Basketball

Nebrasketball: Time to Panic?

Even by their historically ugly standards, 2015 has been a very bad year for the Nebraska Basketball program.

Let’s recap Nebrasketball’s low-lights since the first of the year:

  • A 5-13 record, with an average margin of defeat of 13 points.
  • NU was winless on the road and 1-8 against conference foes that made the NCAA tournament.  (It should be noted that lone win was over Michigan State, a Final Four team).
  • The team was locked out of their locker room and banned from media contact by Head Coach Tim Miles after an embarrassing home loss to Iowa.
  • The Huskers fell behind 13th seed Penn State by 16 points in the first round of the Big Ten tournament.  A late rally gave the Big Red a chance to take the lead in the final minute, but they ended up losing by four.
  • Walt Pitchford announced he’s quitting basketball to focus on getting his degree.  Three days later, he had declared for the NBA draft.
  • After appearing in every game, promising freshman guard Tarin Smith decided to transfer.
  • Star forward and leading scorer Terran Petteway announced that he’s foregoing his senior season to enter the NBA draft.
  • Assistant Coach Chris Harriman, a member of Miles’ first staff, is leaving to become associate head coach at New Mexico.

Clearly, there is smoke coming from the Nebrasketball program.

But is there fire?  Collectively, one must ask if there are big issues within a Nebraska program a year removed from looking like a team on the rise.  I think it’s foolish to make sweeping generalizations without looking at the events separately.  Individually, all of these are explainable and/or understandable*, especially the four departures.

*Except for that 5-13 collapse.  I could list twenty things that may have factored in the downfall of the 2014-15 Huskers, and still not account for everything that played a role in that train wreck.

Transfers in college basketball are rather commonplace.  In 2013, there were 455 transfers across D-1 college hoops.  Until Tarin Smith picks a school, it will be hard to determine if he is “up-transferring” to a better program or going to a lower D-1 school where more playing time appears readily available.

Miles was quoted in the Omaha World-Herald as saying “Tarin and I had talked over the last month about his future and where he fit in.  I believe strongly in Tarin and wanted him to stay, but I put out the most likely scenario for him and told him he had to feel good about it.”

One can certainly speculate that the “likely scenario” Miles talks about is Smith being an off the bench role player behind touted point guard recruit Glynn Watson and Benny Parker, who started many games in the 2014-15.  Smith tweeted that his decision “has nothing to do with me competing for a position”.

Pitchford’s initial decision made sense.  He regressed as a player in 2014-15, and I assumed he realized the pro prospects for a 6’10” guy with limited post presence and a deteriorated shooting touch were slim.  I applauded his decision to get his degree and pursue a career in business.

So I get that his decision to declare for the draft a few days later is – on the surface – very curious.  But before we go any further, its worth clarifying that “declaring for the NBA draft” doesn’t necessarily mean that Walt P. believes he’ll be drafted by an NBA team (spoiler alert:  he won’t).  Putting your name into the draft open doors for international teams to evaluate and sign you.  My hunch is Pitchford was sincere about getting his degree and starting a business career, but realized that he could make some decent money playing overseas ($65,000+, in an European league).  He’ll have the rest of life for a business career, but his body has a limited number of years of competitive basketball left.  He might as well see what’s out there.

Petteway’s decision to turn pro is on some levels similar to Pitchford’s decision:  he may not be drafted by an NBA team, but the odds are strong that he’ll get an opportunity to make a nice living overseas.  But looking deeper, I think Petteway’s decision was likely easier to make.

It’s tough for me to say if Terran Petteway is making the right choice or not.  Selfishly, I think he only improves his draft stock by coming back – the highly touted recruiting class likely means he wouldn’t need to be three or four of the best scoring options on the floor every single night.  He’s on pace to get his degree at the end of this semester, so he could have focused on basketball essentially full-time.  Plus, he likely is viewed as a better prospect leading a team that wins 20 games instead of being the best player on a team that loses 20.

