October 4, 2007

Uncharted Waters

This has just been a really strange week.

First, both teams are 4-1 and 4-0, which is right about where most people thought they would be. Mizzou has scored a lot of points, Callahan still can’t call plays, the Tigers can’t hold a lead, the Huskers can’t tackle. There isn’t much surprise in any of all that.

But the whole vibe around town is just strange…kinda like the feeling you get during a tornado watch, when the sky starts to turn a blue-green off to the west. The air is still and damp, as you can barely make out the sounds of crickets way off in the distance. It’s eerie.

The theme of course this week is uncharted waters.

Since I stepped out of the car in Omaha in the mid 1980’s, I’ve lived with the fact that your football team is head and shoulders above mine. I was quick to notice that while my team was getting thrashed by Oklahoma 77-0, yours was beating teams by double digits, running up 500 yards rushing and losing some high-level bowl game on a yearly basis. This did not go on for a couple years, but for more than a decade.

Then, out of nowhere in 1997, Corby Jones and company gave Missouri fans reason to hope….shocking the number one team in the country in front of the whole world. Despite the fluke BS play that ended the game (pretty much), the game to that point remains the single most exciting sports moment I’ve ever witnessed. (Including the Royals winning the World Series in 1985, which highlighted my youth).

1998 brought a bit more of the same, as Mizzou made a bowl game for only the third time since 1981. A deflection in the Memorial Stadium end-zone that year sealed the Tiger’s fate, as the Huskers again walked out of the stadium with a victory. Nebraska continued to pile up yards and points at ridiculous rates. The next few years brought more Husker victories, and fewer Mizzou wins, including Larry Smith’s final game against Kansas State, a 66-0 bloodbath that continues to sting to this day.

But today, with dark green clouds swirling above the horizon, the world has been turned upside down.

Gone are the days where Missouri fans watched with passing interest as fellow Big 8/12 teams destroyed them. Gone are the days where Nebraska lined up and ran it down people’s throat. Tradition, power running, class, dignity….gone. All gone.

Poof

There here and now is much different.

This weekend, the polite claps and mild chants of “Go Big Red” as 25,000 inbred hicks fill Faurot Field will drown in a sea of hatred and rage unlike anything you have ever seen. Perhaps this is why some of you seem disappointed in hate week. For you see, I’ve played this role for many many many years. Do you know how fun it is arguing about football when your team lost 73-0 the week before? Do you have ANY idea what we as Missouri fans have been through?

No, this is far more than a profanity-laced week of hype and buildup. This is nearly 40 years of pent-up anger and frustration, taken out in one quick 3-hour span. Yes, I realize this has become old hat, this notion of Missouri beating Nebraska; they’ve done it twice in the past four seasons.

But this year is different.

That culture you created, that intimidation and style of play have disappeared in the rear-view mirror. The days where most Missouri fans left satisfied losing by less than 3 TD’s have been replaced by a label of “7 point favorite”. But as uncharted as this is for Missouri fans, it’s even more glaring for Nebraska. A loss on Saturday automatically puts Nebraska 2 games behind Missouri, with trips to Texas, Kansas and Colorado still to come. That may not sound like a huge deal on the first Saturday in October, but didn’t you fire a guy who spent his whole life trying to make you a winner because he was “only 9-3” ?

I’d love to throw out some rah-rah speech on here about my favorite team, but I’m having a hard time finding it in my gut. Why? Because I know you’ve already begun your descent into the mediocre. Perhaps I don’t feel the same hate and rage because I know that journey has long since begun. Perhaps I don’t have that same fire in my eyes because your flaws are so blinding.

But I will tell you this. I know I speak for legions of my own fans, as well as those from all the other teams you so arrogantly thumbed your nose at over those past 3 decades. Nobody forgets your feigned pity claps after a “good game”. Nobody is buying anymore of this “Aww sucks” crap you people have faked for so long. Nobody is feeling one bit sorry for you when you bash other schools for having discipline problems, and then you tell the world things like, “Lawrence needs football in his life.”

