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Sunday, September 23, 2018

Go Big Red, Hope Springs Eternal

I have worn glasses for over twenty years. Often I neglect cleaning them for long stretches. So everything looks a little fuzzy, out of focus. Things seem a little softer, more acceptable. It can give me the power of a regenerative shortsightedness that most of humanity doesn’t understand. It is the only way I can be a sports fan. 

Most people complain, bitterly, about the weaknesses of their teams. I have a friend, an Ohio State fan, and he was worried about the Tulane game. I said, “Don’t worry, it’s only Tulane.”

“Our offense is doing well, but our defense is struggling.” His reason for concern.

“You could let your offense play defense and still be ok. It’s only Tulane.” I said. I’ m not sure what the final score was, but it was probably pretty lopsided.

It has become almost fashionable to nitpick a team, find problems,  carp endlessly about deficiencies. “They are weak against the deep pass,” They can’t cover the short routes,” “They can’t run between the tackles.” “They couldn’t find their a$$ with both hands and a roadmap.”

Well, this year my team is 0 and 3, and if you were historically inclined enough to look back to last season the numbers get even worse. I don’t like to think back that far if it is going to make things look worse. But, plenty of people are willing to look backward, people with newpaper and internet columns, people in front of television cameras, people who have nothing better to do than tell me how bad things really are.

I just put on my glasses, tinged with the careful accumulation of optimism, a glaze of hopeful expectation, a cautionary filter of pain reducing film, and think, “Well, we got beat pretty bad yesterday, but we could still win the Big Ten. We just have to win the Western Division, win the Conference Championship game, It’s our for the taking.” And my coffee tastes a little better, richer, smoother. 

Of course, I don’t say any of this too loud, or the hostility would become deafening. “We can’t run and we can’t pass, block, or tackle, kick, cover kicks, or call plays. All is lost.” 

And, maybe so. But, from where my view things are looking up. We are starting a new season next weekend, the Big Ten West season, and we haven’t lost a Big Ten West game yet, that’s right we are undefeated in the Big Ten West. Oh, the possibilities, the potential. Not only football, though. The Volleyball team is racking up wins so quickly, so adorably, hugs and smiles, and “kills” for everyone. Basketball season is coming quickly and I am predicting a national championship for the group who is still probably a little angry about being cheated out of the tournament last year.

It is a good time to be a Husker, I just need to keep my glasses away from my wife, she loves nothing better than cleaning away all then rosy cheer I have so carefully applied. 

Oh, and don’t forget to visit my monthly column on the Wild Word, Head Above Water, and vote for your favorite song, at least your favorite song from a list of songs I have so carefully provided. Last month’s winner was Goodbye to You by Scandal. I will listen to it everyday on my way to work, you can decide who has a starring role next month. 


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