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Winging It, Vol. 3
(Updated 2000 Edition)

Do you talk smack at the sports bars? How about on those hack radio sports talk shows? Or maybe even the online message boards and chat rooms? Chances are, then, that in your dealings with belligerent Buffaloes, Longhorns and Wildcats, you've probably struggled to find the right word from time to time. Pity!

But luckily, I am here to help. Keep the Encyclopedia Nebraskanica -- this spiffy, red-covered reference guide you now peruse -- with you at all times.


ABC: 1. - American Broadcasting Company, the home of Dennis Miller, Regis Philbin and the Bowl Championship Series. 2. - The one-stop shop for college football, now that the group has monopolized rights to the BCS and any worthwhile regular-season game in the contiguous 48 states.

ADVERSITY: 1. - Unfortunate Events That Happen To A Football Team. This includes injuries, an early-season loss, bad officiating and, usually, players in trouble with the law. 2. - Something that a team always overcomes on its way to victory.

AMES COLLEGE: Home of the Cyclones. Known in some circles as "Iowa State University."

ALDRICH: 1. - To fail at an easily attainable task; to choke (i.e. "Bob missed a two-foot putt the other day. He really aldriched that one"). 2 - Former Colorado Buffalo kicker Jeremy, who still sees "Wide Right" in his sleep.

AUSTIN POWERS: 1. - The shagadelic, supernatural ability possessed by the Texas Longhorns to make unlikely second-half pass plays and upset heavily favored Nebraska teams. 2. - The 1990s incarnation of Sooner Magic.

BIG TEN: Eleven-member athletic conference that has admission policies so strict that only rocket scientists, brain surgeons and Andy Katzenmoyer can be admitted. However, they have no mathematicians to point out the numerical flaw in the conference's name. (See BIG 11.)

BIG 10 BANDWAGON: Roving vehicle that has scoured Columbus, Ohio; State College, Pa.; and Ann Arbor, Mich., extensively in the past several years. It has relocated to Madison, Wisc., this August, but if the Badgers don't produce, it's ready to roll to West Lafayette, Ind., to push Drew Brees' Hypesman campaign. (See also ABC, ESPN.)

BIG 11: There is no Big 11. Go back to Big Ten.

BOBFATHER: The adulation-filled nickname for Bob Devaney, the creator of the modern-day Big Red Machine.

BUFFALOES: The preferred post-Thanksgiving meal for Nebraskans for the last nine years. Took a little longer than usual to clean our plates last year, though.


CLASS: A quality possessed by fans of other teams that NU fans like. (i.e. "Boy, Tennessee fans sure have a lot of class.")

CLASSLESS: 1. - An adjective that describes fans of teams that NU fans do not like. 2. - An adjective that describes fans of teams that beat Nebraska. (i.e. "Face it, Texas fans are just classless.")

COMPARATIVE SCORE THINKING: Flawed logic that seeks to establish a pecking order based on two teams' scores against common opponents. For example, in 1999, Kansas State routed Kansas 50-9. That same year, Nebraska struggled to beat the Jayhawks 24-17. Therefore, using Comparative Score Thinking, KSU should have steamrolled over Nebraska. A very airtight theory, as you can see. (See also TRANSITIVE PROPERTY OF COLLEGE FOOTBALL.)

CONTROVERSY: The element that, no matter what, surrounds everything in college football.

CORNHUSKER: 1. - One who husks corn, silly. 2. - Anyone from Nebraska, anyone who played for Nebraska, anyone who has relatives in Nebraska, or anyone who has happened to fly over Nebraska on one of those LA to NY flights. We're not picky. (See also RED CLAD LOON.)

CORNVICTS: Overused anti-Husker nickname for the entire Nebraska football program. This obviously applies most to guys like Aaron Graham, Brook Berringer and Kenny Walker. (See also CRIM-UNLs, CANES OF THE PLAINS.)

CRIMINOLES: The team most likely to play the Cornvicts in Miami this year for the whole bar of soap.

COUNTING CROWS: 1. - A popular American rock band. 2. - Iowa Hawkeye fans, who usually struggle to keep up as they try to tally all the points being scored against their team.

DANIMAL: Nebraska I-back Dan Alexander, who can be easily tracked by his frequent droppings. However, he often rips apart those who try to cage him.

