Tag Archives: shawn eichorst

Welcome to Your First Weekend as a Free Man, Shawn Eichorst

Hey Shawn,

Congrats on your first day of funemployment!

How is it treating you so far? Did you muster up the courage to get out of bed? Don’t feel ashamed if you didn’t. There is nothing wrong with isolating yourself in the darkness during moments of despair. Judge Judy and Steve Harvey can make great company. Plus, daytime TV is a great reminder that no matter how bad things can be, they can always be worse. At least you weren’t on the wrong end of a paternity test, right?

I imagine making national news for being unexpectedly fired has to sting a little. As much as you feel the urge to do something drastic, you need to fight it with all your strength. Keeping a low profile and maintaining your cool will work wonders for you in the long term.

Trust me, the last thing you want to do is get arrested for egging Memorial Stadium in the early hours of gameday, or end up on someone’s Snapchat face down in a toilet at O’Rourke’s Tavern.

Your first weekend as a free man should be all about staying invisible. (From the accounts I’ve read about your firing, this should be easy for you.) Even before you proved it with last week’s blunder of giving up the Black Friday game, Nebraskans have always considered you an outsider to the point that there were rumblings in the deep, dark corners of Huskermax that you were really a sleeper cell agent secretly working for Wisconsin.

And that leads to an important detail about Nebraskans that you may have overlooked. If the number one sport in Nebraska is Husker football, coming in at a very close second is the sport of gossip. Behind that pleasant exterior of the average Nebraskan lurks a devious desire to know all the dirt about about anyone and everyone.

When I said stay invisible two paragraphs ago, that means don’t leave your house. Even a just a couple hours out in the yard is long enough to spawn half a dozen “Sad Shawn Eichorst Doing Yard Work” Twitter accounts. If there’s a home improvement project you need to tackle, buy whatever you need online. While your local Home Depot will be a ghost town on Saturday afternoon, all it takes is one set of eyes for the world to know that Shawn was in buying some spackle.

Instead, I’d suggest these first days in isolation be spent watching Netflix. Go on a bender. You could be the first person in the world to watch Daredevil season 1, Jessica Jones, Daredevil season 2, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and The Defenders in one sitting. That would be legendary stuff, man.

Or, you can start organizing all the Nebraska swag you’ve acquired over the years. I can’t imagine you want to hang onto all of it and dumping off a giant pile at one Goodwill would be sure to grab some dubious headlines. Instead, spread around a bunch of smaller donations like an ax murderer disposing of body parts. Maybe you can even make some late night drop offs at parking lot donation bins.

If you’re thinking about getting away from it all for while, that’s not a bad idea either. Just be sure to fly out of KCI. The schlep will be worth not getting snickered at by an Eppley Airfield TSA agent. Plus, if anyone spots you in KC, people will assume you’re already making moves if you’re down in the big city.

But don’t be gone to long. You don’t want to have a $1.7 million dollar settlement check collecting dust in your mailbox.

And that leads to my final bit of advice for now. $1.7 million is like $17 million in Lincoln, NE. As much as you probably want to move away as fast as you can, you can live a very comfortable life in the Star City with a nest egg like that, especially if you take advantage of all the cheap booze and beer nights around town.

But if you really do want to move away, take your time in listing your house. It would throw the media who spent the last 24 hours raking you over the coals for a total loop if your pad didn’t show up on Zillow for at least year.

Or, you could really really troll everyone by turning Casa de Eichorst into an Airbnb. There’s no doubt Dirk and Lee would book a sleepover and imagine their horror if you are hiding in the walls to haunt them. Oh, this could be genius prank. Just be sure to wait until November 1 to buy all your fake blood and other props when they go on sale post Halloween. You don’t have a job anymore so you need to pinch some pennies when you can.


Share

Sunday Morning Hot Takes: Northern Illinois Edition

Well, it happened. Northern Illinois broke me.

Over the course of 60 minutes, the youthful exuberance and optimism that I’ve had for the Huskers since the age of Game of the Century II was ripped from my body.

It wasn’t a swift, it-will-only-hurt-for-a-second, pulling of the Band-Aid that held what was left of  my spirit together. It was a back alley surgery done by a community college dropout equipped with nothing more than a rusty Garden Weasel and a bottle of expired Robitussin to use as anesthesia.

When I finally regained consciousness following this Medieval procedure, there was no physical evidence of the damage that was inflicted, only a feeling of emptiness where my Husker soul once resided.

Then I looked in the mirror and discovered my hair had been seared into a shade of white, highlighted by a distinct hue.

Congratulations, Huskers.

You did it.

You turned me into a Blue Hair.

