does bo pelini hate dirk chatelain

Think we all know the answer to that one.

2. is bo pelini on the cusp

How little did we know.

1. peace out bitches pelini

What do you think Pelini is up to right now? Not trolling. Just curious.

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