DUKE, The: 1. - Marion Michael Morrison, a.k.a. John Wayne, the master of the shoot-em-up movie. 2. - The cult nickname for NU wingback Bobby Newcombe. Mixed with Bobby's last name, the finished moniker is a dead ringer for the popular shoot-em-up computer game "Duke Nukem."

ERIC THE RED: 1. - The man who discovered Greenland in 981 and established the first European settlement in the New World. Born in Norway in the mid-10th Century, he was descended from Viking chieftains. 2. - Nebraska quarterback Eric Crouch. Born in Nebraska in the late 20th Century, NU's latter-day Eric The Red may discover some serious green if he is someday drafted by the Vikings. Or the Raiders or Buccanneers, even.

ESPN: Connecticut-based sports information network that switches favorites faster than Hal Mumme can change quarterbacks. Regardless, it shows a Big Ten (yawn) game of the week for the perusal of the entire country while other conferences must settle for regional coverage.

F-BOMB: 1. - A vulgarity, not to be confused with "dadgummit", often used in response to an opponent's touchdown, an opponent's field goal or a Cornhusker turnover. 2. - A Husker fumble. (See also CASE OF THE YIPS.)

FIELDTURFSTUFF: The fake-fake grass surface of Tom Osborne Field, as opposed to the real-fake grass it used to have.

FIGHTING IRISH: An example of a redundancy.

FOOTLOOSE: Matt Davison, the jukin', jivin', jitterbuggin' split end whose most famous reception came off of Shevin Wiggins' Size Nine boot on Nov. 8, 1997.

FOX SPORTS: Rumblin', stumblin', bumblin', Rupert Murdoch-owned fledgling sports network. Still, this is a better station than ESPN because FOX employs Jon Kelley, a former Husker, as a College Football anchor while former Colorado Buffalo Chris Fowler works for ESPN.

GIGANTINO, ARTIE: Mobbed-up FOX Sports analyst who often commentates "Nee-BRAY-sker" football contests.

GREEN MILE: 1. - 1999 film starring Michael Clark Duncan based on a Stephen King work. 2. - Hulking NU defensive tackle Patrick Kabongo, who makes Duncan look like Mini-Me.

HYPESMAN MEMORIAL TROPHY: A hunk of sculpted bronze given away each year to the Big Ten school with the biggest marketing budget.

JUDD THE STUD: Nebraska fullback Judd Davies, whose plowhorse-like runs have four years left to terrorize the Big 12 and make the BCS a permanent home.

KCASA: The Kansas College of Applied Science and Agriculture, which sports a purple feline as its mascot. Some people like to call this school by its trendy new name, "Kansas State University." (See WILDCATS.)

KILLING FIELD: The artificial lawn on which Nebraska decimates visiting opponents in a manner so vicious it makes Pol Pot look like Richie Cunningham. (See MEMORIAL STADIUM.)

LOMBARDI BROWN: Nickname for Mack Brown, in honor of Longhorn fans' assertions that he is the greatest coach in the history of the planet.

L.P.-ARANOIA: Post-traumatic stress disorder from 1995 that afflicts many Cornhusker fans. This condition manifests itself in reflexive tendencies to believe that every story in the national media about Nebraska football is negative, regardless of its content. (See also V.E.C.C.U.C.)

MISTY'S: 1. - Popular pregame eating establishment in Havelock. 2. - How the eyes of Cornhusker fans get when HuskerVision shows highlights of the finale of the 1984 Orange Bowl vs. Miami.

MOBILE QUARTERBACK THEORY: The Huskerian belief that mobile, fast quarterbacks cause Nebraska's attack-minded, 4-3 defense trouble. This is opposed to slow, stationary quarterbacks causing Nebraska's defense trouble.

MNC: Mythical National Championship. Important -- the word "mythical" is added to this phrase when trying to belittle a team's ascent to the apex of the college football world. Simply drop "mythical" when validating your own team's success.

MICHIGAN WOLVERINES: Team based in Ann Arbor, Mich., that won the 1997 Mythical National Championship.

NEBRASKA CORNHUSKERS: Team based in Lincoln, Neb., that won the 1997 National Championship.

NUMBER-ONE-N.U.-TO-NUMBER-ONE-YOU THEORY: A Huskercentric assertion that the Cornhuskers had an invisible hand in both the 1996 Florida and the 1998 Tennessee national championships. Before each of those teams' championship years, both were beaten soundly by Nebraska in a bowl game. See, those whuppins obviously gave the Vols and Gators the experience necessary to win it all one year later.

