If you haven’t heard about the Nebraska Cornhusker football team firing head coach Bo Pelini, I’d wager to bet you’re either living a quiet life off the grid surrounded by miles of undisturbed nature or you somehow spent the past three days lying unconscious in a bathtub filled with ice.
Better check those kidneys.
But seriously, let’s face it…there’s not a whole lot of news that comes out of Nebraska. With the exception of a lovely little story about a woman trying to run over a couple who unknowingly stole her parking spot in the local Wal-Mart lot that made national news last month, you’ll find very few mentions of this quaint little section of the country making headlines.
Then we fired our football coach, and all hell breaks loose.
I’ll freely admit it. I’m a big fan of Bo Pelini. I’ve liked him from the very first game of the very first season. I like his passion. I like his focus. I like the fact that he doesn’t mince words or put on a fake smile or allow the frenzied media to back him into a corner. I like the fact that in addition to being one helluva football coach, he also cares very deeply that those boys who march onto the football field on Saturday also excel in their academics, give back to the community, and learn how to be humble and gracious beneath the weight of the one of the most loyal and passionate fan bases on the planet.
I like to see my favorite team winning championships as much as the next guy. But I don’t believe in compromising morals or values or the futures of those young men on the field just to claim a shiny trophy at the end of the season. I’d much rather support a coach like Pelini–a coach who believes in building a solid foundation off the field first. So yes, I’m sad to see him go, because of the wonderful things he’s done here, and for the things I believe he was going to do if he’d been granted the same tenure as our beloved Tom Osborne. I have no doubt that he will go onto greatness somewhere. And I know there are a lot of folks around here who are wishing him well, and who will never forget him.
So things are a little crazy here in Nebraska right now, as we’re caught in this strange spot at the end of the season, waiting to play in an undetermined bowl game, and waiting to see who will be chosen to step into some very big and empty shoes.
Seems the news made it all the way to the North Pole, because we found Cosette this morning giving our disheartened mascot, ol’ Herbie Husker, a little pep talk.
Sweet little elf. She’s part of the Husker family now.
Go Big Red! And godspeed, Mr. Pelini. You’re a great coach, and one helluva human being. You’ve officially made it onto my “People I Want to Have a Beer With” list. Thank you for all that you’ve done. I’m happy that you will always be part of our Husker history.