Posts Tagged ‘Huskers’

Are you one of those disenfranchised, embittered people who doesn’t get out to the polls when it’s time to perform your civic duty?  Are you the guy/girl who grumbles angrily about “all the crooks” that we have to deal with when casting a ballot for an elected office?  Cut it out.  You know why?  Because here‘s why:



Yes, that’s Tim Miles in a G-Unit man-scarf with his head tilted to the side so you know he means business. Yesterday was election day in Lincoln, Nebraska, the home of the Nebraska Cornhuskers.  And Tim wanted you to know that it’s time to get off your obesity-epidemic-suffering-ass and go vote for city council, mayor, and last but certainly not least: airport authority.

And lest you think that Tim is going the civic-duty-route all by his lonesome, have a taste of this:


POW!  That’s Mike Riley.  He’s new to these parts but he still wants you to get your A out of your desk chair and go hang some chads.

I know.  I know.  I’m sure you’re thinking: “Hey, Chris, this is stupid.”  And “Hey, Chris, you are a terrible photoshopper.”  And you would be right on both counts.  But before you glass-house-living haters throw stones, here’s this little number for you to try on:


That’s the last one.  I promise, I’m done.  But check out the necklace on Mark Banker (*Author’s note: Banksy? Still trying on crappy nicknames for him, at this point.) as he reminds us that Airport Authority isn’t going to elect itself.



On November 30th, 2014 a coach named Bo Pelini disappeared for the second time that year.  The first time was on November 22nd in Madison, Wisconsin — and well get to more on that later — but this was his second time going missing.  And this time it was for good.

Skerial, a new Podcast from NCB, investigates the mysterious circumstances and the conspiracy theories that abound surrounding the former Nebraska Football lightning rod.  Episode one sets the scene.


It was October in Nebraska.  The leaves were beginning to catch fire, leaf kindling leaping to autumnal flame, and the air only just starting to whisper quietly about the winter yet to come.  The kind of fall evening where the setting sun turns the light to gold leaf that could make King Midas jealous and plates the air in a quiet brilliance.

Out came the cooler, the chairs, and the holy grail of youthful campouts: the s’mores supplies.  My family and my best friend and I were at Pioneer’s park.  Night was just beginning its warmup laps around our prairie sky, darkness kissing the edges of the vast expanse above us, and we had come to stay until darkness.  With a crackling, we fired up the portable radio, battered black edges sliding along the equally requisite and equally dented aluminum picnic table near the fire ring.

Scanning through country tracks from pre-Chris Gaines Garth and past the sounds of a pop music blasting pre-crazy Britney, we landed on the right station.  The motherload.  The Husker broadcast.  We maxed out the tinny, small speakers so we could throw our own Nerf football while listening to the sounds of the game.  I don’t remember the other broadcasters voices, not now and not clearly anyway, but I do remember Adrian Fiala.  His voice’s unmistakable timbre, auditory pointillism dotting out each important moment, expanding though the night air like the smoke from our Journal Star clippings as they sparked our wood to a blaze.

We were young and it was Saturday.  Life itself was not to be pondered.  Not while there was a game blasting, a fire going, and football in the air.  Not while Adrian Fiala was talking.

Image courtesy of:

On Monday afternoon the radio clicked off.

The voice, that iconic deep-chested rumble, came to a stop.

On Monday afternoon, Adrian Fiala passed away.

I didn’t know Adrian Fiala personally.  He probably has no idea that he impacted my life in a small way; that his gilded baritone voice lacquered many a Husker Saturday for me, enhancing the product beneath but not ever trying to change it completely.  He probably doesn’t know that, when the Huskers played a severely overmatched opponent and the pay-per-view games were too pricey for my parents, I would crank my parents’ cable dial way up to the pay-per-view channel in an attempt to watch the scrambled lines of distorted gamedays even though we hadn’t paid for it and I would listen to him explain the shifting patterns as I desperately tried to make out whether that was actually Scott Frost running with the ball or not.

I didn’t know Adrian Fiala.  But he did know me.

He knew me because he knew Nebraska.  He knew me because he knew the players and he knew the tradition.  But above all, he knew the fans.  He knew that the blood in our veins had a particular hue to it that can only truly be described if you’re seated in Memorial Stadium on a crisp fall day in the capital city of Nebraska.  And he knew how to describe exactly that.  To crystallize a moment in a game and blend it with his football-mind and tumble out words like a timpani drum roll.  Regal and majestic.

