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H U S K E R    D A N

READERS: She's tan, she's rested and more importantly, she's BACK! Aunt Rosie has been offering advice to Husker fans for decades. She's getting up there in years, but she's still going strong. Please welcome her back.

Remember: "She's the voice of reason during the football season."

Dear Aunt Rosie

Where have you been all season? How's your health?
Anita Mantaluv
Winnetoon, NE
Dear Di:
Thanks for asking about me! I wrote some columns this past August (click here for past columns), but had a relapse with the hip I broke when I was carrying out some empties last winter. But all is well and I should be good to go for a long while. Good luck, deary.

Dear Aunt Rosie

I never thought I'd be writing you, but here I am. My boss has just offered me a promotion that comes with a big hike in salary, gives me more responsibility and puts me closer to being a partner in the firm if I accept the position. The problem? My family and I will have to move to Austin, Texas.

But moving's not the problem.

I'm a life-long rabid, dyed-in-the wool season-ticket-holding, Tom Osborne-Bob Devaney-loving Husker football fan who has lived in Nebraska all his life. I've raised my kids to be Husker fans (we go to all the games) and hope (and pray) they raise their kids the same way. Having to move to Texas is one thing, but the kicker is, my boss (the owner) is a big donor to the University of Texas football program, has a Longhorn skybox and entertains our company's many clients there during Texas home games. What's more, I would be expected to cheer madly for the Cows, wear burnt orange gear all year, and would have to schmooze these obnoxious Longhorn corporate mucky-mucks. The thought of cheering for the Cows makes me have nightmares. The money would be great, but sometimes I think I'd be selling my soul to the devil. What should I do?
Jerry T.
Grand Island, NE
Dear Jer: Landsakes, with the Huskers suffering through an el stinko year, and the fact that you're still a rabid Husker fan speaks a whole bunch about your devotion! Husker Fever, as you know, is incurable, that is, for dye-hard Husker fans as you have labeled yourself. You didn't say how much more bread you'd be getting to "sell yourself to the devil" as you put it, or what would happen to your career if you turn this baby down.

It's hard to argue with el mucho dinero, but what would your kids think of you? Or even more important, what would you think of yourself? Could you live with cheering for Mack Brown, Bevo, and could you see yourself standing up and singing their obnoxious "The Eyes of Texas Are Upon You" fight song after every stupid play of theirs? And what would you think would happen when your true Big Red colors would come out the next time the 'Horns and Huskers played in Austin? You'd have to root against Marlon Lucky, Harrison Beck and Bo Ruud, to name just a few. I know I couldn't do it, but I'm an geezerette and don't need as much bread as I used to! A little Jack and my meds are all I need to get me through the day! Ha, ha, ha!

Oh my, now where was I? Oh yes. When you look at yourself in the mirror each day, you'll have to decide whether the bucks mean more to you than your sanity. If they do, then head south; if not, then Go Big Red! That's what I'd do. Good luck, deary.

Dear Aunt Rosie

It's my husband. I'm worried about him. He's one of those pathetic Husker fan who has been in a coma since his darling Huskers lost to Colorado and slapped his team with a losing season and no bowl game for the first time since nineteen sixty something-or-other.

Anyways, I say, big frickin' deal.

But my husband, Leonard (not his real name) can barely get out of bed in the morning. He's a mess. I keep telling him he should get his butt to a shrink, but he just mopes around the house and keeps mumbling stuff about Frazier, Osborne, Solich, Bo somebody, the Good Old Days and how much he detests some guy he calls a shifty used car salesman (whoever that is). He even writes to this goofy columnist called Husker Dean, I think he's called, ranting about what he'd do and who he'd fire to get the program back on track. He just sits around and complains. He's getting on my nerves.

I've tried everything I can think of. I'm at my wit's end. What should I do to keep my sanity and still help my husband? Divorce is out of the question.
Rita Booke
Newton, MN
Dear Rita:
What a cute name you have! Land sakes, Leonard sounds like a real head case. It's true, a lot of Husker fans are down because of the first losing season since I was a Husker cheerleader!!

The Huskers have been so good for so long everybody just expects them to always win and to always go to bowl games. But a new coaching staff, a new offense and near-empty levels of talent this year and bingo, you have all the makings for a losing season. But help is on the way with some great new recruits. Leonard will be out of his funk before he knows it. It the meantime, haul out the videos of the '94, '95 and '97 seasons, make him watch those games and tell him that his team will soon be back to that level. (Wink, wink!) That's what I'd do. Good luck, deary.

Dear Aunt Rosie

I never thought I'd be writing you, but here goes. I'm an assistant coach at a major university (I can't tell you which one) and we've just gone through one of the worst seasons in decades. It's my first year with the team. I did the best I could with what I had to work with. I get nasty emails and phone calls. My family gets dirty looks whenever they go out shopping. We have more "For Sale" signs in our yard than Century 21.

I love my job, but must admit the abuse is starting to ge to me. Jobs like this don't come around very often. What should I do?
No Name
in No Town
Dear No Name: Hmmm, this sounds familiar. Yes, sports fans can be awfully unforgiving, especially when their team loses. If the cupboard was empty when you took over, then there's not much you could have done. But most fans don't like excuses. The only way you can win them over, is to, well, win. Go out and hit the recruiting trail and get some kids who have some juice and who will make you a smarter coach, if you get my drift! That's what I'd do. Good luck, deary.

If you'd like to write Aunt Rosie, you can send your letters in care of Husker Dan at: [email protected] For past Aunt Rosie and Husker Dan columns click here.