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Winging It, Vol. 2

Fearing riotous Star City mobs last Thursday, I pulled the Geo into the garage and locked myself in the basement. Thursday, of course was the long-awaited day that the preseason coaches' poll was released.

As it turns out, I was a bit over-cautious. The only unrest on my street was a small, roving band of hoods who cruised past in a Chevy Baretta playing mailbox baseball. Damn you, "Stand By Me," for giving them that idea. And damn you, Kiefer Sutherland, while I'm at it.

There's unbridled power in the preseason polls, even though they make less sense than a book of poetry by Jewel. And the process in which the top teams are chosen makes Iraq, China and Yugoslavia look like models of democracy. But still, every August we Loons flock to them as though they're the next items to be placed in the Ark of the Covenant. In reality, all they do is set up fans of overrated teams for a hard fall, like all those Alabamer fans last year. So if I was, say, from (10th-ranked) Michigan, I'd take the advice of Indiana Jones -- or maybe it was Han Solo, I forget -- when he said, "I've got a bad feeling about this."

Last week's headlines overlooked a much more traditional -- and much more significant -- college football opinion poll, by damn. Conducted by the Nebraska-based Gallup Co., exactly 2,000 Cornhusker fans from across the state were interviewed. After some debate, the answers given by 1,792 of them qualified for inclusion after they successfully answered the first question ("What is your name?").

So, without further ado, here are the results of that poll:

I'd rather watch a garden sprinkler than a Big Ten football game:
89% Agree
11% Disagree

Bobby Newcombe popping off about his alma mater:
26% I'm shocked and appalled
74% Coulda set my watch to it

It does not, indeed, get any worse than Terry Bowden:
41% Agree
59% James Lofton

Least golden:
13% Gophers
17% Eagles
13% Bears
47% Domers

The human race's single most important achievement:
14% Organized religion
17% Democracy and Civil Rights
69% ESPN GamePlan on DirecTV

Texas Strength Coach Jeff "Mad Dog" Madden would do anything for:
23% Mack Brown
23% His players
54% Haagen-Dazs

The famous Notre Dame battle cry is "Let's Win One..."
11% "...for the Gipper."
40% "...for that hottie Kim Dunbar."
49% "...so's we don't hafta go bowling in Shreveport any more."

Planned 2001 promotions at Missouri's Faurot Field:
14% Snap-On Tools Front Tooth Night
26% "Kiss Your Sister" Tie Giveaway
60% Three of our 17 Seniors Are Graduating Day

Most repulsive right cornerback:
50% Matt Ickes
50% DeJuan Groce

The best way to get Kansas State fans to quit hating us:
43% Physically assaulting them
57% Another strategy

Polyethylene and polypropylene, treated and tufted into a porous surface backing, infilled with graded silica and compacted rubber:
100% FieldTurf

There is strength in:
33% Numbers
67% Creatine

Bill McCartney was recruiting gangsters before recruiting gangsters was cool.
97% Agree
3% Disagree

If Nebraska is on a Fox Sports channel I do not receive, I would rather:
16% Watch Notre Dame on NBC
10% Watch Virginia Tech on CBS
5% Watch a Big Ten game/garden sprinkler
69% Have my eyes poked out with burning sticks

Things you would consider buying if word got out you sold your tickets to a Fighting Irish fan:
12% A high-definition television
32% A Mazda 626
56% A bodyguard trained in Ninjitsu

Walt Kelly once said, "We have met the enemy, and ..."
22% "...he is us."
78% "...they're all running that goddamned Spread Offense."

Things from the desk of Rep. Tom Osborne:
5% "More Than Winning"
10% "On Solid Ground"
5% "Faith in the Game"
80% The order for a Sicilian-style hit on Debbie Schlussel

Biggest overhyped, flash-in-the-pan Albino:
11% The kids in Nelson
11% The kids in Hanson
78% That kid in Austin

Most appropriate time for two Nebraska males to embrace:
9% Never
8% Funerals
83% If the Sears Trophy is involved

Least appreciated Bowden:
14% Terry
5% Tommy
2% Bobby
79% Alec

The best way to a man's heart:
9% Stomach
91% Season tickets

"There is No Place Like Nebraska..."
35% "...Good Old Nebraska U."
65% "...What a Relief."

Saving the world one Loon at a time. THE POND,
Home of Nebraska's RED CLAD LOON.