Dear Fellow Husker Fans,
As I sit here pondering what to say on my first blog entry here I recall something I heard or read and it goes like this. "Every story has a beginning, for without a beginning there can be no end." So with that in mind I will say this, this first entry could and may very well be part history lesson, part insight, part tangents headed who knows where, and part just me doing what I love to do, that is write.
First off, I figure the one question people would ask is why the title live from BugahaWest/ Well, I grew up in the great state in Omaha to be exact and back in the day of the Jim Rome radio show "The Jungle" he would call Omaha "Bugaha". It was a kind reference to the Bugeaters back in the day. Anyways, in college I somehow got stuck with the nickname Bugaha or Bug for short. When I started doing major emailing in terms of sports or whatever I would make the title subject be "Live from Bugaha." Well, many moons have passed since my collegiate days (well spent at the young sister school University of Nebraska-Kearney) and after a year in South Dakota in which I met a terrific girl, she convinced me that I would want to move to Pac-10 country and now I reside in sunny Arizona. Well, I wanted to continue my emails but I could no longer say Bugaha since I wasn't there so I changed the name to BugahaWest. Those days of massive football writings came to a halt for a few years but I pray that with this site that I will feel the creativity flow again and be able to provide more from BugahaWest. Thank you in advance.
Secondly, let's talk history a bit. Everybody has the titles down pat, how far TD Tommie Frazier's run was in the Fiesta Bowl, etc. I want to give my view of that lovely history. My love for Nebraska football started from birth, had to be born in the great state, but my first recollections of Nebraska football are just a shade after the Triplets in 83. I remember Steve Taylor lighting up UCLA, the losing streak to OU, finally beating those guys, the OU game in 92, the We-Backs (C. Jones and Brown), The Sandman, and down the line. The losses sucked big time and then the 1994 Orange Bowl came along. Were there blown calls, of course, did it cost us the game, maybe. However, if you want to base the game on one call, that pass interference call on FSU's last drive was huge. Enough said on that though cause the years were kind afterwards. I loved staying up what seemed like forever after the 95 Orange Bowl and 96 Fiesta Bowl. It was a beautiful thing and a beautiful feeling really. It is the type of feeling I pray my kids get to feel, no matter who they root for later in life (I am raising them Husker red, but being in Pac-10 country, it can be rough. One has a liking for of all teams, Colorado. Yuck). Then came the retirement of TO and hiring of Frank Solich. Those were good years, not great, but I personally thought the team was on the upswing. What I can't figure out is this, Steve Pederson is a born Nebraskan, went to UNL for college, and did what he did. If that isn't Benedict Arnold crap, nothing is. I don't know if there is something in the water on the East Coast or what, but to blow up tradition and family like that, that's a big no no. Do you realize that if the University were that quick on TO, he would have taken the Colorado job back in the 70's. The firing sucked but I was thinking maybe the way Pelini coached the bowl game he would have been offered the job that night. Didn't happen that way (anybody thinking W. Virginia is smart in how they handled the RichRod deal and also gave the reigns to their interim? I do). So, they search for a new coach and after striking out on a couple they get Wild Billy C. I was ok with it, I really was. Here's a guy that took Raidernation to the SB one year and the toilet the next. I thought maybe he could use the fresh air. I was even thinking he would incorporate the WCO in to what NU was running already and we would have a pseudo-Syracuse or even a pro style attack like USC, powerful run game with a bit more pass. Heck no, he threw the running game out the window. My family put me in charge of teaching them all the WCO and what to look for. I did my best, but deep down inside I think even then I knew it wouldn't work. Fast forward 4 years and I am reading a internet post about the NU-CU game stating CU had won. My oldest is grinning and rubbing t in and I am thinking, yeah we lost the battle but we won the war. Come Mday I was a happy camper, WBC and his WCO had been given a one way ticket out of town. Yes.
I want to take a break, cause my next thought I want to spend a good time on and let you digest a bit. Before I go into that though I heard a tale and don;t quote me on it, but I heard that when the NY Jets go west for football games they have to either use SD or Kansas air space. If they fly in Nebraska air space the Nebraska National Guard will not take kindly to that and will fly alongside the jet to make sure Callahan doesn't even look out his window let alone have the plane land in Nebraska.