Before today, I had a little grey around the ears but I thought for sure I had another decade and a half before the Grumpy Old Man Achievement was unlocked. But nope, today was the fateful day. I didn’t even get to make a pit stop at the Run the Ball Guy level. The Northern Illinois game transported me right to the end.

At least my youth went out with a bang. I watched the game alone in the fort that sits at the top of our backyard and fixed myself a hearty breakfast of Lucky Charms and a few beermosas. I  was living that best life that Ben Sasse hates all too well. It was a wonderful way to spend a Saturday morning.

Then Tanner Lee threw a pick six and then another one for good measure and then I switched to drinking straight beer.

When that shit show mercifully ended, I holed up in the fort long after the final whistle, laying on the floor, using an inflatable beach chair as a pillow, and doing my best to avoid my lovely wife, who would no doubt ask if the Huskers won. We’ve been together for 12 years and outside that glimmer of hope in 2009, she’s never known the Huskers as a good team. It’s been a long running joke in her family about how every season is going to be the year until it isn’t. Sunday afternoon she’ll have a few laughs with her Georgia Tech alum father about my misery and she’ll pass along the cleverly underhanded condolences from her mother. (I swear the lady does research in order to craft the perfectly cruel thing to say.)

The most biting part of losing to Northern Illinois is that it doesn’t sting. It’s a new, undiscovered level of embarrassment.

From 1987-2001, the Huskers lost 26 games and every single one was a devastating loss. Since 2002, the once mighty Big Red has put up 73 losses and when a fresh one gets added to the scorebook, fans either become more numb or, even worse, indifferent. The crop of fans that was born during the dynasty of the 90s are pushing 25 these days and none of them know a time when the Huskers were a consistent juggernaut. Sure, there were a few good seasons but there’s legacy to hang your Cornhead on.

And that’s a big problem.

At the path they’re currently on, the Huskers are going to be known to future generations as a team that doesn’t win them all but might be able to run with the B1G dogs for 55 minutes and maybe even knock one off every season or two.

Meanwhile, those of us who are old enough to have been there will keep muttering to anyone who will listen that the Huskers went 60-3 once.

Enough moping. Here’s the shit that sticks in my craw.

SHAWH EICHORST: At least he got the memo quick that Black Fridays are for Husker football. Now he just needs to remember that the next time he’s on the cusp of making another mealy mouthed decision for the good of the Big Ten at the expense of the Huskers. Shawn, put your foot down and stand up for the school that pays you, not suck up to the one you wish would hire you.

MIKE RILEY: There has to be a point where even the World’s Nicest Coach gets pissed off enough to flip a table and shows some real emotion and fire. Half the time he roams the sidelines like he’s either Walter Mitty or a grizzled coach who was probably going to retire until he won a lottery he didn’t know he entered and ended up with a job in coaching heaven.

Pretend for a moment that you’re a 17-year-old being recruited to play at Nebraska. Would you see the opportunity as a chance to help a once storied program return to glory or as a chance to take the easy way out?

Think about it.

You’d be playing for a coach who doesn’t yell at you AND would hook you up with Kendrick Lamar tickets. He’s basically a super chill grandpa. He won’t even suspend you for weed. Your locker room is so nice it makes the facilities on a Saudi Prince’s yacht look pedestrian. You’d get all the adidas gear you could handle (maybe even a pair of Yeezys). Then there are the fans who always show up NO MATTER WHAT and will cheer you on to the bitter end or until your lackluster play sends them to the exits but they’ll all be back next week because that’s what Nebraska fans do. If you can handle the relaxed pace and schizophrenic weather of Lincoln, you’d live like a football god and get all the thrills of playing at a marquee program without any of the annoying pressure to accomplish something. If that sounds far fetched, there’s a key recruit who didn’t even make it to fall practice before being shipped back to Calabraska.

THE HUSKER BRAND: It’s time to get back to the good ol’ days when it was the football team that won all the trophies instead of its in-house advertising agency. Look, I know all the Chatsnap and Instantgram videos and other #onbrand #content that fans love is really to lure potential recruits but maybe it’s time to dial it back. If the architects of the Husker Brand are so concerned with its image that Fox Sports is asked to stop running a promotional video that shows the goddamn Nebraska Cornhuskers standing in a goddamn cornfield, you might as well change the team name to the Silicon Prairie Dogs and put helmet cams on every player and stream the games live on Twitch.

During the summer, the Huskers digital department posted a video of Tristan Gebbia and a few other young players exploring all of downtown’s attractions like Raising Canes (whatever the hell that is) and Chipotle (Taco John’s for life) and other fast casual restaurants. I know kids these days are special and unique snowflakes but if their decision to come to Lincoln hinges on mediocre dining options then maybe they’re not the right players.

