Actually, Mark’s joke was pretty funny. There’s no reason to be mad at it unless you’re a long suffering Detroit fan.
Before things got any worse, I thought I’d jump in and try to give a fellow Husker fan a way out.
That didn’t work, and Mark being the well-versed sports fan that he is dropped a Husker fan’s favorite C-word. You know it as CLASS.
1. Every Husker fan, even the god damn blue hairs themselves, knows it’s BLUE HAIRS. White hairs? What the ever loving fuck?
2. I was not wearing a Tommie jersey but I was (and still am) in my underpants. Being your own boss rules.
Even with the white hairs comment, I was feeling charitable and gave @huskers188 another chance to slow his roll.
Then, out of the ether, a guy named Colt emerged like a wild stallion.
Understanding sarcasm might not be one of @husker188’s strong suits. Because he had to jump back into the conversation.
And here comes the hay maker….
Seriously people, if going on Twitter and engaging with strangers helps you pass the time during the day, by all means go for it. Just don’t be a dick, especially if your whole online existence is tied to the team you love. It’s not a good look for yourself or your team and it makes all the other fans look bad by association because of a jackass who walks among them.
For as inane as it is, Twitter can be a wonder place where a person can make friends with strangers in real life. Try to make the best of it. You’ll never know what awesome things it can lead to.
The only dark side any Husker fan should embrace is the Blackshirts.
Especially when they run wild on the Camp Randall turf on Saturday.
If you search ‘Huskers’ on eBay, a bunch of things that don’t need to exist happen to show up for sale. So whether you are looking for a new jacket for October tailgating or some artwork for the man cave, get ready for gameday with my eBay round up. In honor of Ryker Fyfe, here are the top 17 Husker items up for sale.
Why you should buy it: You shouldn’t. If you sit next to me in these, I’m going to hate you. They take more than one space. You are at a football game, I have faith that you can survive for a few hours without cushions.
If you’re anything like us, there’s a good chance you may have awoken with a fright this morning and finally realized that Christmas is happening on Friday. As in THIS Friday.
Whether you’re shopping for your favorite Husker fan or just someone who happens to be a Husker fan that you’re obligated to purchase a gift for, any of the following ideas would most certainly be welcome additions to their haul of Christmas booty.
Whew! Good thing a few peopled turned out to see The Force Awakens so we don’t have to worry about these t-shirts being trucked off to Nicaragua like Patriots 19-0 t-shirts. Two of the greatest things ever on one t-shirt. Don’t even try to get cynical about the Disney Empire’s ever reaching tentacles about this bad boy. This shirt is rad. For much mayhem that Chewbacca could wreak as a Blackshirt, the Stormtroopers are oh so perfect. Why? Because they’re just like Tommy. They can’t hit their targets. Hiyo! Click here to purchase the shirt and support a local Nebraska business. AND Nebraska Red Zone is offering FREE 3-day shipping on orders of $20!
Tickets to the Rimington Trophy Presentation
It’s a gift AND a tax deduction (the ticket cost benefits the Boomer Esiason Foundation for cystic fibrosis research). Happening January 16th, at the Rococo Theatre in downtown Lincoln, Husker legend/Burning Man enthusiast Dave Rimingtonwill be presenting Alabama’s Ryan Kelly with the 2015 award. Lee Corso is the featured guest speaker for the evening and you can expect many more surprise guests. Get tickets here.
Tickets to Big Red of the Rockies’ 20th Anniversary Banquet
Jesse Kosch, the greatest meteorology major/punter in Husker football history is having a bash to celebrate the 20th anniversary of his store Big Red of the Rockies, located in gorgeous Estes Park, Colorado. The shindig is happening May 7, 2016 in Estes Park and teammates from Jesse’s 1995 squad will be in attendance. Specific details are still TBA but bookmark this page, and whip up a little certificate for your lucky recipient.
