August 14, 2006

19 days to go

"Hope, is the last bastion of the damned" - Mark Twain

Minor ramblings as we steamroll toward opening day.

So Stewart Mandell picked the Huskers as one of their "16 National Title contenders" in a recent Sports Illustrated piece. I didn't get a chance to read the article, but I felt it needed to be discussed. As you have seen during the past few weeks and months...the case against the Huskers being worldbeaters this year is staggering. Again DO NOT take that as some sort of insane babble for the sake of typing out words on a screen. There is no reason..on paper mind you, that the Huskers shouldn't at least contend for the North title. Again, I may be crazy, but I'm not fucking stupid.

The problem is, everybody is SO quick to jump back on the bandwagon on POTENTIAL. As I've stated a Missouri fan, do not ever bitch to me about "potential". I heard all about "potential" when Quin Snyder pulled in a top 5 recruiting class, and those same seniors finished their carrers by getting pummelled by Michigan in the NIT.

Here are some examples of what I'm talking about.

- "Matt Herrian is back and that instantly improves the passing game."
Can you name me one player in the history of football who has come back from a devastating injury such as his and been JUST AS GOOD when he returned? It's too bad the kid got injured, because he was a fine tight end. However, banking your success on these sort of things has it's pitfalls.

- " The Huskers return THREE defensive players that missed all of last year. They're bound to be better."
Wasn't it the 2004 Huskers that finished 5-6 and gave up SEVENTY points to Texas Tech? I mean, if you lost Dick Butkis for a season and redshirted Jack Lambert...OK. But three guys who anchored the worst Husker team in 40 years? And THIS is supposed to be the shot in the arm the team needs? What in the fuck are you people smoking?

Still more...

- "Zac Taylor has all-American potential as a senior"
Again, based on.....???? A win over a Colorado team that scored fewer points than Prairie View A&M their last 3 games? A team that had obviously given up on Gary Barnett? Or a HUGE win over Michigan? Correct me if I"m wrong, but if not for a few key turnovers by Michigan, we'd be talking about a 7-5 Husker season, and a nice nucleus of players. Instead, we're talking about a team that lost to KU by 25 last year challenging for the National title 9 months later.

Do you have ANY idea what the fuck I'm talking about here?

The myopia and hype surrounding the program is reaching a level not seen since 2001. At least in 2001 however you had some outstanding running backs, a long-standing coaching staff and a future Heisman winner. Not a bunch of guys returning from injury, and a couple of late-season wins that weren't 1/10th as impressive as you paint them out to be. What this boils down to is the the absolute NEED to be recognized for being great. Frankly, (pun, get it?) you guys were WAY less annoying back in the day when you ran your boring offense, and beat people 60-10 every year on your way to yet another mid-level bowl loss.

But alas, because of a couple of flukes late last season, we have to put up with blind faith and the expectation that because you have plain red uniforms and a big ass ugly 'N' on your helmet that was cool back in the Andrew Jackson administration, that automatically good things will come to you. I personally cannot be more pleased with the out of control expectations and blind faith the Husker nation has put fourth this off-season. Perhaps when they're tearing down goalposts at Iowa State this year you'll get what I'm talking about? Perhaps it will be when you're only one score up on Maine with 9 minutes to play. (Oops, that was last year.)

In order for pain and suffering to be achieved in the manner you deserve, you need the heights to be dizzying. If expectations get any higher, you'll need one of those masks that F-16 pilots wear.

Time will tell I guess.


Blogger Sam said...

Amen, brother AJ...

...but, as a native of Illinois, I will have to kick your ass for misspelling Butkus.

12:42 AM  
Blogger AJ said...

I was in a hurry and I hadn't posted in a while.

Frick'n settle down.

8:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would be willing to bet that there is no team that sustained a blow out loss to Kansas and contended for a national title in a years time.


12:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of the defenders wasn't on the 2004 team -- Octavian. Clearly, we only know how good he is from 10 minutes against Maine. Maybe that's worse than anchoring the 2004 team. Still, there's been recent success in Juco defneders in DeMorrio Williams, TJ Hollowell and Zach Bowman.

I'm not sure who the other 2 defenders out all of last year are.

Plus, I could argue that the defense was light years ahead of the offense in 2004, but it doesn't really matter because 5-6 is 5-6 and that's all that will be said to counter.

2:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Outstanding backs in 2001? Dharran Deidrick? Kenny Wilson, Marlon Lucky and Cody Glenn are all better than Diedrick. God, lets hope so.

7:16 AM  

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