Back in my day if you ever saw a football player stroll into a downtown restaurant, you gave them a wide berth and didn’t make eye contact just like gazelles do when a lion saunters up to the watering hole.

And here’s the important thing. None of those guys gave two shits about living in a college town that was considered cool to people outside Nebraska. The only media exposure they got was a yearly black and white picture in the Husker Media Guide and they were happy. If any of them were asked to take over the Huskers Instagram account for day, the first thing posted would be a video of the Husker digital intern who bothered them with that dumb question getting his spine ripped out because those guys came to Lincoln to do two things: play football and kick ass.

TANNER LEE: I’m not going to go back and see which interception it was but there was a moment during the game where Tanner was on the bench getting some words of encouragement from Joshua Kalu. Dude, you’re the quarterback and a captain and the Huskers are your team. Get off the bench and fire up your teammates, unless throwing a “nice ball” to other teams is literally your only skill.

THE OFFENSIVE LINE: There was once a unit that went an entire season without giving up a single sack. It’d be nice if these guys could stop giving up a sack every series.

THE BLACKSHIRTS: Handing out 16 Blackshirts before the season begins is like handing out 16 participation trophies before a game starts. But Bob Diaco’s defense has quietly given up only one touchdown in the last six quarters despite the lack of a total badass to anchor the defense and send fear into the hearts into the team on the other side of the ball. Was Randy Gregory the last one? Sure feels like it. Oh wait. There was Nate Gerry, when he could bother to not be suspended.

THE SOCKS: During the pre-game show before the Oregon game, Matt Davison went on a little rant about how the Huskers no longer wear matching socks and it ruins the look of the uniform. At the time it seemed like a minor quibble but while watching the Huskers play like shit, I noticed they look like shit. That socks thing is kind of a big deal. You see white socks, red socks, black socks, high socks, and low socks. They look like a Pop Warner team where everything was included except the socks and the coach told the players to wear whatever they like. To bring it back to the 90s glory days one more time, I had a classmate in Sports Broadcasting class who was dating a football player. During warmups she pointed him out from up in the booth and told us that he was intentionally wearing his socks low so that he would stand out on the field (this was during the time of the red knee highs that Davison loved). When he went in to make his first punt return of day, the ref halted the game and ordered him to fix his socks so he matched his teammates.

Being on the same page with the little shit turns into being on the same page with the big shit… like not getting beat at home by Northern Illinois.

Alright. I’ve ranted enough. The early bird special starts in six hours at IHOP. I better go get in line.

MIKE RILEY’S BALLOON WATCH

We’ve reached football armageddon, people. And it’s only week four.


 

Share

Shawn Eichorst’s Letter to Fans Annotated

Early today Shawn Eichorst sent out a letter to Husker Nation, thanking the Big Red faithful for their unwavering support during a season which is shaping up to be the worst since the Eishenhower administration.

While Eichorst’s letter is certainly welcome and noble in spirit, it does fly in the face of his previously established policy of not commenting on a coach’s performance during the season.

Or does that policy fly out the door when his job is suddenly on the line too?

Below is Eichorst’s letter in-full. Our notes are in parenthesis.

Dear Husker Family,

Good morning. (What a relief to arrive at work and still have a job.) 


I want to express my sincere appreciation to every Husker fan who has come to Memorial Stadium this season to cheer on the Big Red; who has traveled hundreds or thousands of miles to proudly wear the red and white (Dude! SCARLET AND CREAM) in visiting stadiums; (What? No mention of the hundreds or thousands of dollars fans have spent?) and who has passionately supported our student-athletes, our head coach, our assistant coaches and staff. Your support and patience (Thank you for not egging our homes or slashing our tires.)  as Mike Riley rebuilds our storied program one brick at a time mean (Typo alert!) the world to our young men, our staff and our university.

While many are understandably disappointed in the current record of the football team and the heartbreakingly close losses we have suffered (UNDERSTATEMENT OF THE YEAR), I am confident the future is bright (Bright enough to have to wear shades?) because I see it in the eyes of our players, coaches and staff and I am impressed by what I know is going on behind the scenes. (Maybe you could fill us in on the details?) Our coaches are developing our student-athletes and, though the consistent victories are not there yet, I am confident they will come. I have witnessed how our young men battle every day in practice and fight to the finish on game days in the face of great adversity. Football can be a humbling game of inches (That goal post can’t block every field goal against Wisconsin.) and seconds (It doesn’t help that poor play calling is giving the opposition as many seconds as possible.) and our players have laid everything on the line while making no excuses. (Pretty sure there have been at least a couple.) The prospective student-athletes looking to make Nebraska home possess athletic talent, academic potential, and high character making for a bright future. (OK, now you’re getting repetitive.) Coach Riley has a vision and a plan and is committed to providing the Husker faithful with a sustained winner which will compete (That’s an awfully broad word, bro. I can technically say I competed against the Ethiopian Armada that time I ran the LA Marathon.) annually for championships. (As much fun as it is, the $5 Bits o’ Broken Chair Trophy doesn’t really count.)