But I can also appreciate the flip side.  Had he returned to NU, Petteway would have been 24 when he turned pro, which is old for NBA rookies.  He would have risked injury or a Pitchford-like regression.  As much as Petteway said all the right things about Lincoln and Husker fans when he left, I suspect he won’t miss being bashed on message boards, social media, and talk radio for having poor body language or taking too many shots*.  Finally, I won’t theorize how or if the passing of Terran’s mother from cancer impacted his decision, but clearly her declining health weighed on him this past season.

*Look:  you are obviously entitled to your opinion on how Petteway carried himself on the court as well as his shot selection/volume.  I have no doubt that you could make a convincing case that Petteway was “ball hog” who was prone to pouting on the court.  But you will never convince me that Nebrasketball will automatically be better in 2015-16 without Terran Petteway.  Even if the incoming freshmen and transfer Andrew White III are better than their considerable hype, are you really telling me that a team like Nebraska wouldn’t benefit from one of the program’s all-time prolific scorers who had a reputation for being a competitive, hard worker?  That doesn’t seem likely.

As for Harriman, it’s frustrating to lose a good assistant and recruiter – especially to a Mountain West team who will be giving him a raise.  But “associate head coach” is a promotion and a stepping stone to what every assistant wants:  a head coaching job of his own.  It stinks losing good assistants – I have the loss of former assistant coach Craig Smith on that long list of things that impacted that 2014-15 season – but on the flip side it says something about the guys Miles has working for him when they move up to other jobs.

*   *   *

So should we be concerned about where the Nebraska Basketball program is at?  Should Tim Miles start his fourth season on the hot seat?

In light of the player and coaching transitions, I say no.  Roster turnover is a natural part of the college game.  Don’t believe me?  It’s worth noting that of the players I’ve named in this piece (Tarin Smith, Walt Pitchford, Terran Petteway, Andrew White III, and Glynn Watson) the only one who has not transferred is the one who has yet to graduate high school.  Yes, the attrition rate from Miles’ NU recruiting classes is now above 50%, but I’d rather have guys move on than be dead weight on the roster or blights in the locker room.

One of the worst parts of being a Nebraska Basketball fan is having to play the Chicago Cubs “wait ’til next year” game with the next recruit who possibly possesses the potential to potentially get the Huskers that elusive NCAA tournament victory.  Because much like the Cubs, that blue chip inevitably turns into a blue busts.  I like the potential of this class.  I just would like them better with some more veterans on the team.

As for Miles, I think it is far too early to be talking seriously about his job security – especially since we’re 13 months removed from finding sculptors for the statue of him outside Pinnacle Bank Arena.  Yeah, he probably could have handled the locker room lockout better (i.e. internally), but Miles should have enough equity with fans to get through another .500 season.  Beyond that?  Well, I’ve been wrong about Tim Miles once before, so you’ll forgive me if I’m slow to doubt him again.

Dear Tim Miles

An open letter to Nebraska Basketball coach Tim Miles

Dear Tim,

I was wrong.

When your predecessor, Doc Sadler, was fired I used this platform to lay out my thoughts for who Nebraska’s next coach should be.  In that piece, I was strongly against hiring a guy like you:  the “no-name” coach from a mid-major program who lacked dynamic recruiting ties.

When you were hired, I was (to say the least) underwhelmed.  The coach from Colorado State?  Really?  Despite my Wyoming buddies telling me that you were the “real deal”, I was all but convinced that Nebraska was falling into the same trap of the mid-major coach who would not be able to recruit and/or compete in one of the nation’s best conferences.  I actually started a piece expressing my frustration and lack of enthusiasm for the hire.  Thankfully, that one never saw the light of day.

But if you read that link above, you may have noticed that I also wanted a coach like you.  Notably, I called for a head coach who is:

  • A top recruiter.  The jury is still out, but I like that you were in on star forward Terran Petteway out of high school.  You couldn’t land him at Colorado State, but were able to get him to Lincoln.  The visit from the highly touted “Chicago 5” recruits made some noise, and now it comes down to being able to land that talent.
  • A dynamic personality who can sell the program and inspire the fans“.  Not to pat myself on the back too hard, but that is you in a Twitter-length nutshell.  Your personality, media savvy, quick wit, and use of social media is, frankly, more than I could have ever dreamed.  Fans believe in this program for the first time this century.  I like to say that you are “undefeated in press conferences”, and I suspect that will be the case for a long, long time.
  • Somebody who can coach.  The overriding opinion is that you know the x’s and o’s, and several of Nebraska’s wins are directly related to your game planning, adjustments, and ability to lead your team.  Your team has a clear identity, the players know and embrace their roles, and it is apparent that your team will go to war for you and for each other.