Thirdly, ok the next thought. The hiring of Bo Pelini. This was a back and forth deal from the get go. I know there were other names that TO was looking at and at the get-go my list was 5 names strong: Turner Gill, Tony Samuel, Bo Pelini, Kevin Steele, or Barry Alvarez. These 5 guys have one thing in common, they are all family. Of course Alvarez wasn't going to leave his cushy desk job in Wisconsin, so he was out. Kevin Steele might have been a year or two away from another head gig after the Baylor one. As for Tony Samuel, this was a interesting one. I know he coached for a New Mexico team (the one in Las Cruces) but I wasn't sure if he was still there or not. That left the two front runner and most of the great state were in the same boat. Yes, there was tremendous upside for either guy. You have Turner Gill, a young man that looks like he hasn't aged a day since that fateful night in Miami back in '83 (on that note ever see the video of him consoling Tommie after the 94 game then celebrating the following year? I swear, he actually got younger after that game), a young man that on the totem pole of Nebraska hierachy has to rank in the top 15 if not top 10 (I'll give you my list later), and a young man that had a successful gig going at Buffalo. What's not to like? On the other side you have coach Pelini. A gentleman that was family, for only a year, but that is enough. A gentleman that groomed young men into top 10 defenses at every stop he made and lest we forget, a gentleman that was 1-0 already in his head coaching career. Again I ask, what's not to like? When the announcement came that Pelini was coach I am pretty sure 99% of the state cheered (the other 1% are either A. not football fans or B. anti-Nebraska). Heck, there might have been a few like me that would say, why not have Pelini try to lure Gill ack to Nebraska and have him be the OC. Wasn't meant to be and is probably for the best. Anyways, Pelini gets the gig and the state is joyous. My mom and dad, bless them asked me if I agreed and I said yes and for these reasons. #1. I am not going to say he will have us back on top in one year, but I do know that he will have the D-fence hitting like I know the d-fence should hit. The intensity would be 100% just because he is on the sideline. #2. I beleive he is ready for the big-time gig and I wasn't completely sold on whether Turner was. #3. Coach Osborne says he was the right man for the job and all my life when it came to Nebraska football I trusted Osborne's decisions, even the ones I disagreed with. I did add one point, this was a win-win situation no matter who was picked. The younger generation (ages 35 and under) would fall in love with Pelini and his intensity, they saw him in action that one year. The older generation (35 and up) I thought and correct me cause I could be wrong, but my gut feeling was saying the older guys would have gone with Turner Gill, the reason being he is truly family. Coach Osborne recruited him, coached him, and brought him back into the fold after his baseball career ended. By family alone, TG would be the choice, but I figured deep inside the older generation would be like me and trust Coach Osborne's decision.
Fourthly, the new coaching staff. What is there not to like. Carl Pelini is in the fold, Barney COton is back, Ron Brown is back, and Shawn Watson is the OC. I actually like this move and this is the reason. I believe Watson wanted to run the ball more last year, BC just said no. The O really wasn't the problem last year the D was. The continuity on O will help the D, watch and see.
Fifth, spring game 2008. Yeah, they ran option on the first play and fumbled. No problem, it happens guys. I didn't watch the game but caught some highlights and the D did have their moments, but the intensity was there. I was like wow, these guys don't just want to play football, they want to fight. I loved it. I spend time on youtube watching highlights of the D back in the early and mid-90s flying to the ball and striking fear in opposing QBs. That spring game, I saw that same fly to the ball mentality that was sorely missed last year. It wont come overnight, but I believe next year there will be major improvement on D and after a year under their belt of the Pelini dogma of D, the Blackshirts will be a top 10 if not top 5 unit once again. Fear the D, Go Blackshirts.
I want to end this with one last plug and that is for Operation Blackout. It is something I thought up over the spring and would like to see come true. I am just one young man far from the great state, but with the help of many, maybe, just maybe it could happen. Crazier things have come to past that started as visions of one young person. So check it out, Operation Blackout in the Forums discussions.
I know I ran a bit long on a opening blog and if you made it to this point let me close by saying this. I want to thank you for taking the time to read my post. It means alot to a aspiring writer and journalist. Please make a comment, good or bad, I will read them. Finally, as I used to end Live From BugahaWest years ago, I will end this. Thank you in advance, God bless and Go Big Red.