You are the quintessential poster child of all things wrong with college sports. You’re phony. You’re arrogant. You’re self-indulgent and hypocritical shell of your former self. Even if my own team loses, I have enjoyed your slow tumble from grace. Even if in this one game, you pull yourself together and yank victory from the jaws of defeat, like you have so many times before…I will continue to feel this way.

Hate Week isn’t the same because we are not the same; at least not as we were before. We as fan bases have drifted in two separate directions and only one of us knows it.

And the final 48 hours countdown……

26 Comments:

Anonymous ohf said...

stupid. you just made that crap up about someone threatening you because your "hate week" is so incredibly lame. why dont you let us see these posts? youre a funny little man aj, a funny little man.

GOOOOO BIIIIIG REDDDDD!!!

10:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

AJ...I think you are right in some respects. Many NU fans have still yet to come to grips with the general change that has occurred in the landscape of college football. However, I don't know that NU fans are much different than any fanbase that has enjoyed a lengthy period of uninterrupted success and suddenly finds themselves remarkably similar to those teams that previously were imminently beatable.

I am sure that OU fans had this experience in the few years where they disappeared from the elite - Miami fans have had this happen a couple of different times, only to return to dominance (now of course, suffering another slight downturn). Even mighty USC sucked for awhile.

I guess my point is that MOST Nebraska fans have been humbled and will be quick to admit that most games we play this season will be tough - not that I believe it impossible or even implausible that in subsequent years, an NU team could return to the pont of winning all its games.

Unfortunately, there are those fans who are blinded by past success (or in your case, past Mizzou mediocrity and present hate) and thus unable to rationally deal with the present.

Having said all of that, I must also point out that I am amongst those who were glad that Solich was fired - it was easy to see, if you watched almost every game like I did, that even at 9-3 in his final season, NU was a shell of its former self. So , even though it was a break from tradition, it was necesary.

Am I enamored with all that has happened since - no. Has Callahan done some stupid things - yes. However, I do see overall progress being made. It may/may not equate to more wins this year, because I think the schedule is tougher as the Big12N seems to be improving and having no returning starters on the DL is going to make it tougher on any team.

No matter what, I am and always will be more passionate about NU football than I am about any other team in any other sport (and I don't live in Nebraska, so there are plenty of other teams/sports around).

I'd wish you good luck and a well played game, but it would be a lie. Nothing would be more fun than drubbing Mizzou on its home turf, just like the "good ole days".

So, in conclusion, I hope this weekend's reaming of Mizzou is done with a fist encased in Brillo pads and no lubrication.

JH

10:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard the only other time a Nebraska fan committed a cyber crime was when he was found wailing away on himself to a pair of red overalls he was bidding for on ebay.

10:37 AM  
Blogger RT said...

Saturday can not come fast enough.

11:37 AM  
Blogger Husker4Yankees said...

OHF:

AJ says some crazy things at times for effect, but I don't think that is not the case here. Aj is a funny little man, I will grant you that.

Anonymous 10:37:

Lame. That is all.

rt:

So true

11:48 AM  
Anonymous Missouri Husker Fan said...

I have little doubt you're being threatened. I was born in the Omaha area and lived in Omaha for 17 years. I know what it's like up there. There is a great deal of truth to what you say in your rants....you and I have both experienced it firsthand. Take a look at the BRB forums and you'll see that the only way to be accepted there is to be so full of Kool-Aid that you've become completely delusional...(or myopic, as you say). Things are different now....I AM YOU IN REVERSE. I now live in the Kitty state and my only connection to Husker football is through this keyboard. I take shit from Kitty fans and OU fans every day at work. Nonetheless, I continue to be a Husker fan. That will NEVER change. I will always hate the Kitties. I remember them breaking our QBs leg back in the 70's (73 maybe...or 77?) My grandmother always said Mizzou fans were the worst. But I believe they are 2nd to the Fluffs. I remember how nasty those games were back in the 70's and 80's were. Back then it was dirty, smashmouth football. I assure you we hated you just as much, because you hated us first. If the kitties win this weekend, and they very well might, you just enjoy the spoils for the next year because hate week never ends between us.

You just keep bringin it!

GOOOO BIIIIG RRRREEEDD!!!!!!!