The transformation of this program in two years is astounding.  As I write this, Nebraska is 8-1 at home in Big Ten play, with the lone loss coming by 1 point to the #12 team in the country.  Sure, some of the credit for the turn-around must go to the new Pinnacle Bank Arena – the atmosphere is so raucous that the blue hairs are writing letters to the editor to complain about the noise.  But we both know that a Doc Sadler or Barry Collier team would not be as beloved in the new arena.

You have given the fans something to cheer about.  The talent level is notably improved.  Nebraska has their first legitimate NBA-caliber player in years.  Defense and floor burns get bigger cheers than breakaway dunks.  Heck, you even have players proposing to their girlfriends at half court.

It’s only your second year in Lincoln, and your team has done things that nobody thought was possible at Nebraska:  finishing in the top half of the league, dominating your home court, knocking off two top 10 teams, earning a first round bye in the conference tournament, and all but guaranteeing Nebraska’s first appearance in the NCAA tournament since 1998.

I’m impressed by how handle things.  You know exactly when to be hilariously funny, aw-shucks humble, brutally honest, and when to take jabs at Billy Bluejay*.

*Sure, there is something to be said for taking jabs at your in-state rival two months AFTER the game (especially when they run you out of the gym), but this is a great time for Miles to establish Nebraska as the dominant program in the state.  Seriously.

If Nebraska and Creighton’s basketball programs were stocks, I would be buying Nebraska and selling my portfolio of Creighton.  I don’t know if Creighton maintains (or even approaches) their 5 year level of success without Doug McDermott.  Big Red is poised to become the dominant program in the state.

Most importantly, you refuse to let the wretched history of this program be a crutch or an excuse.  All of the years of finishing 10th or 11th in the conference are irrelevant to you.  You have done this before and you are doing it again.  And it is a blast to watch.

So allow me to say it again:  I was wrong.  I did not think you would be a good fit, and you would keep Nebraska mired in the same muck of mediocrity that the die-hard fans have known for years.

Please accept my sincere apology.  I am a believer in what you are doing, and will be standing in support of your team as you continue to rewrite the history of Nebrasketball.

I have never been so happy to be this wrong.

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Excuses Miami Heat fans have for leaving early

Much is being made of the hundreds of Miami Heat fans who poured out of the arena with Miami down four points with less than 30 seconds to go in Game 6 of the NBA Finals.  I get it, nothing is more annoying than the “I gotta beat traffic” guy who blocks your view while his wife collects her designer purse.

Miami fans had a crappy reputation already, and this game isn’t going to help.  But it may not be fair to paint an entire fan base with one brush.  I’m sure some of these fans had valid, completely legit reasons for leaving an epic, gonna-talk-about-it-for-years game before the end.  Here are some of those excuses:

  • “I wanted to buy a Tony Parker jersey before the game ended to show the world that I’m a longtime Spurs fan.”
  • “I wanted to get home and tweet about LeBron not being able to finish what he starts.”
  • “I was hoping to catch the last inning of the Marlins game.”
  • “I’m more artificial than Cinderella at the ball, so I need to be home before midnight.”
  • “I heard there was another bandwagon accepting riders outside.”
  • “I’m a horrible fan and likely an awful person.”
  • “Miami is all about being seen, so I was just parading around the arena.”
  • “Security mentioned that Ray Lewis was back in town, so I needed to get outta there.”
  • “Nordstrom’s was having a sale on white pants.”
  • “We didn’t leave.  Five thousand of us all had to pee at the same time.”
  • “I was afraid that Chris Bosh was going to morph into a giant praying mantis and destroy us all.”
  • “The dagger of Tony Parker’s three pointer ruptured my boob job / pec implants.”
  • “If I let an underprivileged youth sit in my court side seats, I can write them off, so I was going to look for some.”
  • “I didn’t want to get a $10 parking ticket on my Mercedes SUV.”
  • “I don’t really care about basketball, I just wanted the free ‘white-out’ t-shirt.”
  • “It’s LeBron’s fault.  If he were more like Jordan, I wouldn’t have left.”

