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Friday, September 21, 2007

The Tunnel Walk: Ball State

Welcome to the Week Four edition of The Tunnel Walk. Contained herein, there will be no more than three paragraphs devoted to TJ Simers, but there will be several mentions of last week, where the Nebraska Cornhuskers did not allow themselves to slip into mediocrity. Actually, not much more needs to be said.
Your mainstream news sources have been all over it. Unsportsmanlike Conduct, Matt Perrault, Tom Shatel, Lee Barfknecht (note, we have no idea if we spelled his name correctly, and we refuse to check. This guy needs a stage name. Leave an idea in the comments section or else The Barfman wins) and others have basically said what needs to be said about the unacceptable home loss to the Trojans. We will put it at succinctly as possible: the Huskers are not back, but:

Thankfully, an emphatic beatdown will happen Saturday:
Ball State is not going to win in Lincoln. That’s not to say they are a bad team. Presumably, they have a solid quarterback, a good tight end, and an NFL level punter who will hopefully be on the field a lot. We wouldn’t be surprised to see them hang with the Big Red for at least the first quarter, and possibly the first half. We will get to the predictions later, but we don’t think we’re sparing you any drama down the road by saying the Skers will fucking beat Testicle Tech.

"Practice in game-like conditions? Who wants to do that?"

This week came the revelation that our Huskers have not practiced in full pads since training camp.

When you put on full pads, you get a little bit more cutting, a little bit more lower body work, but when you're in half pads, you can get just as much done. Every pro team in the NFL practices in half a pack. - Bill Callahan

"When you put on full pads, you get a little more cutting, a little bit more lower body work..." Um, and hitting, and having to put moves on people, and blocking, and practicing AS THOUGH IT WERE A GAME!

Jesus jumpin' Jahova Christ, are you serious, Bill? We are about to play the most physically imposing team in the country--not to mention fastest--and you don't practice in a game-situation scrimmage? Not once? Not even for, like, 15 minutes?

We will tell you that--while we never played college football--going "half pack" (aside: Tunnel Walk thinks it is safe to say that Callahan is a robot, right? A football jargon spitting robot programmed to show little emotion and answer questions in ways humans never would?) absolutely DOES NOT get as much done as going full pads. When a coach says to you "shoulder pads and helmets today," your brain says "hell yeah, easy practice today!" Period. And speaking to a former Husker, he was STUNNED to hear this story. He said they would go balls out 2 or 3 times a week.

We don't know. We guess reading quotes like this makes everyone in the state of Nebraska say in unison "IT'S NOT AN NFL TEAM, BILL!"

Voices From The Grandstand

One of our favorite features in the OWH Sports section. Letters to the (sports) editor! You can go here to read them, but to save you time, we will give you two examples of the typical VFTG letter:

"Sure, we got throttled at home by USC. The holes their running backs could run through were a bit problematic. Watching our guys on defense play like they are a high school football team is slightly off-putting. But the only thing here to be embarrassed by is our so-called 'fans.' Who do they think they are to publicly criticize them? They're just kids! If you have to criticize our players and our wonderful robot coaches, you should just keep it to yourself. Or do it very quitely and rationally at home, after the kids go to bed, after they have done their class reading, finished eating their roast and apple pie, around 7:30 pm." - Dawn Pavelka, Ashland

"ARRRRRRGGGGGGGG!! Thanks a lot, Steve Pederson! I thought we were going to win at least one National Championship a year with this new coaching staff! Now just another team! Pederson, Callahan, Cosgrove, and Harvy Perlman [sic] need to be fired now!" - Biff Pitner, Cozad

Coach, can I play?
If anyone knows what the hell is going on at running back, we’re all ears. Quentin Castille plays against Nevada, looks good, and…we don’t even know if he’s on the team anymore.
Cody Glenn must love Lazlo’s or something, because if we were him we would have transferred. He has been Glenned (this is now the official term for when a guy plays a lot one week, then doesn’t play at all, then plays a lot, then doesn’t play, etc.) more than anyone in the history of football. We know that injuries have played a role in all of this, but Callahan has been shuffling his PT more than the 85 Bears.
Even Five Star Marlon got Glenned last year a few times. Brandon Jackson was Glenned before getting un-Glenned midway through the season and parlaying his new Glennfreeness into 2nd Round NFL money.

