Tag Archives: Husker football

Husker Fans–How Loyal are They?

As I have observed this season I have seen one of the best football coaches that has graced Tom and Nancy Osborne Field and Memorial Stadium at the level of Coaching Legends of the likes of Dana Bible, Bob Devaney and Dr. Tom Osborne lambasted for his 2013 team for not winning enough football games.

The following is a prime example of a Husker fan that thinks they are in the know and have sources solidly within the Nebraska Athletic Department or so they claim. These same “Loyal Husker Fans” are quick to vocalize loudly. We have seen a video this year by an individual showing how Bo Pelini spoke poorly of the Husker Fans.

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This posting was a prime example of cowardice and attacking someone that has respect of the majority of fans that are not rumor mongering. The lack of respect shown by those two Internet posters indicate one simple element: lack of respect for themselves and the coaches comprising the Nebraska Football Program that is one of the top BCS Football Programs in the country.

Writing in “More Than Winning” about why he almost left Nebraska for the Colorado job after his sixth season as NU head coach:
Osborne explains that he had started to realize that “…no matter how good the record was overall, there would be a lot of pressure to get a different coach. Lots of fans did not feel this way, but I think there were many in Nebraska who did, and they were vocal enough that they made things uncomfortable.”
“Certainly our record had not been viewed with great enthusiasm by the fans, and I think all of us were tempted to go somewhere where winning eight or nine games in a year would be appreciated to a greater degree.”
He then expounded upon what he had come to understand about the vocal critics:
“It’s occurred to me often that many problems in athletics, “perhaps most problems” result from people having an inappropriate understanding of athletics. The problem with some fans, for example, is they get their sense of worth, or lack of it, from the athletic team they support. They often have inadequate feelings about themselves, so if the team wins, the fans win. If the team loses, the fans lose and they begin to feel worse about themselves.”

Nebraska Football coaches are hard-working people that work with young men that are vulnerable and hoping to learn valuable life lessons at the same University I attended and learned valuable life lessons enabling them to go out and contribute to the country and make their parents, Nebraska Football coaches and Nebraska proud.  Something that the current coaching staff is doing a very good job accomplishing.

What the majority of the respectable and truly loyal Huskers Fans need to do is to not give any credence to the cowards posting and attacking for their lack of adequacy. If my child were to post this type of tripe I would demand the immediate withdrawal of such posting or claim and require an apology from that child just as my father would have done if I were to lower my standards to the level the above two cowards have. Those two cowards need to be held accountable for their inappropriate behavior. Where are their parents?  Why have they not done what any responsible parent should do?

This is a teachable moment.  Did you teach your children how to react to this inappropriate act?

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Husker Fans Are They the Best?

As I have watched Nebraska football (and actually aware of the game, not my actual age) for the last 52 years experiencing the highs and lows when my beloved Huskers won and lost. I even remember wondering if the hiring of Bob Devaney was the right coach for Nebraska and what did Wyoming do to lose him. Yes, I was most likely mirroring my father’s thoughts as I was not even old enough to do anything but listen on the radio and watch the annual NU/OU football game on Thanksgiving Day. Yes, that was a long time ago.

I distinctly remembering how my father used to get so upset when the Huskers were not winning that most of his children refused to listen or watch the game with him. It was the only time he was anything other than a positive influence on his children’s life. But he would be so pessimistic that we all left the room and found our own radio to listen.

Now I know your question is: What does this have to do with Husker fans? My father was a high school football and basketball coach in the State of Nebraska. In other words he has coaching credentials as a loyal Nebraska Husker fan. He even played football and basketball during his college career. What I am saying is that he played at a level that is advanced beyond most Husker fans and he was also a coach indicating that he has knowledge beyond the typical Husker fan. He was not able to think logically about his Huskers. His emotions got the better of him.

Recently I was reading in a book titled “Unbeatable” about Dr. Tom Osborne’s final years when the Huskers record stood at 60-3. A feat not accomplished very often in college football. One of the comments by a then Husker assistant football coach stated that the only place in the country where anyone spoke negatively of the Husker Football Program was in the State of Nebraska. This speaks volumes about how the rest of the country has admired the program and how temperamental the home crowd is. Husker fans were upset when Dr. Tom could not win a big game and wanted his job even when he was winning more games than Godfather Devaney won every season. Dr. Tom even mentioned in one of his books how he was told after a Bowl victory that if the team had not won he would have lost his job.

