Thursday, September 27, 2007
The Tunnel Walk: Iowa State
But mainly we are merely trying to get over last week, as it seems most fans are. Our lasting concern does not lie with the fans or the players, but rather with the coaches, who are not acting with any urgency whatsoever after the loss. Are they remaining calm in the face of stormy weather, or are they simply oblivious? Something tells us a dismantling of the Cyclones will go a long way in answering that question.
The Tunnel Walk was concerned last week after, well, The Tunnel Walk. There was no real emotion on the sidelines or the stands. The Huskers need to stop making excuses and start playing with some urgency. The opponents do not get much easier. The Tunnel Walk feels that the players need to bring back the classic dogpile to start the game, now curiously absent from the pregame pomp. The Tunnel Walk will now turn briefly schizophrenic in order to discuss last weekend's ramifications:
POINT: How long until the debut of Callahan’s autobiography, “Our Goals are Still Intact”?
The Tunnel Walk feels that the subjective nature of college football is exaggerated. If you are in a BCS conference and you win all of your games, you are most likely going to play for the final prize on the week after New Year’s Day bowl game of the year. Very few teams make it through the entire year without a scare, and teams that merely win their games do not suffer in the long run. A high-profile program such as Nebraska would not be the exception to this rule.
Are we happy that Ball State should have beaten us at home? No. But at the end of the season, our record will not reflect anything but a win. The loss cost us a few spots in the polls, but these are relatively insignificant on the heels of the loss to USC, which cost us considerably more. Even the voters grasp that wins against mediocre teams are more valuable than losses to the best teams.
Bill Callahan’s NFL background has been spoken of to no end, but his philosophy of getting victories, no matter how grotesque, is not as blasphemous as most would have you believe. While this may not be true for certain coordinators from who sport awful glasses on the sidelines, a head coach is mostly judged by his record. Ball State counts as a win.
The Huskers, at this point, SHOULD celebrate every win, because frankly, they are not coming as easily as they used to. Our goals are still intact.
COUNTERPOINT: Is a win really a win? No, Goddamn It, And Quit Whining.
Are we in fucking Kindergarten here? "It doesn't matter who wins or loses, it's how you play the game." That is the mantra for losers.
As Christian Peter would tell you, "this is Nebraska." And he's right, damn it. You've got 85,000 fans, playing Ball fucking State, and you give up 600 yards of offense? How, on any level imaginable, is this acceptable?
And don't think Husker fans are the only people noticing--the national media is, too. In today's Seattle Times, the college football notes article has a headline of "Cornhuskers Hear Catcalls." The first sentence of the article says "The Nebraska Cornhuskers are feeling unloved," then follows with this Corey McKeon quote:
"This is the first time in my career that we haven't had the support," senior linebacker Corey McKeon said Tuesday. "It's hard enough to win ball games in today's college football."
Tunnel Walk wants to know this: would ANY player from the Devaney/Osborne/Solich era EVER think of uttering a quote like this? No. NO! You know why? Because they weren't pussies. They didn't blame the fans, they didn't blame the other team's offensive game plan, they'd blame themselves for making Nebraska look bad. Those guys had so much Nebraska Pride that they shitted it after a trip to the training table.
These guys we have now? They say things like "I don't care if we would have given up 1,200 yards to [Ball State], because we won." That's great, Cory. Way to care about what you do.
A game like that--and quotes like that following said game--allow one ringing adjective to shine through to anyone paying attention: soft. The Huskers--especially on defense--are incredibly soft. There is no fire, no passion, no pride, no...nothing. And, season by season under the leadership of Cosgrove and Callahan, Nebraska loses any kind of traditional intimidation and luster they have ever had. And the Ball State game was the crown jewel.
So, there you have it. A win is a win...except when you give up 600 yards to a team from the arguably worst football conference in America, who hasn't had a winning season since 1996, and you're AT HOME DOING IT!
After racing home from the debacle that was the David Letterman U. game at halftime, we headed down to Beer and Loathing in Dundee to catch the second half (don't ask why The Tunnel Walk left the game early...long story). Between the drive and the stress-induced headache from our defensive play and listening to Jim Rome for 40 minutes, Tunnel Walk needed a release. This came in two forms:
1. Busch Light.
For the uninitiated, Bags is a video game in the same mold as Golden Tee and Silver Strike Bowling, only the game is...Bags. As in the game of Bags (or, as we prefer it, Cornhole), only a video game version. We can already hear what you're thinking, dear reader--Tunnel Walk is funny AND clairvoyant!--"isn't Cornhole like, the easiest and laziest of all tailgate games? How can you turn that into a video game?" Well, we don't know who was the visionary that came up with the concept, nor the executive that was ballsy enough to sign off on the production of it, but they were right. It's as simple as picking your type of shot, the degree of the angle you want to throw it, bring the track ball back then roll it forward...BOOM! Three points.
Tunnel Walk could not recommend it enough, and is strongly considering putting down the $5K for our own.
Help wanted: Linebackers with souls, spines
It’s hard for The Tunnel Walk to decide which linebacker we are more disappointed in: Corey McKeon or Steve Octavien. Octavien has been the better player but apparently doesn’t care if fans come to the game or not, which he later, and rightfully, retracted, while McKeon has been a six year old on the field and a three year old off of it.
