April 9, 2008

Let There Be Spring

My apologies for the delay, but we’ve got a flurry of activity going on in the past couple of days.

First, I was lucky enough to make it to Kansas City yesterday to catch the Royals home opener. Yeah the weather was crappy, and yes the stadium is all tore up. But holy cow has that team improved. I understand it’s early, but when your pitchers are giving up less than three runs a game and almost your entire team is under the age of 30, then you’ve got reasons for some optimism. Gone are the days when Mike Zimmerman, Kenny Ray, Jason Grimsley, Albie Lopez and Odalis Perez take the hill. Here and now are a nasty 1..2..3 punch in Meche, Greinke and Bannister. And that’s not even mentioning Joakim Soria, who really does have the look and stuff of a young Mariano Rivera.

Will they be able to hold on to these guys long enough to be relevant? Who knows..but it’s nice to at least CARE about baseball enough to follow it again. If the city hasn’t already started working on that Dayton Moore monument, they may as well start. Oh by the way…Joey Gathright is fast, and at least for the moment...Trey Hillman looks like he knows what he's doing.

* Speaking of the Royals…ZERO credit to Cox Communications for screwing Royals fans in Omaha by blacking out nearly 50 games this season due to “negotiations” with Fox Sports Kansas City. And yes, if you waited 23 years for your team to finally be worth a damn, you’d be a bit pissed off that your cable provider was hosing you out of games as well.

* Much has been said about the new scoreboard at the K, and yes..those comments are very very Husker like. However, unlike Husker fans a few years ago, I’m not about to go bragging about it on some Red Sox blog, nor do I believe a big video board guarantees you more wins. However, it is pretty crazy when the video board resolution is actually better than your own eyes from 12 rows up. Speaking of which…major kudos on the video board along the left field wall…very cool.

* Speaking of good things happening to bad people…nice to see my good neighbors from Kansas sporting their brand new National Champion gear. Now I’m not stupid…nor do I fail to recognize that KU has a pretty good basketball program. However, I also find it more than ironic that it required another team’s complete collapse to even give KU a shot at winning that game. (They’re called free throws Memphis..learn to make them.) But alas, Beaker fans can now actually have something to back up the ridiculous amount of arrogance that oozes from their keyboards and mouths.

But Whatever. Doesn’t really affect me, but I thought I would mention it, since I’ve had a lot of smart ass e-mails asking me for my “official take” on the whole thing. Congratulations KU...you're super.

*Speaking of whacked out myopia to the 10th degree. It seems that the cockroaches are starting to scurry under the rocks following the nuclear destruction of the Husker football program. Take this clown for example, stating (in public no less) that he wouldn’t be surprised if the Huskers will be in a BCS bowl this January. Please take a moment to let the complete ridiculousness of this statement penetrate into your brain.

Now, you and I both know you people want to be good again REAL BAD. But right on cue, the Kool Aid river has gone from a trickle to a slow but steady flowing stream. I’m not quite sure how Bo Pelini grew to such a mythic figure so quickly, but trust me…it has happened. Didn’t this guy coach ONE season as a Husker D-coordinator? Doesn’t he have ONE game of head coaching experience? Don’t you replace 1/2 of your defense…and the entire middle of your defense is gone? (And no, I don't care how bad you were..that's not a good thing.)

And yet, because Pelini is some “fiery leader”, you’re all of a sudden able to compete against offenses like OU, Tech, Missouri and Kansas? Are you people high? Why does common sense completely disappear when discussion an upcoming season with you?

I mean…how idiotic are some of you? Don’t you think you would have learned to hold off on your expectations until…oh I don’t know..the guy coaches more than one game 5 years ago? I mean…YOU FELL FOR THIS BEFORE. You fell for them like SIX MONTHS ago. Why would some of you be so quick to simply throw the war paint on yet again and start declaring yourselves “back”. You’re all blindly crawling back toward the cheese, while completely ignoring that 9000 volt shock that got you last time. Granted I don’t expect anything less…but you’d think even the dimmest hamster would figure that out at some point.

* Finally, too bad your little Fulmer Cup doesn’t have an alumni division. Nice to see that some former players are doing their best to stay young and emulate their prior days as Huskers.