When silence was called for, Adrian Fiala let it reign.  His silence over the air waves of my youth were just a momentous as his voice.  When Fiala let a moment simmer, you didn’t taste the stew until he was ready to ladle it back out again.  And that was how it went.  In a time of blurry pictures and pay-per-view games that were out of my parents’ price point: Adrian Fiala’s voice was high-definition.  It was slow-motion replay.  It was all the things that make nostalgia and sports blend together into a fine wine that ages gracefully and with dignity.

I’m no longer young.  And life is now, certainly, open to be pondered.  But one thing is for certain: come Saturdays in the fall, Adrian Fiala’s voice won’t be gone.  It will be remembered in the breathless recanting of a die-hard sports fan as he passionately remembers Fiala’s voice launching him into his traditional Saturday sprint into the front yard to celebrate a Husker touchdown, rocket-fuel for the youthful fan.  It will sound in the hearts and minds of those who loved him and knew him and were touched by his love in FM, AM, and in real life encounters.

On Monday afternoon, the radio clicked off.

On Monday afternoon, that iconic voice – braille to a generation of fans that could not see the action on the field – came to a stop.

But make no mistake: that voice, the voice, will continue to echo for quite some time.

(Feature image courtesy of:


The news broke yesterday that Nebraska basketball player Walter Pitchford was skipping his senior season with the team.  It wasn’t to go pro.  Or transfer.  Walt P for Degree!  Yes, Walter Pitchford decided that he wanted to buckle down and pull a reverse-version-of-me and focus on schoolwork, seeking to obtain a business degree and launch a career.  Which is truly admirable.

But, in the wake of his leaving the team, Husker fans were left wondering if this was actually what happened.  Was Walt really leaving the squad just so he could focus on his academics?  He certainly seems like a smart dude, a guy that would be open and honest about his intentions.  But, damn it, do I love a conspiracy theory.  Here are my theories on the real reasons Walter Pitchford left Nebraska basketball.

1. Walt P for 1D


As I’m sure all of you noticed, and were *totes devastated* by, Zayn from One Direction has left the group.  This leaves not only a big hole in one of the world’s most popular groups, and a gaping chasm in my heart, but a job opportunity.  Walt seems like an ideal fit for this Tween sensation.  He’s cool.  He’s got charisma.  And he fulfills the groups need for a minority.  Check, check, and check.  Also, think how much more fun the lyrics would be with Walt added into the mix:

The story of his life, he drives the lane
He shoots the three, makin’ it rain!
Your ankles. . .are bro-oh-oh-oh-ken.

Or something like that.  I totally don’t know the words to that song.  Really, I swear I don’t.

2.  Pursuing An Acting Career


Walt seems versatile.  A renaissance man, if you will.  So perhaps what he’s looking to do, here, is expand his brand a little bit.  I could see him starring in a gritty, brooding, police drama that’s all simmering tension and dark, twisted investigation procedural.  Now, if only we knew a wily, strange, philosophical dude that could play opposite the smoldering intensity of Walter Pitchford, True Detective.  If only we had someone. . .

3.  Working as a Full-Time Manager and Producer for his Boy Band, Terran Terran


I know, I know. Somehow I managed to throw together two idiotic conspiracy theories regarding boy bands in the span of 375 words.  Sue me.  Actually, don’t.  I’ve watched some of the Aaron Hernandez trial and my lawyers wouldn’t have the balls or the bank account to try to make deflategate jokes during the proceedings.

In all seriousness, I think I speak for all Nebraska Basketball fans when we wish Walt the best.  He may not be joining 1D or starring in an HBO series next to Tim Miles, but he did give us a magical run in 2014 that is hopefully still slingshotting our program forward with momentum, in spite of this year.

I’ll always remember Walt fondly for his electric shooting as a sophomore and his UFC looking post-move from this year’s crazy upset of Final Four team, Michigan State.

Also, forget “always having Paris” , I’m just glad we got to have this shirt.



Tim Miles is having kind of a rough year.  After starting the year out with high expectations, and what appeared to be a program on the brink of wave-riding their way down a big Tsunami of momentum carried over from an incredible finish to the 2014 season, the Husker Men’s Basketball team has crashed and burned in Evel Knievel-like fashion.

