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Nebraska Football isn’t Just a Has Been... It’s a Never Was

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And Marching Band Twirlers are Awful

Texas v Nebraska Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images

Let’s see just how many people we can piss off online before Memorial Day... don’t let me down, Big Red Horde!

Every two years I have to suffer one of man’s greatest travails - inter-mingling with a large number of deluded yokels who descend upon my otherwise favorite Saturday football locale. Of course, they always start out by presenting themselves as ordinary, somewhat friendly humble country folk who are just so gosh-darn excited to see their Huskers. Over the course of the game, though, their real character reveals itself - friendliness slowly grinds away as their frustration with the game grows, what started out as half-ass attempts to compliment your program turns into snide comments about your stadium / cheers / traditions, and cheers of “Go Big Red” are rudely chanted as injured players still lay on the field (seriously, shut the fuck up you disrespectful pieces of shit... some of those players never even played again).

No matter what, though, every Nebraska fan has tried so golly hard to share a bit of their excitement for their own program, its history, and its traditions. Well, let me for once and for all share with all of you what most of us in the B1G think about your program’s history and traditions.

  1. We don’t fucking care.
  2. You played in a joke of a conference.
  3. Your traditions suck.

We Don’t Fucking Care

For starters, I’m 43 years old. That makes me just old enough (ed note: definitely old enough... don’t kid yourself, middle-aged man) to actually remember the last time Nebraska was allegedly good. Most of the students / players taking the field this year have no memory of Nebraska winning a conference. They certainly don’t have a memory of Nebraska contending for a national title. In fact, since Nebraska last won their conference...

  • Smart phones were invented.
  • Justin Timberlake was still a part of N’Sync.
  • Troy Aikman was still playing football.
  • Northwestern, Purdue, and Illinois all have conference championships. Even Rutgers and Maryland won a conference championship since then.

For the vast majority of millennial lives, you just haven’t been relevant. In the eyes of today’s youth, Nebraska is kind of the equivalent of an Arizona perhaps, or maybe something like North Carolina in the ACC. You mean nothing to them, today.

For those of us who are older, well, unless you grew up in the vast expanse of the prairie (and judging by population numbers, most of us didn’t), you didn’t give a shit about Nebraska. They were just some school in some forlorn locale that none of us were going to visit by choice. I would dare say that 60%+ of the American population couldn’t find the state of Nebraska on a map, let alone give two rips about the quality of your football team. I can find you on a map, because, fun fact, I once decorated my apartment floor to ceiling in laminated maps, a fact of which I am inordinately proud, and which more or less qualifies me as a bonafide geographer [Author’s Note: Well played edit MNW apparently BRT, well played...]. None of our neighbors went there (why on Earth would you?), you never ran into a colleague or friend who had ties to the school, there wasn’t anything cool or entertaining about the program... you were just there.

But... but... but... you say... National Titles! And Rankings!

We didn’t care. If you lived in B1G or PAC country, you cared about the Rose Bowl. If your team went and won it, you were a legend. Some other team somewhere else in the country supposedly won a title based on AP votes? Who gave a crap. That’s just some team from one of the minor conferences. Besides, what was the big deal about winning national titles? The B1G has 41 of them, including several from programs like Minnesota and Illinois and even two from a school that doesn’t even field a D-1 team any longer. Even then, out of five conference titles claimed by Nebraska, you’ve got at least three B1G teams who also claim a title for that year (and frankly, Michigan was better in ‘97 and I suspect that PSU was better in ‘94). If you wanted to root for some other squad without ties to your state, there were so much more meaningful programs from the ‘80’s and ‘90’s to follow, like Notre Dame, or Miami, or Florida State - programs where people actually live so we got to watch the games. Nebraska was just out of sight, out of mind. You meant nothing... absolutely nothing.

Think I’m wrong? Your best season in the history of your program was over-shadowed the entire year by the emergence of a historical loser in Evanston and the prestige of Ohio State and the drama of losing to Michigan. It was your number one year, and yet you were an afterthought on the national stage to the Buckeyes and the Wildcats. Let’s check out that national coverage...

I guess Nebraska got their cover after their Bowl game... you kinda needed to if you were going to crown somebody champ, but you know... no real reason to cover them before then.

The Joke that was the (not so) Big Eight

I mean, we get it. You lived in the middle of nowhere, and you wanted to play sports. It’s OK. We understand how conferences like the WAC get formed, or the Big Sky, or the Mountain West. It’s not your fault... Kansas is pretty close and so so was Kansas State. Iowa State was maybe a bit further of a bus ride, but you had to include that major media market to boost the overall numbers. When you’re a beggar, you can’t be too choosy about where you end up.

And hey... what a conference it was! There was Oklahoma... and... well... Oklahoma... and then I guess Colorado got good? Wait... who was in this conference again? Kansas, and their .462 winning pct. Got it. Iowa State and their .445. Kansas State and their .442. OK, so 3/8ths of the conference had all-time losing records... and that was even with them being able to play each other. That was three of your seven conference games each and every year. You must be so proud. Oh well, you had to play the other tough teams... like... Oklahoma? It really all just comes down to Oklahoma, doesn’t it? Well, you sure showed them... 38 times versus your 45 losses... with 17 of those wins (and three losses) prior to WWII... and an 8-17 record when you are both ranked (5-13 when both in the top 10). I mean... you had one team to beat in most years... exactly one team. It’s like the Big 2 Little Eight era, only instead of just the 1970’s, it was the vast bulk of your conference history. And yet, you came out on the bottom of that matchup over... and over... and over again.

