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Saturday, August 29, 2015

Cornhuskers, Football, and Life.

There comes a time in every life when a person has to look at the decisions made, the paths followed. A time when the wealth of deeds needs to be measured, and expectations evaluated. A time when a real man, or woman (having no understanding of women I will leave that to women) will look at his, or her life and understand, almost instinctually if significant progress has been made toward the goals set. Or whether modifications are needed, whether it be to the goals, or to the tactics of life.

Given the state of my life, and my deep, uncompromised loathing for introspection, my mistrust of self examination, and the fact that it is Saturday, the greatest day of the week, the weather is beautiful, and I am feeling very peaceful we are not going to have none of that.

Note my signature finger in the photo!
Instead, we are going to talk about the coming football season, it is Saturday, after all.  I am an unapologetic Nebraska Cornhusker fan. Yes, they have had their troubles lately, and yes they are still in the midst of a rebuilding process that has taken years, and yes the new coaching staff will certainly need time to develop their team. But, I don't care. 

I forgot the finger,
please forgive me.
In the end there has to be something besides winning that drives a fan. You need to feel some kinship with the players, coaches and other fans. Some deep, communal bond that transcends the game. We, my family and I, are big Louisville Cardinal basketball fans (I have been for years, since before Dr. Dunkenstein) and we try to take in a game at the Yum Center in Louisville every year. When you walk around the arena before the game there is a friendly, family reunion feel. People are smiling, and the camaraderie is palpable. It is transcendent, and tonic. And sports needs that.

Of course I want the team to win every game, but, I still wear my Nebraska shirts with pride when they don't. After a loss, when, without fail, someone will ask "what happened?" I will say "they lost." and walk away smiling. These are young men, who work incredibly hard, and are coached by people who have made an obsession of learning the nuances of the sport. And sometimes that is not enough, but it would be a comedy of idiocy were I to try coaching the team, so I don't try to coach, post game. 

When people ask if I am "happy about winning only 8 games a season." I say "I am extremely happy when they win, and less happy when they lose. But, feel comfortable saying it wasn't because they weren't trying."

We have a new coach this year and that is always exciting. We are undefeated so far, and that is great. And, we have a whole season of ups and downs, and the roller coaster ride is what makes it worthwhile, so thank you Mike Riley, thank you Nebraska Cornhuskers, and fans, I am ready.  It will be a great season.