BIG WED WAP-UP
DON'T BLAME BEETHOVEN
My buddy called me right after the game Saturday night. He was distraught, upset, angry and in a very nasty mood. I tried to console him, but I wasn't getting anywhere.
"Hear me out," he pleaded. "I told you, this was a mistake, I never thought this West Coast Offense was going to work at Nebraska. Not in my lifetime. It's just too complicated. It won't work. If we'd have run the ball down their throats Saturday night, this debacle would NEVER have happened."
My buddy and I go way back. Beside our love for Husker football, we also share a passion for music.
"Let me ask you something," I said to him. "What do you think of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony?"
"What does that have to do with football?"
"Stay with me on this one," I said.
"What do I think of his Ninth? It's probably Beethoven's greatest work. A true classic. I've heard it performed dozens of times."
"I agree. But what if this piece of music were played, let's say, by a junior high school band. How do you think it would sound?"
"You KNOW how it would sound. It would be terrible!"
"Okay, so let's say that someone who had never heard of Beethoven or his Ninth Symphony, heard it for the first time played by a junior high band. What would he likely think of the piece?
"It would sound terrible-really awful. I don't think he would like it."
"What if that person said that he thought, because the music sounded so bad, that Beethoven was a terrible composer. What would you say to him?
"I'd tell him he's wrong. If he heard it played by a better orchestra, the piece would sound great, the way it should sound. You can't expect inexperienced musicians to perform at a level required to make the Ninth make any sense. "
"Thanks," I said.
FROM THE EMAIL BAG
Readers: This letter was forwarded to me. I don't know who wrote it. It has been edited for reasons of space.
To the newer and younger Husker fans from a Sooner fan:
Read this, but please don't think I'm talking down my nose at you. I am writing from my own personal experience as a long-time Sooner fan, and I think you need to hear what I have to say.
Some recent-history Sooner football
11/01/97 Huskers 69 - OU 7
11/15/97 Texas A&M 51 -OU 7
10/5/96 KU 52 - OU 24
11/2/96 Huskers 73 - OU 21
Man, Tech clobbered you guys. I know
exactly how you feel today. And I hate to say it, but just when you
ask yourself, how bad can it get, you'll get an answer. But remember
this, those tortilla throwers at Tech don't have the proud past and
future promise of the Cornhusker program. Here's my thoughts on what
you need to start doing now in preparation for what is likely to happen
in the next five to eight years -- your return to the top of college
THE GREAT FAN-FILTER
First, get on the NU season-ticket waiting list now. The worst of the worst "fans" will go first, and you don't want them in the stadium anyway. You need to be there and sit through the hard times. When greatness returns, you'll be there with the die-hards and the team you love, and the atmosphere will be like never before. Those losers that abandon the football program will be left outside where they belong. Do this at any cost (buy season tickets). Work a second PT job if you have to, but believe me, you won't regret it if you do it. There is a great Book that's been around for thousands of years that talks about how the branches must be pruned back so that the tree will bear more abundant fruit. That is what is happening in Lincoln right now.
TAKE THE BEATING LIKE A FAN - IT'S ONLY TEMPORARY.
Don't think that 70-10 is the way all games will go. Think of it as a low point, and never forget it. If you guys have a few down years ahead, there will be some great wins mixed in and some great players to watch. So it can still be lots of fun if you are a true fan. I doubt it will get as bad in Lincoln as it was in Norman in 96 (3-8 season). That hurt.
DON'T LISTEN TO THE IDIOTS
Don't listen to the critics who will say, "Nebraska's glory days are done. Things have changed too much in college football. Nebraska will never win another national championship. I guarantee it." Don't listen to those idiots. They know nothing about the cycle of college football that puts teams in the toilet for a while and then turns it around to win championships. Take a look at the recent history of the schools that have won championships over the past few years. Look at what happened to OU.
And thinking in the opposite direction,
do I think OU will be on top forever? Heck no. But I won't abandon
them either when they next have a bad season or two. It all goes in
cycles. (I dread when Texas kicks our butt next. It will happen and
we'll deserve a good beating, but hey it's fun being where we are
now. It all goes in cycles).
I don't know enough about your head coach to know if he's the guy or not, but give him three more years - at least. Don't criticize the guy yet. Let him find the right coaches to work under him. Obviously, some changes will occur. I feel bad for John Blake, who is a really good man, but is living the nightmare all over again. See scores above.
Don't boo the players. They don't
get paid. They want to win more than you do.
