Dear fellow Husker Fans,
I know it has been quite a few weeks since I last wrote but there is good reasons for it. The first is the fact that I felt my weekly thoughts were getting stale and just writing to give a game highlights is not what I wanted my blogging to be about. The second reason is that the past few weeks, while I did enjoy the games (listened to parts of Wyoming at the library, watched 3 quarters of the Wisky game at a local Buffalo Wild Wings <the wife and I called it date night> and was given updates every few minutes during the second half of the OSU game) the thought of having to write when not much more could be said that wasn't in the OWH or other papers made it feel like I was writing to write and therefore almost like work. So I took a break. However, as this weekend has gone I felt the writing bug bite again and I'm not exactly sure where this is going to go. I have somewhat of a start so if you need time to get something to eat and/or drink, do so now, because the next few thoughts are going to take us for a roller coaster ride.
I said in my very first blog post that I agree with Bo Pelini being named the head coach and to this day I am still behind him. My folks and I are now coming at odds over the hiring due to his sideline antics. Here is SE Arizona another head coach that has had his fair share of sideline outbursts just got fired, but I think Coach Stoops was fired more for the fact that he lost control of the locker room and there was the fact of 1 win in the last 11 games. I only bring this up because if sideline antics are all that get your blood to boil to the point of fire Pelini, you have no argument. Has he had some outbursts this year, yes. Have they cost NU the game or even field position, no. There are some that say Coach Osborne never had a sideline outburst. Really? Are you sure? Get his book "More than Winning". There is a shot of Osborne kneeling on the ground punching the turf after a blown play. I put that at a small tremor on sideline outbursts, but still it was a show of emotion.
Then there is the off the field dealings with the press. Is he short with the press yes. Does he dwell in coach speak, yes. Was he hired to be the head coach or a public speaker? Coach Pelini was hired to coach. I did a evaluation on Pelini using what I know of the guy and believe me, this is the norm. First off, Coach Pelini is the younger of the two Pelinis. Look in your own families and you see some of the same character traits between your younger siblings and Coach Pelini. The wearing of emotions on the sleeve, the obnoxiousness, and on the good side a strong sense of family. Secondly, Coach Pelini is a defensive coach and look at most of the defensive coaches in the college ranks and the NFL. They are "black and white, no gray" types. You know the types and I know the types because I am one. There is a solid firm right way and wrong way to do things. There is no ifs, ands, or buts. Also, a defensive coach for the most part isn't overly creative when speaking to the press or in a public forum. Check out Coaches Belichek, Stoops (all 3 of them), Saben, and Buddy Ryan. One of the few exceptions are the Ryan brothers, but those are few and far in between. As for being staunch supporters of family, they poked its head after the Ohio St game and that brings me to my next point.
I took a journalism class in high school and to this day my mom and dad swear left and right I majored in the wrong area, should have gone business and journalism. Back to the high school class, my writing was so well I received the Omaha World Herald Key Staffer Award for my high school, I did a "Voice from the Grandstands" ripping Tom Shatel and the OWH staff about their biases to Class "A" athletics only and included my own rundown on a great Class "B" game I attended (ok, so it was my high school), and wrote such a great and believable article for our April Fools issue of the student paper that less than 2 dozen people read it (the journalism class, 1 teacher, 1 dean of students, the school principle, 2 members of the school board, and my parents). Yeah, it was a banned article, but as the teacher and principle told me that day, it wasn't because it was badly written, but due to other happenings in other high schools, it was too believable. Anyways, the reason I bring this up is because I feel it gives me good background coverage to say I side with Coach Pelini in his battles with the press and more imporrtantly, one Dirk Chatelein of the OWH. Mr. Chatelein wrote a article on the OWH website which he interjected some personal opinions in saying that Taylor Martinez didn't "fit in" at Nebraska. Now, if you want to get into personal attacks and mudslinging, become a politician. What Chatelein said was wrong in every journalism book ever written. Now, I can sit here and say Taylor Martinez dropping back for pass is not NU's best option due to his throwing mechanics (throws off back foot, throws the ball like he shot-putting it, and stares down receivers). However, Taylor Martinez running the ball along with Rex Burkhead and the three freshmen is NU's best option at QB. So, what does Chatelein do after the OSU game? He shows up late for a press conference and proceeds to ask a question in reference to Martinez. Are you kidding? Nebraska just had its biggest comeback ever and to bring the spotlight back to you, you throw gas on a fire that should be long out. I loved Coach Pelini's answer and more than that, I wish he pulled a Steve Spurrier and ended the press conference until DC left. Coach Pelini is doing what he does best, protecting the family. Ask yourself this, if somebody said something that is slanderous to you or your family, are you going to forgive right away and forget or are you going to tell the guy to shove off and don't let the door hit you where the good Lord split you. Personally speaking, I am for the second one. Just ask my wife why I haven't spoken to my mother-in-law in over 18 months. She said something bashing the wife and I lit in to her better than any Pelini sideline rant.
