Tag Archives: runza

Memorial Stadium, We Need to Talk

By now everybody has posted their play-by-play review of the game on Saturday. I’m not going to give you another one of those, you get it. Things can change, Nebraska actually ran the ball.

Now I’m looking for more changes at Memorial Stadium. Or I’m going to possibly get in trouble.

I’m not ranking these changes that need to happen. They are all of equal importance.

Cheese Runzas


Why is it 2016 and I can only get a plain Runza at Memorial Stadium? If you asked 100 people if they wanted a plain Runza or a cheese Runza, 98 of them would say a cheese Runza, and the other two people wouldn’t have opinions worth respecting. Everything is better with cheese. Now I expect this to be changed by Saturday.


Group of children
They look real cute until they sit next to you for 4 quarters

Two kids behind us somehow separately fell two rows down onto my mom during the game. Glad my mom was there to break their fall. Just kidding, her back hurts and the mom didn’t even apologize. If that’s the amount of attention you are going to be paying to your kids, how about you pay a sitter. I don’t want to go to a game and have children bothering me the whole time. I don’t have kids because I wouldn’t know what to do with them. But I know what to do with yours. Parents, here is my suggestion.

The Wave

Is this the wave that ruined everything?

To quote The Boneyard, “‘The Wave’ started spontaneously in 2012, students and the band will lead the wave throughout the entire stadium, controlling its speed and direction.”

But, according to Leslie Micek of Big Red Fury, the wave should spontaneously stop in 2016. The wave is an abomination. The wave is for followers. The wave is for people who stand up because somebody else stands up. And don’t even get me started on how people in Memorial Stadium do the slow-mo and fast wave. What the hell is that about? Just stop it and watch the damn game.

Stadium Seats

Always nice to have those hard plastic backs be in the space that was meant for your knees
Always nice to have those hard plastic backs be in the space that was meant for your knees

If you give me enough trash bags, I will go around the stadium before the game and end this once and for all. These take up more than one seat and I am going to take a measuring tape to the game and measure a seat and then measure the whole bench because I know I’m right. The only exception I will make is for super old people, I’m fine with the elderly having them but if you are in your 40s or something and need a cushion, stay at home in your La-Z-Boy and watch the game.

Actually, I know I said I wasn’t going to rank anything but I can go without cheese on my Runza if these are all thrown away by Saturday.

I guess life is about priorities.

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Hey K-Dubs, Here’s Your Guide to Watching Husker Games at Home

Good news, everyone! Keith Williams didn’t get fired.

From what I’ve been able to decipher through the flurry of tweets leading to stories blocked by paywalls, K-Dubs will remain suspended without pay through August 31 and won’t be attending the first four games in any capacity.

Games three and four, as you may know, are Oregon and at Northwestern. Good thing being good at catching the ball has never been important when playing the Wildcats.

In the interim, Mark Philipp can double up as strength and receivers coach. We all know that K-Dubs has ingrained such a T-1000 level of  killer technique in his receivers that the only coaching they’ll need in his absence are occasional subtle, yet stern reminders to not drop the ball.

And who’s better to do that than a guy who could rip you in half?

Mark Philipp
Mark Philipp, a guy who could rip you in half.

Now that we’ve solved the temporary coaching crisis, let’s move on to the topic at hand.

The stark reality is that K-Dubs has probably never watched a Husker game at home. Up until last season, he never had a connection to the team and before that, the guy was busy doing football stuff with other teams. Best case, he might have randomly caught one between 1997 and 2000 when he was out of football according to his bio.

OK K-Dubs, here’s how you Husker like you’re one of us.


Don’t go try to crash some tailgates or check out the scene at the Railyard. As much fun as it is to be a fan, you need keep a low profile, my friend. The last thing you want to do is wander through someone’s Snapchat story.


FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, DON’T ORDER A PIZZA. Everyone and their brother who isn’t at the game will all have the same brilliant idea to order a pizza. If you’re lucky (which, let’s face it, you are and we’re glad), it will show up in the middle of the third quarter but if your luck has run out, expect to see it on your porch by Sunday morning.

