Shooting Point Blank

A series of articles by Brandon "Blankman" Cavanaugh.

Live and Uncut


Those who do not like the idea that everything is fine and peachy in Lincoln TURN BACK NOW. Your retinas are about to burst.

That is all.


I am your friend, Blankmaniacs. Let me tell you a little bit about what friends do. Friends, and I’m talking true friends, not the kind who advertise in the Wooden Nickel offering to polish your boat with a fine coat of sawdust. When the chips are really down and things get really, really bad, friends tell other friends the truth, the way it is, regardless of whether its pretty or not. So, allow me to open up to you in the wake of the metaphorical ACL tear we all just witnessed. I’ve held my tongue in a few areas in the past, but not anymore. I was even tempted to hold off on writing this article tonight, but since I’ll probably be knocked more unconscious tomorrow than what’s-his-name who played for Wyoming a few years back in Lincoln, but that’s another story.

Back after the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, I wrote a column that invoked a lot of emotion from people. Now, for all of you who wrote in and chastised me, told me what a bad fan I was and spat on what I had to say? There were about 25 people who agreed with what I had to say. That’s not an “I told you so”. That’s just the way it is. For those who are new to this whole SPB bidness, I basically said that Frank was not cutting it as a head coach at Dear Old Nebraska U anymore. I felt, and feel, that he is a good person, a fine individual and someone who I’d be more than happy to buy the salad bar for at Ruby Tuesday’s. That notwithstanding, he is NOT a CEO, he is NOT a head football coach, not for Nebraska, at least.

“Why?” you may exclaim. “Give us reasons mishtah bigshot!”. Fair enough. You want reasoning? Did you even watch what took place on November 15th, 2003? An offense that was so shackled, I think I saw it do a brief cameo in Amistad. A defense that was so porous, I could’ve sworn it lived in a pineapple under the sea. A team that was so disillusioned that I had a sinking feeling in my stomach when Darren Sproles jerked his way into the end zone with people clinging to his shoulder pads. Oh but it’s all on Barney or Bo, right? Sure, to an extent, but in the end? The man at the top has to give the green light on these projects, people. Frank Solich is that man and quite frankly? (Dig that sweet pun action!) I am unimpressed.

So, what’s it matter? Some schlub on the internet doesn’t like what Frank does, who cares? Fair enough, Brunhilda, but I might inform you that some very lucrative people (Read: Basically everyone with a checkbook at this point) have eyeballed the 50 million dollar campaign started by our esteemed Mr. Pederson and have said, “Steve-o? I am N when Frank is out, ya dig?” It’s quite obvious that I am not the only one who shares this view according to the 150+ responses I received a few weeks back. You could see the desperation in Frank through his charges. False starts, dropped passes, overthrown balls, clock management, fumbles, every little thing that came through in the past 6 years. It’s a growing list, people, and it is not going to shrink.

Frank isn’t the only issue I have with the staff and no, I’m not talking about Barney, nor am I talking about Bo and the D-boys. Think internal. Think smaller. Think more legs. Okay, that last one, you can throw out. There are issues around in the underbelly of the program, I’ve had them pointed out to me and just like I watched a certain fullback block the ground so wonderfully yet again, I watched these individuals stab the program over and over again. Their removal suggests better things for the University of Nebraska’s footballing program.

Now, I know what a lot of you are thinking after reading all of that, if you indeed did read and didn’t skim, for which, I applaud you. “Blankman’s turning his back on the program!” Not hardly. I’ve always wanted to be in a position to help the program in the long run, but I pictured my role to be one of maintenance, not rebuilding. Funny how that works out, isn’t it? Many will run from the program now and the true loyalists will stay behind. I know quite a few who will stick around, some on a rather personal level and this will be an instance when the cream rises to the top. It’ll be a long and arduous road, but it can and will be achieved. We have too many good people around the program for it not to be.

Alright, so, you’re asking, “What can I do to make the program better?” Simple, really. First, I would ask you to listen to what I’ve said, not so much that as why I’ve said it. If you disagree, fantastic, but take a moment to at least indulge me. There are reasons why the football team’s playing as it is. It didn’t just happen. Examine why for yourself, take an in depth look of the past 6 years. In the meantime? Write letters, write e-mails. Help out at fund-raisers, call up the U and ask how you can help. They want your help, believe me and they can’t wait to have you aboard. Basically? Give your time, give your effort and hey, 10 bucks to the Championship Drive project ain’t such a bad thing either. It sucks hearing this sort of thing over and over again, believe me I know, I’ve been on both ends of it. In the end though, just remember, this is what friends do.

Questions, commentary and witty “With friends like you, who needs enemies?” e-mails can be sent, per usual, to Blankman71@cox.net

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

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