Entry into the Nebraska Classic Golf Tournament
Even if the dreaded El Niño strikes, the soggy desert of Palm Springs has to be a more desirable location than the frozen desert that is Nebraska in February. The tournament is on Presidents’ Day 2016, aka February 15, 2016, aka the day after Valentine’s Day, meaning you could have a nice romantic Palm Springs weekend before playing golf with the people you argue with on HuskerMax. Entry info can be found here.
In his follow up to The Essential Smart Football, author Chris B. Brown takes a deeper dive into the x’s and o’s of football as we see them today and turns gridiron calculus into a delightful and informative read that will give you a new appreciation for the game and possibly leave Husker fans a little worried. (Let’s just say he lays out very convincing arguments against quarters defense and the West Coast Offense.)
A Membership to Huskermax Despite the sometimes overwhelming paranoia and doom and gloom of the message board, the granddaddy of all Husker sites is still the definitive one stop shop for everything Huskers. Best part is you can “gift” a membership by signing up your buddy and if he’s the sort who’ll never change a password, you can sign-in as him months later and wreck all sorts of internet rumor havoc.
Glossy, gorgeous, and great writing guaranteed to get you pumped for the Huskers’ next quarterback of the future. Subscribe here.
Help your special Husker fan lady fan dream of better days for the Big Red with these super cozy PJs from Fantatics.com. Get FREE two day shipping (aka Christmas Eve) on orders over $60 placed by 3pm ET on 12/22 with the code NUTCRACKER. (Why no, I did not just order my brother an ugly Husker holiday sweater.)
And finally, for the Husker fan who has everything…
Yes. It’s a blender the size of Tahiti that would require a big ass generator to be tailgate compatible but who cares? This bad mama jama can make 72 ounces of “non-alcoholic” drinks simultaneously. Hit the link above or click here to order the Starkiller Base of frozen beverage makers.
Just when you thought it was safe to assume the Huskers had stopped finding new and cruelly inventive ways to lose, the Big Red laid their biggest egg of the year with a mind boggling 28-30 loss to Northwestern.
The game summed up in two gifs.
Hans Moleman does his impression of any Husker receiver trying to catch a pass.
The speed at which unbearable anguish turns grudging acceptance of one’s fate is incredible.
Mike Riley’s Balloon Watch: Mike’s balloon is now a flaming pile of monkey poo ready to explode.
In case you didn’t notice, Back to the Future was in the news a little bit this week for some reason or another. One of the signature gags in the 2015 Marty visited in Back to the Future II, was that the Jaws franchise had worked its way up to a 19th installment.
As someone who saw BTTF2 in the theatre back in 1989, I can say with good authority that it was a legitimately funny moment because just two years earlier, Jaws: The Revenge delivered the franchise down to Davy Jones Lockerand the thought of 15 more Jaws movies was even more preposterous than the idea of the Cubs eventually winning another World Series.
Should the time ever come where Universal gets bored with making Fast and Furious movies and decides to dust off Jaws, they could pick no better team to write films 5-19 than Mike Riley and his coaching staff. In the span of just eight games, they have shown they are the absolute masters of finding new ways to terrify an audience week in and week out.
It’s still too early to give up on these guys but you’d think that after eight games they’d start correcting the problems (pick a problem, any problem) that have been there since the season opener.
NUMBERS TO DEPRESS YOUR FRIENDS WITH
30: More plays the Huskers ran than Northwestern.
21:Jordan Stevenson‘s longest kick return of the day and career so far. His still smoldering red shirt is not going to waste.
18:04: The Huskers’ time of possession advantage over Northwestern.
10.04: How many seconds it took for Northwestern quarterback Clayton Thorson to sputter 68 yards in the first quarter. By comparison, Taylor Martinez‘s 92 yard touchdown run at UCLA in 2012 took 10.92 seconds and he coasted the last 20 yards.
10: The number of different Huskers who, believe it or not, actually caught a pass.
7: The 1995 Huskers’ average yards per run.
