Mo Silence, Mo of the same
Hear that? Listen real close.
Well, I’d hardly say nothing, but it does speak volumes to who and what we are dealing with.
Enter the case of Mo Purify. A highly gifted wide receiver from the West Coast, who found is way to middle America to play football at a well-known university on the plains. In 2006 he had 34 catches for 640 yards and 7 touchdowns. Although appearing to take a play off from time to time, (And fumbling away any chance the Huskers had…which let’s face it wasn’t that much…to beat OU in the Big 12 title game) the 6’4 receiver dazzled normally forward-pass-ignorant fans in Memorial stadium with circus catches over a wide variety of defensive backs. As the year went on, Purify became the prime target of Zac Taylor, who was tasked to make the great failed Raider coach experiment work for the Husker nation.
Purify, who was actually named the Community College Association Student Athlete of the month once, was counted on to be a key cog in the Keller-Purify-Lucky combo that was to run rough shot over the Big 12 in 2007, and serve as a stepping stone to the full-scale domination of college football sure to follow later on in this decade. I don't know Maurice Purify. He might be an OK guy...not for me to decide.
But, in the tradition of all the Husker greats before him, Mo found a bit of trouble in the form of O Street on a Saturday night.
Now I’m not going to lie to you people. I”ve been to O Street more time than I can count in my lifetime. I’m not about to preach to you about how he shouldn’t have been out blah blah blah, because I myself have been slumped over a bus stop after drinking my weight in Elk-Creek water at Sandy’s. I’ve hung out at Iguana’s more times than I can remember, watching drunk coeds make out on the hood of the cars parked out front. (Always loved Iguanas) However, in all of those many trips to O-Street…even when I was a student athlete, I never felt the need to jump a fence, attack a bouncer, punch his girlfriend, put him in a choke hold and have four LPD officers drag me off into the night.
As you probably can guess…I’m not exactly shocked by all this. Let’s face it, the guy was from California, he was allegedly drunk, he may or may not have been provoked (the police report says he wasn’t). He got pissed off at a guy and he lost it. That’s all fine and good. People get into scrapes all the time; even athletes. But at what point is a “minor scrape” considered an embarrassing incident? I recall a Husker lineman cracking a Ralston firefighter over the head with a pool cue once. I recall Abdul Mohammad getting into a scrap or two in season. I recall Tagoa Fonoti (If I recall) got in trouble for making terroristic threats at a teacher. Hell, twice Huskers have been charged with assault while IN UNIFORM on the field. (Houston and Delome) All of those guys had their publicity. All of those guys had their punishment, and that was that.
But the Purify case is different.
Even in the most extreme cases of Husker players-gone-wild, I don’t recall the pure denial, the raw brushing aside, or even the flat-out jovial comments Husker fan has displayed since this has happened. Many Husker fans online and out and about, think of it as just another scrap. “Guys get in fights all the time. It’s not a big deal.”
So is it a big deal if a girl gets jacked in the face? Is it a big deal if he gets thrown in jail for a night? Hell, the only reason he’s not being charged with a felony, is because the bouncer wasn’t hurt. (I’m guessing Mo probably picked up a bottle or something to throw at the guy, and promptly fumbled it.) But either way, it happened in front of a huge crowd, while he was drunk..and to top all of THAT off..it took 4 Lincoln cops to take him down. (And DO NOT give me this “the LPD has it out for Husker players” bullshit, because ANYBODY else on earth gets tasered in that situation).
I’m not shocked by the silence coming from the Husker mountain fortress, nor am I surprised by Husker fans’ reaction that this isn’t that big of a deal. Purify is counted on to be JC Keller’s #1 target all season long. Purify is an NFL prospect; one that is the only thing standing between you and Franz Hardy. Purify is the guy with enough leaping ability and skill (When he tries), that he can break any game open on one single pass. Why shouldn’t you be scared to death of losing him? Who’s going to replace him? Terrance Nunn? That Pederson kid? And no offense..but you guys aren’t exactly the moral compass of college football and haven’t been, ever since Lawrence Phillips decided to climb up that gutter to get a piece of Scott Frost.
But it doesn’t stop with you all. Hardly any TV stations covered the incident. The Omaha World Herald had hardly 5 paragraphs on the situation. Even Husker beat-writer Steve Sipple has only thrown out a few details over the past few days. And the Husker Athletic Department and coaching staff?....... (Crickets chirping) I told you this before, and it still rings true now. Bill Callahan isn’t going to do a damn thing about this, and life will go on as normal. The charges will magically be “dropped”, Husker fan will reassure everyone that despite 200 witnesses, despite a small army of police who saw it all…it wasn’t a big deal.
Quite frankly, I don’t really care if he gets suspended…kicked off the team…or even gets a special banquet in his honor at a gala event hosted by Christen Peter and Richie Incognito. It’s completely irrelevant. It’s pretty bad when a serious incident like this is met with silence and indifference. Not because of the crime, but because we’ve ALL seen this time and time and time again. This isn’t anything new. If anything, some of you are actually happy that it happened, because it brings you one step closer to entering that time capsule to 1995.
Mo Purify hasn’t been found guilty of anything and may not ever get charged with anything. But despite the legal antics of George Achola and anybody else who gets involved in this quiet little mess, this will once again prove what the rest of us have known for years. You’re the poster children of everything that is wrong in college sports. Not because you’re any different than any other program…but because you think you are.
As Depeche Mode sang…Enjoy the silence.