Another way of speaking of this enigma is to say that the fans lose one of their precious perceived status symbols they go postal on the coach and his staff. Those perceived status symbols are losing a game, letting a team score on long plays, not getting sacks, etc. They want the Husker football team to represent them as strong and omnipotent enabling them to gloat and boast they are Number 1 on each and every play, game and season. They also have the ability to boast that they all have a friend, family member or know someone on the staff very well. Yet, when I ask and seek further clarification I find out they only wish they did and won’t identify who they know. There is one exception and it is made clear that that source on the athletic department refuses to talk about anything even to his family. Yet the Husker fans are not able to think logically about the Huskers. Their emotions get the better of them.

What does this all say? Husker fans feel that they know everything about BCS level football and how to win each and every game the team plays. They know the game better than the professionals that are doing the coaching and teaching football to the Husker football team. Is the team as good as we want them to be? Does the team still have a shot at winning the Legends Division and the B1G Conference Championship game? The fans were so upset when the team lost to UCLA this year that a two year old audio clip of Bo Pelini talking negatively and using profanity regarding the fans. Even Tommie Frazier was so upset after the UCLA loss that he spoke poorly and without using diplomatic language regarding the defensive coaching staff. Yes, Tommie has great playing credentials, but not great coaching credentials. But the fans started the attack on the football coaching staff over just one game and a trend they perceive is steadfast characteristic of the current Blackshirts. The guy that released the audio clip has yet to identify himself to the public. It is believed that he has a bee under his bonnet and wanted to make life miserable for Bo. As he has not identified who he is makes me believe that to be true and does not want the attention that announcing himself to the Husker World would bring.

My own credentials regarding football are that I played in high school and college. Then I officiated football over 25 years up to and included the NCAA level. Officiating does not allow me to know and understand coaching the game as much as a coach could. Yet, I refrain from criticizing the coaches because I know and understand that they are doing a better than average job of coaching the Husker Football team. Bo Pelini has a very distinguished record in spite of the “Boo Birds” chants and rants. Bo has a team that will run through brick walls for him as he motivates them and teaches them how to be men that will contribute to society.

Years ago when I lived in Tucson I was elected to be the president of the Southern Arizonans for Nebraska Alumni club. At the founder’s banquet when I was elected Dr. Tom spoke to our group and explained to us three factors he searched for when recruiting players for Nebraska. Firstly and foremost the player had to have the intellect to be a college student. Secondly the player had to have the physical talent to play the game of football as the BCS level. Lastly and with the most difficulty he sought players that had the spiritual element to want to win and play as a team at that BCS level. The spiritual element was element that makes guys like Tommie Frazier go out and play his heart out to make the team the best it could be. The more players that had that spiritual element the better the team played.

Dr. Tom stated that he could always get the players to learn how to play the game with his system by teaching using a positive motivation method that worked for him. The last five years were when he was finally able to identify players with the spiritual element that would allow a team to work together and win National Championships that all Husker fans think they should win each and every year.

Husker fans need to recognize that they are living beyond their means with their expectations for the Huskers including the Blackshirts and accept the fact that the team is a top 25 team that with some breaks will become a top 10 team that is what they can use as a measurement that is based on historically Nebraska Football is. The team was so down when Bo Pelini arrived that he has rebuilt the talent level and is learning how to identify how to get the players to play at the Top 10 level he and they want to play. They have to go down a learning curve just as the great coaches and players in Husker History have. Devaney had two 6-4 seasons before his teams won the two National Championships they did. Dr. Tom coached for twenty years before he stared winning National Championships. It takes a special type of coach to do well at Nebraska. He has to get the players to play for him knowing that he is going to give them his best and support them and teaching them to play football and become men at the University of Nebraska. He is definitively one of the better coaches in the BCS level at this time. Are the Husker fans the best at the BCS level they believe they are. Yes, they treat the opponents with respect. It is what we do as Nebraskans. But do we treat each other as well?

In time, I feel that Bo Pelini will have a team win the National Championship. The Husker fans need to not let their emotions get the better or them.