OSBORNE, Tom: 1. - Godlike, moral leader (within Nebraska). 2. - Godless, immoral leader (outside Nebraska).

PIPELINE: A complex, well-oiled, five-piece apparatus that fuels the Big Red Machine.

PRESEASON RANKING FORMULA: The basic tool used by the likes of STREET & SMITH's, ATHLON's, etc. when determining college football teams' starting poll position. Mathematically, it looks like this: p(r) = r (s) + t (r). That is, "a team's preseason ranking is exactly equal to the number of returning starters plus the number of tough road games they play."

REBUILDING: The phrase in which the Texas Longhorn football program perpetually exists.

RED CLAD LOON: 1. - One who cheers viciously and vociferously for the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers. 2. - Yours truly.

S.O.S.: 1. - "Strength of Schedule," a vital component to the Bowl Championship Series equations, even though SOS rankings are impossible to calculate accurately until the last two teams play the final game of the season. 2. - A three-letter distress signal sent from Manhattan, Kan., when this heavily weighted factor was added to the BCS formula.

SCHEDULE DYSLEXIA: When fans of one college football program ignore their own patsies and point out their team's one or two tough opponents, all the while denouncing the few pushovers on other teams' schedules. (i.e. "Michigan battled Ohio State and Wisconsin en route to its share of the '97 title, while Nebraska feasted on Akron and Central Florida.")

"SIRIUS" : 1. - The canned anthem that plays when the boys in red run out of the tunnel. 2. - Frank Solich's mood 99.9 percent of the time.

STEAMBOAT WILLIE: 1. - The name of the simplistic cartoon episode that marked the first appearance of the American cultural icon, Mickey Mouse. 2. - The moniker for No. 15, Willie Miller, who is usually as quiet as a church mouse until he breaks one off for a big gainer.

SWAIN, Warren: Announcer hired by UNL's psychology department in an experiment to see how many people can fall asleep while listening to the radio in the middle of the day.

THE YEAHWELL REFLEX: An instinctive rationalizing mechanism possessed by all Nebraska fans. The reflex usually occurs following a rare Cornhusker loss. (i.e. "So your team beat the Huskers! Yeah, well, Nebraska STILL has 39 consecutive winning seasons, has been ranked for an NCAA-record 391 straight weeks, has 220 consecutive sellouts ...").

TICKLE-ME: The sponsor for the Alamo Bowl, the scene of Kansas State's historic 1998 atomic meltdown.

TRANSITIVE PROPERTY OF COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Flawed one-upsmanship technique among fans of two teams that will never meet. It says if Team A beats Team B, and Team B beats Team C, then Team A is obviously better than Team C. (i.e. "In 1999, NC State beat Texas 24-20. Texas also beat Nebraska 24-20. Therefore, NC State would beat Nebraska by eight points.") (See also COMPARATIVE SCORE THEORY.)

V.E.C.C.U.C.: Vast East-Coast Conspiracy to Undermine the Cornhuskers. The belief that members of the national media, particularly those who reside along the Eastern seaboard, have nothing better to do than dream up ways to screw with Nebraska. (See also MNC, LP-ARANOIA.)

VEGAS SHOCK SYNDROME: The surprise that TV announcers have when a heavy underdog plays Nebraska closer than the inflated pointspreads in Las Vegas said they would. (i.e., Brent Musburger in the 1996 Big 12 Championship Game.)

WE: Nebraska Cornhuskers football team. (i.e., "Boy, WE sure have a great offense this year!") However, you didn't see any of "us" sweating through two-a-days with Eric Crouch this August.

WEST COAST OFFENSE: Every offense in college football that attempts at least one short pass per game.

WHORNS: The Texas Longhorns. (a.k.a. The Beef, The Cattle, The Cows.)

WILDCATS: Kansas State University, a school whose student government recently voted to make Nebraska KSU's "official rival." In a nice piece of diplomacy, Nebraska's student government laughed, then assigned a campus improvement committee to polish all of the Sears Trophies.

WIN: What Nebraska does, and does well. It's one of just a half-dozen universities to win more than 700 games.

Dream On. See NU '94 take on PSU '94 in the Dream Bowl at THE POND,
Home of Nebraska's RED CLAD LOON.