Friday, November 30, 2007

And Now Something For Mackenzie

Since Mackenzie likes the posts short and sweet, here's a link to a nice review of the latest film effort on the myth and life of Kurt Cobain entitled Kurt Cobain About A Son. The film traces a relatively traditional narrative of Cobain’s life from his childhood in Aberdeen, Washington, up through Olympia to Seattle in three movements. So there's your short post Mackenzie. You even bumped the Steve Pederson breaking news down a peg for all of Husker Nation to hate you more.

Better The Devil You Know

Evidently you can't keep anyone from gaining fruitful employment, and somewhere, Dave Wanndstedt has to be a little nervous. Stevie P is officially coming back home. Truth be told, he did do an OK job at Pitt in terms of rebuilding a football and basketball program, so this can't come as a complete shock. But if you would have asked me which would have happened first, Nebraska hired a new coach or Stevie P lands a new job, I would have put the farm on a new sheriff in Lincoln before somebody threw stupid money at the guy who helped kill the Nebraska football program.

Uhm, good luck Pitt.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Rolling Stone Becoming A Lot Like ESPN (Or The Old VH-1 For That Matter)

Since they've completely run out of ideas for other Top 25 Lists, Rolling Stone has decided to do an unranked listing of the best 25 Live Records of All-Time. As is always the case with RS, they have the usual suspects that have to be on all of their lists, and of course they missed a lot. This being Rolling Stone and all, I'm stunned that THEY left off "Frampton Comes Alive", but at least they got Wilco right with their great "Kicking Television: Live in Chicago" effort.

"Kiss: Alive" makes the list despite the band itself admitting that the effort was completely overdubbed. And the best U2 Live album is "Under A Blood Red Sky", NOT "Rattle And Hum", which if memory serves, isn't even really a live album. A better list can be found at this link, as somebody at least remembered to include Elvis Presley's "The '68 Comeback Special" and "Live in Las Vegas."

Monday, November 26, 2007

Husker Coach Could Be Named Tuesday

Give Tom Osborne this: He's not wasting any sort of time in bringing in a new sheriff to town. There is a players meeting set for 4:00 CST on Tuesday (as in tomorrow already). This already amongst all the speculation surrounding a plane a booster and Osborne boarded for Atlanta earlier today. Atlanta would be the headquarters for Parker Executive Search, the firm retained by NU to assist in its hunt for a coach.

I have no idea what to expect, other than Bo Pellini and Turner Gill being contacted. If I had to make a bet though on who the mystery guest really is, I'd say Wake Forest's Jim Grobe, who's name keeps popping up as a viable candidate. His name is tossed around too much, and he and TO seem to be cut from the same cloth.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The New Nebraska Coach?

Obviously this isn't going to take as long as it did four years ago. A plane was spotted leaving Lincoln for Baton Rouge today, and everybody's already putting 2 and 2 together. This just two days after Bo Pellini's defense let former Husker dance partner Houston Nutt and his team ruin LSU's National Championship dreams.

Pellini would obviously be a very popular coach is he's still very loved among Husker Nation devotees. Most wanted him to take over after Frank Solich four years ago, and were stunned when Billy C didn't keep him on the staff. At any rate, it at least looks like the state of Nebraska won't be held hostage for the next 45 days.


Saturday, November 24, 2007

This is the End...

Wait a Kevin Cosgrove still has his job???

So as it happend over the course of five minutes this morning, Tom Osborne pinned all of this exclusively on Bill Callahan, to the point that all assistant coaches got guaranteed money for the next 13 months (provided they don't take another job with greater pay). Wow. Just wow.

Screw Callahan, how do you justify keeping Cosgrove on the payroll for another year?

You can't, Tom. But obviously TO went to the coaches during the five game skid and told them that 3 of the next 4 was enough. That obviously it was the embarrassment at Lawrence that did everyone in. Why Callahan went medieval on everyone before the K-State game, and subsequently showered the media with how great his "system" was. But according to TO, Callahan and company got their warning; that they needed to win or at least play close in their final three games to save their jobs. Steve Sipple has done a nice piece on the end and how Callahan never "got it." But my thinking is that when Petersen was fired, there was no prayer for Billy C.

OK, seriously, why is Cosgrove still sitting here?

It took less than five minutes, according to Osborne and the video that WOWT has up. Seriously, is there any more fitting video than Billy C driving off and waving to the media in his Lexus SRV? Callahan just wanted to hear the news, and received reassurance that he was getting that $3 million check. In other words, Callahan found out that in this area, Tom Osborne is still God. He may not be Governor, but he's God.

So you had to make a change, but please, somebody tell me why Kevin Fucking Cosgrove is still getting checks from the University!!! CLICK TO READ ENTIRE POST!

Callahan Fired

More to come on what's going to be a very busy day, but we wanted to be among the first to confirm everything. So long Billy C.

We also have it confirmed that Callahan (but not Kevin Cosgrove and his merry band) was fired at 7:35 CST this morning. Stay tuned...

Friday, November 23, 2007

Game 12: The End

Major props to Mackenzie for comparing the end of Bill Callahan in Lincoln to the final days of Elvis. He even linked to a clip of one of Elvis' final shows - in, wait for it, wait for it...LINCOLN. Even in the end, the King still had that amazing voice, even though he was so far bloated that he looked like he was wearing Gwyneth Paltrow wore in Shallow Hal. More of Elvis' final days can be seen here in clip from his last show in Omaha:

In the end, Callahan will always have that playbook that was the size of Elvis on the toilet in August, 1977. Let's not feel that bad for Billy C. He's going to walk out of there tomorrow morning with a shitload of dimes, and even though two of his four years in Nebraska ended in November to Colorado and not a Bowl Game, Callahan is leaving the program in better shape than when he got here.