Against Ball State, we would expect to see a lot of either Glenn or Castille, but one of them will undoubtedly get Glenned. That’s just the way things are done, apparently. The Tunnel Walk would like to see more consistency in this regard.

Top 5 Tailgating Activities (note: drinking is not an activity, it’s a given)

1. Ladder golf (aka: horseballs)
2. Bags
3. Washers
4. Beer bongs (still drinking, but a rarified, hardcore form of it)
5. The game with the Frisbee, the beer bottles, and the PVC pipes and the title includes the word “horseshoes” along with a word for a person who would live in a Communist Asian country that happens to be the world’s most populous and is known for Yao Ming, beef with broccoli, and fireworks.

TJ Simers Recap
After putting the whole experience with TJ Simers in perspective, we can safely say that although we find him irritating, we don’t think that our state is any worse off than before. Nebraskans seem to have a self esteem problem that people on the coasts (or even Colorado) do not. For instance, if Shatel dedicated six columns to making fun of people in Los Angeles, do we think they’d really care?

The Tunnel Walk thinks that they would not even notice. Simers preys on our insular nature and thin skin in order to churn out effortless columns that garner chuckles from the intended target audience. The ease in which we allow it is staggering. His columns are bullshit, but let’s face it: the only ones reading them are: a. Nebraskans, and b. people in SoCal that we will never meet.

While we do not think that making fun of an entire state constitutes good journalism, we also understand the need for a columnist to have free material fed to him by the same people he was making fun of time after time. With each angry email, the more material he got. We just picture his pompous, douche-baggedy smirk and hear him cackling with delight at each time someone from Franklin flooded his email with expletive-laden anger.

Hello, wheelhouse. Goodbye, TJ Simers, from The Tunnel Walk. You won’t be missed.

Top 5 Things The Blackshirts Work On In Practice (Other than tackling):

1. Coach Coz staring blankly at notebook, trying to figure out how to give up 27.1 points per game.
2. D-Line tries "cut and run" technique, as suggested by special instructor Ron Paul (JOIN THE RON PAUL REVOLUTION!).
3. McKeown brushing up on his stand-up, with help from Carrot Top.
4. Placing recruiting "stars" on felt board.
5. Reach-arounds!

A New Gameday Song

Moe's "Nebraska" has been a Tunnel Walk favorite for years, and continues to be. That said, we were very excited to hear a new track that we can add to the tailgate playlist: "The Good Life," by Kanye West. The song is HOT, and, well, it's called "The Good Life." It is also pretty easy to substitute the cities 'Ye shouts out in the song with towns in Nebraska: "The good life / It feel like Atlanta / It feel like Melbeta / It feel like N.P. / Summertime G.I. / Ahhhhh...now throw your hands in the sky!"

Danny Woodhead Update

We know he doesn't play for Nebraska, but SHOULD BE. The Fightin' Eagles of Chadron State were off last week, but the week before they destroyed Northern Colorado and that sorry excuse for a recruiting coordinator Scott Downing, who predictably passed on Woodhead while he was still at Nebraska. So, we'll take from the Voice From The Grandstands again, care of Dr. Jaime Dodge from Alliance, NE:

"I enjoyed thoroughly watching Chadron State and Danny Woodhead thrash Scott Downing and ...Northern Colorado in Greeley on Sept 8. As the...Eagles pulled their starters in the third quarter of the 31-0 shutout, I couldn't help but wonder a few things. Does...Scott Downing, who made recent remarks disparaging Woodhead in the New York times, still not regret failing to recruit the soon-to-be all-time NCAA rusher to NU four years ago? ...why was Santino Panico recruited instead of Woodhead (Tunnel Walk: WOW, that is a great point, Dr. Dodge! Zing!)? ...we may never know the answers, or how Woodhead stacks up against 'superior' competition, at least until next fall when he, unlike Downing, will get his shot in the NFL."