6.06: The 2015 Huskers’ average yards per pass with the 1995 squad in attendance.
2: Number of times Andy Janovich carried the ball for a total of for yards.
0: Number of times Devine Ozigbo, aka the running back of the future three weeks ago, carried the ball for a total of 0 yards.
With the Major League Baseball postseason starting today, it’s time to blow the lid off the missing link to the Huskers getting back in the National Championship hunt and maybe even winning a trophy or three.
Feel free to pshaw and call this idea cockamamie all you want, but if you do the research, you’ll see I’m not yanking your chain. Every time the Huskers have played in a title game or made a National Championship run, the Dodgers preceded those appearances with a World Series victory.
No other team in baseball matches up to the Huskers’ championship aspirations the way the Dodgers do.
Before diving in, I should add a disclaimer: the mind-blowing argument I’m about to present is grounded solely in hard data and logic. The fact that my lovely wife and I are Dodger season ticket holders (I made it out to a personal best 35 games this year) has not been factored-in in any way, shape, or form.
Here’s how it breaks down:
1965: The Dodgers win the World Series. 1970: The Huskers win their first National Championship. 1971: The Huskers tack on one more for good measure.
1981: The Dodgers beat the Yankees to capture the World Series crown, avenging losses to the Bronx Bombers in 1977 and ’78. 1982: The Huskers come up short against Clemson. 1983: Miami can suck it.
Boom. There you have it. Undeniable proof that a World Series victory by the Dodgers means the Huskers will follow up with an appearance and/or a victory in a game with the National Championship on the line within six years. (A wholly reasonable time frame for a new coach to build a dynasty.) No matter which way you slice it, there’s no denying the cold, hard truth. For the Huskers to win it all, the Dodgers need to do the same.
Now that you’ve suddenly disavowed whatever baseball team that has tickled your fancy for however many years, here are a few nuggets to help you realize that the combo of Scarlet and Cream and Dodger Blue is a match made in sports heaven.
Odd Names in the Early Years: Old Gold Knights, Rattlesnake Boys, Bugeaters? The Dodgers used to be called the Bridegrooms, Superbas, and Robins. Plus, they’re right up there with the Bugeaters when it comes to having a nickname derived from a derogatory term.
Legendary Announcers: While I’m too young to know Lyle Bremser, a chill still runs down my spine any time I think of Kent Pavelka exclaiming “Touchdown, touchdown, touchdown!” The same holds true for Vin Scully saying “It’s time for Dodger baseball!” In case you missed the news, Vin is coming back next year for an unprecedented 67th season behind the mic for the Dodgers. If you’ve never had the pleasure, you need to hear him call a game. The only way I can begin to describe it is that it’s like the coolest guy in the room, who just happens to be a living, breathing baseball encyclopedia, has invited you to sit with him at his private table for a few hours.
“Did I ever tell you about the time Jackie and I raced each other on ice skates?”
Extremely Knowledgeable and Loyal Fans This kid knew exactly what he was doing.
Say what you will about the stereotypical Dodger fan arriving late and leaving early but the truth is getting to the stadium for a weeknight game requires as much planning as the Invasion of Normandy. And the exodus you see in the 7th? That’s everyone running to get one last beer before the taps get shut off.
Just like the average East Stadium blue hair could give a master class on the intricacies of the triple option, I’d be willing to wager that the little Thai lady who sits in front of us could manage a game as well as Don Mattingly. And that’s no disrespect to Donnie Baseball. She’s just that baseball savvy.
While the Dodgers will never give the Huskers’ sellout streak any competition, they have topped Major League Baseball in attendance the past three seasons. Since 2001, the Dodgers have finished in the top 5 all but twice, coming in at #8 in ’01 and at #11 in 2011, which not coincidentally was the absolute rock bottom of the Frank McCourt era, aka the Dodgers’ Bill Callahan years.