How so? From a talent standpoint, whoever takes over is going to have much better talent than what Callahan found in Joe Dailey and company (provided Marlon Lucky doesn't leave for the NFL). As Tony Soprano would remind us, focus on the good times. Callahan did manage to expand the recruiting base of Husker Nation to areas that Frankie Solich wouldn't even think of going to. Kids that wouldn't even bother looking up Lincoln on a google map are now making visits.

And that's ultimately Callahan's legacy. He brought in Maurice Purify, Joey Ganz and Purify. Guys who helped put up 51 points against Colorado today. But he forgot the old adage about how defense wins championships. Callahan never, from the word go, gave two shits about the defensive side of things. He was so entrenched in his West Coast Offense that he just assumed that Kevin Cosgrove was going to take care of things on the other side of the ball. So it can be said Callahan lived up to his end of the bargain. What's sad is that he's so hitched to Grover to the point that it's going to cost him.

I don't expect Callahan to get another head coaching job. This is the sort of garbage that will hang around his neck for maybe the remainder of his professional life. He somehow got another shot at the title after ruining the Oakland Raiders. There's already a press conference scheduled for tomorrow morning. And you don't schedule a presser unless there's some big news, especially with Nebraska and Creighton playing basketball in the early tomorrow afternoon. Which means it's more than obvious as to what awaits Callahan when he hooks up with Tom Osborne in the morning. Just get it over with already.

It's not Callahan's fault that his former boss Steve Peterson gave him the keys to the castle to do with what he wanted. But with Peterson out, somebody has to answer for this mess. The five game losing streak, the record of 27-22 in four years. Missing those two bowl games in four seasons, when just one win would have taken you there. So the check goes right to Callahan, on top of his thick-ass playbook.

It's also not Callahan's fault that he isn't the guy who Osborne would hire to run the program, even if it truly is Osborne's decision. And nobody wants to admit how badly TO has handled things over the past month, especially letting out that "it's up to the new coach's" comment on KETV. Osborne clearly knows his influence over everything in the state of Nebraska. Him straddling the fence on Callahan -- and ultimately burying him -- added to the state of chaos during the losing streak. (Which reminds me, it might be time to scan in the great "Tom Osborne is God" article in GQ by Tom Junod.) We always hear about how Billy C never embraced the Husker tradition, when the reality of it is that the very tradition everyone remembers is the same one that wouldn't even let him in the door. From his first day as interim AD, Osborne made it known that there would be a new coach to take over this program. I think everyone figured Callahan would simply quit, forgetting the $3 million and change that waited for him if he got the axe.

No matter. This term of the last four years is just going to be remembered as the pretty mess that it was. It was only fitting that the Huskers showed up in Boulder in all white uniforms for the first time since 2002, as if Callahan was waving the white flat to all of Nebraska. And that he started the game with the spread option. Ed Whitson was a horrible fit for the Yankees. Franco Harris should have never gone to Seattle, just like Tony Dorsett shouldn't have been a Bronco, or Emmitt Smith a Cardinal. Dave Navarro was a bad idea in the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Callahan and Nebraska just didn't work out. So fire him. Just make sure that the next person is the right one. Or else this program is going to sound like a broken record another four years from now. CLICK TO READ ENTIRE POST!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Executive Game: Special Kansas/Missouri Preview

How everything worked out this well for the College Football Game of the Year (so far it is anyway, but you'll be hard pressed to top this one in terms of venue and two schools that legitimately hate one another) isn't hard to figure out:
  1. The Kansas City Chiefs have no identity this year. Even after getting a month of publicity with the HBO Series Hard Knocks, nobody is in on this Chiefs team. Yes, it helps that the Chiefs suck, but Kansas City, really like any other city, is about supporting a winner. Which reminds me, I've never understood why some people call places like Boston, New York and St. Louis baseball towns. They're baseball towns because their teams always WIN. If the Royals always won, KC would be considered a "baseball" town. They were labeled a football town over the last 15 years because the Chiefs always won. So the city has become Lincoln South in a way. For now anyway, Kansas City is a college football town.
  2. The Nebraska Factor. Oh sure, both Missouri and Kansas got to play Nebraska at home. After years of getting their heads handed to them by the Huskers, Nebraska's five game losing streak started in Columbia as the Tigers throttled the Corn, and ended with the Jayhawks inexplicably hanging 76 in Lawrence on Billy C and company. Beating Nebraska is still a really, REALLY big deal to folks in KC. They haven't gotten over the Matt Davison flea kicker or the Osborne years of dominance over both teams, making these stops as laughable as a non-conference game. Even though Nebraska's down this year, when both teams scored with ease against them, it got everyone excited.
  3. Arrowhead Stadium. When you cram 80,000 screaming and drunk (yes, alcohol is being served at this game) passionate folks into that stadium, there's no better place to actually see a football game live. The other Arrowhead factor is of course the tailgating, which will be at an all-time high on Saturday. That parking lot is made for it. If the game were being played at Lawrence (Kansas is the home team), it would still be a major deal. But now you're talking about a stadium which will be half MU, half KU, and right outside will be some 10,000 more college kids wanting to get a taste.
  4. These two schools, these two areas, legitimately hate one another. This isn't the forced rivalry that is Nebraska/Colorado. They hate each other when they play basketball (Jason Whitlock in fact said the only thing that would top this game would be if Missouri and Kansas met for the National Championship in hoops some year). Whitlock also brought up about how Ohio State and Michigan "respect" each other. Not in KC. It's all just pure hate, and I'm expecting fights that go past midnight following the game no matter who wins.
  5. It's number 2 against number 3. In NOVEMBER. And even as Kansas has become the feel good story of the year in CFB, nobody in KC thinks that either team has gotten the respect from National Pundits that they deserve. I buy that. It seems that ESPN in particular is just waiting to put an Ohio State or Pac 10 team ahead of both KU and MU. I think Lou Holtz is still suggesting Notre Dame should get BCS consideration. Even with their hatred towards each other, everyone wants to see a "Game of the Century" with a punt return like Johnny Rodgers had in 1971 to throw a nice "FUCK YOU" towards the national media.

