Where the Hell am I?
Step out of your skin for one moment. Set down your 1971 National Championship mug and listen to me for one second. On this day, in late October 2007, not only is Nebraska 4-5…but Kansas AND Missouri are both in the top 10, headed to a showdown of hate and rage, the likes of which this nation hasn’t seen since the days of Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant.
Due to this fact, you’ll have to excuse me if I’ve been knocked a little bit off kilter by all of this. For you see, this is not just one case of absurdity, but of three. Oh sure, I always knew Nebraska would fall off the face of the earth with a gigantic splat that you could plainly hear in Tajikistan. But I was never really sure if Missouri could take that next step. And I’ll be honest, I thought the Keebler Elves would fly out of my ass whistling show tunes before I saw Kansas in the top 10 again.
It’s kind of the same feeling you would get walking out to your mailbox on a cold Sunday morning, and watching Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny cruise by in an IROC. Or perhaps it would be like flipping on the TV and watching the Barry Bonds Christmas Telethon for Easter Seals. Or maybe even flipping on Sportscenter and NOT seeing a story about the Red Sox or Yankees within the first 10 minutes.
So now what? We know Nebraska is royally screwed, regardless of what underwhelming yayhoo they slog in here in front of the cameras next month, with the same pomp and circumstance that goes with the election of a new pope or the crowning of Miss America. But does that mean the season has failed to produce intrigue?
Enter the Border War.
I’ve tried to explain to you people that this is not a soapbox for me to stand on to preach high and low about how great my favorite team is. I’m well aware that at any moment, the mighty Tigers can give up 8 turnovers and splatter on the ground to the deafening tones of “They pulled a Mizzou again.” But this season..and this week especially, I am faced with a dilemma that has only been seen in my worst nightmares.
On Saturday, the team I hate the most goes up against the team I am bound by blood to despise. Worse yet, it is a game that has some of the biggest ramifications to my own team of any game since I was 9. So what the hell is a card carrying Husker hater to do?
Normally when Kansas and Nebraska meet, I root for Al Qaeda. However, I realize that one of these teams has to win, and only one of these teams can lose. I will readily admit however..in a NORMAL year, when Husker fans are crawling out of the woodwork to send me taunts and e-mails about new t-shirts or trophies they made up and gave themselves…I would pull silently for the underdog Jayhawks.
Yet in this bizzaro world, Boston College sits at #2 in the BCS. USC looks completely average. A 1-AA team walked into Michigan Stadium and beat the Weasels. The Red Sox have won 2 of the last 4 World Series’. Missouri is ranked #9 and is 7-1. Jenna Jameson looks every bit the two-bit dishrag you always knew she’d become. (Jesus, have you seen her lately?). And worse yet, I’m left to ponder questions that would make my brain explode any other season but this one.
Kansas or Nebraska?
Hell, even a tie doesn’t help me, since KU would pick up another ½ game in the standings should Missouri slip up against Colorado or K-State in the coming weeks. (I’m assuming that’s OK though, because no way in hell does KU go to Stillwater and win under the lights). Regardless, I must do what’s best for my own team, and hope for the continuation of a strange and wonderful season.
I officially declare that I will not be rooting against Nebraska this Saturday morning when the two teams meet. I therefore let it be known to all that I am simply clutching neutrality, and will accept the fate of whatever team comes out victorious.
I want you to know that this decision does not come easy, nor was it done in haste. I simply believe that you, the fine readers of this blog deserve to know the truth behind a very difficult situation that I find myself in. I’m sure this will not be completely understood, nor will I be able to escape it once the game is complete. However, I am a team player, and must do as every good fan must do..and that is put aside the fact that Nebraska sucks gigantic donkey balls for just 3 short hours out of a lifetime.
If I could gargle in Clorox, I would.
If I could bleach my soul, I would.
If I could jump into a swimming pool full of Listerine, I would do it in an instant.
In this bizzaro world of college football, there are no easy answers…only difficult circumstances.
* On a quick note, I’ve been asked by a few to comment on Sam Keller. Most of you know by now that I don’t attack athletes personally, especially those who have their career’s cut short due to injury. No matter what the situation, you never want to see a player injured, especially before their full allotment of time in the spotlight is over. This goes for Missouri’s Pig Brown as well. Simply wish for them the strength to understand that there is more to life than sports.
It stinks…but it is a part of life.
* Having Peter Gammons report live from the World Series, is like having Mark Mangino lecture me on good eating habits from the floor of a slaughterhouse. ESPN is a giant network, can’t they find ONE baseball analyst who isn’t a diehard Sox fan to slobber all over the most arrogant and genetically easy team to root for in the history of baseball?
(Photo Credit of Fatgino - Lawrence.com, Mizzou pic via Columbia Tribune)