During this same period, all you plucky Kansas City fans, managed to get the Royals out of the bottom 5 exactly twice, #22 in 2003 and all the way up to #10 this year. Gee, bandwagon much?
If you’re a Royals fan and suddenly butt hurt by the last comment, just simmer down and remind yourself how badly you wanted to see Zack win a ring.
Tom and Tom
Mr. Lasorda, Meet Mr. Osborne. While Tommy only ran the show for 20 years to Dr. Tom’s 25, Lasorda and his predecessor Walter Alston managed the Dodgers for a combined 43 years compared to Bob and Tom roaming the Memorial Stadium sidelines for 35.
T-Magic and Yasiel Puig Are Brothers From Another Mother
Both came out of nowhere with otherworldly talent and a penchant for making some of the most brilliant and boneheaded plays their respective sports have ever seen. Puig is currently going through his T-Magic senior year, having missed most of the season with hamstring injuries (the Dodgers’ version of the good ol’ groin pull). He miraculously recovered in time for the final days of the regular season but it wouldn’t be a surprise if he were left off the postseason roster.
The Dodgers’ version of Lawrence Phillips is currently serving 32 months in jail for domestic abuse. In 2004, he famously ended his stint as a Dodgerwhen he tried going into the stands to fight everyone after he was showered with boos (and assorted debris) after botching a routine pop up with the bases loaded. I was at this game and the response from the crowd will never be forgotten, especially the cholos, vatos, and homies, who tried climbing over the outfield wall World War Z style to kick his ass.
If Alex Lewis ever tried blowing kisses to the Dodger Stadium crowd following an epically stupid loss, there’s no way he’d make it out of Chavez Ravine alive.
Dodger Fans Know the Sting of Losing to an Arch Rival: Think Oklahoma, Texas, Miami, Florida State and Wisconsin have the Huskers’ number? Try losing to the Yankees in the World Series EIGHT times. After six tries, the Dodgers finally took them down for the first time in 1955.
To the Dodgers, Reggie Jackson is Melvin Gordon, Brian Bosworth, and Jamaal Charles combined.
The run to the Husker’s next National Championship starts at 6:45pm this Friday night.
During the scene when Keanu and Patrick Swayze beat the crap out of Anthony Kiedis, lightning struck and the similarities between Taylor and Johnny presented themselves like constellations on a moonless night in Western Nebraska.
Both played quarterback at Big Ten schools.
Both played in the Rose Bowl. (Well, Taylor played at the Rose Bowl.)
Both suffered career ending injuries.
Both went on to careers as an “agent.”
Taylor Martinez and Johnny Utah, two legendary dudes.
If it weren’t for a strict policy of Never-Go-To-Orange-County-Unless-You-Absolutely-Have-To (last time was November of 2012 to be in a buddy’s wedding), I would have immediately booked an appointment for a tour and bribed my wife with whatever it would take to get her to agree to dress up in Affliction gear and spend a day behind the Orange Curtain masquerading as OC home buyers.
“Yeah, Taylor. Thanks for the walk through but we’re really not feeling the media room. We’re gonna keep looking. But would you mind signing this football I happened to bring along? If you could make it out to ‘Dear eBay purchaser’, that would be great.”
Since that will never happen, I decided the next best thing to do would be to use this pulpit to try and convince him to abandon his career as Taylor Martinez real estate agent and become Taylor Martinez FBI agent.
With his 25th birthday and quarter-life crisis approaching, I set out to pen the perfect Huskermax-esque long distance dedication to try to convince Taylor that there’s more to life than wooing people with granite counter tops and heated bathroom floors.
He could be busting up crystal meth rings, bank robberies, get in government sanctioned car chases- all kinds of fun stuff. And if he didn’t want to go it alone, I’d happily be his Gary Busey spirit guide.
That’s when my preliminary detective work uncovered something rather curious.
Taylor’s last Instagram post (his feed is delightfully silly, btw) was on February 5.
There are plenty of qualified surgeons in the OC/LA area, not to mention California. One does not travel to North Carolina for foot surgery unless something big is afoot.