As I have said many times, it is an honor and privilege to represent Nebraska, (Keep talking, Wisconsin native.) and I am humbled and care deeply about the men and women I have a chance to work with every day here. The incredible amount of hours they put in and the sacrifices they all make to represent Nebraska are truly remarkable. (Tell me about it. I wake up early on Saturdays to watch this train wreck.) In two decades as a student-athlete and athletics administrator, I have had the opportunity to learn and work alongside some incredible people at five different institutions. (What a GREAT tidbit to add the next time you update your LinkedIn.) What the best administrators and coaches have in common is a consistent commitment to teaching young minds to do things the right way and to instill a values system that emphasizes hard work, discipline, loyalty, teamwork, compassion and excellence. (You forgot the part about buying motivational books in airports.) Those principles coupled with a positive attitude generally (Picked a good time to throw in a qualifier.) result in championships.

Your continued support (Money.) is what makes Nebraska special and together, we will do great things. (And I won’t have to look for a new job.) Thank you again for your incredible passion and support. (You people really have no other hobbies, do you?) We look forward to another home sellout and an electric environment on Saturday as we come together to cheer on our team against Michigan State.

Have a great week and Go Big Red!

Shawn Eichorst
(Way to try and sneak under the radar by not reminding us of your title.)

Share

Halloween Huskers 2015

As if this season needed to be any more frightening, it’s time continue a tradition that started last year. Here are some fresh Halloween costume ideas for Husker players, coaches, and a few hangers-on.

Mike Riley as Roy Munson

Mike Riley Roy Munson

As much as Mike resembles the pride of Ocelot, Iowa, this choice is also symbolic as Coach Riley has found himself Munsoned in the middle of nowhere with a fan base that’s making their pitchforks a little sharper with each passing week. As someone who happens to share Roy’s cursed last name, I’ve somehow never dressed as him for Halloween but I did get to meet his landlord this past summer so I’ve got that going for me.

Mark Banker as Kevin Costner

Mark Banker Kevin Costner

Maybe Kev could use some of the spy skills he picked up from his recent flops to help Banker solve the mystery of what happened to the Blackshirts.

Mike Cavanaugh as Jim Ross

Mike Cavanaugh Jim Ross

You can almost hear the legendary WWE announcer screaming “My God, the  man never substitutes his offensive line!”

Danny Langsdorf as Dorf

Danny Lansdorf Dorf

Because nothing shows your relevance to a bunch of 18-year-old kids by dressing as a character from the 80s so forgotten that a good photo doesn’t even exist on the internet.

Shawn Eichorst as The Shermanator

Shawn Eichorst Shermanator

We can only hope that one day a sophisticated robot Athletic Director will be sent back from time to change the future for the Huskers.

Mark Philipp as Leonidas

Mark Philipp Leonidas

You know Mark has this outfit hanging in his closet ready to go at a moment’s notice whether it’s Halloween or not.

Sam Foltz as Joe Dirt

Sam Foltz Joe Dirt

As a fellow Grand Island native, I can say on good authority that Thunderleg is just one sweet IROC away from absolutely nailing this look.

Andy Janovich as Dalton

Andy Janovich Dalton

If the Huskers don’t make it to a bowl game, here’s hoping Andy commemorates his Senior Day by ripping out the throat of an Iowa player in the middle of a touchdown run.

Tom Shatel as Bobby “The Brain” Heenan

Tom Shatel Bobby Heenan

At the rate this season has been unraveling, the brains of the World-Herald will be turning heel before you know it. Going as Bobby for Halloween will be a great warm up.

Mike’l Severe as Mickey, the guy who cut the tag off a mattress

Mike'l Severe Mickey

Possibly the only costume choice of the 80s more random than Stiles from Teen Wolf but Mike’l has the obscure film knowledge to make it work.

Dirk Chatelain as Jared from Subway

Dirk Chatelain Jared from Subway

Yes. This one is in absolutely poor taste but when all you need to pull off a costume that will get the whole neighborhood talking (and the police making unannounced visits) is a pair of glasses and foot long, you just gotta do it.

Share

Mike Diary: Excerpts from Mike Riley’s Journal

EDITOR’S NOTE: We’re not going to say how we pulled it off but we got our grubby little mitts on Mike Riley’s diary.

There’s no need for us to set it up any further. We know you just want to get to the good stuff, so below you’ll find excerpts from key moments since he slid into the captain’s chair at Memorial Stadium.

