LAME GAME, TAMES MAINE, 25-7
(CAUTION: YOU ARE ABOUT TO ENTER A SPIN ZONE THAT FEATURES BRIEF GLIMPSES OF FULL FRONTAL SATIRE AND PARODY, WITH OCCASIONAL LAME ATTEMPTS AT HUMOR. ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK.)
FULL COURT PRESS
"Hear ye, hear ye, the court is now in session. The case in front of this court today is the HFWHSPBCKCALFFSATGOD (Husker Fans Who Hate Steve Pederson, Bill Callahan, Kevin Cosgrove and Long For Frank Solich and The Good Ol' Days) versus Coach Bill Callahan. The prosecution will state its case first."
"Thank you,your Honor. The prosecution presents the following evidence that the Husker football program is going to Hell in a hand basket. For the record, we have already submitted last year's dismal 5-6 record which should be enough to prove our case. But we'd like to offer more evidence, if we may, your Honor."
"Thank you. We'd like to bring up Exhibit No. 1: Saturday's game with Maine. While it's true that the Huskers did win the game, it must be noted that it was against a 1-AA team. Clearly, an inferior opponent.
"If the game was a win counselor, how does this prove your case that the Huskers are guilty of sliding downhill?"
"I'm getting to that, your honor. First of all, let's look at the "victory". It should be noted that 1-AA teams like Maine are able to give out only 62 scholarships a year, compared with teams like Nebraska that can hand out 85 scholarships-a difference of 23 a year-that's a huge advantage for Nebraska."
"And your point would be, counselor?"
"The point is very clear, your honor. The Maine Black Bears are a much weaker team than Nebraska and a narrow win over this hapless opponent should be counted as a loss."
"Counselor, I thought the object of the game is to win. The Huskers did that. Am I missing something?"
"With all due respect, you are. May I explain, your honor?"
"The prosecution would like to present the following items that pertain to Exhibit No. 1, as evidence that the Husker football program is clearly in decline.
#1.)The game was 15-7 in the FOURTH quarter!
#2.) The Huskers averaged 2.9 yards against a lower division team that last year allowed over 400 yards a game on defense!
#3.) The Huskers had 5 turnovers, including 2 interceptions. There were two fumbles by a senior running back, who is also, CAPTAIN of the football team! HELL-OOOOO!
#4.) The highly-touted Husker quarterback had two interceptions and completed only 4 of 21 passes after the inept Maine defense made some basic adjustments.
#5.) And to boot, the "mighty" Huskers gave up a 52 yard touchdown pass to Maine.
#6.) The Huskers had the ball first down at the Maine 1 yard line and instead of running at least once, they tried 3 passes, with the last one being INTERCEPTED! Why didn't they RUN the football!
#7.) And the play calling! It was so predictable. Most of the night, you could tell by the formation whether it was going to be a run or a pass. The Maine defense figured that out. Why were there no adjustments made? Clearly, this is a coaching staff that doesn't have a clue.
In conclusion, this pathetic excuse for a football team had an abysmal performance in the Red Zone, scoring only one offensive touchdown, and this from a team coached by an ex-NFL head coach who is still trying to install his wacky West Coast Offense in a program that is used to RUNNING the football! The prosecution submits that the Husker football program is, in deed, headed for disaster!"
"I object, your honor!"
"Objection sustained. Coach Callahan, you may proceed."
"Thank you, your honor. Yes, it's true that our performance Saturday night was not great, and certainly wasn't satisfactory for the players, coaches or fans. But, your honor, we ask the court to take a look at some evidence we think will explain why things didn't go well for us last year and why we didn't play better Saturday night against Maine.
"First, we'd like the court to note the following:
As far as last year's record goes, it is true, we did go 5-6. But we played with the hand we were dealt. We inherited players who didn't fit our style of play. Some players didn't like me, didn't like my assistants, and some, sadly, refused to play. Thankfully, all of those players have left the program. And talk about predictability, I ask the court to look at the offense my predecessor ran. This year, we just had one of the best, if not THE best recruiting class in Husker history. So we feel not only that the program is not going downhill but that it is making huge strides to get back to competing for national championships."