The Tunnel Walk acknowledges that these are amateur athletes, but also acknowledges that these amateurs want all of the perks of glory (which include, off the top of our head: ass, free drinks, free school, people who are in the program to literally make sure you stay academically eligible, and having an NCAA 2008 character that was built into the game, not added later-The Tunnel Walk incarnated itself as one excellent option quarterback) but when things are going poorly (see Ball State) want none of the criticism.
We feel that these guys both need to focus less on their feelings and more on tackling, then the applause will come. Nebraskans are a forgiving lot who will forget about last week if havoc is raised on Iowa State this week. On a somewhat related note, we are excited for the Phillip Dillard experience.
A Forgotten Era
The Tunnel Walk went to Amigos on 14th for pre-game breakfast before Ball State, and promptly had about 10 oz of ranch--and some tacos, too. This reminded the Tunnel Walk of those magical years where soft tacos and crisp meats were sold in Memorial Stadium. In honor of the turn-back-the-clock theme that is brought up approximately twice this week, The Tunnel Walk suggests Amigos be sold at Memorial Stadium again. If they are going to make us listen to the game on the fucking radio, it's a small bone to throw.
The Sandman Is Back, and Boy, Does He Sound Pissed
Speaking of recommendations, The Tunnel Walk could not possibly recommend Broderick Thomas' 22 minute rant on Unsportsmanlike Conduct on Wednesday enough. So stop what you're doing and click here. Then find "Sept. 26 Seg 4: Kevin and Mike'l With Broderick Thomas." Don't let the picture fool you: he's not a happy man. And if we were Steve Pederson, we would watch my back, because The Sandman is coming to put him to sleep!
We would also recommend listening to the segment before that one, titled "Sept. 26th Seg 2&3: Kevin and Mike'l's Blackshirt Roundtable." It is also really good, featuring a panel of Mike Minter, Christian Peter, Steve Warren, and Jerry Murtaugh. The highlight: when asked of Carrot Top McKeown's comments about the team not being excited and fired up at Tuesday's press conference, he said "you know what, he needs to walk off the team. We don't need guys like that on the team...honestly, I don't feel like talking about it. It's a disgrace. Playing against a Division III team giving up 40 points? Don't you guys have any pride?" You can't buy soundbites that good, friends.
Haven't I Seen You Before?
Enough about last week--to the task at hand, being Iowa State. Again.
Why do we say "again?" Because Tunnel Walk swears to Christ these guys have been around since we were in college. Todd Blythe? Really? We're pretty sure this guy is 28 now. Alvin Bowen? We would hope you could lead the nation in tackles per game when you've got 5 years on everyone else on the field.
*Side note: Look at ISU's depth chart here. It is awesome, because it has little tidbits on some of the players, like how G Tom Schmeling's "Related to German boxer Max Schmeling." Or Deep Snapper Matt Purvis, who "started deep snapping in back yard at age eight." What?? Come on...we could not make up comedy like this.*
So this got us thinking: who else feels like they've been around for freaking ever? The list:
Speaking of Todd Blythe...
Top 5 Best Nebraska Receivers Since 1990 (White):
1. Tom Beveredge
2. Jack O'Holleran
3. Todd Peterson (you can't really be surprised by this pick, can you? It's Tunnel Walk's cousin!)
4. Matt Herian (um, well, before the whole...leg thing. And yes, we know he's a tight end.)
5. Eric Crouch
What are the Fucking Odds (WATFO)?
It was brought to our attention as early as Wednesday that Ball State’s next opponent is…Buffalo. While The Tunnel Walk has no clue how the hell this happened, we nonetheless thank the football gods. Not the Buffalo Bills, who would lose to Ball State, but the Buffalo Braves and their head coach Turner Gill. Although Buffalo is not expected to win, all hell would break lose if they do, which would please The Tunnel Walk to no end.
What we do know is that Husker fans pay attention to this kind of thing, and if that score is any better than 41-40, shit will hit fans from Chadron to Rulo. Stay tuned.
In Defense Of...Halftime Beers
It's a question that Tunnel Walk finds itself asked every home game Saturday: "you wanna meet up at halftime?"
There's usually no debate here, our answer always being "Where?" and all (and yes, we're aware that we sometimes answer questions with another question, and that can be really annoying). But it is a debate for Husker fans. "Do we want to go get a beer at halftime?" It's a question that is wrestled with by roughly 70,000 people eight or nine times a year. Well, Tunnel Walk is here to help you process the decision with a little section we like to call:
"Why You Absolutely Should Get Beers At Halftime"
First, we have to establish two constants:
1. Beer is awesome.
2. Husker fans are awesome.
Now that that's established, it is actually quite easy to find a logical path to Barry's or Cliff's or your tailgate at half:
1. You are a Husker fan.
2. Husker fans are awesome, and do awesome things.
3. Beer is awesome.
Therefore, you, in order to be awesome (because you're a Husker fan), it is your duty to find something awesome to do to maintain your rep. Drinking beer fits this category.Thus, halftime beers it is.
