Posts Tagged ‘Nebraska’

So much for having nothing to talk about.

TV and Fury end up burning this week’s podcast space by discussing the super-sized stadium experience in college football and the impending finale of Breaking Bad. Turns out they’re both fans of the show-recap industry.

Here’s the link.

On Saturday afternoon, I covered a game in one of the true temples in America sports: Memorial Stadium, home to the University of Nebraska football team. There were 90,614 souls there, the 330th consecutive sellout in the ever-expanding venue. Some 6,000 seats were added prior to this season, part of a $63.5-million upgrade.

Meanwhile, Fury spent that same day – I’m assuming – glued to a web feed, a ham radio or a Morse code translator in order to follow his beloved St. John’s Johnnies in their rivalry contest against the dreaded St. Thomas Tommies. Juco transfer or not, Fury is a Johnny for life. His knowledge and passion is completely legit.

Lincoln and Collegeville are examples of why college football is so successful: Some love it for the sheer magnitude and excellence and others buy in because it’s theirs. Both lines of reasoning seem plenty sound and can be traced back to feeling a genuine sense of loyalty to a school, be it a major NCAA Division I power or a quaint Division III outfit.

So where did I go wrong? (more…)

By Dan Frasier
Guest blogger

Confession time. I’m a gigantic, irrational, ridiculous Nebraska Huskers homer. I refer to the team as “we.” I specifically avoid watching games that I think we will lose because seeing a blowout ruins my weekend. And I, like all the other homers I know, have spent the last few days texting my friends and predicting coach Bo Pelini’s termination.

By now I’m sure you’ve heard the profanity-laced tirade that was recorded two years ago and released shortly after Nebraska’s meltdown against UCLA. Good Coach Bo, who took the reins of Husker Nation in 2008 to much fanfare and billboard leasing, has managed to find himself on a serious hotseat.


This week on the pod, TV and Fury discuss all things college football – or at least some things college football. Namely: ESPN College Gameday going to Fargo, N.D., where the guys met.

Also, one Big Ten coach (Minnesota’s Jerry Kill) deals with health issues, while another (Nebraska’s Bo Pelini) fills up the swear jar.

Here’s the link. 


Time to watch The Tapes, our weekly review of stories that are worth your time:

* The self-promotion department asked that we bring your attention to the piece that TV wrote about Tim Miles, small-town South Dakotan turned Big Ten basketball coach. We’re not sure if Big Red will turn things around or not, but it won’t lack for personality. Miles is as charasmatic as they get.

* The Jerry Sandusky trial began this week. And we already can’t wait for it to end. The details are brutal, especially when coming from the alleged victims on the stand. Yes, this is America and everyone is innocent until proven guilty, but we think that, if found guilty, Sandusky should be brought up on additional charges for making people relive the alleged crimes. Of course, no decent person would commit these sort of alleged crimes to begin with, so for us to ask that he act reasonably and fess up in order to prevent further pain and suffering is non-sensical.
If you can stomach the coverage, Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! has been all over the trial.

* It was (another) depressing week in journalism, as three Southern papers announced debilitating cuts. A former New Orleans reporter gave her account on cut day based on what went on in the newsroom.
TV got a very, very small taste of this during his trip to the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association awards weekend. He met a writer from Alabama. the reigning state sportswriter of the year. What’s his beat? He’s not sure anymore. The cuts caught everyone off guard in Birmingham. He traveled to North Carolina with his two children, and had no idea what to expect upon returning to work. This is the uncertainty facing even some of the finest in our field on a daily basis.