I'm just glad that Kansas City, the city itself, gets a game like this. It's a wonderful city with great people who we already know will embrace this atmosphere like nobody else can. Think of that great Nebraska/Oklahoma State game in October, 1998, during Frank Solich's first year as head coach. It was at Arrowhead, and it's still one of the greatest sporting events I've ever attended. There was the jammed parking lots full of tailgating as early as 3pm. I-70 and 435 were packed for hours. And even after Nebraska had to come up with a defensive stop to preserve the win, everyone stayed past Midnight in the parking lot, only to head to Westport until 3am. Our liver's were so much more ripe for the picking back then...

It'll be better on Saturday. Both of these teams are that good. Missouri's Chase Daniel should be awarded a trip to New York when they hand out the Heisman. What the Mangenius has done in Lawrence is as impressive as what Bill Snyder did at Kansas State. And one of these teams gets to play for the Big 12 Championship in over a week (not just the North, pay attention Billy C), and then a National Championship if they get by Oklahoma. PICKS:

  1. Missouri (-2) over Kansas. All season long, KU fans would come up to me, every week, wondering how their beloved Jayhawks would fare. They were confident against OSU, Nebraska and naturally Iowa State. Then last week, they'd look around the room, and then whisper, "Yeah, but don't you think that Missouri will just KILL Kansas?" Yeah, but for whatever reason, Mangenius has given this team some moxie. Unlike say, oh Bill Callahan, he knows how to handle all of this. He knows just how to handle the media, how to handle his new star sophomore quarterback. And now he's got everyone thinking National Championship. Seriously. It don't think MU will "just KILL" KU anymore, but I think they're just that much better than the Jayhawks right now. About five points better.
  2. Nebraska (-4) over Colorado. The Dead Man Walking Game, as some 20 hours after the game, it's widely speculated that no matter what happens in Boulder, Callahan's getting his walking papers. I'm still on the wait and see bus. I mean, think about it -- has Osborne ever had to fire anybody? This is the same guy who stood behind Lawrence Phillips in 1995 after he went Spiderman in that apartment complex, and the entire nation called out Osborne on it. But let's focus on this game for now. Just like he did in the K-State game, if Callahan sees a chance to go for 70-something, he's all freaking over it. This is resume building time for the guy, and he's full throttle.
  3. USC (-3.5) over Arizona State. Because even in an off-year, USC can still be USC. Especially on Thanksgiving night.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Game 12, Kansas 45, Iowa State 7 (And The Top 10 Billy C Debacles)

Oh fuck it, we're all KU all the time now. Judging by all the houses on Saturday in Omaha proudly flying the Kansas Jayhawk flag, you'd have little idea that it was just two weeks ago that the Mangenius hung 76 on Nebraska.

No matter. For the past few weeks, I've watched as Kansas City has turned from a Chiefs crazy town into a college football town. The Missouri/Kansas game one week from tonight at Arrowhead is the hottest ticket in town since Game 7 of the 1985 World Series. Even though I got a little worried about Jayhawk fan on Thursday night.

Bars in KC were jam packed with KU fans everywhere, dressed up in KU gear. I figured everyone was out to watch the Oregon game. And then when Dennis Dixon went down with what is now officially a torn ACL, the Husker in me figured that KU fans would let out louder cheers of joy than when Philadelphia fans were so happy to watch Michael Irvin end his career in Philly to injury.

Not a peep.

Nobody even seemed to really WATCH the Oregon game. I figured fans were just texting one another and cautiously hoping for the best (as in, yes it's good that Oregon was going to lose, but let's not, to quote Winston Wolfe, go sucking each other's dicks just yet and overlook Iowa State). There was about five minutes left in the Oregon game, when I approached a table of KU Fans.

"You guys have got to be happy with this game right? Isn't that why you're all out here?"

"Dude, there was a Kansas basketball game on tonight."

So even at 10-0, now 11-0, Kansas is still a basketball school, but you gotta think everyone's in on the Kool Aid come one week from tonight. I mean, if you don't have tickets to that game, you're going to have to pony up some $600 and a blow job or two just to get into the stadium. How lucky did Kansas City get in scheduling this thing on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, where it's going to be a prime time nationally televised game. Brent Musburger will tell everyone about looking live at Arrowhead Stadium. ESPN's College Gameday, including an NU alum to help Lee Corso put on the mascot head, will be in full force in KC. And nobody will even bother talking about the Chiefs game, the very next day, on the same field, against the Raiders.

The Raiders? Oh yeah, the job Billy C had before he moved his family and a bunch of hapless coaches to Nebraska. If Callahan and company need some money for Christmas, they'd do well to click here and maybe even rub shoulders with Jim Carrey. (Seriously, why is there going to be a Jim Carrey movie with a Nebraska home game taking up one of the scenes? It's directed by the same guy who did the Jennifer Aniston/Vince Vaughn pseudo lovefest The Break Up??? And they already did some filming during the NU/OSU debacle from earlier this year? Really? And they still want to use a Nebraska home game? OK.)

At any rate, it doesn't look like Billy C will even get the chance to coach in the Bowl Game, provided the Corn takes care of business at Colorado. But it's official: If TO and company really want to part ways with Callahan, they have no choice but to fire him. Seriously, his contract says he cannot be reassigned to another gig in the Athletic Department. If they want him out, it's going to cost and cost big time. But, just like Solich before him, Callahan officially gets an audience with the Pope on November 24th -- the day after the Colorado game. So by the time things get kicked off in KC, ESPN News will be running, "Breaking News: Bill Callahan Fired at Nebraska."

