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Winging It, Vol. 6
DAZED AND CONFUSED
9.18.02

Time now for the weekly column and Husker Fan Turnout Report. First, I am pleased to report than roughly 8,000 Loons were able to force their way into Beaver Stadium to watch Saturday's disaster, despite Penn State backers' threats to anyone in red that they were, in fact, going to break several of their bones. This turnout figure should come to no surprise to anyone, really; you could hold a Cornhusker game on the moon and a couple thousand Big Red fans would probably figure out a way to rig up a couple of Ford Excursions with dynamite and get there.

Unfortunately, it wasn't much of a contest Saturday. Simply put, the big problem with this loss was the opponent. NU, as it turned out, was playing Penn State, though it was revealed later that the Cornhuskers had spent the previous week feverishly preparing for Penn. And hey, that's an easy mistake to make. We should all now apologize for the nasty things we have said about the coaches, the players, etc., in our brief, now-going-on-five-days moment of weakness. And we should say sorry, too, to all of those Penn Quaker fans who we may have been offended by the gaffe. It's understood that you pay several thousands of dollars more a year in tuition so that people do not confuse your school with Penn State. It won't happen again.

That whole mixup, though, isn't the only thing that's confusing for your average Husker fan these days. Particularly here in the sweet hereafter. If you are not careful, you could wind up red-clad AND red-faced if you're in a heated conversation and you mix up any of the following:

POLLYANNA / OPTIMIST
A pollyanna is a Husker fan who, in the face of mounting evidence that NU's defense could probably get pushed around by the cast of "Fame," wholeheartedly expects his team to go 15-0 and win the national championship. An optimist is someone who, in the face of the exact same evidence, wholeheartedly expects Nebraska to merely go 14-1.

PESSIMIST / REALIST
A pessimist is a Husker fan who calls Bill Byrne at home an hour after a Cornhusker loss and suggests he clean house over at the South Stadium offices before it's too late. A realist thinks it over and then decides to call at 6 o'clock the next morning.

BOWL / BOHL
One is a postseason contest that serves as a reward for a successful football season. The other is the Big Red's defensive coordinator. It's becoming increasingly evident that one, or perhaps even both, of these things will be nonexistent in the Husker Nation at the end of this season.

SEC / SEC
One is the Securities and Exchange Commission, an 11-institution organization that oversees and regulates financial investments by private citizens. The other is the Southeastern Conference, a 12-institution organization which also seems to see a lot of money changing hands in private. To confuse the matter even more, one of the teams in the Southeastern Conference is known as the "Volunteers."

MARCH GRANDIOSO / MARCH OF THE CORNHUSKER
Doesn't matter, really.

JIM ROME / JIM ROSE
One is a megalomaniacal radio announcer who feeds off the blind allegiance of rabid zealot fans. The other guy also does a TV show on Fox Sports.

CHUCK MANGIONE / MARK MANGINO
Chuck Mangione is a big-time musician who once released a top-selling jazz album called "The Feeling's Back." Kansas Coach Mark Mangino is a huge tactician who is probably feeling like getting his old job back.

TIM COUCH / ERIC CROUCH
Tim Couch often appears on "The NFL Today." Eric Crouch often makes appearances at Oak View Mall.

TEXASVILLE / AGGIEVILLE
"Texasville" was the sequel to Peter Bogdanovich's classic "The Last Picture Show." However, "Texasville" was never seen in Aggieville -- the nickname for Manhattan, Kan. -- because the town's only movie house shut down after taking the title of Bogdanovich's first film literally.

TYRONE LEGETTE / TYRONE WILLIAMS / TYRONN LUE / TYRONE HUGHES
Respectively, a former Cornhusker defender, a former Cornhusker defender, a former Cornhusker defender, and a former Cornhusker wingback who became a former Cornhusker defender.

LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE / LOUISIANA-MONROE
Louisiana-Lafayette always seems to play Texas A&M. Louisiana-Monroe always seems to play Kansas State.

JOSH DAVIS / JUDD DAVIES
Josh Davis is a fourth-string I-back who wears No. 25. Judd Davies is a first-string fullback who wears No. 4. Neither of them get the ball enough to commit either jersey number to memory.

AMERICA WEST / MOUNTAIN WEST
One's an airline. One's an athletic conference. No one cares which is which.

STATE COLLEGE / UNIVERSITY PARK / COLLEGE STATION / UNIVERSITY STATION
Respectively, the town where Penn State U. is located; the town where the U. of Maryland is located, the town where Texas A&M is located, and KRNU, 90.3 on your FM dial.

OUTLAND TROPHY / LOMBARDI TROPHY
Two basically indistinguishable postseason awards that no one in Nebraska needs to worry about this year.

36-28-38 / 33, 23, 26
The first set of numbers are the measurements of Miss July 2002, who obviously has yet to see any effects of gravity. The second set of numbers, meanwhile, show just how far down some things can slide in three short games.

T-FORMATION / T.J. HOLLOWELL / T-TOWN / TEE MARTIN / T-SQUARE / T-SIPS / T.G.I. FRIDAYS / TEA MEN
Respectively, an offensive formation popular in the '50s and '60s, a speedy Nebraska linebacker, a Lincoln neighborhood known for cheap rentals, Tennessee's payola quarterback, a tool often used to draw right angles, a derogatory term for Texas fans, a popular family-style restaurant chain and the mascot for the Boston franchise of the defunct North American Soccer League. It is possible that these things have all been used in the same paragraph before now, but it is highly doubtful.

MOREHEAD STATE / HEAD CHEERLEADER
Morehead State is home of the Fighting Eagles. A head cheerleader is responsible for the performance, appearance and morale of her yell squad. Both titles elicit lots of snickers after four or so beers.

WILL 'BACKER / SAM 'BACKER / MIKE 'BACKER
One of them is supposed to cover the tight end on that little eight-yard crossing route, but no one can seem to remember who.

==STEVE==
There's Action in The Bullpen.
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