5 December 2015

Dear Diary-

I know it’s been a few days but I have an unbelievable excuse…

Greetings from Nebraska!

(I’ll wait while you find it on a map.)

I never thought I’d ever say that but, by golly, things sure took a strange (in a good way) turn of a events. It all started a few days ago when Shawn Eichorst, the Athletic Director at the University of Nebraska, asked if we could meet in his hotel room in San Francisco to discuss the head coaching job that had opened up.

Trust me, I was just as suspicious as you would have been about the whole deal. I mean, we always try our best but it’s not every day you wrap up a 5 and 7 season by having a dude invite you to a secret meeting.

In his hotel room.

In San Francisco.

But you know what? Turns out it was all on the level!

I wasn’t the victim of a prank…. or worse. Shawn really wanted me to become the next coach of the Nebraska Cornbuckers, (I think that’s what they call themselves. I’m still figuring all of this out.)

It took a few years but someone finally realized what kind of coach you have to be to get kids to not only play for a team named the Beavers but to do so with flipplin’ Oregon just a few miles up the road.

It’s funny how life works out. Just a few days ago, I honestly thought I might be fired and boom(!) I’m suddenly somewhere in Nebraska and the head coach of a football powerhouse, with a big raise to boot!

I think I might treat myself to a new bicycle.

MIKE RILEY OUT


9 FEBRUARY 2015

Dear Diary-

Hotel life is the best! It’s like living on vacation. Every morning I get to make make own omelet and drink as much orange juice as I want and the pool is open until 11pm  but I signed a football for the night custodian and he lets me swim till midnight! There are so many cable channels to choose from that I can find The Rock playing any time of the day. Don’t tell the Mrs… but I think for Valentine’s Day, I’m going to sneak down extra early so I can surprise her with an omelet in bed.

MIKE RILEY OUT


11 APRIL 2015

Dear Diary-

Longtime no chat, I know. After three months of R&R and going to basketball games, it was finally time to do some real work.

We had our spring practices and this team I inherited is something else. The quarterback runs better than he throws and there’s a kid on defense who killed a raccoon with his bare hands. Don’t tell Boss Eichorst but I was so rusty I almost forgot which side of my whistle was which. (Hahahaha. Try saying that one five times fast.)

Today we had the big Red and White game and the way the fans came out you’d think they all had free tickets to the Super Bowl. I’ve never seen anything like it. Anyway, It was the only time of the year where we’ll win and lose the same game.

Not to sound cocky but I’m thinking if I can do just half as bad as that basketball coach, I wouldn’t be surprised if they named a street after me. The fans LOVE that guy and he loses all time.

MIKE RILEY OUT


17 JUNE 2015

Dear Diary-

Apparently our grass grew an eighth of a inch since Monday (so says the second guy who stopped by this morning asking if he could cut it). He says he’s been keeping track from across the street and thinks it’s getting out of control but I invited him to come back on Friday so that way the Mrs. and I can be assured of a nice, quiet weekend.

I felt bad for him though because as he was leaving he got into a little scuffle with yet another guy who showed up with his mower.

Between, you me, and the fence post, diary, I would say Nebraska people are weird but they are just so gosh darn helpful.

Even after this new adventure is all over, we may never leave, especially when Veronica, our neighbor from across the way, brings us fresh baked goodies every single morning.

MIKE RILEY OUT


25 JULY 2015

Dear Diary-

Apologies if I don’t write to much today. It is just so gosh dang hot I don’t know if I have the strength. Lucky for me and the Mrs, the neighborhood kids are taking turns on watch to make sure we stay properly refreshed. Pardon the pun be we ARE living the life of Riley complete with our own personal lemonade stand!

MIKE RILEY OUT


5 SEPTEMBER 2015

Dear Diary-

As you know, today was the big day. It was my first game as coach of the Nebraska Cornhutchers and for 59 minutes and 59 seconds it was football heaven. The most unbelievably wonderful dream had come true and I was living it… right up until Bigham Young’s freshman quarterback threw Hail Mary to pull the glorious rug of victory right out from under us.

As I write this hours later I’m still kicking myself. Of all the things we practiced during fall camp the defending the Hail Mary was not one of them and why should it be? Everyone knows that all you have to do is whatever it takes not to let the other team score. Pardon my French but those little s-h-i=t-s spent years learning from a “defensive mastermind” and after the game they tell me they didn’t know what what to do in that situation? You’ve got to be flipping kidding me.

I’m still so mad I could kick a rock.

MIKE RILEY OUT


12 SEPTEMBER 2015

Dear Diary-

Hip, hip, HOORAY!!!

That is all.