Miles has tried coaching them up, slowing it down, guest speakers, and virtually anything short of hiring a voodoo priestess to come in and stick pins in Melo Trimble’s hair-doll.  (*Author’s note: he may have done that at some point, too.)  His latest desperate tactic has been locking the Huskers out of their locker room and posh traning facilities at the Hendricks Training Complex.

That means the players will have no smoothie bar, no shower heads with Bluetooth speakers and no players lounge which basically looks like Macauly Culkin’s house from Richie Rich.

So, with not a moment to lose, Tim is taking one last desperate move to fire up his team.  He’s pulling out all the stops to try to get his team motivated for the final few games of the year.  This is the leaked audio of his latest attempt: a stunningly dope rap track and music video.  The words to the song are listed beneath the song.


If you havin’ real problems, I feel bad for you, son.
I got 99 Problems but Hendricks ain’t one.

I got dudes brickin’ threes while I’m grabbing deeze
Haters up in stripes I call ‘em referees
Stinking up the Vault, yo I need Febreze
Bout to snap like a tendon in D-Rose’s knees
I’m from the great white North, more Dakota than Fanning,
Call me the GOAT like I’m Peyton Manning
Underneath this button up I’m built like Tatum, Channing
Taking more selfies than a girl who be tanning.
I’m catching all types’a shit from those Twitter Bros
And Walt P’s in the paint and he’s throwing Bos
Shavon’s so damn smart he’s worried ‘bout Microbes
And I can’t stop staring at Thad Matta’s nose.
I’m getting’ so emotional, startin’ to feel my feelings
And I still don’t know the damn difference between Australia and New Zealand.
From D3 to D1, Son, I Ain’t Dumb
I got 99 Problems, but Hendricks Ain’t One.
Hit me

99 Problems but Hendricks ain’t one
If you having real problems I feel bad for you son
I got 99 problems but Hendricks ain’t one
Hit me

Well it’s 2015 and I’m so, so def
But standin’ in my way? It’s the motherfuckin’ ref.
I got two choices, ya’ll, shut my mouth up or
Chase down that Douche and start to stompin’ on the floor.
Now I ain’t trying send ‘em to the free throw line
But I got a few dollars I can pay the fine
So he pulls me over to the side of the court
And I heard “Son do you know why I’m techin’ you for?”
Cause I’m nerdy and I’m pissed and you’re screwing my team
And you’re worried I’m bout to turn you into a Twitter Meme?
Should I head back to the Bench, to try to let off steam?
“Well you was getting too loud when you started to scream
Head back to your bench for I throw your ass out
“Now if you’ll excuse, me Tim, I’m goin’ over there to pout”
I ain’t going back to shit, all my gripes are legit
“Do you mind if I talk to those other ref a bit?”
Well the fans are all pissed and so’s the rest of my staff
And trust me when I say you don’t want Molinari’s wrath
“Listen, I’m probably shouting ‘Boom’ when I drop the T,
“Unless you take two steps back and away from me!”
Well I’m not backin’ up, this is turned to a mess
You’re reffing up this game like your name’s Carl Hess
“See how you feel when the league fines you a ton”
I got 99 problems but Hendricks ain’t one
Hit me

99 Problems but Hendricks ain’t one
If you having real problems I feel bad for you son
I got 99 problems but Hendricks ain’t one
Hit me

Now once upon a ‘bout a season ago
We were magma hot, straight smokin’ yo.
We were burning through teams: the passion, the drama!
Now we’re 4th tier news behind a bunch of Llamas.
With all the losses, the haters be hatin’
The best part of this year? Man, at least we’re not Creighton.
Yeah, sure, they might’ve beat us in the head to head
But that’s like being the deadest Zombie on Walking Dead.
We’re losing more than the pounds of Rick Ross
And this season’s ass backwards callin’ it Kriss Kross.
We’re fadin’ real hard at the end of the race
Why does Fran McCaffrey have such a punchable face?
And now come March, it’s our thumbs they’re gonna twiddle
And our fan base is dividing like Tom Crean’s hair middle
But next year Huskers, it’s eternal hope springs
And we’ll see what new guys and some 4 stars brings
Maybe we’ll learn to break a full court press
Beat it black and blue like that Twitter Dress
Or was that gold and white, yo my rap is done.
I got 99 problems but Hendricks ain’t one
Hit me

99 Problems but Hendricks ain’t one
If you having real problems I feel bad for you son
I got 99 problems but Hendricks ain’t one
Hit me


For some fans, tonight’s Nebraska V.S. Wisconsin game has lost some of its luster.  The Huskers have been wildly, irreconcilably, inconsistent.  The entire season has a gigantic *comma* except tagged on after virtually any declarative statement you wish you could make.