But what you want to do is bribe your extraordinarily understanding and loving wife with whatever it takes for her to swing by the nearest Runza drive-thru for you and pick up a few of Nebraska’s greatest sandwiches that can’t really be classified as sandwiches.

(My inner-fat kid also suggests stopping by Taco John’s for some Potato Olés to cross the streams of Nebraska deliciousness but we won’t press our luck. Runzas will have to do.)

runza-largeThe venerable Runza.

To go with your Runzas, you’ll need some sodas, maybe some sparkling water, and a party tray of carrots, celery, etc. If you need to stress eat, you might as well try to be healthy about it.


Bigger and high-def’er is always better but as any Husker fan in the western reaches of the 308 will tell you, a Husker game can be just as stressful and exciting when you’re listening to it on a crackling radio while on the edge of your seat in a combine (the tractor, not football kind). But you’re city folk, so you can get the best of both worlds: TV and Radio.

Download the official Huskers app so you can stream the radio broadcast instead of listening the schlubs on TV drone on about Tommy and Jordan being roommates. Spend the first couple minutes of the game synchronizing the stream to your TV. It takes a little trial and error but once you get it locked in DON’T TOUCH ANYTHING.

One last important detail, make sure your cable package has the Big Ten Network. If you need a password to watch online, hit me up. You can use the one I borrowed.


Since you’ll be streaming the radio broadcast, you can pop-in your ear buds and have the TV on mute. Your wife will love you for that but what she won’t love is the inevitable screaming and yelling.

You have three options to prepare for this:

1. Treat your extraordinarily understanding and loving wife (and however many friends she’d like to bring along) to a spa day. (After she picks up your Runzas, of course.)

2.  Buy a screamin’ pillow to muffle the sound. Scream PillowThis is pretty self-explanatory.

3. Adopt a kitten. Todd and WillardThe calmest Husker game of my life took place on October 30, 2010, mere days after Willard was sprung from the pound. It also helped that the first quarter ended with the Huskers up 24 – 0 over Missouri thanks to Roy Helu Jr. running wild.


Think of this as the digital version of strolling through the Big Red Sea of tailgaters. No matter how hard you’re tempted, DON’T TWEET DURING THE GAME. It will just open the doors to trolls and you really don’t need to give that butthole coach at Ohio State a reason to be a bigger butthole.

What you can do, and I highly recommend it, is slide into the game thread on Huskermax. You don’t need to be a member unless you want to comment. Depending on what exactly you read though, you might want to become a member just so you can cool off some of the inevitable the-sky-is-falling hot takes and conspiracy theories. Seriously, bro. It’s like that every game.

Welcome to the other side of Husker Nation, K-Dubs. While it will be nice to have you among us, we can’t wait to see you back on the field.

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Meet Our New Contributor Leslie Micek

Hey there, remember us? Hope so because our off-season hiatus is back off, again. We trust you’ve been having a great summer, staying cool, never changing, and catching a boatload of that Pokéyman.

Before we resume our usual Husker high jinks, we’d like to introduce you to Leslie Micek, a five star recruit who’s joining the Big Red Fury squad this season.

If you’re a regular participant in #Huskers Twitter, there’s a good chance you’ve seen her hot takes and observations on game day. If you haven’t, follow her here. Leslie is a world-class smart-ass, probably knows more about the Huskers (and sports in general) than you do, and can pound Bud Heavies with the best of them. (Actually, she’d probably put you under the table.)

Since there’s really no way to improve upon an intro like that, let’s get to her interview.

You hail from the land of Kool-Aid, aka Hastings, aka Tom Osborne’s hometown. What was it like growing up in the southern corner of the golden triangle that is Nebraska’s tri-cities area? 

Perfect. Nebraska is a great place to be a kid, you can always be outside with a relatively low chance of finding any real trouble. I played with a lot of fireworks, rode my bike a lot, and constantly bothered all of the neighbors. I moved in 3rd grade, but my dad still lives there so I go back a lot and do Nebraska things like go fishing and attempt to learn how to play pitch. Not many people can say they were at the very first Kool-Aid Days back in 1997 (or something like that). And yes, that’s a real thing.

