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Well, it’s been almost two weeks since the Rose Bowl so our wounds should be about healed now shouldn’t they? Of course you probably have some friends like I do that don’t mind rubbing a little salt in those open wounds by saying things like “the Big Twelve north went 0 for 4 in bowl games” or “OU wins again by being ranked ahead of the Huskers in the final coaches poll”. I haven’t even looked at the Internet or email in the last 12 days which has to be about as big of a record as the last time the Huskers had 100 points put up on them in two consecutive games (before last week). But the sun did come up on Friday in southern California and tried to make you forget the previous night.
At around 94,000 or so, this was estimated as probably the largest crowd to watch a Nebraska football game from the stands. By far, it was the largest group of people to watch Nebraska standing there with their mouths wide open through the first half of a college football game.
Next, let’s take a look at a few myths that you may be holding onto. The first is that the Rose Bowl is the “grand-daddy of them all”. Maybe in terms of the number of people in attendance but definitely not in terms of “the bowl experience”. We got in line for the gate about 3:30 PM and we were lucky to make it into the stadium by 5:15 PM for the national anthem. I really don’t have a good reason as to why other than maybe they were doing body cavity searches for the first two hours or so and then, when they realized the stadium was going to be half empty for the kickoff, they decided to open up ALL of the gates and just let people in if they had a ticket.
Hearing the planes fly over after the national anthem was awesome but I’m going to have to find a copy of this game since I didn’t get to see the half-time show because I chose this time to go to the bathroom and pick up a couple of hamburgers. When I finally returned to my seat I had missed 10 minutes of the third quarter! Selling seats for $150 a pop will make you some money but when you’re selling $5 hamburgers to 20,000 people out of three hamburger stands and you run out then you have a pretty big marketing failure.
Another myth is that southern Californians aren’t nice and probably don’t care about the game. I found them to be very nice people with several saying “welcome to California”, helpful with directions and willing to talk about the upcoming game. LA is a big area and it took me a while to get used to the fact that my hotel, the Rose Bowl and my friend in LA were in three different area codes! If you go to the next Rose Bowl and you want to experience southern California right you better bring plenty of cash though. I set a personal record of $80 for lunch (4 people) the day after at a little sidewalk café.
Back here in Oklahoma, I have been told that the first OKC chapter watch party was a smashing success with about 60 in attendance. Kudos to all the hard work of Doug & Laurie Wilken, Cindy Kahland & Tom Schwieger to make the event such a big success. Hopefully all of these new folks keep the faith and come back next year to be a part of an Oklahoma Cornhusker Club that is big and getting bigger all the time.
OK, we can’t put it off any longer. I guess you can boil this game down into three facts … lowest offensive production of the year, one of the worst defensive productions, and three turnovers. Any one of those three would have sunk the ship against a strong Miami team but the sum total of the three made it look like the Huskers shouldn’t have been there. After the game I think there was an article which estimated that Miami would probably have 12 players taken in the NFL draft and the Huskers might get 4. So Crouch fearlessly battled on but he just didn’t have enough weapons at his disposal to match up with the Hurricanes that had a boatload of fast and powerful players.
Since the game, there have been a few additional tidbits of less than bright news. Fonoti will be making pancakes next year in another city besides Lincoln (he’s entering the NFL draft early) unless the Nebraska legislature can make a surprise bid for one of the next NFL franchises. The amazing thing is that when the kid attends fall training camp for an upcoming NFL team, he won’t even be old enough to legally drink. I’d tell him to stay but multi-millionaires just don’t listen. The Huskers were also hoping to get the next Samoan pancake king by the name of Ngata but he has decided to attend BYU or Oregon (or is it BYU now?) seeing that the ducks flew a little bit higher in their bowl game against Colorado than the Huskers did. So, I thought we were unlucky but I saw a listing of players leaving early for the NFL draft and there are 3 from Miami and 4 from Florida. Man … seven college players that are good enough to be pro players leaving early from one peninsula … no wonder it’s so tough to compete with these guys!
All that is left to do is to give you the real test of a true Husker fan and tell you that the Spring Football game is in a mere 13 weeks. Does that elicit a sparkle in your eye and hopes for the next fall? Well, if it does then you have passed the test! I’m going on record early to say that Nebraska is definitely going to win this one. Of course, if you really can’t wait for more college football there is the Hula Bowl on February 2nd where you can watch Eric Crouch running the show again.
It may take a little while but you will eventually be able to count your blessings in an 11 win season, a chance at the National Championship and, of course, another Heisman trophy for the Huskers. It has been a good year so we can be thankful for that and look ahead with interest as the Huskers restock like they always do.
Lastly, I would like to thank you for being a part of the Oklahoma Cornhusker Club and making it fun to be a Husker fan in Oklahoma. I hope to see you next season although I will be undergoing a job change before the next football season rolls around. Occidental Petroleum is packing up it’s IT staff and taking them to Houston so it’s time for me to “get a haircut and find a real job”. And just in case we have any budding young entrepreneurs out there who like cash, I will be offering up $2000 cash to anyone who can help me find a real job. Sound interesting … well, then just follow this URL to find out how YOU could be the proud owner of a spending spree courtesy of John Prevette.
THANK YOU HUSKERS FANS … THERE ARE NONE BETTER!!!
Nebraska Spring Game
April 13th or April 20th
I’ll see you at the next watch party wearing HUSKER RED!!!!!
For more information on this week's game call our President, Rod Coulter, at the Husker Hotline at 918-481-9018.