11:50 AM  
Blogger bornred said...

Can I just say?


I wish JP were still around.

He cracked me up...

PS.

AJ,
If pretty much everything that you are saying weren't true, I'd call you a name or something.

I'm still hoping we knock the hair balls out of you this weekend...

11:57 AM  
Blogger AJ said...

bornred and MHF...I hear where you're both coming from.

PS - I miss JP too.

:(

12:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So it's win-win this weekend for you? If Missouri wins on the scoreboard, you win, and if Nebraska wins, you win because....errr....yeah, your out means that your Tigers just lost to Nebraska, again.

12:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

AJ,

First let me say you are a complete ass clown, but your diatribes and ramblings do make me laugh. Your last post however left me scratching my head. What is with the whining and poor us shit? Oh boo f’n hoo. You were so close, but you still lost jackass.

I was thinking about the Missouri and NU history and some thoughts came to mind. NU is definitely down right now, we have been for awhile, but you know what? It is soooo much better knowing that we were at the elite level a few times in our history. How many NC’s does Missouri have? Let’s put it in perspective, MU’s football history is like marrying a pigeon toed, three dangling toothed, more front ass than Charlie Weiss, fat ass, cross eyed ho. You know the girl right? And see, she has always been that way. Now granted, right now that ugly old ho of yours has shed a few pounds and has gone to a dentist and has three straight teeth, but you know what? She is still the ugly old ho. Now Nebraska on the other hand married this beautiful, well toned, (feel free to throw in your own corn fed jokes here) blond hair, blue eyed hottie. She has looked gorgeous at times, but right now she has put on a few pounds, but we still look at her and think, ‘you know, she is still cute’. So tonight when you are doggy stylin that big old ho and shoving her toothless grin into the pillow so you can think of our pretty little wife to get you off, just remember….she will always be the big old ugly ho and you will never have that sweet little cutie. At least outside of your pathetic little wet dreams.

Slap that ass hard for me and please keep writing.

Yours truly, long time reader first time poster

12:52 PM  
Anonymous bhg said...

First off, AJ believes THUGS=HAPPY FANS is a universal truth, so hard telling where fantasy stops and reality starts with AJ. I'd say he's as mentally stable as the Cornhusker fans that think Cosgrove and Callahan are going to bring a National Championship to Nebraska. For proof of this statement, AJ give us the STATISTICAL evidence you compiled to come up with THUGS=HAPPY FANS is a universal rule.

JH, I agree that many Husker fans are slow to come around to reality of the situation. Many Husker fans want to believe because they want to believe.

Don't entirely agree with your assessment of the Solich dismissal. I thought the old staff needed to be updated, and fresh blood brought to the table. I saw that "fresh blood" in the coaching staff that was brought in. Hard to argue that Bo Pelini was not going in the right direction vs. the current abortion that holds the title. Frank did not help himself when he made Crouch the only focus of the offense, he let the program down by building a Heisman trophy winner vs. betterment of the program in general.

One thing for certain, Callahan and crew is not the answer, and five years later he has not shown the he will be the answer until "parity" spreads thoughout football. Parity is a Callahan/Pedersen apologists code word for mediocrity, because funny how "parity" never entered the vocabulary of most Huskers until Callahan came along, before Callahan, Cornhuskers generally lost to GOOD TEAMS, not Mizzou teams that can score but can't defend.

A friend of mine attended the Husker Hall of Fame dinner the Friday before the Ball State game. General feedback that he got from former players was displeasure not only from the performance of the team on the field, but the strength and condition program, the philosophy on defense and offense, and use of personnel (not entirely certain what the last one means).

I miss JP as well, its fun to make fun of the kool-aid drinkers. He was similiar to listening to high school parents at Friday night games, they always have an opinion, but a limited knowledge of the game to back it up.

(Kinda like AJ and THUGS=HAPPY FANS is a universal truth.)

12:53 PM  
Anonymous Tiger Gary said...

wow....some of you guys are coming around to agree with the h8tr?

God bless, you'll be better for it...

Have a safe, relaxing, drive to CoMo,....the return trip might be a little longer as you reflect on the night before and the future at hand.....