Then, a look at his Twitter feed reveals he hasn’t tweeted in nearly a month and when he did, they were just links to long deleted Instagrams.
It’s a total social media shut down. You know who else does that when it’s time to get down to business?
It’s fitting that the epilogue to the crashed and burned Bo Pelini era at Nebraska will be written on the same field as his career’s finest moment- the 2009 Holiday Bowl.
Things would only be downhill from here for Bo Pelini.
What followed that 33 – 0 victory over the Arizona Wildcats was the most hopeful time of Pelini’s seven seasons at Nebraska. It was the perfect salve to the one more second debacle against Texas and had Husker fans licking their chops at a run for a National Championship in 2010.
That season began with the Huskers ranked #8 in the polls and unknown redshirt freshman Taylor Martinez lined up in the shotgun at quarterback. His jaw dropping speed lead the Huskers to a 5 and 0 start and a national coming out party for Martinez in a Thursday night match up against Kansas State on ESPN.
Nine days later, the wheels would fall off the Big Red Express when the unranked and hated Texas Longhorns came to Lincoln and left with a 20 – 13 victory. In that game, the Huskers’ offense was absolutely stuffed with the lone touchdown coming off a 95 yard return of a pooch punt late in the game by Eric Haag. Martinez was benched as senior and 2009 starter Zac Lee entered the game for a rare appearance.
In retrospect, all the the negative aspects that would be a hallmark of Pelini’s tenure bloomed on that day.
(Screengrab via Huskermax.)
A month later, Pelini’s temper would take the national stage as he gave Martinez the ass-reaming of his life against Texas A&M. By Sunday night Martinez was already enrolled at UCLA (if message boards were to be believed).
A month after that, Martinez and the Huskers limped through a 19 – 7 loss against Washington in the Holiday Bowl- the same Huskies team that Nebraska destroyed 56 – 21 back in September.
At the helm for the Huskers in Saturday’s Holiday Bowl is the much maligned Barney Cotton. After the game, he’ll leave the Huskers (for a second time) for his new gig as UNLV’s Offensive Coordinator. With the exception of John Garrison and Charlton Warren, the futures for the rest of Pelini’s staff are up in air. The seniors have one final game together and the underclassmen will likely finish their careers as Mike Riley’s players.
About the only thing left for the Huskers to play for is pride. Pride for their team. Pride for their teammates. Pride for their coaches who deemed them worthy of playing for Nebraska.
Pride can be a dangerous weapon, especially with a healthy Husker squad and an offensive coordinator off his leash.
Scouting Report:USC started the 2014 season with a 52 – 13 win over Fresno State. Two weeks later, the Huskers muzzled the Bulldogs 55 – 19 while USC lost on the road to Boston College 37 – 31. The Trojans’ three other losses came at the hand of Arizona State, Utah, and UCLA. Their crosstown showdown was the only game the Trojans lost by more than a touchdown, falling to the Bruins 38 – 20, a game in which the USC defense got flustered and all but gave up in the second half.
The Trojans’ most notable wins of the season came against Stanford, Arizona on the road, and a 49 – 14 punch out of the Fighting Irish at home. In case you’re wondering, they did beat Mike Riley’s Beavers 35 – 10 in LA. Like the Huskers, the Trojans have the potential to run with anyone- if they can harness it.
The Trojan offense is lead by junior Quarterback Cody Kessler. He can sling the ball but he isn’t exactly fleet of foot having “rushed” 52 times for -149 yards. On the season, he’s been sacked 30 times.
An immobile quarterback has to have Defensive Coordinator John Papuchis licking his chops, right?
USC may have the better team on paper but the reality is there is truly only one edge the Trojans have on the Huskers heading into the Holiday Bowl.
Sorry, Scarletts. All the glitter in the world is no match for the simple white sweaters that are a trademark of the USC Song Girls.
And that’s about all the “serious” preview you’ll get from us.