MIKE RILEY OUT


20 SEPTEMBER 2015

Dear Diary-

Well, we went down to Miami (no, we did go to scout timeshares) and played one heck of a barn burner against those Hurricanes. We were getting our tails kicked 33 – 10 in the fourth quarter but I worked a few “fishlips” and “shoeshines” (if you know what I’m sayin’) into my speech during a timeout and I think that did the trick. Who knew these kids actually liked being yelled at? All of a sudden, that quarterback who runs started zipping the ball to receivers who stopped dropping it. Even though it didn’t work out in the end, it was incredible that we almost had ’em on their home field.

I’m not quite sure the fans are feeling he same way though. Every time I’ve returned from a recruiting trip, fans have been lined up clamoring to give me a ride home and have a chance to talk football one-on-one. Tonight the airport was emptier than a ghost town and I had to call the Mrs for a lift. It was pretty late when we landed though, so maybe that’s it.

And if things needed to get any weirder, get a load of this: this morning we were woken up by the sound of our neighbor Veronica throwing eggs at our house!

And that wasn’t all she did! When we went outside to see what all the fuss was about I saw she also dumped an entire bag of flour on the good ol’ Prius.

She must have been running really late to church if she didn’t have time to bake our Sunday Bundt cake!

MIKE RILEY OUT

Share

HACKED! Never Trust a USC Fan to Feed Your Cats

The next time USC and the Huskers square off, you can make darn sure Husker Nation will get its revenge, both on the field and in the cyberspace.

Much like Pelini getting caught on tape not once but twice, we made a pair of fatal errors in the days leading up to the Holiday Bowl.

1. We entrusted our dear neighbor, who happens to be a longtime USC season ticket holder, with the care and feeding of our cats which means he had a key to our house.

2. The iPad we thought was in our carry-on bag was left behind on the dining room table and said iPad had no sort of security code enabled.

CONRAD BANE
Human pun machine, devious prankster. Our dear neighbor as Conrad Bane on Halloween.

Knowing  how our dear neighbor operates, he probably discovered that iPad was ripe for the pillaging on day one but like Lane Kiffin patiently awaiting his next firing, he laid like a Pete Carroll in the grass for the perfect time to strike.

Which for him, was the hours leading up to the Holiday Bowl.

Clearly, he didn’t remember the time we sat next to him at the Coliseum and acted as his rock and shoulder to cry on when Notre Dame dismantled and demoralized his sacred Trojans in 2012 during their run to BCS Championship Game.

Then again, maybe he remembered we still owe him for the ticket.

Then again, we still haven’t forgotten about the bushel of carrots and gallon of dip he ate when we had him over for the 2007 edition of USC vs Nebraska.

Here’s how it all went down…

Gotta give our dear neighbor credit. He nailed USC’s winning score on his opening tweet.

Let the record show, this is the first time in history the word fine has preceded the phrase Ohio tail.

We have no idea what the symbolism is supposed to be here.

 Worst part of getting an HJ from Rosie Perez? She’d still be able to talk.

While our dear neighbor claims to have never visited Nebraska, he clearly shows an intimate knowledge of East Campus Greek life.

But was $3 million enough to ensure victory for the Hanckensack Bulls of Los Angeles?

Hickory dickory dock, Shawn Eichorst was sucking Harvey Perlman’s…

Share

Vaya con dios, Bo Pelini. Shine On You Crazy Diamond.

To the surprise of everyone and no one, Bo Pelini planted one last parting gift during his final meeting with his former Husker team.

While his final soliloquy reads like a scorched earth rant rivaling the final shoot out in the Wild Bunch, the actual recording (listen here) reveals a surprisingly measured and rational Pelini who almost sounds Osborne-like, except for the unfortunate c-word dropping instead of a folksy dag-nab-it.

It was no doubt a calculated and deliberate move by the Omaha World-Herald to release the recording hours after the transcript, which allowed plenty of time for pitchforks to be sharpened and tar to be warmed and don’t-let-the-door-hit-you-on-the-way-out columns to be written.

Granted, there’s always the chance it took the World-Herald a solid eight hours to figure out a way to upload audio onto their site as they have a history of not being the most technically capable crew.

If you don’t think what they did was intentional, notice how Omaha World-Herald staff writer Dirk Chatelain stayed up past midnight (the time stamps on his tweets are PT) to defend his work to those important enough to warrant a response.

Omaha World-Herald staff writer Dirk Chatelain doesn’t like it when national writers with 10x the audience poo-poo his exclusives.

According to the logic of Omaha World-Herald staff writer Dirk Chatelain, Bo was still an employee of a state university despite being fired and if the meeting was held at a private school, nothing would have been revealed.

Former kicker Pat Smith (thanks again for winning the Penn State game!)  feels the same way.

OK, let’s get back to Bo.

