December 29, 2004

And the Lord God Decreed...

...the Clones should win the Independence Bowl this fine, fine evening.


And you wanna know what makes our win even more satisfying?

The college team I grew up rooting for, but whose school I wouldn't even think of attending, The Nebraska Cornhuskers didn't even get invited to a bowl game this year. What's even funnier is that when they played in the Independence Bowl two years ago they lost. Before the game, everyone in the state was ashamed that their beloved Huskers were playing at such a lame bowl in the first place. Then to lose that game... weeeel.

This year, the UNL AD fired Frank Solich because (and I paraphrase bady) Nebraska Football wasn't mediocre. Solich, in his opinion, was mediocre, hence worth firing. Solich had much to overcome when Osborne left and was, in my humble opinion, remodeling the football program into one that would serve the school well in the years to come. More speed. More passing. That sort of thing. This is no longer the Big 8, but rather the Big XII---with different schools who had different ways of playing the game. The Blackshirts can only do so much: you must have an actual offense that doesn't revolve solely around that dolt Eric Crouch. An I-formation offense is outdated these days. Solich knew this, recruited differently and arranged the program around his ideas--and was shitcanned for his trouble. It was taking too much time. They needed to win!

Ever since they won back-to-back National Championships, Nebraska fans have morphed from humble fans who simply wanted their team to win to the greediest and most demanding fans in college football. Excepting the southern schools, of course.

Like I wrote in the "about me" thingy over on the side, I have a love/hate thing going with Husker football. I was a fan for many years for the simple fact there is nothing else worth rooting for in Nebraska other than the Huskers. That's just who you root for and you get used to it over the span of your young life. Besides it was fun being a Husker fan. You got to bitch about Osborne never passing on a first down. You got to whine and moan about Oklahoma and compare Barry Switzer to the anti-Christ. And it was very satisfying when they actually made it to the Orange Bowl to compete for the National Championship after so many years of being shut out by the AP Poll. Of course it sucked when pass interference wasn't called on Miami (FL) on a two-point conversion that would have allowed us to win, but hey...that's just a part of the game, eh?

While I adored the Huskers while I was growing up, and will still root for them today (providing they're not playing the Clones), it was nonetheless a tough transition when I started school at Iowa State. I went from rooting for the best team in the Big Eight to rooting for the worst. It was very confusing. "Losing? What's losing?" "Whaddya mean the field goal kicker blew it? He only had twenty yards to overcome? And the wind was at his back!" "How is it possible to fumble on the snap? Twice in two frickin' plays?" This says nothing of how I was treated---being a Nebraskan in Iowa. Some of it I brought on myself: I earned serious glares of contempt and wore a very red face when I was in the student stands at Ames and, not thinking, let the words, "Go Huskers!" slip out of my mouth during the Iowa State-Nebraska game. But most of it was undeserved. After all, if Iowa State wanted a winning football program, it was apparent to everyone and their red-headed-stepbrother that what was needed was a new coach. Walden had to be fired. He sucked. There was no getting around it. It wasn't my fault that the Athletic Department couldn't get their shit together in this respect and the Huskers kept beating them as a result.

But I survived, and when, in 1993, Iowa State finally beat the Huskers for the first time in God-only-knows how long, I cheered right along with my fellow Clones' fans. (I still regret not partaking in the festivities. Sigh. Where was I that weekend, you ask? In Omaha, of course.) And then the miracle happened: Walden was fired, and Iowa State finally started competing. Now it's, indeed, a ball game between the two schools. I will always root for the Clones, because it's my alma mater. Yet, like I wrote, I have a love/hate thing going with Nebraska football. I love Nebraska's program, the tradition, the willingness to shoot for the stars. Yet I hate how damn greedy everyone has become in Nebraska since they tasted success.

Of course I catch shit to this very day for having jumped ship. So does my sister, another Iowa State graduate. Our family gives us crap: our brothers in particular, which is ironic as only one of the four attended UNL and the most rabid fan in the lot graduated from Creighton. My Dad stays silent on the issue, but I know where his loyalties lie and it's not in Ames. Mom cheers on the Clones most of the time, only because she's Mom and no one dares to criticize her on her football picks other than my father. And we all know he's biased, so...

So, knowing all of this, can you honestly blame me for being very happy the Clones won this night? And that, for this season, completely put the Huskers in the shade? Nope. Revenge is sweet. It may have been a hard fought victory tonight, and the entire season for that matter. As I see it, Nebraska's greediness has been their downfall. As one who's been rooting for a struggling team for fifteen years and who has noted that said team did the work to get better, instead of simply expecting the best to be served to them on a silver platter, well, it's pretty darn sweet that the Clones topped off their season with a bowl win.

/chortles of glee.

Posted by Kathy at December 29, 2004 12:17 AM
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