R E D C L A D L O O N
Winging It 12:
THE BIG ANNOUNCEMENT
Hello, everyone, and thanks for coming today. I know several of you have deadlines to meet, so let's get this press conference officially started. I'm Steve Pederson, athletic director here at the University of Nebraska. And let me just start off today's announcement by saying how very much I've enjoyed my first year here in Husker Nation. Among the various places around the country that identify themselves by using the school's nickname and tacking on the word "Nation," the Husker Nation is the best. By far. Unquestionably. Today, we're going to discuss some exciting and incredibly expensive new facility upgrades to Memorial Stadium -- a project we've dubbed the "Husker Nation Obligation." Annette, can you turn down the lights so these gentlemen can see the screen behind me? .... All right, then. Let's get this slideshow started.
OK. As you can see, this is an aerial view of Memorial Stadium. The capacity of this old girl hasn't been significantly increased since 1972, back when Bob Devaney and Tom Osborne were roaming the sidelines looking for a third straight national title, and Frank Solich was, well, all right, let's just say it, he was teaching drivers ed out at Southeast High School. Boy, he could've learned a thing or two from those two. Well, regardless, it's long past time for a major upgrade to the hallowed halls of our beloved football stadium. So, for starters, I'd like to draw your attention to ...
... the north end zone. As many of you know, this is the area of the field where the visiting team enters and exits Tom Osborne Field, often to applause from the fans in the stadium's northwest stands. Oops, did I say "northwest stands?" My bad! From now on that area will be known as the "Husker Indig-Nation Corner." By next fall, a state-of-the-art sound system will be built into the northwest tunnel and will play a pre-recorded applause track when the visitors run by. That's right, our most famous tradition will be amplified 500 times its actual volume. We want our humble guests to get our message, loud and clear: "We are better people than you, and you are not worthy of being on our field." We want those to be the last sounds that our cute little overmatched opponents hear, just as we want the last sight they see to be our ...
... brand new, state-of-the-art scoreboard! That's right, it's time to retire that unsightly orange beast in the north end zone. Now, I know what you're thinking: "Steve, why in Husker Tar-Nation would you need a new scoreboard? The old one is working just fine, and scoreboards are really, really expensive." Well, for those who say "we can't afford to do it," I say, "we can't afford not to do it." Lite-Brite graphics using 1978-era technology just aren't going to cut it if we want to get any of Bob Stoops' leftover recruits in the coming years. No, this one is a priority. As to the matter of cost: Well, we've been quite frugal, in fact; the product's manufacturer gave us a very sizeable discount on this particular model, partly because the home team's score column only can count up by threes, and that seems to fit our offensive philosophy perfectly. Next slide, please ...
... ah, yes. Now THIS is a soul-stirring development. It goes without saying, everyone, that Nebraskans undergo what can only be described as a heavenly and holy experience when they witness their beloved team in action at Memorial Stadium. To the red-clad masses, game day isn't just about dressing up in scarlet and cream once a week. No, no, no. It's a way of life, a chosen path, a religion. That's why we're certain that the Husker Divination Pavilion will be a well-received addition to the West Stands. This 1,200-seat chapel will replace the current club-level seating, and yes, it will have all the modern furnishings -- hand-crafted stained glass windows featuring heavenly images of Turner Gill, Mike Rozier and Irving Fryar, holy water (provided by AquafinaTM) and -- best of all -- a soundproof Cry Room for the babies in attendance, actual or figurative. Hey, it's the "Year of the Fan," and we want to make sure we're taking care of the people who take care of us -- whether it be matters of physical and mental health or matters of blind faith.
And speaking of blind, Annette is now passing out some shaded eyewear for you to put on in preparation for the next slide. Everyone ready? OK, excellent. Here we go ...
... whoa, everyone! Please calm down! Don't try to look away, just give your eyes a second to adjust. What's that? No, that's a good guess, but this is not a picture of the Fortress of Solitude from the "Superman" movies. What you're seeing here is the next step in the evolution of Division I-A recruiting enticements: A locker room made completely out of diamonds. This, as the kids would say, is going to be "hella bling-bling." Let me point out a few things here. The 125 seven-by-five-foot lockers are made of diamonds mined from the richest areas of war-torn Angola. The hampers for sweaty jockstraps will be hand-crafted by the wives of mud salesmen living in the highlands of Sierra Leone. And, sparing no expense, we paid mercenaries to raid the most bountiful mines of the Democratic Republic of Congo to extract the rare diamonds to make up the locker room's floor. As everyone knows, Congan diamonds are famous for helping to prevent athlete's foot, and those of us who were high-school athletes know how awful that stuff can be. This, guys, is going to be our crown jewel, big bad pun intended -- besides being great for recruiting, the locker room is also a good long-term investment for a pretty cash-poor university. And it will finally provide the South Stadium something harder than Coach Solich's head. OK, you can take off your sunglasses now, we're moving on to the next slide, which shows ...
... some new goodies for our coaches. We have so much money flying around on this project that we thought it would be nice to give each of them new offices. Hey, come on now, the hissing is uncalled for. They work hard, they deserve it. We also thought it would be fun if, like the casinos in Vegas, each office would have a different theme -- so Bo Pelini's will be "Husker Consternation." Ron Brown's will be "Husker Religious Discrimination." And the head coach's will either be "Husker Resignation" or "Husker Termination," we're not sure yet. I said, we're not sure yet, Shatel. What part of that don't you understand?
And now, finally, for ...
... our last and very final scheduled improvement. Folks, in the five days following the loss to Texas in Austin, I have received mountains of letters and e-mails from our fans, all of whom had, um, strong opinions on where to go from here. Starting Monday, stadium crews will begin modifying the "Through These Gates Pass The Greatest Fans In College Football" signs above each Memorial Stadium gate to add the phrase "...If The Team Wins, That Is." I've had it with those whiny crackbabies; they're not even donors, anyway.
OK. This concludes the presentation --- now, I'd be happy to answer any questions you might have. No? There are none? Well, then, thanks for coming today, and let me close by saying: Husker Nation Husker Nation Husker Nation.
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