First and foremost, props to Nebraska for the win. Zac Lee made a great throw to Niles Paul in the clutch (either great or lucky..considering when it left his hand it looked like it was going to be 30 yards over his head). The wind really caught it and seemingly placed it where it needed to be. Lucky or skill or otherwise, that was a tough throw, and he should be commended. Also, props to Screech, who is one hell of a punter. I bash on the kid for not kissing a girl etc...but he is a very very good kicker. I think he'll have a long career performing at the level he is currently at. Major props also to Suh for not only a key interception/swat but for not spitting on anyone..although with the amount of rain, it was extremely tough to tell I'm sure.
Anyhow, aside from that...if you're a Husker fan waiting for my "crow sandwich" you'll be dissapointed to get absolutely nothing more from me. I'm not sure if you followed the Twitter updates, but that game was not played in rain. No, regular rain causes things to be slick...rain makes things uncomfortable. That game Thursday was played under not just buckets...but 55 gallon drums of water falling from the sky in ungodly amounts for hours upon hours. Never in my 35+ years ...not on vacation...not in the jungles of Mexico...ANYWHERE have I seen rain fall THAT hard for THAT long. To top it off, the power outage killed any semblance of energy from that stadium. No pre-game intro. No "First down...MIZ....". Nothing.
Yes, both teams play in the rain and both teams have to adjust. But do you think Roy Helu runs for more than 2 yards a carry (up until the last minute of the game) on just a regular wet field? Think a guy 6th in the nation in passing efficiency throws for a few more yards when he's not standing under a fire hose for 3.5 hours? Don't misunderstand...the rain is not the excuse...the excuse is that this rain was a game changer.
Before the game in our section of the stands..while exchanging insults with a portly fella from Grand Island, (and while his buddy who was smoking pot and taking swigs of an Everclear bottle)...we all agreed on one simple thing: It is an absolute shame that a game of that importance is to be decided in those conditions. Rather than breakdown passing and running stats...save your strength and flip a coin to see who has the better defense? Even as Mizzou held a 12-0 lead going into the 4th, I dreaded the fact that even if they were to hang on and win for the 5th time in 7 tries, I'd have to listen to the (correct) assertion that this game was not a true determination of who is the better team..if even for one night. That's not sour grapes...that's not a cop out. That is a fact. It is a shame it was decided that way on such a grand stage.
So when people leave me comments saying, "What do you have to say for your high powered offense now?" I reply by saying you're a complete idiot and God himself could not catch 10 passes thrown directly in the gut in the middle of all that. I will not throw up my arms in despair, just as a Husker fan should not be the least bit swayed about anything else either. I was there. I was in the middle of that for 16 solid hours. Trust me on this. I know what I'm talking about.
Those were once-in-a-lifetime conditions, deciding a game that was completely and totally up for grabs. Nebraska did everything they could to give themselves chances to win...despite the fact that every single intangible worked in their own favor in terms of environment and the fact that no team on earth is more ill prepared for a windless Hurricane than Missouri. Kudos to them. They deserve to celebrate as much as they so desire.
But to answer the questions...no, the Husker hating movement will not suddenly rise from the ashes in wake of an incredible victory fueled by one of the greatest teams in the Nation. This was not some amazing comeback of wills as I've heard it described, nor was it some sort of outstanding display of heart. It was two groups of kids, trying to play a game in weather that was beyond anything you can wrap your corn-mashed liquor soaked brains around. I don't expect Husker fans to crow any softer...especially after beating their "non rival"...but at the same time, I certainly wouldn't put a whole lot of stock in anything you saw either.
Speaking of which...do Husker fans celebrate like that when they beat teams that AREN'T their rival? Granted, I'm glad they hate Mizzou fans, and I like to say I had a part to do with that...but I've NEVER seen Nebraska fans act like that, beating* a team they don't consider themselves at war with. Funny...you sure could have fooled me.
So anyway...props to them regardless. They scored more points. They held onto the ball. They threw their arms up in the air and came up with the ball stuck to their gut better than the other team. For that...congratulations. I hope revenge served wet and cold was everything you ever dreamed.
But if you think I'm going to bow to your good fortune..if you think I'm going to bestow upon you the precious Order you've so valliantly restored, you are indeed dumber than I thought. I will do no such thing. I will do nothing more than acknowledge the win and declare that for one night...when God put everything in play for them...the Huskers took advantage of what they were given.
Luckily, a group of somebodies told me last season that head-to-head games mean absolutely nothing as long as you believe you're a better team later on in the year. I really appreciate that too. I'd almost be a little bit down in the dumps if that wasn't the case.
More on this Monday or Tuesday.
PS - And by the way. If you host an afternoon radio sports talk show in Omaha, and you spent the better part of 3 years ignoring me because I'm "Just a blogger"...and now in the past 3 days chronicle my every single word and move on air and off...you are a lying hypocritical jackass with zero spine and zero journalistic integrity. If you're going to act above the fray...then act above the fray. Don't dive into the pool as soon as the conditions are right for you. That's pretty weak, even for a couple of clowns who make their living agreeing off the idiotic ramblings of others.
If you cared that much..you would have gone toe to toe with me years ago when you had the chance.
Photo Credit - KC Star