* NBA TV premiered an outstanding documentary about the 1992 Dream Team and you should definitely check it out if your cable provider has the channel. If they don’t, write a letter. Meanwhile, GQ had an oral history of the team. And next month, longtime SI writer Jack McCallum has a book coming out on the squad. My one quibble with one Dream Team member. Everyone knows Michael Jordan went to extremes to find motivation — witness his bizarre and uncomfortable Hall of Fame speech – but there’s a ridiculous statement in the documentary. Jordan says that as the Dream Team gathered, there were still many people saying, yeah, Jordan’s good, but he’ll never be Magic Johnson. No one was saying this in 1992. Magic had retired the year before and Jordan had just won two straight titles. People were already talking about him being the best ever. MJ used it as motivation as he battled Magic for alpha dog status, but I wanted my complaint noted.

* This piece is a few weeks old but I really enjoyed it and in light of the Rome-Stern conspiracy throwdown, worth a link. Patrick Hruby goes inside the world of sports conspiracy theorists. From the 1985 NBA Lottery to Game 6 of the 2002 to Super Bowl III.

Take a close look at Adam Carolla's earnings from his younger years.

I got it on with Adam Carolla over the weekend. Wait. That didn’t come out right.

See, Carolla is no longer known simply as “Man Show” or “Loveline” to people on the street, he’s now the purveyor of the most popular podcast in America (give or take at roughly 400,000 downloads per episode) – The Adam Carolla Show. His lead-in line: Get it on.

I tune in regularly, the rants, jokes and social commentary a welcomed 90-minute escape from my stuffy and stressful weekdays. It’s as thought-provoking as entertaining, despite the fact that Carolla is often portrayed as a neanderthal. (He’s probably that, too, just not all the time.)

I’ve become enough of a fan to make the trek to Lincoln, Neb., over the weekend to catch the Ace Man (his self-deprecating and self-appointed nickname) at the Rococo Theater. It was part of my furlough adventure series, an attempt to have fun during a week without pay. Plus, I’d never been to a stand-up show before. (Or a sit-down show, for that matter. Huzzah!) (more…)

By Dan Frasier
Guest blogger 

Earlier this week, it was reported that two of the Ohio State football players, both of whom were near finishing up suspensions for taking improper benefits along with Terrelle Pryor, have been suspended for the upcoming game in Lincoln, Neb. The University has found that these two offensive studs were paid exorbitantly for work done this summer for a booster, from whom OSU has already distanced itself. Thus far this season the Buckeyes have completed a total of 23 passes. Combined. All season. Total. Ugh.

As much as I am sure you would like to hear a breakdown of the potential for offensive output from this quickly-becoming-irrelevant program, I’ll spare you that. Instead, I want to talk about blame.

The last two years of college football have brought an onslaught on NCAA violations and allegations unlike anything I’ve ever seen. We have actually reached a point where a major player like South Carolina can have a major pending investigation and we don’t even hear about it.  While talking heads flounder around for scapegoats, and the NCAA looks for ways to change the rules to effectively legalize some of the bad behavior, we are missing the whole point.

The real problem is the feeling of entitlement and invincibility of the student-athletes. We, as a people, have reached a point where blaming a faceless institution for our own failings is commonplace. If I didn’t get a college degree and now can’t find a job, it’s the governments fault for not getting the economy going, nevermind the fact that the unemployment rate for college educated people in the U.S. is under 5 percent.  If the bank foreclosed because I stopped paying my mortgage, it’s the banks fault for letting me borrow the money I requested … or the appraiser’s fault … or the rating agencies … ANYONE BUT ME. If our inner-city schools are failing, it’s the fault of local funding … or the politicians … or something. Nevermind the insanely high single-parent rate at these schools, and poverty and crime. So I abandoned my kid in a poor neighborhood on the south side of Chicago? It’s the school’s fault that he will eventually dropout. So a bunch of college students knowingly broke rules and attempted to hide them? Clearly, it’s the NCAA’s fault for having those rules.

