Winging It, Vol. 12:
Hey hey, ho ho, optimism is practically brimming over this week in and around the Husker Nation, what with the hapless Kansas Jayhawks coming to town and all. This, of course, is an opportunity for Nebraskans to partake in an old-fashioned, Osborne-style, no-mercy butt-stomping of a vastly inferior foe at Memorial Stadium. You know the story: Nebraska runs out to a big lead, has the starters pulled by the third quarter (or the fourth quarter, actually, since Solich has been around), and the walkons from Hebron finally get into a game in the waning moments, giving their moms a reason to cheer. And let's face it -- no one across the Cornhusker State is happier about Kansas Week than the production-minded folks at HuskerVision, who have been choreographing Nebraska football blowouts into neatly organized, tidy little packages since 1994. Of course, this season has had its fair share of nailbiters, so these would-be event dictators haven't always been able to run their typical, expected script. But hey, no such worries this week, though. And through our vast connections with the program (thanks, Jeff S.), we have obtained HuskerVision's script for this week's contest at Memorial Stadium. If you don't want to know how the game turns out, I'd suggest you stop reading right now.
START WITH vibrant, elaborately choreographed, brightly-colored marching musical ensemble playing a series of predictable university athletic ballads. INSTRUCT attendees to clap along in unison and spell out the letters of the state after second-to-last song. Provide correct spelling of state on video outlets to avoid any confusion. As instrumental music swells to inevitable crescendo, LINE UP brightly colored musicians in two rows from stadium's southwest corner to midfield. CEASE instrumental music.
PAUSE for pseudo-dramatic effect, allowing crowd to momentarily buzz with nervous anxiety and/or attempt to organize random, localized cheers such as the drunken "Goooo...Biiiiig...Reddddd ... Gobigred" chant. CONTINUE to pause as audience noise dissolves into creepy anticipatory silence.
CUE overused, synthesized instrumental Alan Parsons Project theme song on stadium loudspeakers. Simultaneously LAUNCH familiar 45-second video collage of computer-generated imagery on video outlets that includes the following: (1) highlights from past seasons; (2) a Husker football helmet; (3) Sears trophies. To compensate for expected noise surge from slightly inebriated attendees, increase audio volume when CGI collage reaches point where third Heisman Trophy emerges from overdigitized video background.
SWITCH to live video of excitable red-shirted athletes briskly striding through narrow lockerroom hallway, exhibiting determined expressions on their faces as if they have had their car keys stolen and are about to beat up the person who took them. Instruct video technician to lower camera to his knees, creating illusion that players are extremely large and cranky and capable of assaulting assorted Lincoln-area females. As synthesized instrumental selection fades, PAN to widescreen shot of aforementioned red-shirted athletes rapidly thundering en masse toward easternmost edge of artificial playing surface. If any trip, stumble or swear into camera, quickly CUT to different player or CUE candid shots of members of crowd, who incidentally may be near orgasm at the sight of players. Stop music.
INTRODUCTION of preselected white child dressed in red at midfield, with intro including but not limited to what area elementary school the child attends and the importance of staying off of drugs, at least until you reach college. PAUSE for crowd's recognition of how adorable child is. CYCLE THROUGH overblown descriptions of pithy corporate-sponsored prizes that child has qualified for and provide information how other white children can take current white child's place at future contests. USHER child from field. GO TO tightly-framed shot of game official discussing options with Nebraska and Kansas team captains, most of whom are black.
IF NEBRASKA ELECTS TO KICK OFF:
CUE 1978 song "Start Me Up" by Keith Richards and Mick Jagger. PRETEND that ensuing Pavlovian cheer from attendees is for clever music selection, and not merely indicating pleasure that contest's commencement is imminent. As placekicker approaches teed-up football, fade music.
ZOOM in on Nebraska defenders gathering behind line of scrimmage. CUE screaming chorus of 1980 song by Australian heavy-metal musicians Angus and Malcolm Young, which makes veiled references to the nickname of Nebraska's defensive unit. Simultaneously PLAY preconcocted video montage showing series of defenders' violent collisions with recent opponents. Superimpose skull and crossbones on defenders' faces at random points during montage. If marching band attempts to play at any time, quickly CUE loud distorted music. Repeat as necessary.