I can be one of Osborne's biggest critics, but man that guy can keep a secret. Meaning this: Why else would he meet with the coaching staff the day after the end of the regular season -- when there could still be a month left of practice, and a game to get ready for -- if he DIDN'T have the next head coach in line? Obviously, he has a plan, and I don't think it's the one I talked about last week that suggests Bill C is ok for at least another year but a new defensive crew is coming in. The problem is, who would coach the Bowl Game, if there is one? If Bo Pelini's the guy, he aint going anywhere until after January. Is TO going to bring Turner Gill in on spec? Doubtful. If Callahan takes the bullet next week, that means the entire coaching staff runs along with his happy little ass. And you can't turn the Bowl Game down, not when you have to eat up contracts like Mangenius at Thanksgiving Dinner.

"A decision concerning the coaching staff will be made after the Colorado game next week," Osborne said in a statement . "There has been a clear understanding between the coaches and me that the end of the season is the last regularly scheduled game and not the bowl game."

In other words, Ozzy has a plan. But I'll bet there's nobody who wants to see Colorado whip up on this team more than TO. He doesn't want to have to wipe a smug Billy C to the floor after they hand it to the Buffaloes. And not even Osborne can withstand a month-long search for a coach, not like the one Stevie P put us all through 4 years ago.

Samuel McKewon did a great piece on the Top 10 triumphs of the Billy C era. We're going to beat him to the punch a little by offering up our own 10 Biggest Debacles under Billy C. In no particular order, and you'll tell us if we've missed something:
  1. If you're gonna lie to me, tell me there's a broad in the car waiting to tongue my balls.: One of my favorite stories is being in Vegas in October, 2004, and seeing a bunch of Wisconsin people in the airport. They all went out of their way to THANK US for taking Kevin Cosgrove away from them. That he was so awful, so bad, and we got these sinister smiles. "You'll see," they said. Oh well, at least Grover did give us miles of comedy with that playbook in the front of his pants thing. I still can't believe Cosgrove has lasted all four years of this term. We were sold some bill of goods on this guy. But back in October, 2004, in Vegas, where we're no allowed to discuss anything, we all knew. I guess there's a reason he's number one on this list...
  2. That 70's Show: It started October 9, 2004, when somehow Texas Tech (not yet TEXAS TECH, which isn't all that much really) hung 70 on the Corn. It became a broken record two weeks ago when the Jayhawks put up 76 against Cosgrove and Company. Even Iowa State held the Jayhawks to 45 on the road. Twice in a four year span is just too much for a program that expects to at least be RANKED every week.
  3. I Built That Movie Room So We Could Watch Movies Together, As a FAMILY: One of the more unsung traditions -- at least among NU players -- was the camaraderie building night out at the movies on Fridays before games. Callahan shooed this away like the option, and players were yelling and screaming about the change, especially the older veteran ones. Billy C wanted to say he was all about preparation, all the time, and a night out to watch, say, The Break Up, was not about preparation, even if it meant getting to see the back of Jennifer Aniston naked. Even with the WCO, this was the first real sign that Callahan didn't understand these were still students, and they loved shit like taking 2 hours to chill on Friday night after a long week of getting ready for Ball State.
  4. I'm A Loser Baby, So Why Don't You Kill Me: The Harrison Beck mess. He got a police escort to the first spring game of the Billy C era. He turned down many, many other schools to be the savior in Lincoln. Then in 2005, in a seriously desperate move, when Zac Taylor was clearly the quarterback that year and the year following, Callahan pulled Beck out of his redshirt to go 1-6 passing with a pick to make sure they beat Kansas State at home, and get to that Bowl Game that they missed in 2004. Beck would quit the team in August, 2006, and it was the first sign from one of Billy C's vaunted recruits that he didn't know how to handle these kids.
  5. Just remember, you got OPTIONS: I remember just before Callahan was introduced as the new sheriff in town, reporters everywhere speculated about what he'd do on offense. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, said out loud that they were anticipating something similar to what Barry Alvarez did at Wisconsin. Nobody expected a 500 pound playbook, especially with an option quarterback named Joe Dailey as your only, ahem, option. Even after Billy C announced the West Coast Offense was the new flavor in town, everyone figured he'd give it a year before going full throttle with it. No matter. Callahan took the square peg in a round hole approach, and suffered mightily in 2004 with Dailey trying to run the sinking ship. The worst sign: After every play, Callahan made Dailey come back to the sidelines to get the new play. No matter all the substitutions that were taking place on every play, where somebody else could have just given the play to Joe. It was almost like Billy C had to describe to Dailey how the play would work. "One guy's going run a slant, another's going to curl left, another curl right, this white guy's going to fly, oh, and whatever YOU do, DON'T RUN with the football! Even though that's what you think you should do."
  6. Light in My Darkness My ASS: Sam Keller was obviously brought in as a one-and-done quarterback. And early returns on that kid were legitimate. I, for one, loved his cockiness and enthusiasm. But it was obvious, after, oh, the FOURTH dropped exchange from center in game time that Arizona State was right about Keller's thumb. In year four, Callahan went all in with Keller, and while you certainly can't pin this horrible season on Sam, Husker Nation is sure wondering "What If?" after seeing Joe Ganz the last two weeks. All I'm saying is that Callahan had blinders on in regards to Keller. Did he even look past him? Sure Callahan talked the talk about how, "There's still a competition at quarterback and we'll play the best guy," but you always got the feeling that Keller and Callahan had an understanding that no matter what, Sam I Am would be the man.
  7. Monday, Monday -- Hmm...Mama Cass, sing "Sunday, Sunday" instead, I think that sounds better: In one of the most bizarre moves of any college coach in recent memory, Callahan decided that the teams first practice for the upcoming week would be on the very next day. Sundays, instead of Monday. Conventional wisdom always dictated that kids took Sundays off because it was the day after a big game, and they could, wink, wink, Study, wink, wink. Like the movie night, something else that really rattled the veteran players. Old Husker faithful could be overheard saying, "What about Church???!!!?"
  8. Throat-Slashing Crotchety Old Hillbillies: All three were sort of funny in their own way (and really, have you ever seen a more succinct throat slash than the one Billy C pulled out to that ref against Oklahoma in 2005?), but all three also indicated that Callahan was still a pro guy and not a college one. Callahan only publicly acknowledged doing one of these (dropping the "Fuckin' Hillbillies" line at OU in 2004) and denied the other two. No matter, all three distanced himself from Nebraskans even further.
  9. I mean this is still where people come to make it. It's a beautiful idea: The 2006 season is the one where Callahan could have had it all and withstood 2007. He had his guy, Zac Taylor, running the show. Taylor would go on to be named Big 12 Player of the Year, but all Billy C cared about, all he ever even talked about, was winning the Big 12 North. And clearly now, that's all he wanted to do. Because he sure as shit didn't care about beating an Oklahoma team in Kansas City that was ripe for the picking. And then he didn't show that "fortitude" against Auburn on January 1st in the Cotton Bowl. If he would have just figured a way to win one of those games (I prefer beating Oklahoma and then getting that prime time game in a BCS game against Bosie State), his time at Nebraska looks a lot better. Remember how damn happy everyone was, how happy HE was, when he beat Michigan in the previous year's bowl game (which somehow was the most watched bowl game in cable television history)? So even a nice win in the Cotton Bowl, which was CLEARLY there, would have bought all sorts of good will. But I guess winning the Big 12 North is enough.
  10. The Sad Part About All of This Is You Don't Even Give a Shit: Many have been impressed at what they call Billy C's "fortitude", especially during this trying season, especially after Stevie P got the axe. Come on! As much as I've defended the little guy, and even enjoyed having him to kick around, he goes to bed every night, reminding his wife, "The worst that's going to happen is they're going to fire me and cut us a check for over $3 million, so it's not that bad." So don't expect any post-firing presser from the guy, hell don't expect him to give an interview with some local reporter or even release a statement (OK, he MIGHT release some sore of salesman statement through his agent), but when TO pops a cap in him, Bill Callahan will be done, and forever at the college level. No more pencils, no more books.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Game 11: Nebraska Seventy-Fucking-Three, Kansas State 31