Leslie Micek
Leslie Micek, Husker fan, catcher of delicious bass.

What’s your earliest Husker memory? 

Winning. The teams of the mid 90s set me up for a lifetime full of disappointment. Thanks a lot, Tommie Frazier. Sometimes I get on YouTube and watch things like this- –


–it doesn’t help. I think I thought Nebraska was supposed to play in the championship every year. I mean, they are supposed to, they just don’t.

What’s your all-time favorite moment in your history as a Husker fan? 

A couple of years ago I sneaked onto the sidelines of a game at Northwestern. My friends had media passes and passed one back to me. I got to witness my boys Ameer and Randy Gregory up close and personal. It was awesome, until they figured out at the end of the third quarter that I wasn’t supposed to be there and kicked me out. I tried to say I lost my badge but the security guy wasn’t having it. It was just fun to know that I could yell at Bo if I chose to…I didn’t. By the way, that Northwestern stadium is pathetic.

Not many fans can say they’ve had a Husker coach send them their own HUDL highlight of their sideline freakout. See if you can spot Leslie going nuts at Northwestern.

What’s the one loss that still sticks in your craw the most? 

One?? Besides the obvious big losses, some personal memories have to include that very special BYU game last year. I decided last minute to go with my mom. I needed to be part of Mike Riley’s first game. I needed to be there. I did not need to see that BYU Hail Mary. Also, a special memory from the UCLA game in 2013 taught me to never make fun of my friends and their team until the game is over. The 18 point comeback by UCLA was brutal, I ended up being at Barney’s Beanery in West Hollywood from 9am-2am that day.

EDITOR’S NOTE: That’s a 17 hour(!) shift at a sports bar.

Who’s your all-time favorite player?

I’m bad at favorites. I would say either Tommie Frazier or Lawrence Phillips. There is a video compilation on YouTube of Lawrence Phillips running all over everybody for like 5 minutes.

He was just unreal. His story is heartbreaking but I find it very interesting. I think he is tied to be my favorite but he is the most interesting to me. Hope the upcoming 30 for 30 does his story some justice because I don’t think people know or understand the whole story of his life.

What’s your outlook for this season? Do Mike Riley and company have you feeling optimistic? 

HCMR and Co. have me pumped. They are recruiting really well and the energy is contagious. As Phil Steele said, the Huskers were 5 plays away from being 11-2 last season and has them as his No. 2 most improved team this season. To be honest it’s the best time of the year, the time to be delusional and say the Huskers are going undefeated. Everybody tweet to me after the Huskers first loss and remind me that I’m a moron (but I see them at least getting to the playoffs, their schedule is pretty good, minus the Ohio State part).

What are your feelings on the phrase “Run the damn ball?” 

I scream it at my TV enough that I suppose I like it.

You went to a “certain college” that was a former conference rival to Nebraska. You don’t have to name it, but was it like being a Husker fan behind enemy lines?

It was always fun to bring people from the school that will not be named to Nebraska for the games. They knew I wasn’t there permanently and referred to me as a tourist. I enjoyed showing them around Lincoln and introducing them to my Nebraska friends, and of course the local Runza. They always had a good time and the trips usually ended with us staying awake in the Cap City long enough to see the sunrise. It was quite a different experience for Nebraska fans making the trip to Columbia, they have some unwelcoming fans. I remember a story about some Mizzou fans letting all the air out of some Nebraska fans tires.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Um, I think you just named the school. 

Rank the following Big Ten teams from least to most hated: Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State, Wisconsin. 

1.Ohio State
1.Michigan State
1.Penn State

I’m an equal opportunity hater. I hate them all. Also, I have never understood the root for your conference stuff. If Nebraska loses, why do I want their competition to win? No thanks. Sorry to break it to Ohio State, but I will never be cheering for them.

Which one of the following Husker media types would you most like to have a beer with? Dirk Chatelain, Sam McKewon, Mike’l Severe, Tom Shatel, Steven M. Sipple.