TRADITION DOES WIN CHAMPIONSHIPS
Remember Husker tradition. You'll here the idiots say, "You can't win on tradition". That's a bunch of bull. Yes you can and you will, and it starts with you supporting the program and the recruits feeling the tradition when they come on campus. Your next student-athlete champions are out there living right now, and their perceptions of where the program is going is being shaped and formed as we speak.
KEEP WEARING RED
Go out and buy some more Husker gear tomorrow. Wear it proudly. When the stupid punks at school all are wearing their Miami or USC trash, just remember that you're wearing red for a completely different reason. You have a proud heritage of greatness, both past and future. You are passionate about the Husker tradition. Sorry you just aren't feeling it now. Be patient.
A MAJORITY OF OU FANS ARE HOPING FOR A NU TURN-AROUND
Remember the high level of respect between Big Red and the Big Red of the South. We hate Texas, KSU and Oklahoma-Lite in Stillwater. But a massive majority of OU fans heavily respect the Huskers and support your rebuilding. We want to play you guys to tough games. We want to have heart-attack games. We want the thrill of beating you guys like you guys want to beat us. We love the history. We hate what the Big XII schedules did to the annual game. My experience with the Husker fans are golden memories. You guys are class fans.
So ponder what is important in life: God, family and then the Huskers (in that order of course). One day you guys will be back on top, maybe quicker than it appears today.
HE'D SOONER PLAY GOLF
So I'm playing golf at the Vineyard Nursing Assoc. golf tournament on Monday, and there are a couple of extra golfers standing around. We're getting ready to tee off on # 1 when this big dude walks out and asks to join us. We say "Sure, come on." We all hit and start walking up the fairway. I'm walking with this guy and he looks at my Cornhusker shirt, cap, watch, and head covers and says, "You probably remember me. My name is Greg Pruitt!" I almost wet myself. Pruitt played pro football for Oakland and Cleveland, but more then that, he also played for Oklahoma from 1969-71. He was their running back on that fateful Thanksgiving in 1971 when the mighty Cornhuskers of Nebraska beat the Sooners 35 - 31 in Norman to win the national championship. He remembered the game well. It was a great day. We didn't talk a whole lot about football. But we did played some damn fine golf.
Edgartown, MA (Martha's Vineyard)
Readers: All of you have a Husker memory or story you need to share with Husker Pride Worldwide. Your story might be about the first Husker game you ever saw; it could be about the last Husker game you shared with a loved one, or maybe it's a story of what you had to do in order to get Husker tickets. It could be a funny story or just a memorable one. Whatever memory you have, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org and Husker Dan will post the best ones in his column.
HUSKER DAN SEZ
Thank goodness for the scheduling gods who gave us Baylor this week. The Bears are the perfect antidote to the thrashing the Huskers experienced Saturday night in Lubbock. Let's hope the Husker players and coaches have a good bout of amnesia this week. Forget "The Wreck at Texas Tech" (courtesy of the Omaha World Herald). This young Husker team needs to focus on what lies ahead.
The real surprise and disappointment Saturday night was in our defense. Most of the night we looked slow, out of position, confused and we couldn't seem to tackle anybody. The OFF-ense was, OFF-full. The roof caved in when Beau Davis was thrown to the wolves. Removing Dailey to give the Huskers a spark, backfired. Davis is not a ready for prime time player yet. And neither is Dailey. It shows the low level of experience we have at the QB spot.
But blaming Callahan, Norvell and the WCO is like blaming Beethoven. Time after time, we had the right play called at critical times in the Tech game. The receiver would run the right route, he was open, but the passes were seldom on target.
IT COULD HAPPEN
This week, the Baylor Bears are capable of beating the Huskers. They played the Missouri Tigers Saturday night pretty well. Either the Tigers are not very good, or the Bears are better than we think. BTW, why in God's name is there a 9 PM kickoff in the Central Time Zone? It's insane!
BOWLING FOR TANGERINES?
Having said that, NU should bounce back this Saturday in Lincoln. It may be ugly. If the Keystone Kops style of play continues, it could be a close game. I keep thinking the Huskers will break out of their offensive struggles (24 points in the last 10 quarters of play is pretty pathetic). Representatives from the Tangerine Bowl were very eager (even after the loss to Texas Tech) for the Huskers to appear in their bowl game. However, if this inept play continues, the Huskers will be lucky to reach the 6 wins required for bowl eligibility.
DA BEARS 10