Shooting Point Blank

A series of articles by Brandon "Blankman" Cavanaugh.

Bad Little Huskers


Dear Mr. Stoops,

THAT, sir, is how you do it.


The Blackshirts


Okay, I admit it. I was a bad Husker fan. Yep, believe it or not, Blankmaniacs, Mr. Positive and Courteous was a bad wittle Husker. I stood when others sat. I frequently got into smack contests with the Pokes. I made noise and I even booed, yes, booed when OSU came running on to the field. “We don’t boo!” a mid-30s couple in front of me turned and said. They were handing out frowns like rich men did nickels back in the 1930s or so I’m told. “We’re Husker Fans!” they said (capitalization provided because it was just the smarmy way they came off. As a cock-eyed “Whatchu Talkin’ Bout Willis” smirk crossed my face, I had a feeling that sweet, sweet irony would not be far behind.

And then it happened.

As the second quarter wound down and the Husker offense looked rather anemic, they booed. They booed when Jammal Lord sunk a few passes into the FieldTurf and they booed when NU set up for a field goal. Not to mention when Sandro banked the shot off of the upright, the wrong way no less. We’re Husker Fans, indeed. It seems that after several months of being poked and prodded, shocked and teased, the collective known as the “Husker Nation” or “Corngrigation”, whatever you like, grew some…how shall I put it? Intestinal Fortitude.

And they LIKED it.

Mr. and Mrs. Husker Fans’ treats for the day weren’t over after the smattering of boo birds, however. Blankman found a few partners in crime. Not for booing, mind you, but for being an ACTUAL Cornhusker fan. One who defends something we used to know as home-field advantage. One who doesn’t let the offense think and one who shuts the hell up when the O is on the field, barring a big play, of course. Aided by these fellow Section 17 souls, the South Stadium went from tea party to free for all. Josh Fields couldn’t hear himself chalk up Rashaun’s Heisman votes and eventually, he coddled the football like an Afghani mother protecting her young from a barrage of Nutragrain bars and pop tarts while he was firmly planted into the ground.

It wasn’t pretty, but it was a start, folks. It seems most everyone got some swagger back, that old Nebraska mystique that came at the expense of Oklahoma Lite. The O-line, the I-backs, the Blackshirts and even sweet old Memorial Stadium herself. I shed tears folks, because I was proud. Proud to see no quit in either the team or her fans. Proud because I knew even when things looked so 2002 in the first half, I had an inkling Double B (That’s Bo and Barney) would cram their feet up a few posteriors and things would be looking a lot more 2K3ish come the second half. I got lucky this time, I’ll admit it. “That’s what I get for having faith in something” turned into…well…”That’s what I get for having faith in something!”

The crowd with stick-em on their hands turned into a froth. Bones were thrown, metal was thrown up as well, posters were crushed underfoot, voices were lost and everyone loved every second of it. It was raw, it was emotional and, dare I say, it was WILLED by those 800+ alumni in attendance. They wouldn’t let this team lose and I think that now the confidence is there, at least a little, this team won’t allow it either.

There’s some work to be done, don’t get me wrong, but it’s a start. It’s a foundation laid and we can all take solace in something. Some THINGS, actually. Like 1-0, 17-7, winning season openers since 1985, etc. Enjoy this one, folks. It wasn’t pretty, as I said, but it was a win and at this point? I think that’s pretty positive in itself.

Questions, comments and requests for pictures can be sent to Blankman71@cox.net

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

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