Probably Tom Shatel because I don’t follow him so he hasn’t gotten on my nerves yet.

You’re one of the fortunate people who can claim being both a Husker fan and a Dodger fan. How would you say the two fan bases compare? 

I think they both are similar because they have very dedicated and loyal fan bases. It’s pretty easy to be dedicated for 12 games a season for football fans but I meet Dodger fans that watch 162 games a season. I would like to think that’s what Husker fans would be like if there were that many games. They are both also very knowledgeable fan bases. I think Husker fans know more than the average football fans, especially regarding recruiting. Dodger fans are the same way, they are very educated about their team and their opponents.

I’ve always thought of LA as sort of like a United Nations of college football where you’ll go to a bar and see many different colleges represented. Is there a school’s fans that you find almost likable and is there a group that you find completely obnoxious?

 I don’t know about a likable fan base but as soon as I thought of an obnoxious and unlikable fan base, my first thought was The U. They are all unbearable.

 How would you say the overall college football knowledge base of an average Nebraska fan compares to other college football fans? 

Husker fans blow everybody else out of the water in the category. I don’t know a lot of other fans that follow the recruiting process so closely. When I talk to other college football fans they don’t usually know who they are after and don’t attend any of the camps. Nebraska fans are big football dorks and will attend almost anything. I drove an hour and a half and through a fire in Calabasas to a Nebraska satellite camp last month and didn’t think twice. But speaking of recruits… Darnay Holmes, please come to Nebraska.

On those rare occasions that Nebraska loses, what’s your mood like after a game? How long does it take you to recover? 

Such a rare occurrence that I can’t remember the last time that happened. But for future reference, nobody should contact me the rest of the day.

Who’s your number one QB if you’re building a team? Tommy Armstrong, Eric Crouch, Tommie Frazier, Joe Ganz, Taylor Martinez.

You go Tommie Frazier 100% of the time. As Tommie Frazier says “T Fraz, he was too smooth, he was too fast” in this classic rap song by Terrel Farley and Tommie Frazier:

Would you rather have one Ndamukong Suh or two Peter brothers anchoring a defensive line? 

It’s had to turn down two DTs on the greatest college football team of all time, but when Suh is the other option. You pick Suh. Plus he is the size of two people but only one scholarship. That’s a bargain.

Amigos or Taco John’s? And what’s your go-to order? 

Amigos. I love their chips and cheese and their crisp meat. The crisp meat is like a crispito from school lunches, I’m sure nobody will know what that is either. But I could really go for some Potato Olés right now.

How would you explain a Runza to someone who’s never heard of one? 

This actually comes up a lot. I say its kind of like a cheeseburger baked into a roll. But better. Then I just usually talk about the mini corndogs and fries and people are on board.

Finally, let’s say you have a Kool-Aid stand out in the desert and from over a sand dune appears Bo Pelini, He’s been lost and wandering for days. How much would you charge him for an ice cold and refreshing glass of Kool-Aid? (Hypothetically, you’d have a square reader and he’d have a black AMEX.) 

 He better hope there is another Kool-Aid stand around.

Leslie Kool-Aid Stand
That’s right, Bo. Keep steppin’.

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Going Full Circle with Southern Miss

Special Guest Post by Nick Allen – 

Nebraska played at Southern Miss on Thursday, September 25, 2003.

The scariest day of my life.

Six weeks prior I was in a doctor’s office hearing an OBGYN tell my girlfriend and I that we were going to be having a baby in October.

I said, “This year?

Six weeks later my first son was born.

At the time, I was cooking at a German restaurant and had been 21 for three months. I was in no position to be a dad. Sometimes I still feel like I’m not.

My future wife and I were blindsided. There had been recent signs that a baby may be appearing but we figured we would have standard notice. Instead, we had six weeks.

I’m a habitual procrastinator and was on the phone calling relatives the night before Sara was going to be induced saying, “I’m having a baby.

They would say, “When?

I said, “Tomorrow.