30 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are missing one thing about KU. They are the only team to win a national championship while on probation. They are the prime example of lack of institutional control.

8:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are they planning on buying tickets to a BCS game? I imagine Nebraska has a good chance for a bowl game. Hell, almost everybody has a good chance at a bowl game. Nebraska? I can't see it happening.

By the way, while Memphis made several mistakes down the way. Kansas forced many of them and took advantage of the others. There is no way to blame Memphis mistakes as the main reason for that win.

Have a great day, AJ.

Bob

9:32 PM  
Blogger Husker Mike said...

Usually we wait until the dog days of summer to throw out predictions. But all of a sudden, people are throwing them out in April.

9:46 PM  
Blogger AJ said...

Mike, I'm not the one going on record that my 5-7 team will be BCS bound in a year.

This has nothing to do with April. You won't beat OU. You won't beat Mizzou. You won't be Tech.

I can tell you that in January. I can tell you that in February. I can tell you that in July.

It doesn't matter...it's all true.

Besides...not like I've been right about anything else hmmm?

10:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

AJ...I beg you to have a post on the history of King Fraud aka Osborne. Hiring Solich and then yet he is choosen AGAIN to make another hire. Selling his soul to win titles. Looking the other way with massive steroid use in the program all while it is played off as the magic of Boyd Eppleys "Husker Power". Doing practically nothing to players that sexually assualted women. Being caught paying a player thousnads of dollars back in his days of asst. coach. The "adopt a player" program that was in the 80's.

I BEG YOU AJ!

11:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bob,

The biggest mistake Memphis made was not putting KU on the foul line when they were up by 3 with less than 10 seconds to play. The chances of giving up a made free throw, followed by a forced missed second, with an offensive board and a put back to tie are way longer than a made 3, by a long shot. Huge coaching blunder gave KU the game, but you have to give them credit for coming back from down 9 with 2 minutes to play...

1:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

AJ--I agree that Memphis should have fouled in the final seconds. However, I thought the biggest mistake was when they had a 3-on-1 runout with about 20 seconds left and a 2-point lead. CDR went right to the rim and allowed Darrell Arthur to foul him and stop the clock. Memphis didn't need any more points. All they had to do was spread out and start passing the ball around to make the Jayhawks catch them.

By the way, I'm glad to hear that the Royals have upgraded both their team and park. I used to love going to games over there when I was in college. They were just getting ready to enter that period where they couldn't get out of the celler. I hope they can get back to playing championship-level baseball soon.

Take care.

Bob

10:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

6 Reasons to Worry about the Future of Husker Football:

1) The kids we are recruiting now were born in about 1990. Why is that important? Because they were eleven years old in 2001, the last time we were a national power. Tradition is getting weaker and weaker as recruiting tool for us.

2) Devaney was special. Really special. Nebraska has significant disadvantages with it's small population and cold northern location. There's no reason we ever had to be successful. Devaney arrived and instantly made us a national power, and then in 1974 and 1998 we had the advantage of handing off a successful program to his successors. We don't have that luxury anymore. We now need a coach who can build us all over again, and you can wait decades (or longer) for guys like this to come along. Even if you find one, other factors in the program might not be favorable to their success.

3) We no longer have an advantage in strength training. Under Boyd Epley's direction we enjoyed a significant advantage in strength training under Devaney and Osborne. In addition to building up our scholarship athletes, this also helped develop less sought after talent. Not only has the rest of the country since caught up, but judging by what we've seen under Solich and Callahan I'd say we've fallen behind in this area as well.

4) We aren't trying to rise from the ashes in the Big 8 this time. There's more parity and wins are harder to come by due to fewer gimmes. Furthermore, we've essentially been replaced by Missouri and Kansas in the North, and Colorado might be taking off as well. Clawing our way back in is going to be extremely difficult.

5) We are running out of themes and excuses. When Osborne left we told people that he had had plenty of time to think it out and Solich would be a fine successor. When our program fell apart under Solich we threw him under the bus and blamed recruiting and bad assistant coaches. We went out and got Callahan and went after the best talent out there. When he struggled, we threw him under the bus and said the solution was to hang our ex-players pictures on the walls, bring "back" the walk-on program, and hire a coach who will make our players work harder. Basically, we've swung from one extreme to another trying to explain our fall from grace, and we are running out of explanations. What will our official line be if traditionalism fails again? Will we make an awkward crawl back to Pedersonism and just go after the best talent and coaches like every other program?

