2014 Big Ten Predictions

27 Sep

The Big Ten conference season kicks off in full today.  It’s time to predict how the teams will finish in each division.

This is an exciting year for the conference.  Not because of the two new teams (I want to say Maryland and Rutabaga?), but because we are finally done with the very pompous – and incredibly unhelpful – Legends and Leaders divisions.  Giving in to common sense at last, Jim Delaney has gone with simple, geographic divisions.  Let’s start in the West.

West Division

  1. Wisconsin.  I don’t necessarily think the Badgers are the best team in the division, but they do have some good talent led by RB Melvin Gordon.  Most importantly, the de facto division championship game against Nebraska is in Madison.  That game will likely decide who gets to go to Indianapolis.
  2. Nebraska.  The Cornhuskers have strong candidates for Big Ten Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year (RB Ameer Abdullah and DE Randy Gregory, respectively).  They have strong talent as most of the other positions, and Bo Pelini appears to be turning a corner as a coach.  So why is NU not in the top spot?  There are concerns about depth (the defense looked rather ordinary without Gregory), but mostly it is about Big Red’s schedule.  Road games at Michigan State, Wisconsin, and Iowa all will prove challenging.
  3. Iowa.  Speaking of schedules, the Hawkeyes likely have the easiest path to the title.  The concern with the Hawkeyes is they may not have the arsenal to match Wisconsin and Nebraska.  That said, Iowa tends to be a much better team in November than they are in September.
  4. Minnesota.  The Gophers took some big strides in 2013, including an impressive win over Nebraska and bowl appearance.  The next step is to finish in the top half of the division.  I don’t know if Minnesota has the pieces to do that, but they are capable of beating anybody in the division.
  5. Northwestern.  Admittedly, the last three spots are a bit like picking the prettiest wart on a frog.  I’m not sure that Northwestern is the prettiest, but I think Pat Fitzgerald is the best coach of the bottom three.  That counts for something, right?
  6. Illinois.  The Illini have not been very impressive so far in 2014, and their 3-1 record has been done largely with smoke and mirrors.  Yet, they get the benefit of the doubt for not  being Purdue.
  7. Purdue.  This team was the worst of the Leaders, and I feel confident in saying that they will be the lest of the West – unless Illinois is really, really bad.

East Division

  1. Michigan State.  The Spartans are easily the best team in the conference, and despite the loss to Oregon, they should not be ruled out of the CFB playoff – especially if they dominate the conference offensively and defensively.
  2. Ohio State.  Truth be told, I’d really like to put Penn State here, but Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes have a stellar conference record the last few years.  Until it’s proven they cannot keep winning Big Ten games, I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt.
  3. Penn State.  New coach James Franklin is the rock star of the conference, and his team is playing with his confidence and swagger.  QB Christian Hackenberg is developing into a top flite quarterback, but the sanctions will hurt depth over the long haul of a season.
  4. Rutgers.  Admittedly, I know very little about the new kids on the block.  But Rutgers (I want to say they are the Scarlet Pumpernickels?) has played well in their first four games, including a narrow loss to Penn State.
  5. Indiana.  Here’s something you don’t see every day:  The Hoosiers easily have the best win in the B1G non-conference season (a victory over a ranked SEC team, no less).  Even if that SEC team is Mizzou, it’s still a big feather for a conference that needs all the positive praise it can get.  Now, will that translate into conference success?  I’d like the Hoosiers’ chances much more if they were in the West.
  6. Maryland.  Like Rutgers, I’m not very familiar with Maryland (if only I had done that ACC power ranking last year…).  Like Rutgers, Maryland has also played well in their first four games, although losing to West Virginia may be telling.
  7. Michigan.  The good news from Michigan’s non-conference slate:  they did not lose to FCS Appalachian State.  The bad news:  pretty much everything else.  Things are going to get much worse in Ann Arbor before they get better.  Big Ten fans outside of Ann Arbor should try to stifle their smiles.

Big Ten Championship:  If these predictions hold to form, we’re looking at Michigan State and Wisconsin matching up in Indy.  I like the Spartans to win by 17 points.

Dark horse prediction:  Nebraska and Ohio State face off in an epic battle ending in a heartbreaking loss for Husker fans.

Dear LJS Editor: Stop Trolling Us

26 Sep

My e-migo Derek Hernandez of NoCoastBias.com and CornNation has a recurring feature called “#PictureMeTrollin” where he posts statements and opinions (not necessarily his) intended to get a response from readers.  It’s a brilliant feature for a website as it inspires comments, conversation, and back and forth arguments – all of which leads to page views, clicks, and other metrics websites use to get advertiser dollars.  Plus, I like that Hernandez tells you right up front that you’re being trolled for a response.  That kind of honesty is refreshing.