In our defense, we did reach out to our friend Mick, an LAPD Sergeant and quite possibly the Trojans biggest fan. Seriously, he’s “The Dude” of USC football right down to his tattoo of Tommy Trojan holding the severed head of Notre Dame’s mascot whilst standing on the beaten pulp of UCLA’s Bruin.
This is the entire transcript of our chat.
What is your prediction for the Holiday Bowl and who are the USC players the Huskers need to watch out for?
Before we even had a chance to even think of being offended by such an epic brush off, we realized Mick had to already be in San Diego making his tailgate preparations and had no such time for silly questions. We’ve been his guest at USC games a few times over the years and aren’t kidding when we say he’ll show up at 6am to stake out his tailgate spot for a game that doesn’t start until 7pm.
Ideal Scenario: The Huskers close out the Bo Pelini era with a bold exclamation point with a fun and dominating performances on both sides of the ball reminiscent of the 2000 Alamo Bowl- arguably the Big Red’s most fun bowl game of the 21st century. A Kenny Bell to Ameer Abdullah touchdown pass would be absolute gravy.
Look for Tim Beck to empty his playbook with enough #TommyBombs to reenact Operation Linebacker I and II. That is of course when Ameer isn’t running wild on the Trojan defense.
On the other side of the ball, Randy Gregory and Jack “The Beastmaster” Gangwish will pin their ears back and give Cody Kessler a late Christmas gift of a world of pain. USC may get a couple of deep balls early but don’t be surprised when Papuchis stays calm under pressure and readjusts once he realizes no one is going to scream at him on the sideline.
Honestly, this game could go either way with a blowout for either team being the most likely outcome. It’s hard to imagine the Holiday Bowl going down to the wire so we’re gonna stick with our way early prediction of a 38 – 17 Husker victory.
Over/Under on Angry Bo Close Ups: 3 — ESPN will surely start the game with a montage of Bo’s “finest” moments.
Question That Needs an Answer: Will Barney Cotton finish his Cornhusker head coaching career undefeated?
This is a story about the time Nebraska played Wisconsin for the Big Ten Championship.
It’s a night Husker Nation would love to forget but the gruesome events that transpired on December 1, 2012 will be forever seared into the collective psyche of the unfortunate souls who witnessed the massacre at Lucas Oil Field.
While I was lucky enough to not see a single second of the game live, I felt nearly every Badger gut punch in real-time.
On that fateful night, two of my favorite things collided. It was a classic case of the unstoppable force vs the immovable object. In one corner you had the Huskers’ showdown with Wisconsin and in the other, my biggest cyclocross race of the 2012 campaign. It was getting late in the season and I was locked in a vicious battle for a mediocre ranking in a mediocre division. It was a race I couldn’t afford to skip. (Full disclosure: amateur bicycle racing has about as much at stake as a slow pitch softball league.)
My race started at 5:15, the same time as kickoff. With a little luck, I could make it to the watch site in time for the second half. The only snag in the plan was the weather. It was as bad as it could get for Los Angeles in December, low 50’s and rain flying in all directions. Thanks to a couple of ill-timed crashes late in the race, I plummeted out of a spot comfortably in the top ten and crossed the finish line in a battered 21st place, soaking wet and covered in mud from head to toe. For the record, it was a very hard fought 21st place. I didn’t quit and kept racing to the end.
As soon as I recombulated myself, I made a beeline to the car and dug out my phone to get an update on the game.
36 new texts were waiting for me. Immediately, my mind start racing about I how could possibly fill all the requests for Rose Bowl couch space without ending up divorced.
Then I started reading the messages.
They started out hopeful. Some Huskers! and GBRs! around kick off. My brother sent me a pic from his seats at the game. An enterprising buddy who knew of my personal crisis recorded T-Magic’s ridiculous touchdown run off his TV and sent me the video.
He closed his message by saying “It’s still early. Hope the Huskers can make a comeback.”