"I object your honor! The defense would like you to believe that his predecessor couldn't recruit, that the cupboard was bare when the new staff came here. We've heard that a thousand times. If the former coach was so bad, how come he had three players chosen in the first three rounds of the NFL draft this year?"
"Objection overruled. The number of players chosen in the draft, is not relevant. You may proceed, Coach."
"Thank you. Because of our great recruiting class, we played 17 players Saturday night who played their first Division 1 football game, and of those 17, nine were freshmen.
We had two offensive linemen who had never started a game.
And one of our best defenders left after the first quarter and is now lost for the season.
Our quarterback made his first start ever Saturday night.
Our defense got a school record 11 sacks Saturday night."
"I object, your honor! He needs to remember, this was MAINE!"
"Thank you, your honor. Our defense also limited our opponent to a minus 6 yards rushing, 10 first downs and held them to only 145 yards of total offense. And our special teams had more in return yardage Saturday night than we had ALL OF LAST YEAR COMBINED!!!"
"I object, your honor! What he isn't telling you is, his two return men were on the team a YEAR ago! If they are so great, why weren't they returning punts a year ago?"
"Counselor, I must warn you, another outburst like that and I will clear my throat! Proceed, Coach Callahan."
"Your honor, this is only my second season as a Division 1 college football head coach and only the second year that my assistant coaches and I have been together. We are all learning how to be better college coaches. We worked in the off-season to develop team unity and did a great deal of bonding with the players. We are making significant progress. The errors we committed Saturday are ones that can and will be corrected as the season develops. We hope you'll consider these pieces of evidence that the Husker football program is making great strides to return to greatness."
"Thank you all. This court will be recessed until January."
"Why on earth do we have to wait so long for a verdict?"
"Because, counselor, this is the Court Of Public Opinion."
It was exciting in Lincoln, Saturday because it was the first Husker home game of the 2005 season. But what if you had been a Husker fan for 40 years and this was your very first Husker home game you've ever seen in person? How special would the day have been? How would you feel if this were your first time seeing the Husker football team, The Tunnel Walk, Husker Vision, the Cornhusker Marching Band, the sea of Husker Red?
Well, Bill Moran and his wife Karen found out Saturday in Lincoln. The couple, who hail from Pottsville, PA, got their plane tickets and hotel reservations several months ago, arriving in Lincoln Friday afternoon. They had dinner at Misty's that night.
I hooked up with them Saturday afternoon and took them to the Huskerpedia Tailgate party, just north of the Lincoln Journal Star building. Bill got to meet Johnny Rodgers and got his picture taken with the Husker Elvises. Bill was on cloud nine all day and all night.
Bill said he's was blown away by how nice Husker fans are. He assured me that this won't be his last trip to Lincoln.
SPEAKING OF THE HUSKER ELVISES
Saturday before the game, Johnny "The Jet" Rodgers and I were sworn into the Husker Elvises Society. If you haven't seen the HE perform, you are really missing something. I had an absolute blast with everyone. I want to thank David Max of Huskerpedia, for hosting the event and Husker great and Heisman trophy winner, Johnny Rodgers for being there. And, of course, special thanks go to Gerry, Larry, Steve and Ron (Did I mention I was from Omaha?) who are the Husker Elvises. You guys are the best!! Thanks to all of you!
HUSKER DAN'S WAKE TAKE
Okay, if the Huskers play the Demon Deacons the way they played Saturday night against Maine, the Huskers will be in deep do-do. It could be a very long season.
As far as WF goes, they will play much better than they played at home last week against Vandy. Husker fans who chuckled at Maine being on our schedule, better get used to the fact that wins this year are going to be hard to come by. We should savor any dubya's our little Farm Kids can muster.
Wake Forest has produced such greats as Tim Duncan and Brian Piccolo (my son was named after him). The double D's have a murderous schedule this year with games with Maryland, Clemson, at Florida State, at BC, at Jaw-ja Tech and at home against the Miami Hurricanes. If the Deacons want to survive their schedule, they need to win all the "winnable" games they can. And the game with the Huskers is one they can win.
The scheme this year, is to beat the Huskers early this season, because this is when they (we) are the most vulnerable.
Having said that, the Huskers will (should?) prevail. The Huskers will click, the double D's will go the distance, but will be over powered in the end.
DOUBLE D'S 14
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