6) We aren't exactly a plum job anymore. We have an extremely impatient fan base that will turn on anyone in a cold location with a small recruiting base. Furthermore, our own coaching tree is fairly withered. Osborne returning temporarily pulled us out of an ugly situation in the national spotlight, created a scapegoat in Pederson and Callahan, and temporarily stabilized things for us. However, he isn't getting any younger, and the rest of the country has forgotten about us.

10:49 AM  
Blogger AJ said...

Thanks Bob.

Good points also to the dude who had the 6 reasons reply.

Well done.

11:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To this day I'll never understand the "collapse" with Solich. Didn't they win 9 games (10 with the bowl win under pellini) the year he was fired? After a 7-7 season it sounds like he was doing a bit of a job of rebuilding. Not like they ever won 10 under callahan. If pellini turns out to be another woody widenhoffer, this could get completely ugly.

12:28 PM  
Anonymous Brushpile Bill said...

Does the Fulmer Cup award points for recruits? Looks like Josh Williams is piling up some points.

12:36 PM  
Blogger bkwriter2007 said...

I am a Husker football fan, and I honestly have been scratching my head about these people who got all excited when Tom Osborne came back... people, don't you remember who started the whole decline in the first place? Tom Osborne. He handpicked Frank Solich, he recommended Steve Pedersen, he disappeared into the background not saying his opinion about the direction of the program, and then when the fans cry wolf, he comes marching in, putting the pictures back up (really REALLY dumb reason for why the team will be better), announces the return of the walk on program (name five walk ons who did anything on the team...), and hiring Bo Pelini and all the old assistants. What an ego-manic! He so just wants attention on himself. He is the biggest fraud in football. If he was a great AD, he'd hire a big name, not some nobody one year assistant. Besides being a great coach over ten years ago, he hasn't done crap for the program. He was the root of the beginning of the decline, and he hasn't aged gracefully with age. If I was a Nebraska football fan, I'd be afraid. Very afraid.

1:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Besides...not like I've been right about anything else hmmm?"

I'd say your slightly better than .500 right now on the ol' predictions there skippy. Did you call for us to be utterly crushed this year in football? Yes. Did you call for the exact same thing the year before? Yes. You may have gotten some things correct but I would't put you up there with Negrodamus.

1:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is Bo going to do about Josh Williams? Not even set foot on the Big Red campus and he's in trouble with the police for assault and theft of $900.

3:00 PM  
Blogger AJ said...

No no no.

I didn't say NU would get crushed last year. I said you were a fraud...and you were. I said it was smoke and mirrors..and it was.

Every single thing I said about Nebraska in the last 18 months or so is completely and 100% correct.

I'm sure I may have been wrong on one or two things...but in terms of Nebraska and the state of your program...I absolutely completely nailed it.

Ok..so I said you'd be 6-6 last year and you went 5-7. I guess I'm not perfect.

3:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It will be a test of the program... Lte's see if Josh Williams becomes a husker.

What up Bo?

http://www.wowt.com/news/headlines/17468264.html

3:44 PM  
Blogger NEBforCU said...

http://www.dentonrc.com/sharedcontent/dws/drc/sports/highschools/stories/DRC_Ryan_DE_Williams_released_0409.4893a7a4.html

Opps, they almost made it a month without getting in trouble.

3:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://cyclonetimes.com/news/?p=113

And you think Husker fans drink too much kool aid.

4:57 PM  
Blogger NE-Jhawk said...

What you don't want to watch more Renny Hernandez pitched games???

On the Tournement...never have I seen a game where one team took better advantage of another's mistakes. Did Memphis choke? No doubt. But KU did come back from 9 down almost soley on a stolen inbounds pass that turned into 3 points. So they did go out and grab that ring.