I've never had a day of text messaging like I had today.

By 1pm, I had people who I never figured on even knowing on knowing my cell phone number sending me messages. Everyone wanted to reach out in some different way that I hadn't heard or felt in, oh, over a month.

"When did Nebraska get a football team?"

"Was Ganz really the better guy all along?"

"Seriously, why's Joba's dad gotta wear that hat?"

And of course, my most infamous one, that I've sent before, and posted here:

"Billy C will have one more year, at least."

He's never really been the Dead Man Walking that the press has put out, at least he deserves credit for not drowning the entire ship when, in all reality, he had every reason too. Look, I don't understand the loyalty and devotion to Grover either. But if I'm the interim NU Athletic Director, I bring Billy C in and have a conversation along the following:

"Look...and let's forget about the whole 'crotchety old fuck' thing right now. I have to say what you've done with the offense even though you're a big part of ruining one of the greatest things to happen to the state of Nebraska, is quite impressive. And I'm an offensive genius, in case you haven't heard. And you may or may not think of God or think like God like I do. Whatever. Here's the deal. You can remain head coach here, but I'm bringing in an entirely new defensive crew to coach the defense. And there's nothing you can say about that. You keep doing that recruiting thing you do and run you're little west coast offense but be nice to the new guys we're going to bring in. And no, Barry Alvarez isn't behind any of this, and he's not going to take this job, even though you want him too. So go hit the street and get those kids back here because you've got another year."

"Can I just call the wife to tell her to take the house off the market?"

Loyalty is a fucked up thing, and I can't imagine why Callahan would want to go down with Grover. I mean come on, for over a month now, Super Grover's been the real dead man walking through all this mess. I mean, despite that 76 point embarrassment last week in Lawrence, Billy C and a "backup" quarterback found a way to almost score 40 on an undefeated team. But nobody, including yours truly, will ever forgive anyone for what happened in Lawrence last week. Nor should they.

Which is why I thought Nebraska was going to go out of their way to score 100 point this afternoon? I mean, come on, if you were in the same situation, wouldn't YOU? Wouldn't you, if afforded the opportunity after all of this shit, to treat this like a video game and just keep piling on the points until somebody put up the white flag?

That was the only surprise that came from today. Was I surprised that Joe Ganz threw for 510 yards and 7 touchdowns? Only after halftime. By then I figured he was good for 10 TD's and maybe 700 yards. I mean seriously, this was resume building time for Billy C. It was only the 2nd win in the Big 12 for the guy this year.

Oh, and this was Josh Freeman's first time in Lincoln since his own infamous text message, saying he felt more comfortable in K-State than he did at NU. Seriously, you don't think a guy like Callahan forgot that?

