DAN CLEANS OFF HIS DESK
The off season is winding down and I wanted to clean a bunch of things off my desk before the Huskers begin the '08 schedule. (The first item is a reminder that will be in each of my columns until the event happens.)
HUSKER FANS' SALUTE TO THE TROOPS
If you are a vet of any war, you won't want to miss the "Salute" celebration that will take place at the Cornhusker Hotel in Lincoln, the weekend of November 1st and 2nd. There will be a Husker Watch Party (Nebraska at Oklahoma), a tour of the NU Athletic facilities, a Tunnel Walk ceremony, a brunch and an awards program. We have 100 rooms set aside for our troops. To register to attend or to contribute to the cause, go to www.huskersalute.org.
Roger Parmeter, board member of The Oregonians For Nebraska, wrote me recently telling me about his organization's Annual Chapter Summer Picnic to be held this Saturday, August 16th from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Dabney State Park in Troutdale, Oregon. For more information go to www.or4ne.com. I had a chance to meet the officers and members of this group last year during a trip to Portland. If you want to know what real excitement is, attend one of their Husker football watch parties. You will have a blast!
THIS AND THAT
I had a great time at my very first Husker home baseball game (Texas Tech) this spring. Hawks Field is a great venue to see a baseball game. Oh, and the Huskers won.
I also attended my first NCAA regional basketball tournament in March, held in Omaha at the Qwest Arena. I saw a Ndamukong Suh as he was laboring his way up the stairs. The first thing you notice about him is how huge he is. Let's hope his knee injury is healed in time to go full blast this fall. The D-line needs all the depth it can get.
I also got to meet a bunch of people at the cocktail event prior to the B'nai B'rith banquet also at the Qwest back in May. I got to meet Tom Osborne, Dana Altman (Creighton University head basketball coach), Doc Sadler (Husker head basketball coach), Kevin Kugler (sports broadcaster for Westwood One) and KU basketball coach, Bill Self, who was fresh off a national championship season. He was filling in for Barry Switzer as the featured speaker.
I was the victim of a drive-by spitting in Ft. Collins, Colorado this summer. And no, I wasn't even talking about Husker football at the time.
During the summer, I made several trips on I-80 and noticed that there were fewer vehicles on the road and those that were there were going at or below the speed limit. Even the trucks that used to barrel down the highway at 80 mph, were doing 60 and 65 mph. That shows you what $4.00 gas and $4.75 diesel fuel will do. It also shows what Americans can do without government intervention.
PICK YOUR RELATIVES
The adage that says, "You can pick your friends, but you can't pick your relatives" is often true. But in the case of my first cousin Lee James Boelter of Gibbon, Nebraska, I would have gladly chosen him any day. He grew up in Verdigre, Nebraska and was one of the nicest people you'd ever hope to meet. Lee James was a good Husker fan who regularly attended games in Lincoln. Last summer, he was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer and after putting up a battle that I was sure he was going to win, Jimmie died at the age of 64. He leaves his wife Barbara, three kids and several grandchildren and a legacy of love and laughter. Life just won't be the same without him.
"Not everybody gets a hug from Eric Crouch"
Mrs. Husker Dan and I happened to run into Eric Crouch when he was signing autographs this summer in Omaha at an outdoor event, sponsored by a cell phone company. When he saw us, he gave Mrs. Husker Dan a big hug. We hadn't seen him since right after he'd won the Heisman. We've known Eric since he was in 3rd or 4th grade when he and our son played on the same YMCA basketball team. All the time he played at Nebraska and even after his college playing days, Eric always represented the University, the Husker football team and the state of Nebraska with class. All the fame he's achieved has not changed him from the days when he was a little power forward playing with the likes of Jason, Brian, Justin, David, Andy and Brent.
SIX AND FIVE
There are many milestones in one's life that are worth noting. If you make it to your first birthday, consider yourself lucky. Many infants worldwide, don't make it. Turning five means you can go to school. At or about 13, you go through puberty. At sixteen, you can drive. At 18 you can vote and buy 3.2 beer legally in some states.
At 21, you can buy alcohol anywhere legally. At 30, you kiss your twenties good-bye. And at 40, you're probably married with a couple of kids. At 50, you're no spring chicken any more. At 55, you're eligible for senior citizen discounts. At first, you refuse them, but as you gradually catch on, you glom on to those suckers as often as you can.
When you hit 60, you are on the verge of Geezerdom. By 65, you carry your Medicare, Medicare supplement and a prescription drug cards in your wallet. You don't look forward to retiring because your investment portfolio has more holes in it than last year's Husker defense.
On one hand, turning 65 is a blessing-you've cheated the Grim Reaper and if you're lucky enough to have grandchildren, you are truly blessed. But you also know, that you've become what you never thought you'd be-a senior citizen, old fart, geezer, galoot, old timer, old goat, a relic and a has-been.
I don't know if I'm on the road to Geezerdom, but I think I've at least entered the on- ramp with my left blinker flashing.
Last year, I wrote (but never posted) some lyrics sung to the popular Christmas song, "Let It Snow"
Oh, the season we had was frightful,
But now we're so insightful,
Tom Osborne knew what to do,
He got Bo, he got Bo, he got Bo.
Okay, so now you know why I never posted it...
Today, I gave blood at the Red Cross as I've done for over 10 years. As the blood was draining out of me, I thought that there should be some place where you could go to donate your fat. You'd lie down, they'd stick a tube on your gut (butt, thighs etc.) and bingo (!) you'd go from a size 38 waist to a 34! Okay, so I can dream, can't I?
HUSKER SURPRISE IN ESTES PARK, COLORADO
Earlier this spring, my family and I were in Estes Park, Colorado when I stumbled upon Husker Haven, a Nebraska athletic apparel store. I stopped in (what did you expect?) and visited with Dave Dechant who is the father of Jon, the owner. Jon is the grandson of Larry Naviaux who was a running back for the Huskers from 1956 to 1958.
Next week's column will include Husker Dan's Pretty Perky, Pugnacious, Pre-season Pigskin Procrast-er Prognostications. You won't want to miss it!
DAN CLEANS OFF HIS DESK