My Four Year Old Daughter’s Bracket is Better Than Yours

Indulge a proud father in some bragging…

My wife and I have competed in NCAA brackets for as long as we’ve been together.  Since we’ve had kids, we’ve gotten them involved with brackets of their own.  I picked on behalf of my one year old son (straight chalk), but this year my daughter picked her own games.

The night before the tournament started, I pulled up espn.com and went through all of the games, asking her who she liked:  Oklahoma State or Oregon?  Memphis or St. Mary’s?  VCU or Akron?  With the exception of automatically picking the 1 seeds to beat the 16’s in the opening round, I did not veto her when she wanted to knock out a 1 seed in the round of 32 or took five double-digit seeds to the Sweet 16.   I entered in her picks, as she gave them to me, and we repeated the process through the entire bracket.  Then we watched kids videos on YouTube, (including the very painful ABC Rap).

So here’s the deal:  my beautiful four-year old, who earlier this year saw a basketball game on TV and called it “football”, is absolutely killing it with her bracket.  As of this writing (three days into the tournament, half of the Sweet 16 set), she is in the 99th percentile* on espn.com.  Of the seven million brackets on ESPN, only 90,445 are better than hers.

Imagine what she could do if she cared about basketball...

Imagine what she could do if she cared about basketball…

What makes it even cooler is this tournament has a number of big upsets:  #12 Oregon getting to the Sweet 16, #9 Wichita State knocking off #1 Gonzaga, #12 Ole Miss over #5 Wisconsin, #13 La Salle  over #4 Kansas State, #14 Harvard over #3 New Mexico, #12 Cal over #5 UNLV.

My daughter correctly picked them all.

About the only big upset she didn’t predict was #15 Florida Gulf Coast over #2 Georgetown.  Frankly, I’m surprised she didn’t pick that one as she was born on the gulf side of Florida.

I’ll admit:  I want to get my bragging in now while I can.  As amazing of a run as she’s having, I’m skeptical about her picks of Oregon over Louisville, North Carolina over Kansas, and Temple over Indiana.  But if this tournament has shown anything, it’s that the top seed overlook the lower ones at their own risk.

Her Final Four?  She has Ohio State, Duke, Florida, and Temple, with home state Florida winning it all.  You can snicker at that Temple pick, or you let me know how your bracket is doing.

Oh, that’s right.  You’re getting smoked by a four-year old girl.

March Madness – Beyond the Brackets

 

With the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament starting this week, people all across the country are filling out their brackets, picking upsets, and trying to predict the Final Four.

Filling out brackets has become a rite of spring.  Pools are formed in offices, schools, in families, and online amongst complete strangers.

But a traditional bracket pool isn’t for everyone.  Some like to show off their hoops knowledge, and some are looking for a way to stay engaged after the tournament’s first weekend.  Others may be bored with brackets and are looking different challenges.

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to have some fun and exciting competition* against your friends, relatives, and co-workers without having to antagonize over which 7 – 10 upset to pick.

*This is where I should insert a friendly (yet legally binding) disclaimer about how the suggestions in this post are solely for entertainment purposes, and are not condoned or endorsed as a form of gambling (unless, of course, your employer, state, or country allows such things). 

Any reference to “entries”, “pay-out”, “win” or the like obviously refers to non-monetary items of limited value, which will not draw the attention of state and federal agents. 

In other words, if your participation in one of the following pools gets you arrested, fired, divorced, beaten up, sued, or bankrupted, that is your problem, not mine.  Thank you.

For each alternative, I’ll list the effort required by the lifeguard (i.e. the person running the pool) as well as for those who will be diving in.  From easiest to most complex:

Buh Bye Bob

Yesterday was the final Nebraska basketball game at the Bob Devaney Sports Center before the team moves to the new downtown Pinnacle Bank Arena.

All week, I’ve been reading and hearing memories, interviews with coaches and players, and other nostalgia over the closing* of the basketball arena.