They have rarely shot well *COMMA* EXCEPT when they explode for a 62.8% shooting night against Northwestern.

They have played tenacious defense *COMMA* EXCEPT when they gave up 37 second half points to a lousy Minnesota team on the road. (*Author’s note: which isn’t a ton of points, but they certainly struggled to stop a not-good Pitino squad from manhandling them)

You can play this same, admittedly weird, punctuation game with virtually anything you try to say about this team.  And it’s exactly this kind of roller coaster style, stomach-churning peaks and eye-bulging valleys that have led many of the casual fans to renege on their new-found love of Husker hoops.  It’s been tough to get a bead on this year’s team.  We’re good, then we’re bad.  We seem to have figured it out, then we appear to have gotten all of our offensive talent Monstar’d away in some cruel joke.  It’s maddening.  It’s eye-rolling.  It’s all the things that last year’s miracle run didn’t prepare us for.

The fact is: we have no idea what team will show up tonight against the #5 team in the country.  Since it’s a home game, you have to believe that Nebraska can scrap and claw and battle their way into a full-on streetfight.  The climactic scene from Rocky V comes to mind.

So if you’re one of those fans, new to caring and new to watching Huskers basketball.  If you’re one of those people who hopped on the bandwagon approximately 11 Months ago when this program began to pick up steam and now you’re seriously considering jumping off the bandwagon in an unceremonious crash-landing on the pavement outside Pinnacle Bank.  If you’re one of those people who doesn’t think this game matters tonight, let me tell you why you’re wrong.

Let me tell you why you should sit back down and hang on tight.  At least for just a little longer.

Here’s why this game tonight matters:

1.  Because if you don’t already hate Wisconsin, you should.

Not only are these bovine-enthusiast, cheese-curd chomping, Northern invaders quickly becoming our arch-nemesis in the Big Ten.  But they’re doing so with a team full of white dudes that dance like this:

(Highly disturbing image courtesy of:

And a coach who resembles The Grinch so closely in both his demeanor and his physical appearance, that you literally expect him to take a time out during the game just so he can break and enter into Cindy Lou Who’s house and pretend to be Santa Clause.  Forget the fact that they’ve thoroughly embarrassed us on the football field (*Author’s note: I realize that this is an impossible statement given the state that we live in) and forget the fact that their dairy cows are cranking out enough methane gas that they’re slowly and surely turning our O-Zone layer into the Swiss version of the cheese that they produce.  This is about passion and pride, hatred and volatility.  It’s about Bo Ryan

And the chance to see him attempt to murder a referee with his eyes and to watch his counterpart on the Husker bench appearing to *GASP* actually enjoy himself.  We need to take down Wisconsin.  Because they’re Wisconsin.  And because they tried to knock our state’s bomb-ass export business and they messed it up by not even Googling it or saying, “Hey, what if I check Wikipedia?”

2.  Tim Miles has earned your respect.

After sticking out a miserable first year, then striking while the iron was white-hot and going on a recklessly enjoyable NCAA Tournament run against all odds last year, Tim Miles deserves a fan base that comes correct even when the chips are down.  What happened last year, what we were able to finally enjoy after so many dog days and cellar dwellings, engenders a little loyalty.  A little passion.  I don’t care if it doesn’t make sense to totally buy into this team at this moment and for this game.  Sometimes you just need to slam an adult beverage, scream until your lungs implode and hope that the student section storms the court like it’s a Hardwood version of Normandy Beach.  Now, who’s with me?

3.  There are few things better for an angry fan base than pulling an upset against a team with title aspirations.

I know, I know.  Even if we do win this game, Wisconsin still appears primed for a deep NCAA Tourney run.  But why not allow ourselves the devious pleasure of messing up their well-laid plans?  Why not let us worm a little doubt into the minds of our foes when they need confidence the most?

Why not be B-Rabbit in the final rap battle of 8 Mile, laying out all our problems and angst and then still standing there with two middle fingers extended in spite of our black eyes and seemingly insurmountable odds.  Defiance is fun.  Let’s give it a shot.

