Shooting Point Blank

A series of articles by Brandon "Blankman" Cavanaugh.

The Farewell Frank Edition

Welcome, welcome once more, faithful Blankmaniac as we prepare to view over the corpse that was the Texas game, at least from our end of it. There was plenty of folly, not enough fire and now that I’ve had puke orange burned into my retinas for another week, allow me to take a look down the list and tell you just what the problem is because, after all, I’m due for one of those bad boys, aren’t I?

Now sure, I know exactly what you’re going to say. Ol’ Mr. Positive has run out, right? Nothing good came of the 31-7 lambasting that took place at the hands of Texas. Well, I disagree there, but we’ll get to that in a moment. Suffice it to say the offense was about as prolific as a castrated Bugs Bunny in a room full of tail (HA! I slay me!). The defense had moments of WTHAYTFGS (What The Hell Are You Thinking, For God’s Sake!?) but, in their honor, I will mention the interceptions, the blocked field goal, the times when they could’ve folded but didn’t. I have no qualms with the defensive side of the ball, folks. I like the staff we have in place, I like the kids we’ve got in place. No, no, my problem isn’t on the defensive side. Frank, Barney, it’s time we had a little talk.

Quite frankly (hehe, I made a pun), Frank Solich is not cutting the mustard, flat out. 2002 was not an aberration, it happened for a reason. Sure, there were more factors than Frank in the falling out of ’02, but let’s take a break from tarring and feathering Dave Gillespie for one weekend and take a good solid look at what has transpired. Not just losses, folks, ASSKICKINGS on the road. A team that, when at Memorial, plays pretty well, but God forbid you put them on opposing soil. Unless you like spending Decembers in Shreveport, that ain’t a good thing. Now, don’t get me wrong here. I like Frank as a human being, I really do. He’s a good man, I’d let him briss my child if he had a steady hand and a decent insurance policy at the ready, but one thing he is not is a Division 1-A head football coach.

I don’t know if it’s old age, I don’t know if it’s the life wearing on him, I don’t know if he just plain does not have it in him, but folks? It be time for a change. Perhaps it’s Turner, perhaps it’s Bo, perhaps it’s an outsider and, on that topic, folks, really, get over the nepotism factor. This program was so inbred it made Dalmatians blush and in 2002? You saw the result. Go ahead, quote me Devaney and Osborne, that’s fine, but Devaney was a Wyoming Cowboy before he set foot into Lincoln and whipped a punch of cream puffs into agitated, aggressive Cornhuskers. I’m sorry, Coach Solich, you’ve had a good run, but for the good of the program, please consider the situation.

Now, Coach Cotton. I understand that you may not have the players in place to run the system you envisioned when taking the job and hey, that’s cool, that’s not even my beef. I watched your offense, and I call it YOUR offense because YOU are the offensive coordinator, I watched your offense run and run and run some more thinking, “Yeah, this is about as entertaining as watching Ellen Degeneres to standup comedy, but we’re winning and, by George, he’s saving something.” Well folks, we had our time to bust open the bag and guess what? It done be empty. At this point? I think it’d be in our best interests to run the offense the way you really do want to run it, Coach C. and recruit kids being able to say, “We’re moving in that direction, we tried, we want you to come and help us achieve our dreams.” Of course, again, this is just me, I have no football pedigree, I just watched a lot and make my decisions thusly.

Now, I know what you’re also thinking. What about Jammal? What about Judd? What about the O-line, etc. etc. etc. You know what? There was someone at fault and they weren’t wearing numbers. This loss falls on coaching. Am I saying gut the entire staff? No. I’m saying evaluate the situation, understand why you got MAULED and put a better product out the next week. Do me a favor though, don’t insult my intelligence, tell me a problem has been resolved and then put out a comedy of errors in a week or two. If something needs work, tell me, that’s all I ask. I know I say this more often than “folks”, but honesty is where it’s at in football and honestly? B.S.ing me to death with coachspeak ain’t my idea of a good time.

Alright, I’ve vented, I’ve said my peace as far as that all goes, it’s time for some positives. There’s one award this week and it’s called The Blankman Dear God I’m Glad We Have You On Scholarship Award. It goes to a young man from Funk, Nebraska who wears #19. Kyle, you are a Ray Guy award candidate and I sincerely hope you win that trophy, because you deserve recognition for the way you time after time lifted our butts out of the fire and gave the team a chance. Sorry it didn’t work out the way we would’ve liked, kiddo, but you’re a trouper. Also, MAJOR props go out to the ‘Shirts. Why? Because it could’ve been worse. It could’ve been like ’02, but I saw something that I didn’t see all year with Bohl’s Boys: Pride. It sucked and they had a bad day, a REALLY bad day, yes, but they didn’t stop trying. That’s good enough for me, for now.

Now, let me make this perfectly clear for you all, because I know after what you just read, you’re aching to send some very colorful feedback: I do not enjoy coming down on people, at all. However, I look at the situation thusly: Look at the University of Nebraska football program as a business. You and I are its paying customers, often times return customers. When the business puts forth a product that we the customers feel (REALISTICALLY) could be improved upon, I believe it is in our right to voice concern towards the business. Steve Pederson is your new CEO and I guaren-damn-tee you, folks, he’s looking at the situation as such.

I know, what we watched sucked, but have faith; there IS a possibility of good things left ahead. It’s going to require some HARD work and SOLID effort from here on out, but it’s possible. Do what I’m going to do tomorrow: Just relax, have some fun and we’ll treat Monday just like the team does: It’s a fresh start, a new week and if that doesn’t put a smile on your face, just think of Mark Mangino in a rickety, old golf cart rolling around the practice field with a megaphone screaming at his players about how they disgust him. Yeah, I figured that’d do the trick. Stay safe and stay sane.

Questions, commentary and explainations as to why Nebraska’s starting fullback enjoys running INTO THE GROUND can be sent to: Blankman71@cox.net

===Brandon a.k.a. Blankman #71===

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