*I wrote “closing” mainly so I could address a pet peeve:  The Bob Devaney Sports Center is not closing, nor will it be demolished, abandoned, or used as a giant storage facility.  It is being renovated for other sports – mainly, women’s volleyball, along with wrestling, gymnastics, etc).  Heck, with the Nebraska High School boys state tournament starting tomorrow, we are guaranteed another three days of basketball.  Talking about the BDSC “closing” really takes focus away from the exciting news that some of these smaller sports will be getting some pretty fancy digs next year.

I was asked if I was going to jump on the nostalgia train and give my favorite memories, best games I attended, random concerts and other events I attended there.  My response?

Hell no.

It’s not that I don’t have fond memories of the Bob.  My years as a Nebraska student (1993 – 1997) were on the tail end of the most successful stretch in school history – with “successful” being a term I use very loosely considering NU is one of three BCS schools without a win in the NCAA tournament.

But given the horrible basketball stench that has emanated out of the Bob for most of its life, and especially for this century, talking about cherished Devaney Center memories is kind of silly.  Put it this way:  when Baylor football moves to a new stadium, I doubt they will waste a lot of time reminiscing about all of the great years at Floyd Casey Stadium.

The Bob

Instead, I’m going to write about the symbolic nature of the last basketball game at a place that has been referred to as the “Lincoln Library” and “Dead Dog Alley” for the lack of fan enthusiasm.  For me, this final game at the Bob means one thing:

There are no more excuses for Nebraska being a below average (if not down-right horrible) basketball team.

Throughout the Devaney Era, there have been a number of excuses trotted out by coaches, players, administrators, fans, and media; all trying to explain why the basketball team has rarely been a winner.  But team’s departure from the Devaney Center means that all of the excuses that have surrounded this program for years, if not decades, are gone.

  • Inferior facilities?  Not anymore.  Nebraska’s facilities (arena and practice gym) will be among the best in the country.  As it is, the Hendricks Center is widely described as one of the finest basketball facilities in the nation – college or pro.
  • Apathetic fans?  The first few years in the new building will have good attendance as folks come out to see the new arena and all that the Haymarket area has to offer.  More importantly, Nebraska fans are hungry for a winner.  If the team starts competing at or near the top of the Big Ten, the crowds will pack the area for years to come.
  • No home court advantage?  In the college game, the student section sets the tone for rest of the fans.  If the students aren’t into the game, nobody else will be either.  I’m thrilled that the students will be getting some prime real estate (behind the benches and under the baskets) as well as their own entrance into the building.
  • A coach over his head in a power conference?  Nebraska has struggled to find the right coach since Danny Nee left.  Barry Collier and Doc Sadler each had good traits, but neither was capable of building a program in the Big XII/Big 10.  I’ll admit that I wasn’t sure about the hire of Tim Miles, but I think he understands what needs to be done.  More importantly, I think he’s capable of doing it.
  • A roster devoid of talent?  To be a winning program you must have NBA-level talent.  Nebraska’s talent level since the late 1990s has been closer to the local YMCA than the NBA.  Recruiting will always be a challenge here(little home-grown talent, zero tradition, Lincoln can be a long way from home), but it can no longer be an excuse.  Between the new facilities and the recruiting abilities of Tim Miles and his staff, an influx of talent is coming.
  • Lack of administration support.  Basketball was neglected (if not completely ignored) during most of the 2000s, but the facilities and increased resources for Miles and his staff show that administration cares about producing a winning program.

I’m not saying that NU will finish in the top half of the conference in 2014, or will get to the Sweet 16 in 2015.  They won’t.  The talent level is still lower than it should be, and it will take time for the rebuilding efforts to come to fruition – likely multiple seasons of slow, but steady, growth.

But the bottom line does not change:  There are no more excuses for why this program cannot be successful.  Any remaining baggage should be left at Devaney and not moved to the new arena.