Wait, what? Taylor’s run made the score 14 – 7. The Huskers were only down a TD. So what. They’ve come back from much worse.
Then I checked the current score. 35 – 10 Wisconsin.
If the Huskers could get to 17 by the half, a victory for the Big Red would not be out of the picture. By the time I finished my comeback calculations, they staggered off the field down 42 – 10.
I was so stunned I didn’t know what to do. I was all packed up and ready to go watch the game but I wasn’t about to schlep over Hollywood just to be the muddy faced weirdo who randomly showed up for the second half.
In a daze, I walked back over to our team’s area on the race course. There would be beer there. I was greeted by a teammate who went to CU and was in the stands for the Huskers meltdown in 2001. “I saw the score. Sorry man. I don’t even know what to say. It’s just brutal.”
We then hugged it out as only people who understand the misery of college football can do.
Texts continued to pour in. Even friends who couldn’t pick a Husker uniform out of a police line up were checking on my well being.
We’re at a bar and saw some scores on the TV. Nebraska’s your team, right? Hope you’re OK. If you need anything give us a call. We’re here for you.
Hey dude. Holla back so I know you’re still with us. Suicide is never a good option.
Stay strong buddy. It’s only a game.
Sorry about the Huskers. Do you have any connections for Rose Bowl tickets?
What happened to the Huskers? Sorry we keep racking up the score. Not.
That’s what revenge is all about!
Do you have any room at your place if we come out for the Rose Bowl? We promise we won’t wear any Badger gear in the house.
As luck would have it, half my family hails from Wisconsin. Most are UW alums and all are avid sports fans. Packers, Brewers, and the Badgers and apparently not just for basketball.
I never heard a peep out of any of them about Badger football until Nebraska first met Wisconsin as a member of the Big Ten. Once they blew out the Huskers on their home field, the floodgates opened. Seriously, they could teach a class on Reddit about how to troll for maximum effect.
When Nebraska returned the favor the following year, I took the TO high road and didn’t say a word and neither did they. Unfortunately, their silence just meant they were working on material for the championship game.
It got so bad I turned my phone off midway through the third quarter and didn’t turn it back on until sometime Sunday afternoon.
A text from my brother was waiting for me. It was short. Simple. And to the point.
Dude. I was so depressed I went back to the hotel and ate a $60 steak with my bare hands.
When the Cornhuskers and Bulldogs last met, a true freshman named Ameer Abdullah saved the day for Nebraska.
What will he do as a senior?
Confidence: Um… Go Big Red? — Coming off last week’s “miracle” win against McNeese State, who really knows which Husker team will show up in Fresno? Couple that with the fact that for some reason, this trip to the Grand Island of California has been hyped as the ultimate trap game (despite Fresno State being a disastrous 0-2), the best my Magic 8-Ball can do is request that I ask again later.
Scouting Report: Derek Carr, the Fresno State QB who gave Nebraska fits back in 2011, is now slumming it with the Raiders and Taylor Martinez, the QB who gave everyone fits, is getting ready to embark in a career in real estate. The great Fresno State welfare scandal is a distant memory. Pat Hill, the coach who instilled the Bulldogs’ anytime, anywhere attitude grew out his sweet mustache and went back to building choppers.
Meanwhile, Bo Pelini is still roaming the Nebraska sideline though the Bo-Must-Go crowd has already smashed the record for earliest torch lighting after last Saturday’s game 2 debacle.
Three years after their inaugural meeting, it’s safe to say the Cornhuskers and Bulldogs are facing each other for the first time all over again.
One player who wasn’t around back in 2011 (or even much this season) is Imani Cross. With the Bulldogs’ horrid run defense set to key in on Abdullah, Cross could be the Huskers’ secret weapon.
Plus, it would make his mom really happy if her son got more touches.
Seriously. This is Imani’s mom and she’s laying down what everyone but Tim Beck seems to know– unleash the kraken.
