September 7, 2007

Dear TJ Simers

(An open letter to LA Times columnist and noted Nebraska basher TJ Simers)


Dear Mr. Simers,

As I'm sure you already know, you've created quite a stir here in the Cornhusker state. Although the intent of your previous columns is obvious to you and I, NU and their fans are still having a bit of trouble with it.

It is my understanding that in preparation for next week's assignment, you have taken it upon yourself to set adrift the byways and highways of the great state of Nebraska and report on the various characters and quirky characteristics that cross your way.

As you may have guessed, I am not here to defend the defenseless. To put it quite bluntly, these people NEED to be made fun of. I'm not sure if you've noticed this either, but I may have a bit of experience in these matters. In case you missed the sign on the front door, I've spent the better part of two decades, reporting to folks outside this place...folks like you...just what this place is all about. For you see Mr. Simers, I've traveled this state for quite some time...from McCook to South Sioux City. I've eaten fast food in Gering. I've smelled the strong aroma of raw hot dogs, as I walked the dusty streets of Fairbury. I've sat on the steps of the capitol in Lincoln. I've slept in a cabin on Lake Mcconaughy . I've attended a wedding in Norfolk.

I've seen it all here.

Although you are DEAD ON in some, yay many of your stereotypes and observations from afar, I think it would be in your best interest if you took a few pointers from me, before you actually stepped foot here. For you see, contrary to what you believe, Nebraska is NOT the Midwest. What goes on here is not typical of the rolling hills of Iowa, the flat plains of Oklahoma or the winding river bottoms of Missouri.

This place is unlike anything you've ever experienced.

First and foremost, these people are going to try and change your mind. If you have to ask yourself, "Is this guy serious?" when somebody asks you to come over and take a look at his Johnny Rogers autograph collection.....yes...he is. If somebody asks you if you want to see his red stuffed Husker rat....they are not kidding. If you thought you saw a white "N" stitched onto some high school girl's homecoming dress...you probably did. I get called "obsessed" because I call these folks out for what they are. However, dressing up as a "Husker Elvis" to the squeals of delight of fellow fans...is not normal, regardless of the part of the country you live in.

Second, when you get to the game, do not bother to look for a tailgate spot. There is no tailgate spot. I'm not sure if it's because most parking lots around campus are too small for the standard issue red Chevy quad cab with Herbie Husker license plate holder, or because there's only 1 way to grill corn and potatoes. Regardless, the people of this state instead congregate at Lincoln watering holes on gameday, filled with memorabilia that remind them of how great they used to be.

This is a constant theme that I'm not quite sure you are prepared to deal with. Not only do they not care what you or other cosmopolitans think of them...they think YOU should be in awe of THEM for being so good for so long. Nevermind the fact many of them regard Major League Baseball or the NBA as a minor spectator sports behind football recruiting. Nevermind the fact that most of them couldn't tell you the difference between South Gate and South Dakota. They will tell YOU how successful they've been. Over and over and over and over again. That is their goal. That is why they invited you here.

Call them a backward ass hillbilly...call them toothless gomers who worship Larry the Cable guy (you'll probably see him too) it won't matter. Why? Because you're unable to handle the sheer magnitude of their greatness. Not just one of them. Not just one team...but all of them...as one. All at once.

They will spin any insult
They will mock any crude remark.
They will mistake your amazement for jealousy.

But do not be fooled. They will flock to you like state fair patrons to the funnel cake stand, because it's THEIR inherent mission in life to make sure you recognize just what you're missing. Just as North Koreans are taught from birth that America is Satan, and the world revolves around the great leader...citizens of Nebraska are taught from the womb that life begins and ends with Husker football.

You're not mean for ripping on them...you're just uninformed. You're not quick-witted for mocking their culture, you're simply live too sad of an existence to fully comprehend. Oh sure, some may act tough. Some may throw an insult..perhaps ask you how many cross-dressing prostitutes you saw on Hollywood Blvd last weekend. But even those brazen few who choose to rebuke your claims will all be thinking the same thing deep down.

"He may call us fat and illiterate..but wait till he sees the TUNNEL WALK!"