IF NEBRASKA RECEIVES THE OPENING KICK:
SHOW immediate slow-motion replays after each play from scrimmage, immediately followed by a brief ad by a godless corporate monopoly. CUE lightning-laden, overdramatic player profile when offensive athlete makes an extraordinary play, or even an ordinary one. When Nebraska inevitably scores, CALL out the scoring athlete's name and finish sentence with "forrrrrr the Huskers," needlessly emphasizing and stretching out the word "for." PAUSE for cheers and applause. If score is the first of the day, SWITCH to wide-angle shot of ascension of various oblong, helium-filled red orbs. Repeat as necessary throughout first half, minus the balloon shots, of course.
DURING TIME-OUT OR OTHER LENGTHY PAUSE:
Repeatedly DIRECT attendees' attention to ever-present video outlets. PLAY obligatory promotional video showing little-known, non-football University of Nebraska athletic team whose creation was forced by Title IX, and who also happens to compete in fall semester. FEATURE grainy field-level highlights of recent contest from selected non-football athletic team. Inform attendees of aforementioned team's next contest and subtly urge attendance and/or financial support so that someday the team can afford to buy bleachers. Slyly MENTION that students get in free. PAUSE for polite and/or confused applause.
DURING CHANGE OF QUARTER / OTHER LENGTHY DELAY:
To avoid possibility of attendees having independent/original thoughts, immediately ANNOUNCE next video-based distraction. PAN to field-level shot of overweight, goatee-laden adult attendee, and INSTRUCT him that if he can identify under which slice of delicious Italian-American cuisine a selected pop-culture, political, or athletic icon is residing, he and his stadium neighbors will receive an insanely generous prize. Congratulate him when he inevitably wins (or) indicate that the contest was "tricky" if he somehow cannot seem to activate the two brain cells required to answer correctly. Pause for applause/jeers from other attendees.
ANNOUNCE the game's attendance at somewhere above 77,000 spectators, noting that the 254th consecutive sellout crowd is a continuing National Collegiate Athletics Association record -- 1,700 unsold tickets to the 1992 Middle Tennessee State game notwithstanding. PAUSE to allow fans to recognize how strange it is to cheer for themselves, but then cheer for themselves anyway.
SHOW previous quarter's highlights, if any, and statistics, no matter how unsettling. ALLOW earlier brightly-colored musicians to conduct a new, non-Nebraska-related choreographed performance on the artificial playing surface. FOCUS camera on male baton twirler, prompting attendees to snicker and make various jokes challenging his heterosexuality. Quickly SUPERIMPOSE first-half highlights on video outlets over local radio announcer's rendition of action. WITNESS attendees wincing at lame catch-phrases.
ANNOUNCE various members of UNL Greek houses who nominated themselves as Homecoming royalty candidates. NOTE how current Nebraska Senior Wingback Troy Hassebroek of Lincoln is one of them, prompting a normally disinterested halftime crowd to stop/take notice. PAUSE for dramatic effect and read names of Homecoming King and Queen. USHER all Greeks off the field as quickly as possible as remainder of student section places cellular telephone calls to one another to ascertain where the kegger is going to be that night.
REVERSE gametime formula from first half. When Nebraska kicks off following second-half scores, ALTERNATE "Start Me Up" with "Kickstart My Heart," a 1989 heavy-metal tune by Vince Neil and Tommy Lee, with an initial guitar riff emulating a motorcycle that is shifting gears.
As Cornhuskers pull away from Jayhawks, KEEP crowd involved by enunciating very, very clearly when Barrett Ruud makes a tackle. If Nebraska's lead is safe going into fourth quarter, ROLL "Football History" pseudo-classroom segment. ACKNOWLEDGE that fans liked Tim Gay, the football physics professor, try to act much better than this tired old stiff. CONTINUE showing various Blackshirt and/or offense video collages at random moments during play.
With game score widening and crowd slowly dispersing, CUE UP familiar call for current crowd members planning to also attend Colorado game to wear all red in support of team. PAUSE for nervous silence, realizing that asking Nebraska fans to wear red to Memorial Stadium is like asking Lynyrd Skynyrd fans to wave their lighters at a concert.
Game ends. ANNOUNCE final score. COMMEND both teams for effort as Nebraska assistant coach gathers several players from both squads to pay homage to various deities. THANK crowd and URGE them to drive home safely.
GET on the elevator. CONGRATULATE one another for an excellent production. EXIT stadium and head to Barry's Bar on 9th and Q streets. THINK of Boise, PRAY for Shreveport.
Red. White. Loon.
Show your true colors in THE POND,
Home of Nebraska's RED CLAD LOON.