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Husker Nation–Fans

Husker Stadium during game

Husker fans are the best fans in the country.  They are also the most fickle fans that grow passionate with their team as it passes into the off-season and the players are spending time in conditioning and the weight room gaining strength and ability to play football better next season. They also claim to be the most football knowledgeable fans in college football. The same fans know and understand what each player’s responsibilities are in each and every formation whether they are on the offense or the beloved Blackshirts. Rulebook knowledge is touted to be near perfect if not better. Each play is taken emotionally and  disappointment is strong if the play does not give their Huskers an advantage at the end of the play. Each offensive play should be a gain of 10 yards or more and often that play is expected to be for a touchdown. The Blackshirts are expected to sack the QB, tackle the running back for a loss, create a fumble or intercept a pass. This is what we all think of as normal for our expectations of the Huskers. We all know what should be done for each play and are tremendously disappointed when the coaches don’t make the calls to get our results.  We are also very proud of our 318 consecutive sell out crowds and counting a NCAA record way beyond the next closest streak owned by Notre Dame at 208 and counting. ND just about lost their streak this past year when they played Washington in South Bend. That won’t happen in Lincoln even with the stadium expansion that is sold out with the construction completion for the 2013 season.

Fans have been known to call talk radio and complain about the coach’s decision to call a play that was not successful and make the claim that they knew the play that would have worked and were indignant that the coach did not call the correct play. This has happened with the last four coaches and will continue long into the future as long as the University of Nebraska has a football team playing.  The most wonderful aspect of this fan base is all they have to do is have lived in the State of Nebraska, become a fan of the Huskers and last but least of all be an alum. As a past president of an alumni club we were encouraged by the Nebraska Alumni Association to accept all Husker fans in the local chapter even if they did not attend the university ever. They did request that we have chapter board members be alumni but that was not mandatory.

Each fan knows someone close to the football program if not on the inside knowing exactly what is going on behind the scenes and will tell anyone that will listen to them talk. I could tell stories about people that have told me what they knew about players and coaches and what was going on with their personal lives in intimate detail and way more than I wanted to know, TMI and then some. They go to great lengths to let everyone they know who is interested what they know. Most of those inside informers, if they are inside refuse to tell anyone what is going on to avoid the rumor mill. But that does not stop the stories from starting anywhere we Huskers meet with the insider knowledge claim.

As Husker fans, we do meet. Throughout our country we have Huskers that have traveled beyond our state’s borders and want to gather wherever we are with other equally rabid Husker fans and cheer our Huskers to victory.  The Alumni Association has an active list of “Watch Sites” on their website just so we can meet our fellow Husker fans where we live.

We take so much pride in our beloved Huskers that when they don’t play as well as we expect we use derogatory words to describe the coaches, players and the program they represent. We do not tolerate anything less than perfection of our Husker program well.

This off-season we are boiling over with the loss to South Carolina in the Capital One Bowl game.  Some are calling Bo Pelini an idiot that does not have the intelligence to coach up to our expectations from Bob Devaney and Dr. Tom Osborne. We refuse to understand that Bo has accomplished what few coaches have in their first four years at a BCS level of competition. Including the before mentioned Husker coaches. We also forget that Bob Devaney did not win his two national championships until his last three years. That Dr. Tom did not win his three national championships until his 22nd, 23rd and 25th year of coaching all of those years at Nebraska. We also neglect to remember that Bob and Dr. Tom both were able to win at a nine victory level for a period of 35 years. That our beloved Huskers only slipped below that level with the two coaches that followed those legends and both those coaches were terminated for losing more than was the standard at Nebraska.

We often forget that Bo Pelini is accepted by the coaches at the BCS and NFL level as a very good football coach that is expected to be above the vast majority of his peers as he has already proven to be at the four year point in his head coaching career at that nine win level and twice surpassing that level with ten wins. We also forget that Dr. Tom interviewed at Colorado because he felt the fans did not appreciate him for winning more than any other coach in Husker History did. We also forget that our program is continuing to maintain its position among the top four football programs in NCAA BCS history. Bo is doing an above average job as compared to Bill Callahan, that brought the first losing season in over 35 years and Frank Solich, which brought the first non-winning season to Nebraska in over 35 years.

Perhaps we need to look at those with the insider connections and realize what we are doing to ourselves.

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