But why the support for the "one more year" plan of Billy C, especially if he isn't the long term solution to a long term problem?
  1. He's not from Nebraska. For whatever reason, I really, really, love that. I love that there can be a guy who's not of this blood to be the one to be another Bob Devaney. Which I thought he really might be back in 2004. On TO's watch, Billy C may just be another short Irish guy who thinks he knows a lot about football. I like having a guy who thinks differently than everyone else. Somebody who doesn't think Sunday mornings are for church. Call me whatever you want, but I actually like that.
  2. Things would be a lot of fun if he had an undefeated, National Championship caliber team. Only because you could see him at the Sidetrack or Barry's, joining everyone in a celebratory toast and getting liquored up with everyone around. Can't say that about TO.
  3. I can't imagine what's been going through his life, his family's lives, since Stevie P got the boot a month ago. I mean, the Omaha World Herald did a full page spread on "Who's Out There" about the next potential new head coach. And all of the car dealers around Omaha and Lincoln and other Nebraska towns still have that page hanging up in their offices when people come in to close on deals for cars. I saw it personally at five different dealers, and just finally imagined what would it feel like for a Callahan to want to even buy a used car, anywhere in Nebraska. Fuck it, call me somewhat compassionate towards the guy in that regard.
  4. To paraphrase Rick Pitino when he was coaching the Boston Celtics, "Tom Osborne isn't walking through that door. Bob Devaney isn't walking through that door." Say everyone gets their wish and Bo Pellini comes in and takes over. Is he REALLY the next savior? Do we know who that next savior is? No. Nobody does. Even if TO thinks the world of Turner Gill, which we all do, can he fix this mess in a few years? Aren't we all better off with the devil we know who knows what's happening? I'd say so.
  5. Recruiting. Even though we can all argue about how Callahan sucks as a coach, he's gone above and beyond in getting quality talent to consider Nebraska when they never would, not under TO, not under anyone. I don't know how he got Maurice Purify or Marlon Lucky to sign here, and frankly I think both are going to be solid pros.
  6. Now all that was to be undone, so that we were left in the end with wreckage. In other words, everyone's going to chase what Osborne did in his final five seasons, never to achieve it again. Now all we want is one year like one of those. It was only fitting that the Orange Bowl itself came to an end the same day that the final home game of this season, perhaps this era, came down. Finally, a non-Osborne team but up 70 some points on somebody. In Lincoln. Not the place where Osborne famously went four two-points when he could have had his first National Championship by just going for the tie. The same place where TO would finally deliver, on that wonderful January night in 1995, when Tommie Frazier taunted Warren Sapp, when Corey Schlessinger scored those touchdowns. And then all of those Orange Bowl ghosts were put to rest. Osborne would of course go on to win two more National Championships. How we forgot how long it took between that January night in 1984 to 1995 before TO could finally slay the demons.

So there you have it. We're at year four of this Callahan era, an era when Nebraska Football could still be run by TO's self-anointed successor, Frank Solich, and we may or may not have had the same results from this season or any other. Or perhaps a less egotistic athletic director would have just handed the reigns to Turner Gill or Bo Pellini. And then we wouldn't have had Zac Taylor, or Joe Ganz. Or 76 points hung on us like last week in Lawrence.

The damage is done. Whether Billy C walks away from this with a 6-6 record in a few weeks and gets that same meeting that Solich had with his Athletic Director the day after a decisive win in Boulder isn't the point. Osborne's own presence is all over the place. Callahan's put his stamp on things the way he thought should be -- which is the direct opposite of whatever Osborne would have done. But a new guy puts everyone right back to 2004 again. The financial consequences of cutting loose Billy C are too large. It was after that horrendous stretch in the early 1990's when Osborne himself took stock in things and realized that he better figure out how to recruit speed, rebuild his own defense and deliver on the earlier promises. Callahan should at least now realize the reality of having to cut ties with Grover, how it only makes perfect sense and how it's just the right thing to do in the end. If he can't realize that, then get on the first bus out of town.

The wheels came off this big bus in a big way over the past month. All indications are there will be a new sheriff in town come December. But maybe Osborne himself should reflect on the past, how he himself made mistakes, none that led to a 6 loss season, but sure as shit had everyone in an uproar in that Citrus Bowl in 1991 when he had to let Tom Haas play quarterback, and he let Georgia Tech of all schools reach dominance. It's a different world now; Callahan has certainly helped that out.

But who else is there to be the next Osborne or Devaney? Nobody's coming through that door. Maybe, you have that little talk with him after the Colorado game, no matter the outcome. And try to get things right. And then decide to blow everything up again and start all over.

Just like Billy C did in 2004. When he didn't have all the answers either. He was just a fired football coach looking for a job. Can't really blame the guy for taking this one. If he meets his fate later this month or thereafter, who the hell among us can be the one with all the right answers?


Friday, November 09, 2007

Executive Game: Special "We Don't Need No Stinking Badges" Edition

Tomorrow morning, at old Rockridge, things will never be the same.

There'll be a bunch of seniors -- Bill Callahan's kids mind you -- who will say goodbye to the grand old college days. And a coaching staff that's already been on notice. No Candygram from Mondo needed. After the game, no matter the outcome, Barry's and the Sidetrack and even Cliff's will be packed with people, wanting to toast to...well, whatever. It's the end of an era. And Billy C's era was not unlike A-Rod's four years in New York in pinstripes. He was sent here as the new sheriff of Rockridge, and he never did give anyone the spunk we needed. Oh sure, we got teased big time last year, with Zac Taylor and that Texas A&M game. But one thing we all need to know. Billy C may be a cockroach, but he's OUR cockroach. And that cockroach gets to live for, well, at least two more games.

(BTW, back in the day, who would you rather have fucked, Rhoda or Phyllis? This is all MSN's fault. And now I get word that Don Henley and Teddy Danson are the best of friends. Which is probably a good thing, because he threw everyone else under the bus. And poor Brittney Spears is now officially really pissed. Oh well. It's been a really weird year. But can someone really explain what happened to Gene Wilder? Was it all about Gilda Radner dying? I mean, this was the go-to guy for all things comedy in the 1970's, he's still alive, and all he has to say anymore is how disappointed he was that Tim Burton did Charlie and the Chocloate Factory? Wes Anderson should put Gene Wilder in his next movie with Bill Murray.)

