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Archive for November, 2012

Makes Me Wanna Holler

Earlier this week I watched a show called “The Experts” on ESPN.  Usually this show assembles a group of retired coaches and players, plus a pundit or two, to discuss the week’s developments in college football.  This week they did a segment on Conference Championships.  So they had to talk about the Big Ten championship game, to be played this Saturday at 6 pm mountain time on ABC between Wisconsin and Nebraska (yes, I’m obsessing a little).

I’ll overlook the fact that they discussed most of the other championship games before they could bring themselves to talk about the Big Ten.  Or that they lingered over the lowly ACC.  This is what I can’t forgive:   When they finally got to the Big Ten one of them said “Nebraska sort of sneaked up on us, winning ten games while nobody noticed.”  “And just who,” I shouted at the teevee, “is paid big bucks to notice stuff like that?”   Then one of them had the gall to say:  “Taylor Martinez leads the Big Ten in yardage gained.  Who’da thunk it?”

Well, sir, the two million people who live in Nebraska thunk it.  The hundreds of thousands of lifelong Nebraska fans scattered across the country thunk it.  My 85-year-old sister, who was a Tassel at Nebraska in 1950 (that’s the pep club) thunk it, even though she can’t watch most of the games there in Cincinnati.  And a hell of a lot of coaches in the Big Ten thunk it–the coaches at Michigan and Michigan State and Penn State and Northwestern, to name a few.

So where were you guys all season, you self-designated “experts”?  Obsessing over the SEC, that’s where.  Even if Nebraska and Stanford play in the Rose Bowl, as your Bowl guy predicted, all we’ll hear about from you is Alabama!  Georgia!   LSU!  Not that these teams aren’t good–they are.  But even the lousy teams in the SEC–Auburn this year, and Tennesee, for example–get lots more coverage than teams that are doing well in other conferences.

I feel better now.

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What Election?

I give you the Rethugs’ House Committee Chairs for the next two years.  Notice anything?  Hmm?

Thanks to Rachel Maddow’s blog for the photo, obvs.

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He’s Baaack!

Yesterday, at the start of Nebraska’s second half, Rex Burkhead ran out onto the football field accompanied by humongous cheers from  the fans.  Nebraska needed him–we were down to Iowa (Iowa!) by a point, 6-7.  It was very cold in Iowa city (20 degree wind chill), the wind gusting to 30 miles an hour (and people want to know why I moved to Arizona and never went back).  So Nebraska’s vaunted offense, which has been turning in nearly 500 yards a game this year, just could not get going, either on the ground or though the air.

Rex has been sidelined for six games, thanks to a sprained knee.  I sympathize.  If you look closely you can see the big ol’ brace on his left leg, virtually glued in place by reams of tape.  But when he got on the field he looked just like the old Rex.  He jinked, spun,paused to read the defense, and then slammed his way down the field, often carrying three or four Iowa defensive backs with him.  On Nebraska’s fourth play of the third quarter, he stormed into the end zone, scoring what proved to be the winning touchdown (final score was 13-7).

Nebraskans love Rex Burkhead because he can run the ball, but also because he’s a nice guy.   Last year he befriended a young boy named Jack, who has cancer.  Rex visited Jack in the hospital and got to know his family and other patients there.   Soon the entire football team was visiting young fans on the cancer ward, and in the best gesture of all, when Jack was well enough he got to run onto the field with the team.

So it’s on to the Big Ten championship game in Indianapolis next Saturday.  We’ll need Rex against Wisconsin, which is playing much better than they were when we beat them–by three measly points–early in the season.  So keep your fingers crossed, and GBR!

PS:  This post brought to you by my new internet hookup, at blinding new speeds (for me)!

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Some 85000 people attended Tom Osborn’s retirement party yesterday.   And oh yeah–Nebraska beat Minnesota 38-14.

The Huskers looked very good yesterday, running up 24 unanswered points in the first half alone.  Minnesota’s 14 points came in the last quarter when Nebraska’s second and third strings were on the field.

The writers for the Omaha and Lincoln papers are crowing about this victory, claiming that Nebraska showed sparks of greatness yesterday.  And anyone who wrote for Nebraska’s newspapers during the thirty years from 1970-2000 knows greatness on the football field, because they saw it most every Saturday.

True enough–the Big Red looked very good on all three fronts–offense, defense, and special teams.  The poor Minnesota QB (only a freshman) couldn’t find anyone to throw t0 because his receivers were all but covered up by red and white shirts.  And he certainly couldn’t run the ball, because the Husker secondary was prowling about like hungry wolves looking for lunch.  And Martinez couldn’t miss yesterday.  The plan was for him to throw a lot so he wouldn’t risk getting hurt, and he did, and he threw well–once for forty yards and a TD to Kenny “Fear the Fro” Bell.  But he was never threatened by Minnesota’s pitiful defense, and was able to stand in the pocket for what seemed like hours until he decided which of his many receivers were the most open.

So I have my doubts about greatness, spotty or not.  Minnesota is just not a very good football team–if it weren’t for Illinois, which is truly wretched this year, they’d be at the bottom of the Big Ten.  And that’s not saying much, given that the only team in the Big Ten that can play with the big boys (Alabama, Notre Dame, Oregon, etc) is among the Punished:   Ohio State, who wriggled past Wisconsin yesterday to remain unbeaten.  Their 11-0 record includes a veritable shellacking handed out to Nebraska early in the season.

So we’ll see.  Iowa next week, which looks from here like another pushover.  But I’ve been in that stadium in Iowa City, and those fans could rally a dying person to get up and walk.  If we beat them, we’ll have won the Legends division (the Unpunished) this year, and will be on the way to Indianapolis to face–gulp–Wisconsin.  We beat Wisconsin once already, back when neither team was playing as well as they are now, but only by three points.  The winner of that game goes to the Rose Bowl as the Big Ten Champion.

Last Saturday the Desert Democrats and I made big plans to drive out to Pasadena on or about the New Year, given that it looked then as though Nebraska and Notre Dame might play in the Rose Bowl.  This is no longer a sure thing given that Kansas State and Oregon, the only unbeaten teams other than Notre Dame, lost yesterday.  So now Notre Dame remains the only unbeaten team in the BCS.  And unless they lose their last game, and because they don’t have any pesky conference championship game to play, they’ll face whichever one-loss team (this category includes Dread Pirate Roberts of football–Alabama) can survive their remaining gauntlets in the National Championship game.

So congratulations, Mr. Desert, and Go Domers!

And also too, GBR!

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Ok, then!

“It all makes sense now. Gay marriage and marijuana being legalized the same day. Leviticus 20:13 — ‘If a man lays with another man he should be stoned.’ We’ve just been interpreting it wrong all these years.”

(And here’s the link to Chris Rock’s video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EDxOSjgl5Z4&feature=share)

And my last little bit of frivolous internet humor:

 

 

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