The only piece of advice I remember from that six weeks came from Miguel, an 18 year old father of one I worked with at Das Rheinland. I told him I was going to be a dad and he simply said, “It’s not about you anymore, Homie.

Since the day my son was born, that’s how I’ve been trying to live my life. Not about me anymore, Homie.

I’ve been trying but it’s not always easy. Trying to make sure my bad days stay my bad days instead of becoming other people’s bad days. Trying to wake up early. Trying to drink less. Trying to smoke less. Trying to be around and be present.

Sometimes I succeed, often times I fall way short. I’m really just trying to raise a good kid who doesn’t resent me. Who’s a good person because of me instead of in spite of me. And do the same with his brother and sister. It’s all a work in progress.

Sara was induced early on the day Conner was born. Nebraska was playing at Southern Miss that night but it was pretty far down on a lengthy list of things I was worried about. She was in a painful labor until an epidural. After that, we were kind of just hanging out, waiting for a baby to arrive.

While we were waiting into the night, there was a lone football game on the TV. Nebraska at Southern Miss.

Southern Miss, Brett Favre’s alma matter. On a Thursday. Under the lights. Against the Nebraska Cornhuskers.

I don’t remember who Nebraska’s quarterback was that night, I don’t remember who the coach was either. I don’t know if I was supposed to be mad at the defensive coordinator that week.  It didn’t matter. It still doesn’t.

I was much more concerned about the human life that I was going to be responsible for busting out at any second. He was more laid back, waiting for Nebraska to secure the victory before joining us.

He was born at 10:52pm. I remember seeing him and watching his eyes adjust. I remember kissing my wife then staring at both of them in awe.

We had family waiting outside the door waiting to hear any news. I opened the door and put both fists in the air.

It’s a boy!”

By the end of the night I was a dad with a newborn son.

This past Saturday, I took Conner to his first Nebraska home game. Southern Miss at Nebraska. He turned 12 the day before. It was perfect.

A kid in Memorial Stadium with a grin on his face. Runzas in the stands. Big plays from the Blackshirts. A Nebraska kid at fullback stealing the show. Two old ladies sitting in front of us getting hit with a hot dog shot from a canon. My son thinking Jordan Westerkamp should get the ball every play and wondering if Tommy Armstrong will win the Heisman because, “He’s a quarterback and a running back.”

Jodan Westerkamp Tommy Armstrong

Nebraska beat Southern Miss. The game got close at the end. There was grumbling in the stands and bated breath throughout the stadium. Someone sitting near us said, “That was scary.

I wasn’t scared on Saturday. I was scared in 2003. I’m still scared now. But not about football. It’s a game. A game played by kids not much older than my son. I’m scared I’m not a good dad. Scared all of my shut off notices are going to arrive on the same day. Scared I’m in over my head. I need to be more laid back like my son.

I asked him if he thought Southern Miss was going to come back and win. He said, “I knew Nebraska was going to win the whole time. They had it.”

They did. And I think we have it too.

Nick Allen is a stand up comic who lives in Omaha. He was featured this past summer on NBC’s Last Comic Standing. Follow him on Twitter at @NicksAllens.

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Meet Student Correspondent Hayley Archer

A new feature for Big Red Fury this season is the addition of Hayley Archer, a senior Broadcasting major, as our first-ever student correspondent.

Last spring I put out a call that this humble site was looking to hire a student contributor to write up game recaps based on what they experienced from their spot in the Boneyard. As a marginally responsible adult, I thought it could be a good way to pay forward some of the opportunities I received while a student at UNL and add a little flair to this joint.

I had a solid idea of who I was looking for and received several great applications from some pretty thoroughbred Husker fans. Then Hayley’s submission swooped down from the sky like a Pegasus.

I was hoping to snag a Jammal Lord-like combo of talent and enthusiasm for the Big Red and ended up with an Eric Crouch.

Seriously, she’s gonna be great. Check out our Q & A to get to know the newest member of the Big Red Fury team —

OK, so tell us a little bit about yourself. Kidding. That’s a horrible question. We’ll cut to the chase. You’re from Minnesota but you’re a die hard Husker fan, how did that happen?