The picks:
  1. Nebraska (+8) over Kansas State: Come on, the wheels can't TOTALLY come off the bus, can they? If Billy C's really the cockroach we think he is, he finds someway to win at home, on VERSUS TV no less, to at least cover? I don't know, Callahan's fucked us all, I'm just asking for one time for him to come through on something. I really felt sorry for the bastard on Monday morning during that Big 12 conference call when some writer had the balls to ask, "How can you justify keeping your job after giving up 76 points to Kansas..." and Billy C had nothing to say. You gotta think getting over a touchdown at home, on THIS day, he'll do what he did two years ago with Harrison Beck. But then again, this is the Billy C era...
  2. Kansas (-6) over Oklahoma State. You have no idea how much KU nation is worried about this game. Now that they've officially gotten nationwide respect as a football program, this is the ultimate trap game. But I'm all on with the real Mangenius. Whether he's burning the garden of Eden whenever he goes recruiting or not. Who cares what anyone else says. Mangenius doesn't have a mess, he's got himself a program. We've put people on the moon and developed the internet, and Mangenius has KU undefeated, until they play Missouri at least.
  3. Hawaii (-17) over Fresno State. Jesus, does nobody else realize what an absolute lock Hawaii's been this year? And they could run the table, and be this year's Rutgers or Bosie State? Take June Jones and his crew again this week.
  4. NFL time. Indianapolis (-3) against San Diego. Oh, nobody thinks the Colts are pissed at losing last week? And nobody realizes that San Diego isn't the San Diego that Ron Burgandy dreams about? This is the only NFL lock of the year we could find...
  5. Chiefs (-3) over Denver. It's at KC. The Broncos are, in the words of Derek Lee, in Operation Shutdown. The Griefs are good for at least a touchdown win at home. Especially after losing a game to a protected Brett Favre last week at Arrowhead.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Well Now if THIS Isn't a Sign that Hell has Officially Frozen Over

Please sit down before you read this.
The new Eagles album is #1 in the world. #1 in Australia, where Lex Luther rules. #1 in the UK, where AGAIN they've topped Brittney Spears. They've never topped the UK with anything. And now this album is number one...everywhere. It's like the three bad guys from Superman II broke free from that floating chamber and came in and decided to rule the world. This is just nuts.
Oh it gets better. Now they're going to be profiled on 60 Minutes, where evidently they'll talk about the running gag in The Big Lebowski.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Game 10: Spirit of 76 (Or Special Scott Peterson "Time To Panic" edition)

(Callahan's smiling because he just found out FSR has a nice looking female sideline reporter he can talk to after halftime. Cosgrove's thinking not even the bible can save his ways now.)

My prediction: Bill Callahan lives to see ONE more year. That is, if he does what the athletic department does and hires Bo Pellini or the like as defensive coordinator. Oh make no mistake, Cosgrove could be in Lincoln right now finding his bags packed, and a nice plane ticket to the planet formerly known as Pluto. You don't let ANYONE, let alone a once lowly conference opponent, hang 76 points on your defense. A defense that doesn't even try. They don't tackle, and frankly, NONE OF THEM GIVE A SHIT!!! Kansas punted the ball once the entire game.


Meanwhile, Billy C was stuck with having to go with his #2 quarterback in Joe Ganz, who at times looked brilliant and at other times looked forceful. Doesn't matter -- this offense can move on almost anyone. Which is why I firmly believe they're going to give Callahan just one more year. Even if he called Osborne a "crotchety old fuck" because TO hasn't exactly endorsed any of this mess, nor should he.

Let's lay the real blame where it belongs. It belongs on Super Grover's Amazing Land of Make Believe. All that's missing is Henrietta Pussycat and that old drunk of an old lady who had the red nose from drinking too much Windsor. And a trolley to take Cosgrove away. You people are being paid millions upon millions of dollars to get shit right. You're asking people who can barely make $40,000 a year to pony up over $1,000 for season tickets -- hell $1,000 just for the rights to GET season tickets. And we're all supposed to buy this shit? And if we don't, we can buy it on pay-per-view? ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME???

Folks, College Football is officially a big time business that brings in big time revenue to Universities across the land. And Kevin Cosgrove somehow got a hold of the golden goose, melted it down, and served it up for Thanksgiving Dinner some three years ago. This is an out and out joke; we're getting embarrassed by teams that shouldn't even be in games. You know what. Fuck Cosgrove. Fuck Callahan if he can't fire Super Grover. And fuck Tom Osborne, who had a long time in the politics game, if he can't find a way to get things fixed in a big way. Fuck Harvey Pearlman. Fuck Herby Husker. Fuck the 265+ sell outs that the sheep will continue to eat up in droves. Everyone needs to get their shit together and stop waiting in the weeds for the right time to come in and make some sort of fix. Steve Pederson made an incredibly bad hire at gun point in January, 2004. We're all paying for it now. And nobody seems to give a shit. Nobody, except for the folks in Lawrence, care that the Kansas Jayhawks put up 76 points on the Corn.

One guy at a bar saw the score on ESPN's bottom line.

"Is that a basketball game they played?" He asked.

"Nope. Nebraska couldn't even keep things that close in basketball."


Friday, November 02, 2007

Executive Game: The Weekend I'll Go See Jerry Seinfeld as a Bee Instead of another Nebraska Loss

By the time you read this, Kansas could be a twenty point favorite against the Huskers. In football. They don't even get 20 points at home in basketball, and THAT would be a lock EVERY year.

Speaking of which, lifetime KC Royal Mike Sweeney put his house in Lee Summit, MO on the market in the last month. Sweeney's not yet officially a former Royal, even though he officially filed for free agency. Sweeney was always a crowd favorite, but to me he'll always be a bit overrated. He had those two great years (2000 and 2001, when it seems like everyone was having a great year) and then was basically hurt his entire career. Everyone tells me Mike's one of the nicest guys you'd ever have the privilege to meet. But he could never play any defense, and to me will always be representative of the worst years in Royals history.

Sort of like Billy C with the Huskers. Shouldn't Callahan at least be in contact with some good real estate agents right now? Doesn't he know how difficult it is to sell a house -- let alone a really expensive house -- in this market? Should he just call Bo Pellini and tell him he and his family can at least tour it? Can Callahan even get a good table at a restaurant in Omaha or Lincoln?

