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LOON DROPPINGS, Vol. SG
Red 21, White 21 -- Spring Game
4/15/00

Spring has sprung. That was clear by all the red-clad activity at Memorial Stadium on Saturday. However, one glance at the thermometer (and the roster) made a Loon wonder if things had recoiled a bit. But while the temperatures were cold, the Huskers were red- and white-hot, giving every Armchair Solich in the state off-season fodder for plenty of heated debates this summer.

A few takes:

BEANIE BABY: In front of the stadium before the game, fans toured Al Neuharth's Newseum display, which featured famous front pages from the 20th Century. Featured prominently was a banner headline from the 1920s about women gaining the right to vote. Inspired by this, Cornhusker track sprinter KaLena "Beanie" Barnes made a little news herself by becoming the first chick to kick for the Big Red. Her 35-yard punt in the fourth quarter injected some life into the game, even if the shanked end-over-ender was about as impressive as Rosie O'Donnell in a thong bikini. Frankly, I hope Beanie makes the squad. I also hope some dudes now try out for Terry Petit's old team, too. Title IX rocks!

THUNDER STRUCK: He's never played a down for the Huskers. He's never even suited up and hasn't even gotten his mouthpiece fitted yet. Yet the hottest autograph at Saturday's game was the John Hancock of one Thunder Collins, who spent most of the second half surrounded by a vicious mob that would make Tony Soprano envious. It's unclear what put him in such high demand -- A) The hype surrounding his arrival on campus, or B) that "Shogun" hairstyle he was sporting, which was slicker than Bill Clinton covered in Castrol. Hopefully, Thunder will soon be slicing, Shogun-Style, through opposing defenses this fall.

BLAME CANADA: Another gentleman that was difficult to miss out on the Killing Field was Patrick "Green Mile" Kabongo. But the 6-6 freshman defender from Montreal, Quebec -- who is so large that he alone is represented by two seats in the U.S. House of Representatives -- showed his teammates that size doesn't matter. The kid's got great speed, and he can read plays so quickly that Oklahoma quarterback Josh Heupel already reported hearing footsteps coming on Saturday.

GREEN DAY: OK, it wouldn't be a Husker game unless there was a little second-guessing of the officials and a lot of what-iffing. So, in that time-honored tradition, here goes. Just exactly what is the rule with the so-called "protective" green jersey? One play, defenders were treating Joe Chrisman like he was a sixth-grader -- i.e., a two-hand-touch-below-the-waist tackle on the option. Next play, Vanden Bosch turns Joe into a red and white pile of non-scholarship goo. Speaking of which, the Whites got gypped on that non-safety in the second quarter. It appeared the momentum of the tackle forced Chrisman to hit his melon on the north endzone's goal post.

THE BOTTOM LINE: Well, aside from Duke's elbow and Randy Stella's stinger, the mighty Huskers made it through Saturday's little exercise unscathed. Oh Lord, maybe all-out, full-contract drills, not those sissy non-contact ones, are the key to avoiding devastative springtime injuries. In fact, I propose a whole series of Spring Games, starting Jan. 10 and ending, say, Aug. 29. That would turn the Huskers into Iron Men and also would provide us football-hungry Loons plenty of sustenance over the long, hot summer months. But that's not to say that this game won't give everyone enough to chew on at least until -- well, it'll have to do until San Jose State comes to town. So let's all Simonize our watches and start the countdown ... the aforementioned Spartan bloodbath is a mere 142 days away. Ready, set, GO! Nebraska 52, San Jose State 12.

==STEVE==
Baud to the Bone. Play Infuriating Husker Trivia in THE POND,
Home of Nebraska's RED CLAD LOON.
http://www.redcladloon.com