So in conclusion, don’t go pulling the rip cord yet.  We’ve got too many chances to battle.  Too much fun to have.  We’ve got too many plans to ruin, attempted stretch runs to slash and burn.  We get to be the anarchists even if we’re not sure exactly what the future holds for Nebraska.  Don’t worry about NITs or CBIs or any other acronyms that might drag you down into “what-ifs” and “what-happeneds”.  Forget wagons with bands and fans with one foot out the door.

Instead, grab this game — grab tonight– and have a little fun.  It doesn’t look like we’re going to have the season we wanted to in 2015 *COMMA EXCEPT* with this team?  You never know.


I don’t know if I’ve blown out my voice booing before.

Sure, I’ve booed and hooted and hollered and generally carried on like a caged ape that’s been infected with the rage virus in a zombie movie.  But last night may have been the first time I’ve driven my vocal cords directly off a cliff into a steaming pile of puberty-style voice-cracking on the sheer power of my auditory hatred for referees.

Granted, I’ve never been to see the Loch Hess Monster live and in person or I’m sure I would have probably crossed this threshold before, but last night – for lack of a better term — the referees at the Nebraska Basketball game against Minnesota were on some next level shit.

There were 43 total fouls called.  Nebraska only attempted 42 shots.

There were technical fouls, questionable calls, and a group of refs whistling more than a scaffolding full of horny construction workers cat-calling at a hot woman on the sidewalk.  I booed.  And shouted.  And checked over my shoulder to make sure the little girls behind us weren’t listening so I could quietly whisper swear words to my wife.  Then we ended up shouting them anyway, reflexively, and shrugging in a hasty apology to anyone who was appalled.

I’m not sure whether these refs just enjoyed the spotlight a little too much, whether they were all graduates from the Tim Donaghy School of Officiating, or if they had all sworn a blood oath with Karl Hess that was co-signed by Lucifer himself to try to torpedo a once-beautiful game.  Whatever the case, they seemed to almost relish playing the villains on Tuesday night, shouting out absurd sound effects with their technical fouls and crotch-thrusting like an air-humping Justin Bieber onstage at a concert while they were giving out blocking fouls.

Shouting out “Boom” when you’re giving a player a “T” as a ref is the auditory version of putting those plastic nutsacks on the back of your pick-up truck.  You want to know who shouts out “Boom!” when they’re handing out a tech?  Leslie Nielsen in Naked Gun.

(*Author’s note: someone please send me a link to the crotch-thrust block call by the ref tonight.  I’m begging you.)

To say that this was an ugly game would be a like calling WWII a “skirmish.”  This might have been the ugly game.  Here’s the box score:

Yes.  I had to blur that out for content like it was the Spice Channel in 1999.  Maybe if you’re a consenting adult you can contact someone and order the special version so you can look at it under the cover of darkness.

Nebraska shot a paltry 40% from the field, somehow gritting their way to a 52-49 victory, while digging in on defense and turning the game into trench warfare for the eyes.  They held the Golden Gophers to just 30% from the field, an incredible number from a team that is rapidly establishing itself as an elite defense.  You have to give props to Jim Molinari, Nebraska’s defensive guru.

As it turns out, he isn’t just on the sidelines to look like an Italian Deepak Chopra, he’s brought an already good defending team to an entirely new level.

It was such an ugly game that the highlight of Minnesota’s offensive game was the level of excitement by the 9-year-old girls behind me that they had a dude named “Gaston” on their team (*Author’s note: big ups to Beauty and the Beast for still being relevant in 2015, ya’ll!)

However, I’ve written at length about riding this wave of ugliness and embracing the horror that is Nebraska’s offensive game this year.  When you find yourself mired in the muck you can either have a meltdown and howl in horror at how soiled your laundry has become.  Or you can mud wrestle.  The Huskers are wrestling.  And so far, we’ve gotten a few pins.

There’s nothing new to say here, really.  At this point, there isn’t an offensive Renaissance coming to pull us out the Dark Ages.  We’re going to have to win ugly.  We’re going to have to pull out all the stops, scrap, claw, cling with our fingernails.  We’re going to need Terran to keep firing, even when they don’t drop, and we’re going to need clutch free throw shooting from guys like Benny Parker — who made 6 big FTs down the stretch to help ice the win.

I’d say “something needs to change” but I’m not sure what we can do, really.  Basketball life has given us some lemons but the Nebraska Cornhuskers appear ready to squeeze the hell out of those sour fruits and I, for one, plan on adding that juice into a very strong drink and booing until my throat gives out.