Now about these picks:
  1. Kansas (OK, -20, whatever the line winds up being) over Nebraska. Because this already happened before (remember two years ago anyone). Because KU has two great running backs who could dance all day in Super Grover's Wonderful Play Land. And as much as you almost have to give Callahan credit for keeping his chin up after what's happened over the past month. BTW, my favorite moment during all of this is when Tom Osborne is being interviewed on TV and pointed answers a question with "That'll be up to the new coaching staff." God, now TO can't even hide the inevitable. I mean, this is the same guy who on a Tuesday, danced that "soft shoe" to the media about how he had no plans on retiring and you shouldn't believe any of that "nonsense", and then the very NEXT DAY announced he was retiring (he did first apologize to all of the media for denying it the day before, which was awfully nice of him). Now he's all but let out the black smoke and announced to the world that we've found a new Pope. All I'm saying is I'm glad I'm not a lot of people. But I'm guessing Callahan's gotten some refills on that xanax in the past few weeks.
  2. Wisconsin (+16) over Ohio State. I know I say this every week, but come on. OHIO STATE JUST ISN'T THIS GOOD! They're not the #1 team in the nation. Something has to give for this team, and I'm betting the farm on this being the week. Wisconsin is getting more than 2 touchdowns, which tells us that yes, everyone's betting on Wisconsin in this game and GOD if Ohio State isn't OVERRATED!
  3. Oklahoma State (+3) over Texas. If only because of this clip below. Sometimes a man, who's FORTY, can inspire young people to greatness:

Last week: 5-2 (on college games, we're not counting that World Series prediction, even though the Sox did win, it's not my fault they couldn't have at least made it interesting)

Thursday, November 01, 2007

I Am Impressed

Let's just pretend for a minute that John Lennon never met that bullet in 1980, or at least lived say another 15 years or more thereafter. And let's say the inevitable happened. That somebody came up with a shitload of dimes to get the Beatles back together, for either a tour, an album, an appearance, whatever. And John became more of who John was: a tortured but brilliant artist who insisted on having Yoko Ono around all the time. And Paul was still Paul, writing "Silly Love Songs" and "My Love" and growing further and further a part from John. Oh and then there's George, who wound up having maybe the best solo career of any of them in terms of quality of music (just ask Martin Scorsese), and Ringo's just sitting in the corner by some snare drum wanting everyone to just get along, saying, "Now, you're paying me in CASH for this, right?"

That's pretty much what we have here with the new Eagles album, "Long Road Out Of Eden." During the 1980's, co-founders Don Henley and Glenn Frey both had successful solo careers, but with different results. Henley wound up doing some of his best work away from Frey and Company, putting out great songs that are still played everywhere today ("Dirty Laundry" and "Boys of Summer" come immediately to mind). Frey hitched his star to things like Miami Vice and Beverly Hills Cop, having hit songs that you never even WANT to hear again ("The Heat Is On" anyone?). Eventually, Henley became regarded as a decent singer-songwriter. Oh he certainly never was John Lennon, but he still has his moments (evident on this album). And Frey basically just wanted to play golf and appear in small roles in the occasional movie or TV show. All the while, they still had a manager (Irving Azoff, known in the music industry like Scott Boras is in Major League Baseball) and some other band members who wanted a nice pay day, not to mention some exposure that might kick-start a solo career or two.

Which is why this album took well over six years to make.

"Yeah, It's a pretty good album", Henley told the Rocky Mountain News, but "It could have been better. I was willing to continue but the powers that be said you gotta give it to us now. There were three or four songs that weren't finished. I'm frankly of the opinion it should have been a single album, a single disc. Some of the songs on there should have been removed. But I lost that battle."

Hmmm. So why put out a double disc with eight songs I would say should never have been released?

"I guess so everybody could have his say, everybody could get his licks in. Some of the other band members had a lot of songs and wanted them all on there. There are three or four songs on there that shouldn't be on there, but there was nothing I could do about it."

Really? "I basically produced my stuff," Henley continued, "and Glenn basically produced his stuff."

So you've got your album now, with no real tour to speak of, which everyone says is OK because all of the new songs (well, the good ones anyway), need time to "breathe", and oh by the way, says Henley, "Glenn's stepping into the George Hamilton role in some musical in New York City."

So you can go get the good instead of the bad at or some stupid chain of stores I've never heard of, but at $.94 a song, it's CHEAPER to download the whole thing, and just keep the 12 good songs while deleting the 8 shitting ones.

DOWNLOAD: No More Walks In The Wood (very CSN), How Long (been out a while, already a hit), Waiting in the Weeds (the one I recently called a Henley masterpiece, should be a hit somewhere down the road), Long Road Out of Eden (Which many are already dubbing a classic, but I'm not there yet), Center of the Universe (Henley's "Across the Universe), Fast Company, No More Cloudy Days, Do Something, Busy Being Fabulous (set to be the 2nd single), Frail Grasp on the Big Picture, Business as Usual, Somebody.

The Eagles most definitely were not the Beatles. As Henley continues, "We're lucky to be alive. Most people were just along for the ride. We didn't change much of anything. The world went right back into the hands of the people who have always run it. So maybe it was just about the sex and drugs and music."

Now, on to that other thing that Henley and Company don't want you to know about. Former band member Don Felder has his book, "Heaven & Hell: My Life as An Eagle" out and published overseas at least (oh, it'll find distribution here). This is the book that mentions "the barrage of pussy" thrown at the band in it's hey day, and how they had to get "their coke on" to perform any gig.

Mostly, Felder let's Frey have it:

"Bernie Leadon, responsible for the country sound of the first two records, quit in 1975 after a band meeting got out of hand and he poured a beer over Glenn Frey's head. Bassist Randy Meisner was the next to leave; Felder says that Meisner and Frey began brawling during the intermission of a show in 1977. Felder had his own run-ins with Frey, whom he says had a need to humiliate others in order to make himself feel superior. One day, feeling pushed too far, Felder followed Frey into the bathroom, threw him up against the wall and threatened to break his nose."

The best is when Felder goes into detail about a concert that officially marked the end of the band, July 31, 1980. During the performance, Frey would constantly yell at Felder between songs. "Fuck you" he'd say. "I'm gonna kick your ass when we get off-stage" - and counting down how many songs were left until their fight.

Ultimately, Felder's not so much bitter at Henley and Frey as he is eager to reach out to them, but lawyers and lawsuits have made that "impossible." CLICK TO READ ENTIRE POST!