Speaking of Taylor Martinez, some ask why Brion Carnes hasn't taken any snaps. Well, apparently he hasn't shown enough consistency in practice. Also, if you caught the Maryland game this past weekend, you would know they blew a 5 TD lead in the 4th quarter. So, maybe the Wisky game could have been different if the play calling was different. But that is a different item.
In conclusion, I want to share something a little personal. This past week I found myself almost hating my love for football in general. I was hitting the OWH website a couple times a week and this past week I was feeling like I did in 1995 after the LP incident. There were fans ripping into coaches, players, writers, and each other. I went to the site to catch up as much as I can and it felt like what the last 3 weeks felt like somewhat in terms of writing, work. I went for an escape and it felt like listening to political talk radio, complete with a few laughs from me from due to the outlandish remarks, but mostly a feeling of dread, you know, here we go again. So I took a step back and yesterday (10-15-2011) was a perfect day to start. You see, the wife and I don't have cable and on this side of the canyons the only TV station we get is NBC and we don't have internet access at home. You combine that fact with the other fact that Notre Dame (NBC), University of Arizona (the team in this part of AZ, radio), and Nebraska all had a bye week and I basically said time to make it a football free Saturday and thats what I did. I woke up for my overnight job at 6ish, got ready for work, and watched Harry's Law before going to work. Then while at work last night I took a few minutes to myself when I was making walks to step back and figure out my own psyche in terms of football. In sports, my first loves have always been football and baseball. Growing up, it was a gift, not a right to have a Nebraska game on TV. Check it for yourself, throughout the 80's till the end of the Big 8 how many times was NU on TV, 2 times a year at least (OU and bowl game) and every so often the CU, Okie State, or Mizzou game was televised. Every other game was caught on the radio with Kent Pavelka doing the call. Then I fact forwarded my thinking to college, seeing how more NU games were on TV, the fact I was watching college football from 9 AM till 2 AM the next morning on football Saturdays, catching the Thursday night games, and the fact my best friend and I would pick out a small town in western Nebraska to visit and go to the high school game there (used it at times to visit family and once to visit the my high school wrestling coach who moved to the middle of the state). Then I thought after college and now being married and thinking about how my wife feels about football in general and I found that in those thoughts I figured out I need to take the approach when it comes to the Huskers. Yes, enjoy the game, relish the history of Husker football and football in general (On that point let me say this, I would love to sit one on one with Coach Pelini and talk history of Ohio St, Nebraska, the Big Ten and Big 8/12 football and of course, defense. I bet that would be an eye opening experience). I thought about the idea that the "Blackshirts" tradition will never die because we as fans will always shout after a big defensive play the same line that has been said since the days of Devany "Way to go Blackshirts." I thought of the older generations that have been glued to their Memorial Stadium seats since the days of LBJ, telling the young guys to sit down (don't listen to them, just turn around and say if you want to sit on your hands all game long, go watch it on tv and give your ticks to someone who is going to scream and shout. This isn't a funeral, it's football). I thought about the Sunday night "dates" the wife and I have, where we kick back and just watch the NFL game. There is nothing like watching a game just to enjoy the game, having no emotional attachment beyond just wanting to spend time with family and enjoy football. I haven't played fantasy football in years and I haven't done a picks game in a couple of years. If SF, Philly, or Pitt isn't playing on Sunday night, we just enjoy the game. Try it.
I guess I am done with my rambling for this post. I don't know if any of it makes sense to you, my readers out there is Huskerland. I don't even know if any will read it, but it doesn't matter, I enjoyed writing it, just as I have enjoyed doing my blog posts for you guys these past few years. I will keep doing it, but this change of pace, this talking opinions have opened my eyes in the time it took me to put my thoughts down for you. Like I said earlier, this wasn't a prepared blog post, but rather taking a couple of ideas and running with it. It's kind of like what happened for me in my public speaking class in college. You see, I to fear public speaking (I think Coach Pelini does to, he doesn't seem like a spotlight person to me). My professor for that class told me at the end of the year I did a pretty good job in overcoming my stage fright. I had to be honest, I told him I never overcame them, in fact, never did memorize a single full speech. I made enough notes on a note card and memorized the notes so when I did the speech, I used my internal time clock to pace the speeches and delivered the speeches by checking the notes every so often then looking up and closing my eyes. Hey, I got a B.
Well, that's about it, time for the Minnesota game. Here's to keeping the momentum going from the OSU game and to a strong finish. Check it out, the rest of the schedule is manageable, the defense is still young (Hate to say, but the growing pains on D will go into next year, but I will discuss that on the next post), and the offense and Coach Beck are still learning. Its going to be a fun game and rest of the year. God bless and Go Big Red.