Honestly, I get asked this question and I’m still not sure what the answer is. I had fallen in love with the UNL campus in the few times I had been here, so I ended up coming here for school and becoming a Husker fan all just kind of happened.

What’s been the response by your friends and family after the last couple games against Minnesota?

Well, for the first game that I was here for, we won and I didn’t hear anything from anyone except my dad who naturally just played it off like it was no big deal to him. The next year, my phone (that was about 3 years old at that point) ended up freezing from all of the notifications that I got from everyone — both football fans and non-football fans. This past game I didn’t really get the same response from the Gopher fans, mostly because I think they felt bad about what happened with my phone the year before. Minnesotans are too nice.

Hayley Archer
Student contributor Hayely Archer. Look for her reports from the Boneyard for every home game and maybe even a few away games.

Once you took the plunge into becoming a Husker fan, did you do anything to get up to speed on Husker lore such as binge watching classic highlights on YouTube?

Don’t tell my mom, but I actually accidentally missed one of my classes one day from binge watching things on YouTube. Full games, highlights, interviews, everything. I’ve been (a little) more responsible about it, but I still love learning more about the history of the Huskers.

Your first game, who did the Huskers play and what was the experience like?

My first game was quite the experience. It was the first home game my freshman year — Southern Miss in 2012. This was back when they let students get their tickets checked at both gates, and since both my friend and I had no idea where we were going, we ended up getting lost inside the stadium and sitting in the first 10 rows of East Stadium. The entire experience was chaotic trying to figure out what all was happening with the students, but it was still quite the experience. I actually didn’t find out that I was in the wrong spot until the next game when my friends brought me to South Stadium.

Favorite game day ritual?

I have a pair of game day socks that I wear (almost) every game. They’re not lucky or anything, because we’ve still lost when I wear them, but for some reason I still wear them. Except I forgot them for the B1G Championship game…. So I’ll take the blame for that one. Sorry guys.

All-time favorite game moment?

I’ve had so many but I think I’m going to have to go with the two cliches — the Hail Mary and being able to watch Jack get his touchdown at the spring game. Both still give me goosebumps every time I watch them, and I still haven’t been able to watch Jack without at least tearing up.

With the Hail Mary, were you sitting in your usual spot and what was the reaction like around you? Was that the loudest it’s ever been for you at Memorial Stadium?

For the Hail Mary I was in South Stadium since I was only a sophomore at the time. I was somewhere in the front ten rows, which was pretty typical for us. Within a few seconds after the catch, everyone else was magically in the front ten rows as well, since everyone was jumping up and down and falling and whatnot. It was pure chaos and excitement everywhere. I hugged like eight people that I had never met before. But despite the excitement from everyone, I’d still have to say the loudest that I’ve ever seen Memorial Stadium was at the 2012 game against Wisconsin. That was absolutely insane.

You’ve never missed a home game. Have you ever had to do anything crazy to keep your streak alive?

I haven’t been home for Thanksgiving in two years, now going on three. Since I have my own apartment now, my parents came down here to celebrate last year, and I’m sure they’ll probably come down this year too.

On that rare occasion when the Huskers lose, what’s your mood like following a loss?

I definitely stand out because I definitely still have my Minnesotan optimism. It’s always the “we’ll get them next time!” or “if we just work on this, we’ll be great!” Unless it’s against Wisconsin, because that one’s personal.

As an “outsider,” what’s a favorite quirk that you’ve noticed among Nebraskans both as people and as Husker fans? (My wife is from Louisiana and she laughs whenever she hears the word ‘pop’ and chanting Go Big Red, three times every time, drives her bananas.)

I haven’t really noticed too much that’s different between Nebraskans and Minnesotans, but being from Minneapolis and being around so many small-town people has been pretty interesting. Overall though, I think I stand out more to Nebraskans, because apparently I have an accent and my love for hockey is “weird.”

If you could share a Runza with any current player who would it be? (And if you say anything bad about the hallowed Runza, this conversation is over.)