Unfortunately, not everyone is as forthcoming with their trolling attempts.

Yeah, I’m talking about you, Lincoln Journal-Star.

The LJS has a bad habit of trolling their readers via their Letters to the Editor page.  The editorial board is quite fond of publishing letters from…how shall I put this politely…people on the polar edges of an issue, or folks who have an unpopular opinion about something most folks know and love.

Obviously, partisan politics is low hanging fruit for the Letters page.  Newspapers across the country run letters from extreme conservatives bashing liberals (or vice versa), so the LJS is not alone there.  But that’s not what I’m referring to here.

I’m talking about the Journal-Star’s love for publishing letters from citizens who say wildly unpopular things about Nebraska athletics or take issue with how NU’s athletic events are run.  Three recent examples come to mind:

In all three examples, your average Husker fan (a solid majority of the Journal-Star’s readership, I presume) probably rolled their eyes after reading the letter – or laughed at the awesomeness that is “hip-hop hogwash”.*  Some probably took to the comments section on journalstar.com to bash the letter’s writer.  Others may have gone onto social media or their favorite message board to sound off.  As you can tell from the links above, I took the bait and wrote blog posts about them.  Yep, I was trolled.

*Seriously, it just refuses to gets old.  Hip-hop hogwash.  Hip-hop hogwash.  Hip-hop hogwash.  

Is this who picks the Letters to the Editor at the Journal-Star?

Regardless of where you share your opinions, you probably included a link back to the original letter, which helps journalstar.com get more clicks.  Maybe you went back repeatedly to read and respond to other comments on the letter.  Maybe in doing that, you used up the 10 free views you get from journalstar.com, so you decided to purchase an online subscription.  Maybe you accidentally clicked on an ad.  Meanwhile, the Journal-Star watches their page views go up and counts their ad clicks.  Whether or not they think the letter is stupid is irrelevant.  They’re just trolling you for a reaction (and clicks).  And it works.*

*Oh yeah it works.  I would love to get Janet and Jay Squires “started on the parking” so I can find out who the heck is parking almost two miles away from the stadium on a football Saturday, when there are thousands of spots downtown and hundreds more on the street in neighborhoods much closer than where I believe the Squires reside.  Husker fans, if you’re parking in the 6th and B Street area for a game, you’re doing it wrong.

I’d also like to point out that when the wind/weather conditions are right, I can hear crowd noise and marching bands from the high school football field (Seacrest) that is approximately 1.75 miles from my house.  I have yet to write any letters of complaint.  And if I did, I’d send them to the Lincoln School Board, not to the Journal-Star, a local TV station, my congressman, or anybody else who ultimately doesn’t care.

Clearly, the Journal-Star is not alone here.  Regardless of if you believe they intentionally publish letters simply to drive traffic and responses, you have to acknowledge that the Journal-Star is receiving some odd letters from people without anything better to do, kooks, and the “Get off my lawn!” crowd who believe that a letter to the editor will convince the NU Athletic Department to turn down the volume at games.

Personally, I like to believe the paper receives at least one letter a week composed entirely in crayon or letters cut out of a magazine. But just because you receive the rants and ramblings of a retiree, it does not mean that you have to print them.

C’mon Lincoln Journal-Star:  Either stop trolling us, or have the courtesy to own it.

Husker Hot Takes – 9/26/2014

26 Sep source: pic2fly.com

Turn on a fan, because I have more Husker Hot Takes:

The Boyd is Back in Town. 
Pioneering Strength & Conditioning coach Boyd Epley has returned to the Nebraska athletic department as the Assistant Athletic Director for Strength and Conditioning.  The reaction I saw was all very positive.  Of course, Husker fans have a strong affinity for bringing back people that they associate with the pre-Callahan glory years.  Epley certainly fits the bill.

Frankly, I’m not real sure what to make of this.  On one hand, I certainly know and appreciate the many innovations Epley is responsible for, as well as the physical advantages the Huskers had over most of their opponents during his 35 year tenure.  Yet, I also heard rumblings from many outlets about a drop-off towards the end of his first run in 2004.  Additionally, the rash of athletic pubalgia injuries in that time was concerning.  I guess I’m in wait and see mode on what Epley’s day-to-day role will be – and how it will translate to results on the field and court.