2:06 PM  
Blogger bornred said...

So, am I a kool-aid drinker? I don't really like kool-aid, but I'd take some lemonade if you have it.

What do we call fans that love the Huskers, see their weaknesses for what they are, still get behind them 100%, but are willing to be a little more patient and don't want to see a revolving door to the coaches office?
Am I a kool-aid drinker if I believe that the days of teams that have 30 years of dominance are gone now and went the way of 85 man scholarship limits, big TV contracts and unrealistic expectations for coaches? (I could be wrong, if USC is still the dominate team in 20 years, I'll eat my words.. promise)
Am I a kool-aid drinker if I can appreciate the decades of dominance, but won't jump off a building if the team I love has 5 losses?

Does that taste like kool-aid?

Or.. is that just what reality tastes like?

CU put the first crack in the old Husker armor back in 2001. If you think that didn't start the decline, pass me the bong, my friends, let's all get high...

Randy

2:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BHG...won't disagree on the disgrace that is currently the NU defense. I am not sure I can take much more bend, don't break BS. It is as bad or worse than the Solich offense of QB left, right and then an option into the boundary side of the field. Both are painful to watch and completely ineffective.

My take:
NU offense - not bad and with a consistent deep threat at WR or TE, could be very good.

NU defense - philosophy change is a must - likely meaning new DC.

I think this year will tell us all we need to know about NU's immediate future - if NU struggles and no changes are made to the defensive staff, we are in for a stretch of average (not mediocre) teams.

If things turn around and/or staff changes are made, then NU has many advantages (facilities, tradition, etc.) over other North teams and should be the class of the division - all big IFs at this point.

Sorry for hijacking the thread AJ. Back to the regularly scheduled trading of insults and hate filled rants.

One last question. Is it just me or is predicting the outcome of this coaching match-up like handicapping the Special Olympics? One just wonders which coach will trip and fall the least during the highly competitive sack race.

JH

GBR!

3:29 PM  
Blogger Hugh Akston said...

AJ:

As much as it should of have been his last game. Alden foolishly kept LS around for another year of pummelings before letting him go. Still that 66-0 was the worst loss I have ever seen, even worse than the Norman Conquest or the Aggie Massacre.

4:13 PM  
Blogger AJ said...

Agree.

66-0 was rock flippin bottom.

The program has come a long way.

4:14 PM  
Blogger AJ said...

One of the qestions that I was asked in my interview with Midwestcoastbias.com was if I realized that "many husker fans feel the way I do."

I thought that was odd. Yes, I hate callahan..and some of you hate callahan. But I think that's about where the similarities end.

you can read more of it, if you haven't seen it at www.midwestcoastbias.com

5:03 PM  
Blogger Husker Mike said...

That's the one think I haven't quite understood. I would think that you'd love to have Nebraska have the GRF as head coach forever, potentially ensuring Nebraska's mediocrity for years to come. Or maybe it's the Chief fan in you hating anything once associated with the Raiders.

Or perhaps it the ignorant rantings of the kool-aid drinking Husker fans proclaiming "we're back" in between the most recent beatdown. The arrogance is back, even though the Huskers can't walk the talk...

5:23 PM  
Blogger bornred said...

Well, it's possible he's talking about the people that were Husker fans that are so pissed off about the Solich firing, that they now want to see the Huskers fail (at least in the short term), in hopes that things will go back to the way they were.

But don't get me started...

I will say this.. I grew up in Nebraska and left after high school and have lived in Hawaii and California combined for more than the 18 years I lived back there. I'm not surrounded by Husker fans (although, there are alot of us out here), but after spending the last 4 months visiting your blog, I can see why you do what you do and I only get small glimpses of it.

[bright light comes on above head]
Jesus, we can be pretty fucking pathetic...

I thought this was hate week, I feel like I'm being converted or some shit...

Randy

PS.. Ummm.. you suck.. or something, I guess

5:57 PM  
Blogger AJ said...

To the dude who called Husker fans "fucksticks". I apologize..I was going to edit a couple letters in your post, and accidentally deleted it.

Please try again.