Well usually my go-to answer would be Kenny Bell, but he doesn’t count anymore. I’m probably going to have to go with Sam Foltz. He seems pretty cool and we’re both Vikings fans so I’m sure we’d get along great.

If you could share a Taco John’s Six Pack and a Pound with any former player who would it be? (And if you say anything bad about John and his delicious tacos and spicy potatoes this conversation is over.)

I feel like after my last answer I have to go with Kenny Bell. He’s been my favorite player since my first game here. But I also think it’d be pretty interesting to be able to sit down and talk with Suh.

If you could travel back in time (is there still a time machine on the roof of Oldfather Hall?) and witness any moment in Husker history what would it be?

I know it’s kinda lame to choose something that I’ve already experienced, but I would give anything to be able to go back in time and relive the Wisconsin game in 2012. The atmosphere of Memorial Stadium was unreal, and there is literally nothing I love more than seeing the Badgers lose.

So… does your dislike of Wisconsin simply stem from years of Vikings/Packers games?

Growing up in Minnesota I feel like you’re taught to hate all Wisconsin teams before you’re taught to cheer for Minnesota teams. I was never a huge Gopher fan for football when I lived there, but I still loathed the Badgers. I’m just glad Nebraska finally feels the same way.

Awesome. People out here in LA don’t understand that states can have serious beefs with each other.

Especially with border battles haha.

What’s your outlook on the season? Are you expecting instant success or are you OK with a bumpy road?

I have high hopes for this season, but I am more than okay with a bumpy road. It may take a year or two for Mike Riley to really get the team that he’s envisioning, and once he gets a couple of his own recruiting classes in here , I think he’s going to do some pretty great things.

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A Digression on In-N-Out

Nebraska’s hiring of Mike Riley and his reported love affair with In-N-Out Burgerd has raised an old puzzlement of mine. One that manifested soon after moving to Los Angeles 15 years ago.

In-N-Out. What’s the big fucking deal?

Mike Riley digs into a double-double.
Mike Riley digs into a double-double.

Now, for those of you who regularly read this blog, you probably noticed that we typically write in first person plural. In this case, I’m going singular because Big Red Fury is divided on this issue. Just wanted to be clear.

For folks who’ve never seen In-N-Out’s most popular sandwich (the Double Double — which if you ask me, should mean FOUR patties, not two) here it is.


Yep. That’s what all the fuss is about. And I say “fuss” because I just don’t get it. The same way I don’t get why “Crash” won Best Picture in 2005. It’s a patently unremarkable movie. Just as the Double Double is an unremarkable burger.

It’s not a bad burger, by any means. I ate probably a dozen of them during the ten years I lived in California. But that’s just 1.2 a year, despite having had an In-N-Out five blocks from my house for four of those years.

As I think about it, the Double Double is really the Bo Pelini of burgers. As satisfying as any 9 or 10 win season, but — gosh darn it — never rising to a level of greatness.

How’s that for irony?

But mention In-N-Out to any native Californian, whether living there now or transplanted somewhere else, and their eyes will immediately roll into the back of their heads, their jaws will dip down to their sternums, drool will spill out and they will utter in one octave lower than their usual tone of speech “Ohh God! Double Double’s soooooooo yummy!”

I guess. If you say so.

Now, initially I figured maybe because California is not in the beef belt people there aren’t use to “grade A” red meat the way we are back in Big Red country and that’s why West Coasters have gone nuts for a decidedly average hamburger. But no. Most of the Nebraska transplants I knew living in the LA basin were also gaga for double doubles. And since moving to Omaha, I’ve listened to no less than three native Nebraskans still living in Nebraska get as gooey for In-N-Out as anybody.

To each their own, obviously.

On one level, I guess I can relate, because I’ve professed my love for Runzas to non-Nebraskans before only to be met with a “what’s the big fucking deal” expression in response. And to me, if you don’t like Runzas, well then you’re just an asshole. Probably a pretentious one, too.