The important caveat in this hire is that Epley will oversee all sports – except football.  This has the detractors of current S&C coach Tim Dobson (who apparently is responsible for every ACL injury in Lancaster County since 2010) plotting for Epley’s triumphant return to football – possibly in time for his 70th birthday later this year.

Tim Miles Lands Another Big-Time Recruit
This week, highly touted basketball recruit Ed Morrow, Jr. gave his verbal commitment to play for Nebraska.  Now, I know even less about basketball recruiting than I do about football (read:  absolutely nothing), but the hype metrics (four stars, #62 in the nation per ESPN ) are very impressive.  Obviously, Tim Miles and his staff are doing an excellent job on the recruiting trail, as Nebraska is poised to have it’s best hoops class ever.

But let’s also give credit to an unlikely figure in Nebraska’s hoops revival:  Tom Osborne.  It was Osborne who worked to get the world-class Hendricks practice center built.  It was Osborne who helped broker a deal to get Nebraska into the Pinnacle Bank Arena, and you better believe that Osborne’s support played a role in the arena ballot initiative getting approved by Lincoln’s voters.  And finally, Osborne gets credit for firing the ultimate nice guy, Doc Sadler, and for finding/hiring Tim Miles.

And since Morrow is a basketball recruit, let’s give a big assist to the 91,000 fans who attended the Nebraska – Miami football game last Saturday.  The atmosphere and fan support in Memorial Stadium was impressive.  It is very easy to imagine Miles telling Morrow that it gets just as crazy inside The Vault.  A great game day atmosphere pays dividends for all Nebraska sports.

Ameer Abdullah offers some tough love for Jameis Winston
After Monday’s press conference, Ameer Abdullah was asked about Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston, who sat out last week’s game for yelling something inappropriate in the middle of Florida State’s campus.  As is Abdullah’s style, he was honest, yet measured in his comments:

“Great reward brings great responsibility, and he needs to mature and understand that every decision I make has dire consequences, not only to myself but my family, team, coaching staff and university. And before I act, I need to make sure I represent myself in the right way.”

On the surface, this is rather odd.  I mean, when is the last time you saw an athlete from one school discuss an athlete from another school / conference – especially in a negative light?  But both Abdullah and Winston are from the Birmingham, AL area and have known each other for many years.

Regardless, I find it fascinating to see Abdullah offering such advice publicly.  Had Ameer said something to the effect of “Yeah, I’ve reached out to him to share my thoughts and opinions, but I’d prefer to keep it between us” nobody would have batted an eye.

Was Ameer out of line with his comments?  I don’t think so.  As we discussed last time, Abdullah is a natural leader who is not afraid to call it like he sees it.  And given Winston’s off-field exploits in the last year, he’d be wise to listen to his old friend Ameer.  Abdullah clearly has his life pointed in the right direction, and the sky is the limit for what he can accomplish.

The Cornhusker Marching Band will #FearAmeer. 
On Wednesday, the Director of the Cornhusker Marching Band tweeted that the band will spell out “Fear Ameer” during their halftime performance of the Illinois game.

*Side note:  I bet that software that created this image is fun to play around with.  I’d have those pixelated performers going in all sorts of crazy formations.  Hell, I’d write this entire section in marching band formations if I was smart enough.

In the past, I have been critical of the band for halftime shows that many fans find uninspiring.  Therefore, I love that the band is doing unique and potentially viral – I guarantee national outlets like ESPN, Deadspin, Bleacher Report, and others will show it.  Embrace the star player, get him (and your band) some hype.  That is the definition of “win/win” in the social media age.  My question is will this a one time deal, or will the Pride of All Nebraska continue to step out a little more?  Maybe they don’t go full Ohio State viral video mode, but I still believe there is room for improvement in their halftime shows*.

*Case in point:  The theme from last week’s Miami game was songs to commemorate the writing of the Star Spangled Banner.  Seriously?  No disrespect to the talented musicians in the band, but I have no desire to watch that.  With the 1994 National Championship team being honored at the Miami game, the theme “Songs of 1994″ (featuring Ace of Base, Salt-N-Pepa, Tag Team, and Snoop Dogg) should have been an absolute no-brainer.  It would have been a fun performance for fans to watch, and I’m guessing more enjoyable for the band members to play.