Ideal Scenario: 10-15,000 Nebraska fans do what they do best and swarm tiny Bulldog Stadium, neutralizing the home field advantage. Tommy Armstrong transforms into TOUCHdown Tommy by figuring out how to put a little air under all those near-miss deep balls he’s been chucking up. The Huskers score though the air and the ol’ ground and pound en route to a comfortable win that none of the whiny blue hairs get to see thanks to the late start time and their inability to figure out a DVR and/or a VCR. And last but not least, the Blackshirts make their presence known by making it a long night for Fresno State QB Brandon Connette.
Over/Under on Angry Bo Close Ups: No line this week. This is either going to be one of those games where Bo is either all smiles or goes full Texas A&M. Besides, we won’t be able to confirm because we’ll be in attendance and have no idea how to find CBS Sports Network in that haystack of 500 cable channels.
It’s strange the way simple pleasures can evolve when following a football program like Nebraska’s. As a child of the 1980s and 1990s, I used to luxuriate in the ample amounts of respect bestowed upon my beloved Huskers — whether it was from opposing coaches and fans or sports commentators during broadcasts — their vocalized respect always made my chest swell with pride.
But the Huskers don’t get much of that lately. Back in the day, 75% of Nebraska’s slate resigned itself to losing from the get-go. Some even considered “winning” the coin-toss a nice pre-slaughter gesture. Sadly, over this last strange decade, all that veneration has disappeared into the dustbin of history. Most teams no longer expect to lose to the Big Red. Hell, I’ll bet more than a few Cowboys down at McNeese State are thinking — make ‘em turn the ball over four or five times and we’ve got a shot!
But, with the new-found bravado Husker opponents have shown in the prospects of upcoming clashes with Nebraska, a new form of satisfaction has evolved for me in watching NU play. And that’s seeing the stunned silence from opposing fans when the Huskers pull off something amazing.
It’s the same chagrin Steve Spurrier displayed during the 1996 Fiesta Bowl. A thing of beauty precisely because Spurrier was part of that rare species back in the 1990s — the opposing coach who thought he had better than even odds against the Huskers. When Spurrier’s mirage was officially bisected by a galloping Tommie Frazier, the broadcasters treated viewers to a savory display of recompense the likes of which I’ll never forget.
For the record, I don’t have anything personally against Steve Spurrier — the magnificent chief Cock that he is. But the sight of a smug, Coors-drinking bastard getting his hat handed to him was rare during the 1990s dynasty because the low expectations many of Nebraska’s opponents held never produced much hubris. So, ironically, one of the fruits of a lowered bar for Nebraska football is that now we get to see opposing fans (with the full assumption of a win in their pockets) shit bricks more often.
Assuming that many of you readers are like me — once quiet and dignified followers of a college football titan, now sniveling jealously in the shadows of our once-great reputation, I’ve gone ahead and assembled a gallery of some of my favorite screen shots from the past few years. This is the new simple joy our program bestows us: watching opposing fans react to something they just can’t believe.
Here a Texas fan finds her asshole tighten to a million pounds per square inch at the prospect of the Longhorns losing their BCS Championship bid at the hands of what essentially turned out to be the greatest performance of Ndamukong Suh’s collegiate career.
Oh, were it not for that horse-collar tackle!
Here Taylor Martinez has just mesmerized a cluster of incredulous K-State backers, dashing past a slew of Wildcats and beating them to the end zone by 15 yards.
Another amazing touchdown run by Martinez forces this Washington Husky fan to cover his eyes.
And finally, this may look like a typical, mouth-breathing Georgia good ole boy, but — in fact — this man’s jaw is hanging a little more slack than usual thanks to Tommy Armstrong’s 99 yard touchdown pass to Quincy Enunwa.
I hope these sufficiently whet some appetites for seeing a few more stunned opponents in 2014. Personally, I hope to add some Spartans, Badgers and Hawkeyes to the gallery next time this year. Go Big Red!