So far as I know, Mike Riley hasn’t given his verdict on Runzas. But I hope he likes them, because I really want to like Mike. And I can appreciate the idea of knowing the head coach’s favorite food. It makes me think of when Ronald Reagan was President and everybody knew that he liked jelly beans. The press of the 1980s was so transfixed by this tidbit that they were sure to ask Reagan’s successor, George HW Bush, what his favorite food was right off the bat. Bush 41 said, “Pork rinds.”

Somehow this was not as charming as jelly beans. And so the press never bothered to find out what Clinton’s, Bush 43’s or Obama’s favorite snacks were (although I’d bet hard money that W’s was not pretzels).

I do wonder what Mike will do now that there is not a single In-N-Out Burger joint in the entire Big 10 footprint. The nearest restaurants are in Dallas and Salt Lake City. Not exactly wake-up-in-the-middle-of-the-night-and-kill-your-craving distance. But then, there are no In-N-Outs in the state of Oregon, either. So I suppose Mike probably knows how to bed his appetite back down when he needs to. But without the option of getting a fix at least on conference road trips, one has to wonder how long before the new “Most Important Man in the Entire State of Nebraska” goes stark raving crazy.

I guess he’ll have to stock up during his West Coast recruiting trips. Just as long as he doesn’t let slip Lincoln’s lack of double doubles to those In-N-Out crazy California prospects.

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Remembering Kenny Bell’s Greatest Hit

How special is Kenny Bell?

Special enough that when his record-setting career at Nebraska ends, he’ll leave behind a legacy as one of the greatest Husker receivers ever. And his greatest moment won’t even be a catch.


Poor Devin Smith never stood a chance.

Eventually Devin was able to scrape himself off the turf at Lucas Oil Field and signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers. In a rather ironic twist, he’s currently on their Injured Reserved list.

Earlier this week I reached out to him to see if he was interested in reminiscing about that time he got destroyed by Kenny Bell.

I never heard back but luckily there’s a Plan B.

I have a friend named Devin who was happy to sub-in.

He’s an Oregon grad and was a staff member on their women’s volleyball team. He spent some quality time in Omaha a few years ago during the Final Four. For the record, it was I, not he, who brought up the fact that the Ducks bumped off the Huskers on their own turf.

Devin has never seen Kenny in action so when I pulled up his monster hit, he was watching it for the first time, the very first time.

ME: Here it comes… wait for it.
DEVIN: Oh Fuck!
ME: Pretty impressive, huh?
DEVIN: That might be the biggest hit I’ve ever seen. The only one worse than that might be Reggie Bush. Can we watch it again?

Devin pinpoints the exact moment, Devin Smith’s soul made a hasty exit from his suddenly limp and lifeless body.

ME: Do you think you could have handled that hit?
DEVIN: No way. As a fellow Devin I really feel his pain.
ME: How was your time in Nebraska?
DEVIN: It was nice. It was cold. Good steaks. Really good steaks.
ME: How long were in you in Omaha?
DEVIN: A week, week and a half or so.
ME: Did you try a Runza?
DEVIN: No… I don’t even know what that is.
ME: Did you go to Taco John’s?
DEVIN: Nope. I went to Chiptole. Nothing really stuck out besides the steaks.
ME: We’re the fans nice?
DEVIN: Surprisingly. Is this interview about the hit or are we just going to talk about Nebraska?
ME: Do you think the hit was legal?
DEVIN: 100%
ME: Even with the score the way it was?
DEVIN: They’re just trying to get back in it, man.
ME: If Kenny Bell had a nickname, what do you think it would be?
DEVIN: Uh, the Bell Ringer?
ME: That’s actually really good. What if I told you it was Afro Thunder?
DEVIN: Even better.
ME: Kenny’s pretty much going to end his career as Nebraska’s best receiver ever. He’s breaking records that were set by a Heisman Trophy winner back in 1971. If his greatest play was this block, what does that say to you?
DEVIN: That he needs to add some more flair to his catches.

We take a timeout and watch this-


DEVIN: Holy shit! Was that one handed? This dude is incredible.

Yes, yes, he is incredible.

Welcome to the Kenny Bell fan club, Devin.


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