The Thanksgiving season is a time for reflection and for showing appreciation and gratitude for the people and things in your life
There are several things that I am very thankful for. First and foremost on the list are my beautiful wife, amazing daughter, and the second daughter we will adopt in December or early January. I am also thankful for my health, my freedom, my job, and for the opportunity to write about my beloved Huskers for the best Husker site on the interwebs. I am thankful for countless other people and things in my life, but since this is a Husker-centric site, let me share some of the many Husker-related things I’m thankful for.
- I am thankful for Football Saturdays in Memorial Stadium, where this is no place like Nebraska. I love the home game experience. Despite the high def goodness of my plasma screen, a comfy couch, and my own food and drink, there is no substitute for being at the game.
- I am thankful for my season ticket. I’ve been fortunate to have access to a season ticket in a great part of the stadium, surrounded by good fans.
- I am thankful for a scandal-free year in Lincoln. The biggest Husker hub-bub so far has been Bo’s testy reaction to a Dirk Chatelain column. There are many schools (some of which are in our conference) who would kill for that.
- I am thankful for the Big Ten. How nice was it to be able to watch this year’s conference realignment drama knowing that NU has a permanent home in an excellent conference? Very nice.
- I am thankful for Jim Delaney. I fully believe that if the Big XII would have had a commissioner with Delaney’s authority, strength, and respect, Nebraska would be a proud member of the XII, and the XII would be challenging the SEC as the best conference. Oh well.
- I am thankful for urinal troughs at Memorial Stadium. I hate waiting in lines, and nothing is more frustrating than spending all of halftime trying to use the restroom. I’ve been to many a stadium where individual urinals mean long lines (K-State & Mizzou, I’m looking at you). While the trough is fairly redneck in nature, it is very efficient
- I am thankful for the BTN. Since I am fortunate enough to attend all of the home games, I’ve never had to do pay-per-view to watch the Huskers on TV. The Big Ten Network means that nobody else will have to do that again. Plus, several of the other shows have been pretty good.
- I am thankful for opposing fans from our Big Ten opponents. The opposing fans that I have met this year have all been wonderful, friendly, gracious people. I’ve heard a lot of good things from those who went to Madison, St. Paul, State College, and Ann Arbor.
- I am thankful for uniforms that never change. Sure, our uniforms aren’t flashy, and the helmet is decided old-fashioned, but I am so very glad that we do not have a “uniform system”, Pro-Combat jerseys, or 148 different jersey/pant/helmet combinations.
- I am thankful for Ron Brown. Even before his Penn State prayer, Coach Brown has been an excellent role model, man of faith, and representative for our team and university.
- I am thankful for walk-ons. My freshman year at UNL, I adopted Jeff Makovicka as my favorite player – mainly because I loved the stadium announcer’s “Ball carried by Mack-O-Vick-Uh” when he would get playing time (always late in the fourth quarter of a blowout win). He and his brother Joel are the poster boys for how walk-ons are the soul of the program.
- I am thankful for the fourth stringer who gets beat up every day in practice for three minutes of playing time. Almost every boy who grows up in this state dreams of playing for Nebraska. These kids – many of them walk-ons from small Nebraska towns – get to live that dream. They just have to deal with a daily pounding from Baker Steinkuhler to get to experience a few short minutes of that dream.
- I am thankful for the Pride of All Nebraska. I love the marching band’s pre-game spectacular – it is one of the things I look forward to each week. Even though I regularly skip out on their halftime performances (seriously – how many years in a row can they do a tribute to Earth, Wind and Fire?) I respect the hard work the band puts in to.
- I am thankful for the 6′ 9″ guy in the band who plays the piccolo. Dude, I am sure you are an amazing musician and great guy, but the sight of your lineman sized body marching with the tiniest of instruments gives me great joy.
- I am thankful for Rex Burkhead. I love backs that get north and south, and squeeze every inch out of their carries. Rex is one of those backs. He’s not as flashy as some of the other backs, but he sure gets the job done.
- I am thankful for Bo Pelini. He is still rough around the edges, but every year you can see improvement in his coaching ability (and all of the other stuff than comes along with the title and salary). Bo detractors, tell me this: who would you rather have as our coach?
- I am thankful for the Lincoln and Omaha media who do an excellent (and incredibly in-depth) job of covering the Huskers. The two main papers do an excellent job with their coverage and analysis. The numerous sports talk shows on the Omaha and Lincoln stations are all good (but I would like to be thankful for a better signal from 1620 in Lincoln – just saying).
- I am thankful for Tom Osborne. His accomplishments are too many to list, so I’ll pick a favorite: he is always somebody you are proud to have representing your team, university, and state.
- I am thankful for the sellout streak. The passion of Nebraska fans cannot be matched, and the sellout streak is a shining example of how much we care and support the Huskers.
- I am thankful for the bowls. I’m not a playoff guy, and probably never will be. I like the idea of rewarding a team for a successful season by playing a good opponent in a warm city.
- I am thankful for the Kool-Aid swilling, blindly arrogant Husker fans. You vote in every online poll with any sort of Nebraska connection. The Huskers don’t lose, they just run out of time. Nebraska against the Green Bay Packers? You’re pretty sure NU would find a way to win. I love your eternal optimism and pride in your team.
- I am thankful for the negative, put in the backup, and fire all the coaches fans. Any offensive play resulting in less than 4 yards is a failure. Every interception is another reason why the #2 guy should be starting. Every loss is a failure by one (or more) of our coaches, who should be replaced. Some may think you’re overly harsh (and unrealistic), but I get it: you have high standards and will not settle for performances that do not measure up.
- I am thankful for the return of option football. I grew up watching the great Nebraska teams run some of the best option football ever. When run correctly, the option is poetry on grass. While Nebraska has been average in their option plays, it is great to see a QB in a red jersey making a great pitch and seeing the I-Back speed around the end for a big gain.
- I am thankful for Lavonte David. One of the great perks of being a fan of a successful program is being able to watch amazing athletes playing a very high level – the ones where you tell your kids “I saw him play” and measure all others by their standard. Suh became one of those players. Lavonte David is close to that level.
- I am thankful for HuskerMax and each and every one of you who has read one of my postgame articles. If David Max had not allowed me to write for HuskerMax, the only people who would be reading this would be my family, Facebook friends, and anybody who stumbled upon my personal blog. I greatly appreciate the opportunity to have a wide audience of passionate and knowledgable, and I thank you for your kindness, comments, and readership.
Enjoy the holiday, the time with family and friends, and the start of a new rivalry with our neighbors to the east.