Mr. Simers, I beg you to reconsider your visit here next week. Skip the tour. Fly into Lincoln. Go to the game. Eat in the press box. Catch the first flight home. Much like fatherhood, there is no possible way to explain to you the reality of what you're about to encounter. I can not give you further examples, because you simply would not believe them anyway. Instead of seeing this place for yourself, take the word of a professional.

So when Betty Lou from West Point offers you another piece of pumpkin pie, as you sit on her front porch and recreate every scene from the Andy Griffith show, do not ask yourself, "Are these people for real?"

They are very much for real and you are very much in store for quite an education.

Trust me on this one.

AJ

PS - With that out of the way, let the record show that although I enjoyed the spirit of your previous Nebraska columns, I found your overall effort nothing short of pathetic. Considering your stature as a high-profile columnist at one of the world's largest newspapers, I find your creativity on the same level as the guys who came up with "So you think you can dance". Seriously...Fat chicks? Toothless? Pitchforks? Sure, you can drop those types of things from time to time, but to base an entire set of columns on it? That's like winning a trip to the Playboy Mansion, and coming back with a camera full of nothing but pictures of birds and lawn ornaments.

Seriously, at least put some effort into it next time. And if some weak-ass, amateur blogger is telling you that, you know you've got some issues.

I've set the bar awfully high for you next week. Don't disappoint me.

14 Comments:

Blogger Husker4Yankees said...

Blogger error AJ...so if this is a double post, ignore it.

Simers is weak. Your smack is generally better than his. What makes him even more of a putz is that he is from Illinois..yea, he is sooooo sophisticated.

What pisses me off more is the Husker fans taking his bait--as you suggest they will. Why bother. You know what he thinks of you...try getting some depth and ignoring it.

3:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He and you are not as funny as he and you think.

I thought you might enjoy my reply to that douchebag, hypocrite, hick TJ Simers.. I sent it weeks ago.

JP
________________

Dear TJ Simers,

I had to reply to your rather early (the game is over a month away) rip on the Nebraska football fans and the state in general. I actually live in Southern California, but I grew up in Lincoln.

First, I realize you're paid to be funny (don't ask for a raise), but you need to realize not every Nebraskan grows corn and drives across state lines to buy a Slurpee. But, I suspect you already know this since you likely
have driven through Lincoln and Omaha on Interstate 80 on your way to California from DeKalb, Illinois. Yes folks, the big city of DeKalb. You went to college in DeKalb and worked as assistant sports editor for the DeKalb
Chronicle. Wow. Impressive. What'd you cover, the senior women's golf
outing at River Heights Golf Course?

The big city of DeKalb. Population 32,000. I bet you were big man on
campus. Did you give tours to all the local co-eds? You know, take them to the DeKalb Community Labyrinth and Serenity Garden or the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Clock. Big time DeKalb. Where TJ popped his cherry. Or has he?

Now I understand. You're the hick.

My Name
Los Angeles, CA
(formerly Lincoln, NE)

P.S. Shoot me a reply if you want my cell number. We'll be tailgating for the USC game. Come on by. Show us how they party in big time DeKalb.

Also, I thought I would send my condolences just in case one of your kinfolk was injured in that horrific monster truck accident in cosmopolitan DeKalb. Are you rushing back home to do story? I
smell a book deal.

from Yahoo! News:
DEKALB, Ill. - A monster truck performing stunts in front of an auto parts store plowed into a crowd of spectators Thursday, injuring at least nine people, officials said. Two people, including a mother and one child, were in serious condition at OSF St. Anthony Medical Center in Rockford, said DeKalb Fire Chief Lanny Russell.

4:27 PM  
Blogger AJ said...

Shut up.

I'm flippin hilarious

4:29 PM  
Blogger bornred said...