Environmentalist’s Idea Goes Over Like A Lead Balloon
Benjamin Vogt, an English professor at UNL, has started an online petition to have Nebraska halt the traditional practice of releasing red balloons after the first touchdown.  He calls the practice “mass littering” and claims the balloons are not bio-degradable (he buried one in his yard to back his claim) and potentially harmful to animals.  A quote from Vogt in the story Deena Winter of NebraskaWatchdog.org wrote this week:

“The reality is that while the balloons may indeed shatter, the pieces are not impossible for animals to eat…In fact, the fringe of shattered latex balloons mimics the shape of jellyfish, a favorite meal for many ocean animals.”

Okay.

I realize that I only minored in English, but my dad was a biologist with the Fisheries Division of the Nebraska Game & Parks for many years.  So I know that, yes, there ARE jellyfish in Nebraska (really).  But I also know that the only ocean animals within the borders of the Cornhusker state reside in fish tanks, aquariums, and the Henry Doorly Zoo.  While it is possible that a fragment of a balloon released from Memorial Stadium could find its way into the aquarium at your dentist’s office (Shark bait!  Hoo ha ha!), I’d like to see the wildlife casualty numbers before we scrap this beloved tradition.

Regardless, should the balloons go away, I am prepared.  Back in 2012, when there were concerns over helium supplies, I made a list of alternate methods to celebrate the first touchdown.  I think many of them still apply today.

Spam Comment of the Day

25 Sep

For whatever reason, this blog has been receiving a lot of spam comments of late.  WordPress has a pretty decent filter that deflects a lot of junk into a Spam folder, but more have been sneaking through lately.

For the most part, the spam comments I get are generic, poorly worded statements telling me that they love my blog (duh, who doesn’t?) and complementing the layout of the site (which is a stock WordPress template).  Oddly, very few seem to be trying to sell me anything*, which is probably why they make it past the filter.  I skim them to make sure they’re not legitimate, then I punt them to the trash.

*Seriously, has anybody ever purchased something advertised in a spam email, blog comment, or pop-up ad?  How many people see emails for ED meds, website comments offering designer purses, or a pop-up offering discount insurance if you “know this one little trick” and think “I really need these things.  Instead of finding a reputable vendor, I’m going to click on this random link”?  

Do companies have media buyers who are telling their bosses “TV is too expensive, print is dead, and it is impossible to have a good radio ad.  Therefore, I propose that we spend our entire Q4 advertising budget on spam emails and flashing webpage ads.  The click rate is going to be ridiculous!”  

Spamming people seems like a ton of work (and a lot of legal risk) for very little return.

Yet, today’s comment is worth sharing.  It is such a garbled mess of broken English, bizarrely off-topic messages, and weirdness that I absolutely love it.

Huh?

Huh?

I’m not sure who “Charlie” is, but he sounds like a dude I’d like to have a beer with – so he can enlighten me about contractors, Democratic lawmakers and UV rays ending at my kids.

Oh, Shirt

23 Sep

I came across a site selling the t-shirt shown below:

Do you love your adopted kid?

Do you love your adopted kid?

The designer explains the shirt on her personal site:  “So many people misunderstand or don’t understand what being an adoptive parents is all about.  I think adoptive parents should completely own being an adoptive parent. Be proud of it and confident in it.”  That makes sense.

I’m not going bash on the person who designed the shirt, and is selling it.  To each their own.  But I would not buy this shirt for myself or anyone else I know.

Why?

It’s not that I’m ashamed or embarrassed by our adoptions.  It is the complete opposite:  the choice to adopt is easily one of the best things my wife and I will ever do.  Our lives, as well as those of our family and friends, have been forever enriched because of our three kiddos.  I may not have enjoyed the paperwork and expense of the adoption process, but I have pride in making it through that process three times.  I have confidence in who I am as a parent – regardless of if “parent” needs to be qualified with “adoptive”.

It’s not that I don’t want to talk adoption or advocate for it.  The first thing you learn about adoptive parents is that we LOVE to talk adoption.  We love to tell our stories, share advice, and many of us will speak up to remove misconceptions or correct outdated language.  I’m no exception.  I’ve written a ton about adoption, and will continue to advocate for it whenever the opportunity arises.

And obviously, it’s not that I don’t love my adopted kids.  They are my world.  My pride and joy.  I love them with all my heart and would do anything for them.

So why would I never ever wear this shirt?

Because when I look at my kids, I don’t see them as “adopted”.  I see them as amazing little people who happened to arrive in my life through adoption.  I will raise my kids to have pride in their adoption – as it is nothing to be ashamed of – and to respect the strength and love shown by their birth families when they were newborns.  But I don’t want “ADOPTED” to be the label that defines them for life.

