Monday, April 19, 2010

Spring Game Thoughts

Where Would You Rather Be On A Day Like Today?-Me
On The Golf Course-The Contessa

It takes about an hour in perfect driving to conditions to get from Omaha to Memorial Stadium in Lincoln but only a total fucking moron would only give themselves an hour to make the drive on a game day. but if there is one thing we have learned from The Teabagger movement and the successes of the Nancy Grace and Judge Judy TV shows it's that the world is full of total fucking morons. Which leads me to my opening bitch. If your ticket says 1O'Clock that means to be at the stadium by fucking 1 O'clock not come anytime after 1 O'clock. We left at 10 and even that I feared would make us too late to do much more than take in the game. But as luck would have it we got parked and got to take in the stadium shop and some of the outside pageantry and still got to our seats a good 70 minutes before kickoff. Now I am not saying get to your seats 70 minutes a head of time (Though really who are you hurting if you do?) But I am saying showing up midway through the 1st Quarter and then complaining that your 9 months pregnant ass can't get by makes you look like a fucking moron and an literate one at that. This is actually a good life lesson. If you have a meeting at 1 get to that meeting before 1. if you have a job interview at 1. get there before 1. If your ticket says 1 have your ass in the seat before 1. It doesn't mean show up at the start of the second quarter then bitch you can't get through. I spent much of the first quarter getting up and moving constantly to help get illiterate jackasses to their seats. Several of whom made me move to get to seats that were much closer to another entrance. have your ass in the Goddamn seat at the time written on your ticket. And if you graduated from Creighton and can't read it find somebody to read it to you.

Alabama had close to 92,000 people at their spring game and I have to tell you that is impressive Texas had 10,000 people at theirs and Colorado had 5 people who got drunk and wandered into the stadium by complete mistake. Still Alabama's spring game is free admission to the public which means while their attendance to a scrimmage was impressive it's a little less impressive. Nebraska had 77,800 at theirs and we paid for the privilege of seeing a scrimmage. We only paid $10 a ticket ($15 with all the taxes and fees. Where for art thou tea-baggers?) but we still paid And you wonder why Nebraska schedules South Dakota State? There are several reasons for this phenomenon of seeing a football team play oneself. 1 a snarky response what the hell is there to do in Nebraska? Another a practical one. If you have 2 or 3 kids and a wife You are looking at about $200-$300 just in tickets depending on the opponent. At $10 it's a lot easier on the budget to take the kids and have them experience the atmosphere of a gameday at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln Nebraska. And the atmosphere on spring game day is really not unlike that of a real gameday in Lincoln except maybe even a bit more kid friendly. Before the game started they asked that we not throw anything at the officials or make unsportsmanlike comments towards them. As I said at the time anybody who would throw objects at officials during a spring game shouldn't be let out in public anyway.

Now before I began to talk about the game itself I have to again caution that It's always a mistake to jump to conclusions based on one scrimmage. A scrimmage played in public and on tape at that. Coaches from other teams will get reviews of this game see films of it Nebraska coaches are all to aware of this and show almost nothing. So anybody who went to the game expecting any answers on who'll be the starting Quarterback come September is just as stupid as the guy who left Omaha at 12 to get to the game at 1. In the Bill Callahan days of yore the starters played the reserves. This would mean that the 1 string Quarterback completed 97% of his passes in a 42-6 rout and makes us spending fall wondering what happened to that same guy we had in the spring. The answer is of course his spring numbers were fraudulent built up on players that wouldn't see the field for years if ever. Other than the 2007 spring game the Spring games of Sir Callahan showed next to nothing. What made 2007 different? Well the players were allowed free reign to show off their Touchdown celebrations. After taking fake pictures of themselves and signing fake autographs it was clear that all 14 scrimmages leading to the spring game were spent working on staged Touchdown celebrations and boy they had them down. 2007 would end with Bill Callahan and his amazing TD celebration teaching skills looking for employment. Bo Pelini changed the way the game worked. Going to a draft system with the coaches only interfering to make sure each team had the players they would need to play the game less the "reds' end up with 6 QB's. This has also mad for much more entertaining and competitive football games. I still doubt just how much you learn from this game but at least it's fun for the fans now. Now if the just find out who's ignorant idea it was to separate the teams by the color of their pants and give them a talking to. The confusing color schemes confused players, fans and announcers. The Red team wore Red Pants the White team wore white pants. Players with red Jerseys played offense on both teams. Players with White Jersey's played defense for both teams. Confused yet?