But lets also not forget that just 2 minutes before the story was clearly going to be about how KU lost a back and forth game by going to a Box and 1 defense that gave them the 9 point lead in the first point. Up to that 2:30 point in the game...KU was doing its damnest to choke it for you AJ (you love to watch us choke it, don't you?). And Rush was playing the 'Ghost of Point Guards of KU Tourney's Past' by playing great D but missing every jump shot he had. Finaly having that deep bench paid dividends when it realy matered.

5:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please, a CU fan jumping in here.

Just last month you had 2 players that are already on your squad involved in incidents back to back. Geer and Katoa, both assaults.

What was Hawkins response?

"It's unfortunate we've had these instances back-to-back, and once again, I do not condone our players engaging in this kind of conduct," coach Dan Hawkins said in a written statement. "We will continue to engage them through several orientations and presentations on how to be first class in every phase of their lives."


Wow, orientations and presentations... sounds like a real hard ass to me...

7:13 PM  
Blogger AJ said...

It is pretty amazing KU did all that without Rush's help. And I agree..they were doing whatever they could along the way to piss that away.

The ISU thing was funny too.

7:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

CU's players, Katoa and Geer, are suspended and not practicing with the team. Their final dispositions will be determined after their cases are completed. Last year, Sipili was suspended from school for a semester and missed the season b/c of a fight - againt a man. We all know in Lincoln, a player could beat the crap out of his girlfriend, and would be suspended for the first half against Southern North Dakota State Womens College.

9:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

aj,
fellow mizzou fan stuck in huskerland. I got a kick out of listening to the 'zone' they other day when they were discussing how bo should address his newest troublemaker. The general idea from everyone was to approach the ol' wise one, you know wwtod(what would T.O. do). As if the moral fault line runs down osborns block. I can hear that conversation now.
BO - T.O., what should I do?
T.O. - Do you want to keep your job and keep the freaks off your back?
BO- well, yeah
T.O. - when then, deny, deny, deny. Then when you cant deny. Say, "we build character here at NE & everyone should get a second chance." (sometimes 3rd or 4th if they are a starter). If you win, it works. Look at me. I'm the John Calipari of college football

12:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Cyclone Times guy is full of it. Most Cyclone fans can't stand him. He makes crazy predictions every year, hoping that the Kool Aid drinkers (and there aren't very many of them) will subscribe to his site. The funny thing is that he was actually a Hawkeye fan until he had the oppurtunity to take over a Cyclone site and make money.

7:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Show me the link to an article that says Williams' final disposition has been determined.

And I can't believe you had the sack to mention cupcakes?
How many guys was Hawk sitting out when you got slapped around by Montana State? Hell, even Southern North Dakota State Women's College looks forward to Montana State on their schedule

You might want to check out the current Fulmer Cup standings, Mr. Righteous

10:50 PM  
Blogger AJ said...

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, cupcakes

7:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And you may want to learn about contextual analysis. The point of referring to a "cupcake" is not directed at NU's rep for scheduling them, but to the meaningless "punishment" for a serious infraction.

9:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think contextual analysis might be a bit of overkill there, Professor.

I find it ironic, regardless of context, for a CU fan to attempt to point a finger at any other institution with respect to inappropriate student athlete conduct or to make reference to the scheduling of weak opponents.

You were successful in making one point crystal clear though. I'm now certain that you are a self-righteous, blow hard
.

Contextual analysis... still snickering at that one....

2:33 PM  
Blogger HucktheFuskers said...

AJ,

I've been slipping. I've just now caught up on your blog.

The worst part of KU winning the National Championship is the cavalcade of emails and phone calls from KU fans, many of who I haven't spoken to in years. My favorite is always those assholes who claim they called it. "Dude, beginning of the season, I called it." Yeah, you called it. As a matter of fact you call it every year. You even went as far as to guarantee it in the Bradley and Bucknell years.

And they have the nerve to wonder why we hate them so much.

In the past 50 years, the Kansas Jayhawks have won only one more National Championship than UTEP. Wow, such tradition.

2:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's put the college football powers in perspective. The Princeton football powerhouse has the most championships, followed by Notre Dame who isn't exactly setting the world on fire these days and Alabama.

Same scenario in basketball. The beaks can brag all they want but they need 6 more titles before they are in the same league as UCLA.

1:14 PM  

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