I laughed at it because I can poke fun at myself and my roots and because I felt that it was done half tongue in cheek and to create the reader response that he likely got. The thing that I really found interesting was not the reaction that Nebraskans had, as that was clearly expected, but instead the reaction that the folks from Kansas and Iowa and Missouri had. I expected them to jump all over it, but instead saw them take a break from ripping on Husker fans to defend Nebraskans. Why? Because, despite all the shit that we fling back and forth at each other, when it comes down to it, I think everyone realized that it could just as easily been their state or fan base that was the butt of this article, because we all live (or, at least, used to live) in the same part of the world.
Hell, AJ, even you went from ripping on us to kicking Simers in the teeth. Maybe that was just territorial. We may be overall wearin', corn cob smokin', Husker worshiping, myopic dipshits, but when it comes to making fun of us, we're your overall wearin', corn cob smokin', Husker worhipping, myopic dipshits..

Then again, I could be completely wrong and you just want to make sure that any Nebraska ripping should be done with the complete effort it deserves...

5:23 PM  
Blogger TB said...

A town of 32,000 people would be, what, the fourth largest town in Nebraska? Or is Kearney bigger than that now?

6:28 PM  
Blogger AJ said...

bornred...you're on to me. Heh.

And I'm well aware of my own home state and the reptuation certain parts of it has.

I present to you exhibit A last summer after my trip to Branson.

Love the classics.

http://ajthoughts.blogspot.com/2006/07/good-to-be-back.html#links

6:34 PM  
Anonymous Husker in AZ said...

Simers article was more enjoyable to read..This one is just...Sad?

AJ..Why live in a place you despise so much? Or even..Why live?

5:50 AM  
Anonymous Coach Bughead said...

Something that might help Simers prepare himself for the shock that he is about to get when he get's off the plane is to watch as many reruns of "Green Acres" as posssible this week. This way when he meets people that are a lot like "Eb", "Mr. Haney", "Sam Drucker", "Arnold the Pig", and the rest of the characters, he'll be able to say to himself, "I've seen this somewhere before". Because there is no way in hell that he will be able to avoid running into someone that resembles one of these characters. It may not hurt to learn the words to the theme song to "Green Acres" too. I'm surprised it's not played during the Tunnel Walk. That would really get them fired up. Maybe even have "Arnold the Pig" lead the team onto the field. I'm sure there will be a couple of Gomers thinking to themselves after reading this; "Hey, Arnold the Pig leading the team out, with the Green Acres theme song blasting, we might have something here."

12:42 PM  
Blogger AJ said...

Hey AZ idiot:

I live so I can watch dumbasses such as yourself spin games like today.

THat is why I do it.

Enjoy the rest of your day.

2:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

With Riley Skinner, Wake Forest would have won today. Do you think he would have thrown into double coverage in the end zone? I sure don't. Even with the win, Nebraska fans can't be to happy giving up 235 yards on the ground to a team that only rushed for two yards against Boston College. Wake actually outgained Nebraska 376-372 despite having their QB complete less than 50% of his passes. And what was Callahan thinking going for it on 4th down? The Huskers are in big trouble against USC.

3:10 PM  
Blogger bornred said...

anonymous,

That's probably the single dumbest post I've ever seen. If Riley Skinner were playing the game, the entire game would have been different and nobody can say who would have won if any one of the thousands of factors that go into any game were to change.

It cracks me up that another Husker win gets your little panties in so much of a bunch that you couldn't wait to hit AJ's blog to drop some knowledge on us. I'm still laughing my ass of at you, whoever the fuck you are

4:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just wait until USC kills you guys. Then we'll see who's laughing his ass off.

PS- If Keller were out and you lost, you know that would be the number one excuse used by Husker fans.

5:07 PM  
Blogger bornred said...

I don't speak for Husker fans, I speak for myself and I sure as hell don't make up excuses for when we win or lose.

What the fuck is your obsession with the "what if" scenarios? Let me give it a try... What if you had half an active brain cell?
I guess your posts would look alot different...

10:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

T.J. Simers is NOT a Californian. He was born in Northern Illinois, and went to Northern Illinois University in Dekalb, Illinois which is the home of Dekalb Corn Hybrids. (Look it up) Dekalb was the hick town in the then \"Upstate Eight\" conference. See: http://www.dekalbcounty.org T,J Siemers is a frustrated hick & West Coast wannabe. Phil from Lincoln, NE

8:03 AM  

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