Could he have taken the the proverbial high road and kept things classy during his final meeting? Yes.

But is Bo a guy a who has proven himself to be a classy (in the buttoned up Nebraska way) kind of guy? Not exactly.

He’s always struck me as the sort who’d go play pinball just to get pissed off. (Even if you get on a roll, you never leave a pinball table a winner.)

Pelini’s hair trigger temper and fiery demeanor, while out of place in Nebraska, is borderline normal behavior in certain parts of the country. Get stuck in an elevator for 10 minutes with someone from Pittsburgh, Boston, or Providence and you’ll learn 38 new swear words by the time the doors open.

In his mind, his exit speech was A-OK. And you gotta give the guy some kudos for having the stones to say what he really had on his mind and strutting across a burning bridge with a take this job and shove it attitude. For many people in stuck in miserable jobs, a move like that was a fantasy come to life.

Pelini’s time in the Cornhusker State has always reminded me of The Experts, a movie that was the absolute rock bottom of John Travolta’s career, Wild Hogs included.  The premise is that two hip New Yorkers go to Nebraska to help open a night club. Turns out Travolta and his buddy were roofied and whisked to communist Russia where a secret Mayberry-like town that grooms spies is in need of an update with 1990 fast approaching.

If there’s one thing that stupid movie got right about “Nebraska,” it’s the way the locals closely watch an outsider’s every move. (Yes, that is a broad, generalizing stereotype but there is some decent truth to it- especially if you’ve ever been chased out of a neighboring town. Looking at you, Hastings.)

With Pelini on his way back to his people, it’s time to bring his story to a close and move on for good. He got his final shot, Dirk got his and we innocent bystanders got one hell of a show.

Bo Pelini Holding a Baby
No matter what, we’ll always have the good times.

Best of luck, Bo. We sincerely mean that. Come hell or high water, you are man who sticks to what you believe in and stay loyal till the end. Those are two traits that are hard to hate on.

Here’s hoping Jim Tressel gives you plenty of hugs and invites you to lunch on the reg. And may your loving wife find it in her heart to un-cockblock you before this decade is over.

The c-word.

Really?

You had to go there?

One final note: can the secret recordings please come to an end under Mike Riley? That is a spineless and dickless move. If you’ve got a secret to tell the world, take the advice of this semi-anonymous blog and man up and share it yourself.

Or better yet, have the integrity to recognize that if you’re trusted with a secret, honor that trust and don’t tell it.

In the immortal words of the Wu-Tang Clan, word is bond.

And snitches get stitches.

Share

As Christmas Approaches, are Husker Fans Seeing Ghosts of Seasons Past?

If you’ve had a nagging sense of deja vu over the last few weeks, our friend, Tony, has a theory as to why.

Consider the following uncanny similarities between the end of the season in 2003 and the end of 2014:

On November 30th, Nebraska fires a coach that just finished a 9-3 season, dividing Husker fan loyalties. (At least until a secret recording was made public.) The head coach of Arkansas obfuscates the coaching search for personal gain. A coach from the West Coast with a good recruiting acumen and an NFL pedigree is hired and many wonder if he’s good enough for Nebraska. The former coach returns to his home state of Ohio to coach a lesser conference/division school.

Spooky, isn’t it?

But what does it mean? Is Husker Nation trapped inside of some kind of time loop with the only way out being our ability to repeat our actions in an exact synchronized ballet?

If we fail to break the cycle, does that mean Mike Riley is the second coming of — DEAR GOD! BILL CALLAHAN?!?!?!

Page_1

We sincerely hope not.

Before we all throw the panic switch, we should also acknowledge the many differences so far displayed between the events of 2003 and 2014.

First and foremost, the number of days Shawn Eichorst spent searching for the new “most important man in Nebraska” was FIVE.

The number of days it took Steve Pederson to pin down Bill Callahan was FORTY ONE.

Eichorst clearly had a contingency for replacing a relatively successful, if frustratingly plateaued, head coach. Pederson, not so much.

NCAA head coaching experience.

While both Riley and Callahan had brief stints as NFL head coaches, only Riley has had extensive time coaching a Division 1 football team before landing at Nebraska. Riley clearly knows what it takes to run a college program and he will not try to force an NFL template over it — as Callahan did. Respect for long-held traditions such as the vaunted walk-on system should stay intact under Riley. Whereas under Callahan, the walk-ons were encouraged to keep on walking, right out of the program.

No square pegs for round holes.

Does anybody remember October 9, 2004? If that date doesn’t jog your memory, maybe it’s because you, as a Husker fan, have repressed that date as a natural defense trigger. There’s nothing wrong if you do. That’s just the PTSD doing its thing.

October 9, 2004 happens to be the day that the Bill Callahan era of Husker football made its conference road trip debut. In Lubbock, Texas.