The fact is college athletes have a life that the rest of the population dreams about. Very expensive school is totally paid for, along with the other financial benefits that come with an athletic scholarship. They are offered tutors, exceptional class schedules and swag.  They travel on jets all over the country, to play in packed stadiums in front of tens of thousands and often on national television. They have been coddled, celebrated and held above the rules from their first glimmer of athletic ability. Is it surprising that this combination has created a class of narcissistic, entitled rule breakers? Is it the fault of the rules that this isn’t enough to satiate these people? Is there a set of rules that would be followed? The answer to these questions are clearly no. As the current OSU problem illustrates (coupled with the repeated violations of laws by star athletes) there isn’t a set of rules or enforcement policies that are going to be acceptable to the athletes. And it is that thinking that is the real problem. Once we have decided that rules should’t be crafted based on what is right or what the overarching goals of an organization are, but rather on what we think that the people governing these rules will be willing to follow, we are lost. The inmates run the institution and rules are irrelevant.

Have you ever asked yourself, why is it that smaller schools have an easier time adhering to the NCAA rules than the larger ones? The larger institutions and football programs have more resources to enforce the rules and more to lose. What is the difference? The difference is the student-athletes who are at those institutions. When you get the five-star athlete, you also get all of the baggage that comes with a coddled and spoiled teenager. When you get athletes not rated on, you get less of that. They all have the same rules and by all accounts the big-time athlete at the big time program is given more benefits yet they are the ones selling pants for tattoos. Why we can’t palate the fact that it is the rulebreaker’s fault is beyond me.

Lawrence Phillips wasn’t born messed up. He didn’t get messed up at UNL or in the NFL. His formative years were such that a man was produced that was messed up. It’s sad, and it ruined his life. But it’s not the fault nor can it be cured by the NCAA or college enforcement divisions or handing him walking-around money. The problems run much much deeper. They start with his mom getting punched, or not having a father figure, or Junior High coaches letting him play when he clearly couldn’t read, or whatever went on in Phillips’ life that cemented him into the person he was. The people in his life at that point, the ones whose responsibility it was to teach him all the virtues in life needed to life in a civilized society, are the ones to blame, initially. And then, at some point, Lawrence is the only person to blame. His decisions are his and he paid for them. We can argue all day about a few hundred bucks here, a rule twist there, NFL involvement in collegiate rules enforcement or whatever you life. The fact is, that until society reverts back to a sense of personal responsibility and instilling an understanding that failing where others don’t is a reflection upon you and not upon the system, these problems will continue to exist.

About the author: Frasier is a rabid Huskers fan. Given the results of last weekend, we figured it would be nice to let him vent.

By Dan Frasier
Guest blogger 

As a Nebraska Cornhuskers fan, I find myself on the eve of watching UNL’s first season as a member of the venerable Big Ten Conference. As part of my preparation for the season, I began amassing the necessary slurs, put-downs, and provocations of other Big Ten teams that will allow me to fully enjoy Season 1 of the “The Cornhuskers take the Big Ten” show.

However, I found myself in a sad situation. I hadn’t fully thought through all of the ways that the mascot names of other schools can be made fun of or perverted to sound even more ridiculous than they already are. It is from this perilously under-prepared stance that I decided to sit down and make a list. For the record, this list is unencumbered by any meaningful research (except to figure out what the hell an Illini is. Seriously, people can remember the Illinois mascot without Google?) or thought process. I wanted to keep it pure and childish; you understand. So here is my assessment:

Ohio State. Ok, so they are the Buckeyes.  I’m pretty sure a Buckeye is some kind of big seed or nut or something, and I vaguely recall that they aren’t good for you to eat. This might be the lamest of all Big Ten mascots. Seriously. A Nut? I mean, I suppose if a Buckeye fired from a slingshot hit someone, it would cause a nasty welt or at least bruise. But I doubt that’s the team motto. And are they poisonous?  If so, does the fight song say, “We are the mighty Buckeyes, if you attempt to eat one of us you may encounter an upset stomach or diarrhea so watch out!”? This is a sad, sad mascot.

It’s an inanimate object. It can’t DO anything to you. It’s not menacing or frightening.  Nobody ever had a nightmare about being attacked by a roving pack of wild seeds. Do Better, Ohio State, and without cheating.