Well, so what... you crushed it in Bowl games to prove your dominance, right? Well I guess at 26-27 (really just 16-18 as member of the Big Eight). I mean, that’s really crushing it... totally justifying all those tough wins over... Kansas... Iowa State. But, but... they were hard Bowls! Sure... and you lost them. Sometimes by scores like 41-17 (1990 to FSU), or 45-21 (1991 to Georgia Tech), but your program has a ton of victories over LSU in the Sugar Bowl, and that’s something to be proud of! It’s OK, Michigan is a vastly overrated team in their Bowl games every year as well, and they seem to be doing a good job of losing them.

Besides, what does winning your Bowl Game really make you as a member of the Big Eight? Boise State. UCF. TCU in their Mountain West days. I mean, congratulations... you slept walked through your cake schedule, then you got two months to prepare for your big game, and a few times you were even able to pull out of that Big game victorious. Whoop-de-do, I guess. That’s pretty much the equivalent of UCF’s banner a few years ago.

So let’s talk about how well you’ve done since you joined a real conference (well, at one time, anyway) in the Big 12. 1997 was fun. I mean, you weren’t as good as Michigan, but I guess it was fun (and isn’t it amazing that your best season in the conference just happened to skip both Texas and Texas A&M during the regular season... what a coincidence - no, I don’t care what the score was in the championship game). Since then? Oh, are you trying to tell me that things get harder when you suddenly not only have to beat Oklahoma, but you have to beat Texas and Texas A&M? You mean adding quality competition makes a difference? But... but... but... we were good, and we only lost one or two games. Yeah, that’s what a real conference is. Hey, you were a beautiful Nebraska 10, all the guys were asking you out and laughing at your jokes. But, you know, a Nebraska 10 is about a Texas 4, so you got to spend most of your years looking longingly at Mack Brown’s Longhorns. That 1-9 record vs. the Burnt Orange in the Big 12 is something sure to be proud of (at least you have 1999’s title game).

Oh, and the Big Ten was going to be a cake walk... you were going to sure show all those big name programs what Nebraska was all about. So, here we are, years later, and Nebraska is 4-13 vs. Michigan, Wisconsin, and OSU (ironically with Wiscy being the main contributor to that lopsided total - I think they just scored again). It’s OK, because the Huskers are .500 against Northwestern and 3-5 against Iowa. That 3-1 record vs. Penn State is looking good, though. Amazing what happens when multiple quality teams are on your schedule.

Your Traditions Suck

Why spend a whole lot of time on this...

  • I can’t figure out what your actual fight song is, let alone hum a bar or two.
  • Your colors are red and white. As boring as boring could be.
  • Black shirts. OK. You realize that this is also a reference to fascism in Italy, right? No? All right, we’ll give you the benefit of the doubt. So, they uh, they gave out pullovers at some point in the ‘60’s because you were on Defense. This is exciting because..... ????
  • Cornhuskers. I mean, my goodness, what an inspiring image that draws fear into the heart of your opponent. Bugeaters... that would have at least been unique (and probably accurate for many of your fans - I know, I know... it’s based on a bat, which would have been cool). Some stuff like Tree-Planters or Rattlesnake Boys could have been interesting, but no, you had to pick the most milquetoast of all the options.
  • You play with balloons. And then kill thousands of birds because of your selfish behavior.
  • When I finally break and start my long-planned murderous rampage, I will be muttering to myself quietly (go big red... go big red...).
  • You did this...
Texas Longhorns v Nebraska Cornhuskers
May God have mercy on your soul.
Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images

You’re Nothing Special

You’re just some team who we didn’t think would be a total screw-up that added a bit more competition to the conference. You’re just the same as Illinois, or Purdue, or Minnesota... OK, with a bit more fan dedication but nothing beyond that. You’re just another team to beat in the West. That’s all. Beating you is no real reason to get too excited. You don’t have some 100-year tradition that we’re in awe of. Hell, you don’t even have some 20-year tradition that we want to be part of (i.e. “Jump Around”). We’ve got those kinds of teams in the conference, and you’re not it... you’re pretty much the generic newbie.

So, the next time you come out and experience our fair urban environment, sometime between chanting “Go Big Red!” to ask for a hot dog and “Go Big Red!” because our Linebacker just broke his leg, at least have the courtesy to realize that all you are to us is the dude who is getting on our nerves and we wish hadn’t come out. We’re just there to see what our team can do to your boring, insignificant program and hoping it takes us one step closer to a good Bowl game, or a division title. We’ll save our excitement for the real powers in the conference.

Poll

Nebraska Football

This poll is closed

  • 8%
    I’m a Twirler, and I’m offended
    (23 votes)
  • 33%
    Couldn’t we have added Missouri, instead?
    (87 votes)
  • 23%
    At least it’s one more guaranteed win on the path to a conference championship
    (61 votes)
  • 25%
    Lil’ Red is commanding me to murder somebody
    (67 votes)
  • 9%
    I just signed in today to give you all sorts of nasty comments... I saw the link at HuskerMax.com
    (25 votes)
263 votes total Vote Now