As for the game itself after we figured out why players wore 4 different color combinations it was about as interesting and entertaining as a spring game can get. The Reds won 21-16. The best news is there weren't many penalties though delay of game wasn't called and the Red's second touchdown was about as illegal as Kobe Bryant's house servants. Ed Cunningham a color analyst for ABC/ESPN was a line judge a move made by the Big 12 to try and get announcers to stop calling them out on their incompetence. "If they see how tough the job is maybe they'll stop calling us out for absolutely sucking monkey balls at it" Here's a thought. to get people to stop calling you out for the shitty job you clowns do as officials...DO A BETTER JOB! As for how tough your 4 hour a week job is, if you can't handle it let somebody else do it. One wonders what the people who do jobs for several hours a week that are much tougher than that of a college referee must think about this. Maybe the surgeon who get's sued for malpractice can have a family member of the plaintiff perform the next surgery so they can see how tough doing that surgery really is. Maybe then they wouldn't so quick to judge the surgeon and sue him for malpractice.

Offense: Will it be better than last year? Honest answer it couldn't be much worse. Here's what we know. Zac Lee won't be handed the QB job but it's his to lose. Somebody has to step up and take him from him. From what I can tell nobody did. The talk is all on Taylor Martinez who has the look of a QB who could have kicked ass in Nebraska's system sans 1989. The Dude can flat out run. As for his passing? It needs work. He wasn't terrible but he made some bad decisions in the spring game that showed his youth. As for Cody Green he's still yet to show what they hype is about. Not saying he won't but other than one nice bomb he's not shown why he should be the guy. I wouldn't be shocked at all if Lee is the starter and Martinez plays backup thus allowing them to redshirt Green. The Offensive star of the game was Niles Paul. You remember Niles? The MVP of the offensive Holiday Bowl who looked so brilliant one play and looked as if he got to the stadium on the little yellow bus on the next? Well word is he's found consistency and he's going to be good Niles every game this year. So far so good. If he can find a way to show less and less of "Special" Niles he could become a very special player indeed. Brandon Kinnie had a great touchdown where he appeared to be stopped but dragged a pile another 10 yards for a score. Of course he was pushed by his teammates from the back and dragged over the goal by teammates from the front so the Touchdown in a regular game should not have counted and his teammates help was so blatant I don't think it would have. Although that rule is so rarely enforced maybe it would have. But hey If I were doing their job I would know how tough it is right? We know the Running back position is stocked with 3 guys who saw good minutes last year and is about as set as it has been in years. The O-Line really what can you tell? A good line needs to work together and the Pelini format for the spring game splits them up. It's still s question though I would offer this. Most every-time Nebraska needed the line to come through even when they struggled badly for much of the game they did. Think Kansas game, and especially the Colorado and Texas games.

Defense: People are stressing because both offenses put up good yards. DON'T. ( of course his is Nebraska where people stress if the team doesn't win every game 58-0. No even then they stress. ) If you can't read much in the offense in a spring game you can read even less in a defensive performance. Have the starters on one team the other half on another. teams playing very basic defenses not blitzing not disguising coverages ETC. Nebraska will be fine on Defense even if they give up say 12-14 points a game instead of 10. I really believe even replacing Suh, Asante, Dillard, Turner and O'Hanlon the days of teams scoring 50-60 points routinely on Nebraska went to Minneapolis with Kevin Cosgrove. One thing I feel very sure of. Teams won't throw for a whole lot against Nebraska even if they run it a tad better than last year. Nebraska's secondary could be it's best since the Browns in the late 90's.

Special teams.: With no rush on him I would have liked to see Kunalic hit at least one of the two 52 yard kicks he missed and I thought he missed the last 32 yarder BUT to quote the immortal Jim Rose the officials threw their arms to the heavens and signaled good. I still think he's redshirt so he can play one year and show his stuff the pros if he doesn't we know he's a great kickoff man. Alex Henery had a bad day punting but I am not worried in the least about either his kicking or his punting. In fact that may be something I worry about the least about this team. He's pretty much cash money.

So Spring is in the books once again for Nebraska. No question in my mind going by the spring game this was the best looking Pelini team yet. Does that mean Nebraska will live up to what might very well be top 10 hype? There's time to discuss that later. As for the spring the fact that there were no real Pelini blowups speaks volumes about how he thought the spring went.Color me cautious but color me very optimistic. One thing I can feel safe in saying. when they tee it up for real against Western Kentucky in September it won't be as tough a game as this was.


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Please try and stay on topic.

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