I accept that when we’re out in public people probably see my children as adopted (I’m very white.  They are very much not white).  That is the reality of living in a society that tries so very hard to be colorblind that we notice every little difference.  So why should I reinforce that singular, impersonal label by wearing this shirt for the world to see?

If the world really needs to pigeon-hole my kids, I’d much have them defined by their amazing personalities (loud and proud, sweet and shy, loving and laughing) than by a generic label that really doesn’t tell you anything about who they are.

Borrowing an analogy I’ve seen elsewhere, would parents of biological children proudly wear a shirt that says “I LOVE MY C-SECTION KID!” or “ASK ME ABOUT MY TURKEY BASTER BABY!”?  Probably not.  I mean, sure, there might be some folks out there who are oddly proud of the marvels of medical science that helped bring their child into the world, but most people don’t choose to define their child as C-Section, breech, the result of a fertility treatment, or anything else.

I like that the designer of the shirt is an adoptee, as it tells me that she has pride in being adopted and wants to be an advocate.  But I’m guessing that she views herself by other terms (talented designer, independent businesswoman, etc.) instead of having adoption be her identity.

Now, if she comes out with a shirt that says “I LOVE MY KIDS”, I’d consider wearing that – if for no other reason than to see if my soon to be six-year-old rolls her eyes in embarrassment.

Hurricane Ameer

23 Sep

Thanks for stopping by!  While I am very grateful for those who take the time to read my work, I would greatly it if you read this one on HuskerMax.com.  

Why?  As a writer for the site, I earn a fraction of a penny per page view.  And with three mouths to feed, and a poor wife who becomes a football widow 12 Saturdays a year, I need those penny parts to keep everybody happy.  

Thank you,

Feit Can Write

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Husker Hot Takes – 9/18/2014

18 Sep source: pic2fly.com

Time for another edition of the Hot Takes.

Husker fans, we have found our “Jump Around”

As we’ve discussed before, Nebraska is unsure of how to fill the gap between the 3rd and 4th quarters.  The goal is to replicate the excitement, fan involvement, and impact on the other team that Wisconsin’s “Jump Around” has become.  To that end, Nebraska has tried several things, most of which were failures.  Here is a partial recap of what’s been done in the last 10 years:

  • An ill-fated attempt to get one half of the stadium to chant “Can’t be beat”, while the other half responds “Won’t be beat”.   Aside from the potential awkwardness of doing this chant should NU be down 14 points going into the 4th quarter, it was too hard for fans to know what to chant and when to chant it.
  • The HuskerVision version of the shell game (Valentino’s “Eye the Pie”, as well as an earlier Runza-themed version) where fans follow a pizza or Husker logo as it is shuffled around.  Boy did that one get the fans fired up!
  • The NU drum line goes out on the field to do a drum cadence for one corner of the stadium (usually the students) while the flag line twirls neon rifles.  It’s cool for the corner of the stadium they pick, but the rest of us don’t get the full effect.
  • The band plays “Hey Baby“.  I like the song, but it doesn’t exactly get one fired up for the final 15 minutes of football.  Keep it for a random TV timeout.
  • An attempt to replicate Wisconsin’s Jump Around, with another mid 90’s hip hop favorite:  DJ Kool’s “Let Me Clear My Throat”.  I like the song but it will never be more than a cheap Wisconsin knock-off.  (Plus, it’s more of that #HipHopHogwash that we’re trying to avoid.)
  • A reprise of the Husker Power chant.  Arguably, this is the best they’ve come up with, but it never matches the volume or intensity of the pregame version.

Then along came the Killigans, a Lincoln-based “folk-punk” band.  They covered a long-forgotten fight song called “The Cornhusker” and turned it into a perfect bridge between the 3rd and 4th quarters.  Have a listen:

Hopefully most of you are with me on this, but if not, let me paint the big picture of why this song will work so well:

  • It is catchy.  I played this morning for my two oldest kids (ages 5 and 2).  By the end of it, they were starting to sing along.
  • It gets the crowd involved.  Definitely not the first week, maybe not by the end of October, but by the end of the season most of the fans will know the words – or at least the chorus.  This Irish drinking song inspired version begs to sung in full voice, and I’m convinced the student section and tens of thousands of other fans through Memorial Stadium will gladly oblige.
  • It is unique to Nebraska.  This is no Hip-Hop Hogwash ripoff of “Jump Around” – and no other school will steal it from Nebraska.  This is a Nebraska song, with lyrics that have meaning to Nebraskans.  For a school (and fan base) that loves traditional things, this definitely fits the bill.  This matters.
  • It can be intimidating to the opposing team.  We’ve all heard stories of teams playing at Wisconsin who get distracted by 80,000 bodies bouncing around Camp Randall stadium.  I guarantee that teams will be caught off-guard by 90,000 Nebraska fans singing “the scarlet and the cream”.  That type of intimidation/distraction may not make a difference, but it will certainly have a bigger impact than a Husker helmet hiding behind pizza number three.
  • It will energize the crowd.  Take a second look at those failed ideas.  Did any of them leave you more pumped up for the final 15 minutes?  What about a stadium-wide sing along celebrating Nebraska football?  Would that get your juices flowing?  Tell me the hair on your arms wouldn’t stand up the first time you heard 90,000 fans singing along.

I think “The Cornhusker” is a no-brainer of an option for the coveted 3rd/4th bridge.  I hope the brilliant folks in the Athletic Department agree with me, and can get a video (featuring the lyrics) put together for Saturday night.

Let’s do this.  For Nebraska and the Scarlet.  For Nebraska and the Cream.

Ameer Abdullah calls out the offensive line.  

During Monday’s press conference, Ameer Abdullah said this about his offensive line  (emphasis mine):

We have to get better,” he said. “We lose our fundamentals sometimes. The guys are trying really hard … But when you’re in the game setting, the most important thing is your first step, keeping your first step on blocks — just the fundamentals we work on every day in practice.

“You can’t lose sight of that just because it’s a game setting. You have to go through your techniques and stuff. A lot of guys get too excited and forget the fundamentals. They’re really strong, but you’re not as strong when you’re not good in your fundamentals and techniques.

“Up front we’ve been pretty good to this point, but we have to be much better.”

First and foremost, he is absolutely right.  Ameer and the other backs have not gotten the level of blocking we have come to expect from the offensive line.  I’m not enough of a tactician to know if this is all because of forgotten fundamentals, but I would like to think Nebraska’s line can get a push on 80-90% of the defenses in the country.

Secondly, I think this demonstrates just how indisputably respected Abdullah is within the team and fan base.  For a contrast, imagine the reaction a year ago if Taylor Martinez said the same things.  Both are/were seniors, focal points of the offense, and a team captain.  Without this devolving into another Martinez attack session (I use T. Magic to illustrate my point, not to compare the two players in any way), we all know that he would be absolutely crushed by the media, fans, and the message board/Twitter community.  Meanwhile, Abdullah issues some of the harshest in-season criticism of teammates in recent memory and nobody bats an eye.

I’m not saying it’s bad that Abdullah is holding his teammates accountable, I’m just impressed that nobody has a problem with it.  It’s just another example of the leadership and respect Abdullah has on this team.

Go ahead and boo the Canes.

I typically don’t condone booing the opposing team when they come on the field.  Regardless of how you feel about the “Greatest fans” signs on the stadium gates, I feel Husker fans should focus their energy on supporting our team, not knocking down another team.  Plus, many teams delay their entrance until Nebraska is coming out, so you have to choose between cheering your team and booing the opposition, which gets lost in the noise anyway.

Now, I’ll freely admit that I did quite a bit of booing during my college years (especially when Colorado or K-State was in town), but I can’t remember doing it in the last 10+ years – even when the Longhorns were making regular trips to Lincoln.  (As the folks in my section can attest, refs are not exempt from my no booing policy).

But this week is different.  This is Miami.  The program of cocky punks like Michael Irvin, Warren Sapp, Ray Lewis, and others who embraced trash talk and taunting.  The program that made habit of turning Nebraska’s New Year’s Day dreams into nightmares – on their home field.  The program that won two of their national championships by beating Nebraska head to head.

I get that this Miami team is far, far removed from the Hurricanes of the 80’s and 90’s.  I also get there is no logical reason to boo some kid is so young he who doesn’t understand why Tom Osborne didn’t kick the PAT, then try to win in overtime.  Really, I do.

But being a fan of a team means that sometimes rational thought takes a backseat to emotion.  Grudges and bitter memories linger and stew.  Some wounds never heal.

Booing the Canes Saturday night may not make those things go away, but it might allow 30 years worth of demons to escape.  If that’s the case, boo away.

The current game day forecast calls for temps in the 70’s with lows in the 60’s for the Miami game.

I continue to hold out hope that on Saturday night we see temps drop in the lower 30’s, with rain turning to snow after halftime.

I doubt I’m the only one.

 

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