Counterpoint: Halftime is not long enough to add to your drunkeness, but the rest of the night is
Halftime beers are either stupid or a myth, but they are not a good idea. By the time you get the hell out of the stadium and get to a place with beer, it's time to go back. Basically, you go to the parking lot or Cliffs, slam whatever is handed to you, and then a decision has to be made. Does our hero:
a. Make the trek back to your assigned seat in Memorial Stadium and brace for headache that comes from slamming one or two drinks after two hours since pregame drinking, or
b. Stay at the bar and start slow, yet enjoyable, progress towards an awful Sunday morning?
So this "halftime beers" we speak of is not a reality. If you return to the game, you are most likely missing most of the third quarter and therefore these beers have become "halftime and third quarter" beers. Which will not be enough to get you drunk and ultimately lead to an awful second half of football with the onset of a hangover. And if you do not return to the game, you made the decision to watch one half of football and go get wasted.
And The Tunnel Walk is fine with that. It's your ticket, your money, and your liver. Just don't blame halftime beers, you knew what you were getting into, you drunk asshole.
Fire up the Victrola
2007. Wanted to make sure that everyone, including Steve Pederson, knew what year it is. So why are we unable to watch this week's game game on television, an invention that has been prevalent for more than 50 years?
Philo Farnsworth, who is credited with inventing the first electronic television in 1927, would be ashamed at the state of Nebraska for not pulling the trigger on a TV broadcast. HuskerVision is essentially its own TV network and, as evidenced in past seasons, fully capable of broadcasting a game on its own for Pay Per View.
The Tunnel Walk feels that more views would have been willing to shell out for Iowa State as opposed to Ball State, so financial excuses be damned. If this is a conspiracy to get people to listen to the radio broadcast, then they win, but begrudgingly so.
After all, Jim Rose will be acting as our eyes, although we'd prefer Ray Charles. We know he's dead, but The Tunnel Walk stands by our choice.
Top 5 Ways to Kill Time while Listening to Game on Radio
1. Operate combine during corn harvest
2. Take a bath
3. If taking a bath and game or Jim Rose invokes suicidal rage, place radio in tub beside you
4. Eat something with Dorothy Lynch on it
5. Formulate answers for "guess the coachspeak cliche" before postgame press conference
Do not attend a Nebraska game if:
...you are wearing a shirt with a Confederate flag on it, and not named Larry The Cable Guy. Actually he should lose it as well.
Locks of the Week (Year to date: 4-1)
WISCONSIN (-7.5) over Mich St
Colorado St (+10) over TCU
Air Force (+2.5) over NAVY
TEXAS A&M (-16.5) over Baylor
Half-assed prediction time
To us, this looks like a pretty good game to get some mojo back. If this team doesn't fire it up now, it's not going to happen this season. They've been hearing about how terrible they are all week, and if there is ever a time to get angry, it's probably now. The coaches do not sound angry enough, which is of some concern.
That said, The Tunnel Walk is taking an optimistic turn for the prediction. Iowa State is fucking horrible, and we don't need a defense to destroy them. I predict they get one or two big plays, but other than that, it's all Skers, all the time. Nebraska wins and covers the spread.
Nebraska 49, Iowa State, 20
Tune in next week when hopefully the North championship is still an option.
From The Tunnel Walk, Hail Varsity.
Actually, funny story. I saw it at a specialty market a few months ago and it was on the shelf with all of the gourmet salad dressings, and they were selling it for double what you buy it for in Nebrsaka.
One other thing i just can't not type about is your comment about how you hope Buffalo keeps it close....why would that humor anyone and how would that be good for our program. I really don't understand why that would humor you at all but my guess is that you think it would be some slap on BC and SP face's or something. PLEASE TELL ME THAT YOU ARE NOT ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE THAT STILL THINK WE WOULD BE BETTER OFF WITH TURNER OR FRANK AS THE HEAD COACH HERE!!!!!!!!!! Don't make me go another rant about how much i loathe frankie and the old offensive staff. Without Crouch (whom he didn't exactly have to win a recruiting battle over) Frank's record may very well be equally as bad if not worse than Cally's right now. Im foaming at the mouth right now, got to quit typing.
As far as the Buffalo game goes, first of all, this is supposed to be funny. Second of all, what we wrote is fact: if Turner Gill were to beat Ball State, there will be a uproar in this state. People would FREAK out, and we find this thought of people hyperventalating about "we never should have let Turner go!" humorous.
It's Friday--lighten up, buddy!
*Note: It is really unfortunate that we could not keep Turner around.
WHOA! I just peed myself.
On the ISU game, what does the Tunnel Walk feel are the keys to an NU blowout? And how will Keller fare in his first test against the stupid Nebraska wind?
The other key is Iowa State. They are really bad at football.
The Tunnel Walk is currently available in print at Beer and Loathing, The Dundee Dell, and Barrett's, I think.
And Tunnel Walk was too caught up in celebrating THE CHICAGO CUBS 2007 CENTRAL DIVISION CHAMPIOSHIP to remember to grab the extras out of its car at Barretts.
College Term Paper
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