Sorry bout that.

6:38 PM  
Anonymous bigredfred said...

Randy,

I don't believe in dumping a coach mid season. I tend to believe that the final judgement of any coach should be for the entire year. Doesn't mean that coach can't respond to pressure and change staff though.

As for how long does it take for a new coach to turn a program around?? Everywhere you look , good coaches are getting signature wins and championship seasons in their second year. The only thing Nebraska knew after the 2nd season with Bill was that Bill is not the one we are looking for. Heck , it only took Frank 2 years to turn Ohio around and according to you , he doesn't know what he's doing!

You ask what would my plan be and what would I do?? I think there are a number of things that are going to happen on their own. Bill and Steve and their time here at Nebraska will soon be over. I tend to believe this is the last year for them and there is nothing you or I can do about that. My hope is, the powers that be would point us back to the right path by making some wise decisions.

As for what I would do next: First, let everyone know that the Huskers belong to the fans, the people of Nebraska, and to parents who send their kids to school here. They do not belong to the AD to do with as he pleases, or, the Head coach.(or to you or I for that matter).

Second, let it be known the Huskers are not a fortune 500 company and they will not be run by a cold hand with a fist full of money. The Husker program is part of the University of Nebraska, and is not part of some cold corporate structure.

Third, long standing traditions are built, not bought. Traditions are grown locally, and are not brought in or transplanted. The west coast offense does not fit the college program in Nebraska. This is not the NFL. Smash mouth defense first, running offense second, and a good passing game third.

Last of all, most Nebraskans want to return to what got us to the national stage to begin with. The Husker way is to run over our opponent. We come right at you and we dare anyone to stop us. The option was made for power football and that is what we had, and that was our identity That is what the Huskers did for years, and we were respected and feared for it, even in a non championship year. Tell me how many teams respect the Huskers now or fear us?? ( ironic what USC did to us this year ). But don't get me wrong , I like a good passing game myself along with the run.

As for hate week, yeah makes for a good game. Not my style though. I'd rather look my opponent in the eye, tell him exactly what I am going to do to him, and then calmly , forcefully , and deliberately , dismantle them ..and run over them. (football reference here) And, if you don't like your opponent it makes it even more fun. Unfortunatly, there is nothing more humbling than Missouri telling us what they are going to do , IF , Saturday night they actually pull it off. This lesson will be a bitter pill to swallow for those who willingly participated in the cannibalization of the Husker program in 2003. In my opinion , they are reaping what they have sown.

For me, the greatness of the football programs of the country , are not winning and losing, but how you win and lose. It is the heat of the battle and what you take from it as a life lesson. I can tell you this, I was never able to make a living off my athletic abilities but I did participate at the college level under scholarship. But, the lesson I learned and took with me was that no matter what the contest on or off the field, the other side would know there was a battle. And if they won , they knew they had been tested. Never give anything to anybody. That is what the Huskers , and Tigers for that matter, need to do saturday night. May the team with the most guts and heart win.

8:57 PM  
Blogger Big Head said...

For some reason, I see Bornred/Randy as a sane Husker fan. What the fuck have I been drinking? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

9:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

AJ,

You forgot one thing in your long rant. AT NEBRASKA WE ARE WINNERS, AND ALWAYS WILL BE. We don't stop we won't stop, and we are coming this weekend, you know that feeling in your gut those games we pulled out in the end, the ones we ripped from the jaws of defeat, you have just stated the whole difference between being a HUSKER fan, and a Mizzu fan! That sick feeling of defeat is a taste you have gotten use to (hence the face down in the parking lot by halftime, because that is usually when the game is over). So AJ for your sake I hope the game is close, and I hope we pull the game out in the end, because I just don't want you to feel good! Go Skers Mizzu blows!

10:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

AJ:

Yes you are the little man on campus, HOWEVER, you will feel like the BIG man on campus in just 24 hours when the Tigers kick some Husker ass.

HMFIC

6:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"We are winners at Nebraska"

41-6

4:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow you're so original; I can read the same dipshit speech on the CU blogs. your jealousy will always be there so give it a hug and live with it!

11:29 AM  

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