Ringing a bell now? Yep, this was the 10 – 70  loss to the Red Raiders that started those first few whispers in Lincoln. The same voices that would grow into a cacophony of discontent by mid-season 2007. The voices saying:

“What the fuck have we gotten ourselves into!”

But, while that embarrassing score looks horrific on paper (it’s still the largest margin of loss in the post Osborne era, despite so many other blowout debacles), what some people forget is that this game was far from looking like a blow out mid-way through the third quarter.

Trailing 21-3 at half time, Nebraska opened the third quarter with a 74-yard touchdown pass from Joe Dailey to Mark LeFlore. Down by less than two touchdowns, Nebraska’s defense gave the Huskers a chance to get back into the game by holding Tech scoreless on their next two possessions.

Everything looked in place for a respectable performance (if not a win) against a formidable conference opponent at their house.

So what happened? How did the following 19 minutes produce a 60-point final deficit? Callahan pulled Joe Dailey from the game as punishment for not being able to master his West Coast offense in half a season. Dailey was 14 of 34 in passing for 187 yards with one interception. Not bad for a kid who’d been recruited to run the option. But not good enough for Callahan.

Wise old Bill took out Joe and put in Beau Davis, a freshman who knew even less about running the West Coast offense than Daily. Davis finished the game with four completions. Three of which went to Red Raiders.

With three consecutive picks setting up three easy touchdowns, the Husker defense folded and let Tech (now up 42-10 going into the fourth) pound in four more touchdowns in the final period.

If Bill Callahan had not tried to force an option team to learn his uber-complicated West Coast Offense right out of the gate, the 5-6 2004 Huskers probably would have finished with a respectable eight or nine win season. The schedule that year was certainly no beast (Oklahoma was the only ranked team they faced). Callahan could have eased those players into his system while recruiting specifically to foster his chosen style. But, instead, he wailed a square peg through a round hole, causing the first Husker squad in forty years to sit home for the bowl season. The shame of it left a few seniors crying after the final loss — in Lincoln vs. Colorado — with one player wishing that fans would just forget about the 2004 team.

Already, Mike Riley has said things which should allay fears that this kind of bullshit will never happen again. He will customize his strategies around the strength of the team. Always. Hallelujah!

So, for those of you with an itchy sense that history is repeating itself, just relax. This bout of deja vu is but an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of an underdone potato. The specter of Bill Callahan is no more real than a ghost of seasons past. Try not to think about it, otherwise…

nightmares

Share

Monday Rage: Who Woke Up Dancing on Bo Pelini’s Grave?

Welcome to day two of the post-Pelini era for the Huskers. It is currently 16 in Lincoln with cloudy skies and windchill a balmy 1 degree.

The weather couldn’t be more perfect following a break up. Gloom and bone chilling cold. Good thing no recruits are coming to town anytime soon.

Pair that with most folks having to return to the daily slog of work life following Thanksgiving weekend and you have the perfect combo for one of the shittiest Mondays of the year.

But who woke up still happy from yesterday’s news that Pelini got the ax?  Athletic Director Shawn Eichort’s early Sunday announcement gave Husker fans a solid 12 hours to blow their wads on the Facebook and the Twitter.

Could anyone really not be tuckered from talking Pelini and the Huskers?

Yeah right.

But what is a little refreshing is the “don’t let the door hit you on the way out” smugness has at least been turned down a notch.

Not that that’s a good thing.

WTF: Does this even mean, Evan? Are you saying all the meals at the training table made the Huskers bulimic?

Your days are numbered, Sean Callahan. Shayla has the rumor mill on lock down.

That’s funny. Twitter said Jim Tressel was spotted in Lincoln yesterday.

Besides, Barney Cotton is now the Huskers’ head coach.

Head Coach Barney Cotton

Clearly Jeremy has never experienced the joy of Lincoln’s cheaper-than-Mexico beer prices.

Us too brother, us too. And on a related note, has anyone else found The Secret Life of Walter Mitty to be totally unwatchable?

Cool your jets, Austin. Your zingers are lost on a spam bot.

Sometimes when you miss news or another big happening, it’s OK to not share your cluelessness with the world.

A mind blowing gem from the “classiest fans in college football.”

Maxipad bringing the Monday morning thunder!

Well played, Andrew. This was actually kinda clever.

Or, you could make a list of your favorite Husker tweeters and have a dedicated stream that is everything you want with none of the annoying filler.

Yes. Yes they did, Thomas. Crazy comebacks were a hallmark of the Pelini era.

And we thought we had it rough having to make a new banner for our site.

(For the record: These Tweets were found either searching Huskers, Bo Pelini, or Bo Pelini fired.)

Share