November 20, 2006

Ralphie Heads East

It's pretty obvious by talking to a lot of you that I am not the only person on earth who despises the big hick nation. Fans from Kansas to Iowa to Missouri to Oklahoma, all have various degrees of dislike toward all things Husker. There are some good reasons for this. There are some lame reasons for this. All in all, it's nice to see, since as I've stated last week, the Huskers really have to true geographic rival. It's healthy. It's needed. It's inevitable that if you act like an asshole, you'll make enemies.

In studying these sorts of things, one group of fans seem to stand out in their disdain toward Herbie and his minions. One group of fans tend to stick out a bit higher than the others when it comes to general hatred to all things Nebraska. Those would of course be the fans of the Colorado Buffaloes.

I certainly don't want to take away anything from my good friends at KSU. Over the past few years, Wildcat fans have latched on to the Husker hating movement as well as any fan base has. And for the most part, KSU fans are a common target of snide remarks and rebukes from Husker fans. But it seems to me that Nebraska's long standing history of self-anointed greatness, coupled with the pre 1989 state of KSU football has somewhat capped that hatred. Don't get me wrong, Wildcat and Husker fans do not like each other in the slightest, but from where I sit today, the dislike isn't quite as strong as it is between Boulder and Lincoln.

As I've said before, I credit the CU Buffs for helping kickstart my hatred of all things Husker. While on a class trip in 1989, I was in a hotel room in St. Louis with 25 of my classmates for a journalism conference. Looking for things to do, I wandered around the lobby, only to find absolutely nobody. I went to a friend of mine's room, only to find nearly all of my classmates huddled around a TV set, yelling and screaming. I remember one guy as well, sitting in the hallway with his hands over his eyes. "I can't watch". "Watch what?" "The Huskers. They're going to lose."

Walking into the room, the bed nearly collapsed with the weight of all those high school kids, huddled around the TV set, watching Darian Hagan run wild on the blackshirt defense. Being relatively new to Omaha and the Husker way of life, I was completely puzzled by their reactions. By the time the #2 Buffs finished off the #3 Hicks to set up an Orange Bowl match up with Notre Dame, the room turned into complete bedlam. Guys were stomping out of the room. Cups and items were being thrown. One guy completely lost his mind and starting screaming at another guy for not agreeing on some call Tom Osborne had made earlier in the game. (I'm assuming it was option left...considering option right was the only other play they ran.) At that moment, I very quickly realized that the people I shared my state with...the very individuals whom I was sharing a wonderful trip with....were completely fucking insane.

For the next several years, the Buffs continued to have their way with the Hicks, rolling to a National Title the following year. Although my own team was screwed on a 5th down play that will live in infamy, the Buffs have always had my respect, if anything for their deep rooted dislike and mocking of their toothless neighbors to the east. Likewise, the Husker fans developed a mutual dislike, although that hatred has waned in recent years, since everybody knows that the Huskers are FAR above simple Big 12 North foes, and only feel threatened by teams like Texas or Oklahoma. (Or Okie State or whomever).

Although the Buffs come in this Friday as huge underdogs, one only has look at their history and future to see light at the end of the tunnel. Although Nebraska's march back to mediocrity is complete, the Buffs are led by a guy who actually has proven he can coach at the college level. With scandals and bad vibes left behind from the Barnett era, the Buffs have really nowhere to go but up. Along with that coaching staff is a major metropolitan recruiting area, as well as hands down the most beautiful backdrop in college football. Although they've taken some lumps this year, you'd have to be an absolute idiot to believe that the Hawkins led Buffaloes won't be a player in the north in the near future.

With Kansas State holding a wildcard named Josh Freeman, that doesn't exactly bode well to Iowa State, Kansas and Missouri fan. You've gotta think that with both of these programs on the way back up, somebody is going to have to take the brunt. Yes, the window of opportunity is closing in the North, and these two teams are going to be a huge reason for that. Take it from me...I've seen Dan Hawkins' teams at Boise State, and it's absolutely scary what that guy is going to be able to put together. Since Husker fan has had a 3 year head start in his great soon-to-fail Raider Flunky experiment, they've got to acknowledge that Hawkins is going to need the same time building his team back up into a perennial contender. As I've said..that's very bad news for the rest of us.

Although I don't think the Buffs will win, count me in as rooting like hell for CU to rise from the ashes, if for any other reason that it will remind Husker fan that beating mediocre teams in a shitty division all year won't be an annual event. If anything, it will be good to see two neighbors hate each other again...which is what the world is about anyway. Hopefully Hawkins' surfer-boy, carefree personality won't lose site of the evil that lurks in his own conference.

If he doesn't know now...he will by Friday evening.

Go Buffs


Anonymous Demolition Man said...

Don't count your Tigers out of the Big XII race for at least for the next couple of years. Chase Daniels is the real deal and Coffman is the biggest mismatch in the league. Pinkel's coaching may be shakier than Michael J Fox in an earthquake after 8 double espresso's, but he recruits talent and that means a lot. Look how it's worked out for the toothless wonders to the North (I'm in Kansas).

12:58 PM  
Anonymous Obsessed Husker Fan said...

Huskers 31 Puffs 3

Also, Nebraska is now ranked in the AP college basketball poll, well, ranked as in receiving votes, a little better than what you were predicting AJ... also when will I recieve my props for calling the HUSKER win over a powerful Creighton squad? I want a write up in your blog, and I want it now!

Heres the link for proof of the vote...

2:48 PM  
Blogger AJ said...

ABSOLUTELY not. Creighton looked like a Quin Snyder scrimmage, throwing up THIRTY THREE 3-point shots. THIRTY THREE? How many did Tolliver have? That was, the worst non-Quin Snyder coached performance I've EVER seen.

You'll get no respect from me, other than the Hicks got lucky by hitting 60% percent from the field. Let me know when that happens again.

PS - You get credit for "Puffs". That was somewhat funny.

4:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Pinkel's coaching may be shakier than Michael J Fox in an earthquake after 8 double espresso's"

the "THAN" jokes need to be retired. They arent funny. More times that Paris Hilton on her back .. blah blah ... not original. Not funny. I suppose you are the same guys who make those signs at games mocking the MasterCard ads ... "Gas to Lubbock 200 bucks" .. etc Yeah, that was great ten years ago. Come up with some new material.

9:51 AM  
Anonymous bhg said...

Holy Krap!!! Counting getting a SINGLE vote as being ranked. Cripes if that's your benchmark, then Nebraska is "ranked" all the time, usually at the bottom.

Having one win over a ranked opponent does not a season make. How many times has Nebraska knocked off a Kansas team, and then failed to win a bunny bracket game in Kansas City? Don't take this the wrong way, I'd like to see the Nebraska program be competitive in the Big 12, but I'd have to admit that Creighton did a poor job on the floor, and Nebraska played above their potential (to date).

I'm weary of a team that squeaks out a win against UNK, and then beats a ranked opponent. Not certain that consistency is a word used to describe a team like that. (Kinda like the football team.)

10:14 AM  
Blogger AJ said...

I personally think the Paris Hilton one still works...but point taken.

10:19 AM  

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