Approaching a Milestone
First, some background. This whole thing actually started about 10 years ago at one of my first jobs. I worked long hours with a group of guys about my age, and every single one of them were of course, big Husker fans. I of course was not, but my disdain was more of the eye-rolling variety...not the full-course "classless" ball of hatred you see today.
During the day, while at school...these guys would bombard me with Husker propaganda. Recruits, stats, stories...it didn't matter, as long as it was Husker related. Remember, this was 1997, the year of "the kick" and the most undeserved national title in college football history.
This goes on for a couple of years, and the banter goes back and fourth to the tune of 100-200 e-mails PER DAY. Most of which were all five of them, ganging up on me to tell me how great the Huskers were. Then one day, I had an idea: A Husker Hating website.
I was too busy to e-mail them back 5 times each over and over...however, if I could put together a website to express myself, they could just click there, and not swamp my inbox with what Scott Frost had for lunch the day before. A friend of mine was in a band, and was building his own site on geocities, and told me how easy it was. 20 minutes later, the Husker Hating movement had been launched.
Things went by fine for about 3 days, until my buddies decided that the addition of polls, pictures and guestbooks were a bit too much ammo to deal with on a regular basis. After a heated argument on the possible firing of Danny Nee, one of my friends made good on his promise and linked the websites to one of his many Husker message boards/nerd gatherings. After logging back on, I had noticed the error, "Unable to access due to maximum usage." "How the hell can that be?" I asked myself. Only 5 people on earth know it even exists. So I went to the site meter and checked.
The final tally was 15,893 hits in 24 hours, which I'm pretty sure has to be some sort of record. Granted, this was a do-it-yourself website that took about 20 minutes to construct via simple HTML, and was being swamped by a Husker loving feeding frenzy, which in 1999 only had a handful of message boards to choose from.
It was around this time that I received my first death threat...followed by a couple more, including a guy who insisted he was Zach Weigert's brother, and he was going to be waiting for me at my place of business after work. It was about this time I realized that I'm not dealing with a normal group of people. It also dawned on me that Nebraska fan was absolutely, in no way able to comprehend the fact that somebody out there actually DID NOT LIKE them or respect their "traditions." This was even more blasphemous because it was somebody who actually lived within the state lines.
To my friends' delight, the fun lasted about 5 days before I was shut down by Angelfire for excessive bandwidth usage, and the great Husker sociology experiment was over. My buddies claimed victory, as did I...since I managed to piss off 15,000 of them or so in one fell swoop. Regardless, the Huskerh8er website was offline for good.
Fast forward to 2005. The e-mail list of trash talk continued through various milestones of Husker history. The Frank Solich saga, the inevitable first loss in Columbia in 2005 were just a few of the many subjects argued back and fourth with venom. By this time, blogs were becoming the rage, and it was easier than ever for any random crackpot with a keyboard to throw their thoughts out on a screen. Via the complete ease of blogger.com, I resurrected the old Huskerh8er website theme, and began to indulge in one of the things I love best...writing. And yes, contrary to popular belief, I studied journalism in high school and college, and I'm well aware that I'm a wannabe columnist. I don't deny that. In fact, if I won the lottery and could devote more than 15 minutes every 2 days to maintain this blog...I'd try to make a living out of it.
And yes, there is a market. 2 years and several hundred thousand hits later, the rage and hate continues, to the distress of Husker nation. Which leads me to another point. Why do you guys take this so seriously? Why does it distress you so much that somebody could have another opinion, different than your own? It's all fun and games when other programs mock each other, but when I do it, I'm some kind of monster?
I write this blog for several reasons. First of all, it's therapeutic. The same reason people keep journals for years, I like to throw words out to express thoughts and feelings. I'm a fan of a "rival" college sports team, living in one of the most concentrated rival areas in the Midwest. That team has been relatively successful over the years, while my own team has sucked donkey balls during that same time.
It's a natural fit.
I've said it a thousand times, and I'll say it again: I write this blog because it not only pisses you people off, but it allows fans of other teams to see some of the ridiculous things that Husker fans do and say when supporting their team. Barely 50% of my hits come from Nebraska IP's and links, so therefore the audience is vast. Sometimes I linger on with subjects many of you don't care about...but again..it's my blog, and I try to keep it rather up-to-date.
I never bash players personally. You'll never see me mock an injury, post a player's phone number, or comment on some other personal issue. But that's not to say I won't poke fun at the team a lot of you support to the death. When you wear your fandom on your sleeve, and tell the world what great fans you are (hell, it's on your front door)...you're bound to make some enemies.
I am your enemy.
But that's not to say we can't have rational discussions and heated debates. In the end, we're all sports fans from the same area, and for that we need to separate these debates from life and death issues. Yeah, I may throw out a few things that perhaps are a TINGE insulting. But it's banter about a sport..a sport played by kids even.
Thanks for letting me share some of my thoughts with you. Despite your feelings toward me or my team, I hope to piss you off, make you smile, shake your head, or make you fear for the future of the human race. Regardless of all that, it's still better than watching the depressing images on the 6 O'Clock news.
Thanks again for the support, enjoy the off-season, and try to keep your players out of jail.