Tunnel Walk could not have said it better. And by the way, Danny only gained 280 all-purpose yards and 3 TD's. Over the course of 3 quarters. Nice game plan Downing, you douche.

Behave Yourself
While this is a painful subject, let’s face it: The Skers have had some shitty losses (70-10 still hurts like a bastard). The Tunnel Walk suggests the USC game serve as a sounding bell on what constitutes acceptable behavior during an awful loss. Thus, we offer a guide:

Acceptable: Slamming fist on table
Unacceptable: Doing so with such force as to spill everyone’s beer

Acceptable: Doing ‘punishment shots’ to get blackout drunk and feel better.
Unacceptable: Ordering whiskey or any other booze known to make people violent for this shot.

Acceptable: Punching wall or door.
Unacceptable: Punching window, spouse, kid, dog, relative, friend.

Acceptable: Throwing light object at TV, throwing up, dwarf tossing.
Unacceptable: Throwing glass mug across the bar. Also, throwing people only acceptable if there is a big window to throw them through.

Acceptable: Yelling the word “fuck” in any context at a bar or your own house.
Unacceptable: Yelling the same word at pastor’s or grandma’s house, unless drinking is going on at either place.

Acceptable: Turning to another game when a. the Skers are in the 4th quarter and down by more than 28 pts and b. the other game is either a Big 12 game, a major upset in the making, or a contest featuring two ranked teams.
Unacceptable: Turning the channel to watch something other than football, you whipped son of a bitch.

Acceptable: Cracking jokes at the teams misfortunes, bitching about coaching.
Unacceptable: Allowing non-fans to do the same.

Acceptable: Making fun or bitching about Jim Rose at any time, ever.
Unacceptable: Not listening to some sort of Husker postgame show, no matter how bad the loss, on your way back home from anywhere west of Seward or east of Waverly.

Pay-Per-View my balls, Steve Pederson
At this point, the Iowa State game is not televised. At all. No regular TV, no Pay-Per-View, no nothing. Ball State is on Pay-Per-View, and we are going to beat this team. How this could happen when the Huskers have their own TV network is beyond The Tunnel Walk. Get the game on TV, suckas! Christ almighty, it’s 2007. Travis Justice speculated, and The Tunnel Walk agrees, that this is a ploy to get the radio broadcast’s shitty ratings up.
We have a better idea to boost ratings over at Pinnacle: get rid of fucking Jim Rose.

Locks of the week:
Iowa (+8) over WISCONSIN
Penn State (-3) over MICHIGAN
MINNESOTA (+14) over Purdue
Georgia (+3.5) over ALABAMA

Half-assed Prediction time
As mentioned before, Nebraska is beating Ball State. What they are not doing is covering the 22.5 point spread, in our eyes. Caveat emptor, deadbeat Nebraska bettors.

Nebraska 35, Ball State 20

The Tunnel Walk wishes the best to all readers watching the game in Lincoln or on Pay-Per-View.

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Scott Downing feels like he got stabbed in the leg by his backup punter.

(I'll be here all night)
I just noticed this awesome tidbit on omaha.com.

Busch downplayed the significance of a fiery halftime speech to motivate the team. He said emotion generated from a speech at halftime usually lasts only until a team leaves the locker room.

"How do you have a motivated team?" he asked. "Recruit motivated players."

I guess we don't motivate players or recruit motivated players with that statement. Kind of ironic considering our safties haven't made an impact since he's been the coach.
2,094 words on a NE vs Ball State game. Good Christ when did Bill Simmons start writing for Heavysoul. I have not read a word, but I do plan on printing it off and reading it in the crapper first thing tomorrow. Sounds like Iowa is treating GA and Pete well.
Can you publish the lyrics to 'Dear Old Nebraska U' in next week's installment and ask that fans learn them as a public service to the school. I'm sick of getting ridiculed by other fans for us not knowing our own fight song.

Additionally, we could learn alot from its lyrics. "...we'll stick together in all kinds of weather for Dear Old Nebraska U!"

Because really, what are you going to do, become a Prairiewolves fan?
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