*Okay…I can’t resist.  When else am I going to have the opportunity to do a bullet point list of my obscure Devaney Center memories that will only be interesting/relevant to me:

  • During college, my buddy Marcus and I used to sit behind the opposing team’s bench (back when students were able to do such a thing).  By our junior year, the ushers working the section would save our seats for us.
  • Those seats gave us prime opportunity to heckle opposing players and coaches.  I recall giving Kansas center Scott Pollard crap about his painted finger nails, asking him who did it for him.  His girlfriend (who was sitting right in front of us) turned around and said “I do”.
  • During the 90’s, NU had a remote controlled blimp that would circle the upper levels.  We always hoped it would crash and burn, Hindenburg style, on the cables supporting the baskets. 
  • During one game, I was picked to shoot a half-court shot for a chance to win a pizza a week for a year.  I air-balled.  Badly.
  • Back when the Devaney hosted concerts, I saw the Eagles (great show), Weird Al Yankovic (not a great show), and Carrot Top (better than you’d think). 
  • I sat next to Danny Nee and his family for that Weird Al show.
  • During a blowout loss to Kansas, I asked coach Roy Williams if I could coach out the rest of the game for him.  He declined my offer.
  • I forget what I said, but during a game against Texas, I was a little scared that coach Tom Penders was going to come over the bench and wring my neck.
  • Back when NU would start the season with exhibition games, they played a team from somewhere in Russia.  During introductions, they introduced the entire team – even the guy who drove the bus.  He received the biggest applause.
  • After halftime, two janitors would come out and sweep the floor.  One of them had the most glorious mutton chops you have ever seen.  We lovingly referred to him as “Chops”.  I’d see him every so often riding his bike around campus, with his mutton chops flowing in the breeze. 
  • For a season or two, Nebraska had a promotion with a formal wear store and these poor janitors would have to wear tuxedos to sweep the floor.
  • I went with my dad to the 1988 upset victory over Kansas, who went on to win the National Championship.  That was a lot of fun.
  • Back when they had the outline of the state on the court, Eric Piatkowski made a ridiculously long three point shot from somewhere around Hastings.
  • The long and pathetic parade of no-talent schlubs who came off the bench for Nebraska.  Too many to mention.
  • During one of the Kansas games, a fraternity brother of mine was sitting a few rows behind us.  He spent the entire game heckling KU star Paul Pierce.  To this day, I cannot watch Pierce play without hearing Smitty yelling “PIERCE!!!  I’m coming for you!!!”
  • This may a complete shock to today’s students, but there was a time when you had to get to the Devaney early to get decent seats (2 hours for most games, 3 or more for big games).
  • On the flip side, there were several non-conference games where the P.A. announcer would invite fans to move down to a better seat.
  • Hey Guy, Nacho Lady, and the Woosh-Red guy who smelled like kitty litter.
  • Going from rarely missing a game over five seasons to barely attending a game in the last five seasons.  Yes, I am the embodiment of Nebrasketball fan apathy.
  • The talent of the Danny Nee teams being matched only by their lack of discipline.
  • The non-conference opponent who was so ticked with his team’s lack of effort that he made them run lines before the second half started.
  • Frozen malt cups, with that tongue depressor spoon. 
  • And so many more…

A Sports Fan’s Bucket List

I went to a college gymnastics meet last night.  During the meet, Nebraska senior Janelle Giblin scored a perfect 10.0 on the uneven bars.

Even though Nebraska is a top ten team, it was quite unexpected – the 10.0 was Nebraska’s first in any event since 2011, and only the second in school history on bars.

It was also pretty cool to witness; one of those things that as a sports fan I’ll be able to claim for the rest of my life.

The perfect 10 got me thinking:  what other accomplishments and feats should every sports fan aspire to see?  A sports fan’s bucket list, if you will.

I’m not talking about sporting events you want to attend (Super Bowl, The Masters, Olympics, Game 7, etc.), but the moments and feats that every sports fan should hope to witness.

My sports fan bucket list is broken out by sport.  I’m going to try to limit this list to the universally known items (a walk-off home run) and avoid the obscure, once in a blue moon events (like the one point safety in the 2013 Fiesta Bowl).

Feel free to leave any other suggestions in the comments.

Baseball

  • Walk-off home run
  • No hitter or perfect game.
  • Batter hits for the cycle.
  • A triple play.*

*A personal aside:  back in the mid-90s, I went to a Royals – A’s game with some buddies.  In the top of the 3rd inning, I headed to concession stands when Oakland was batting (as a lifelong Royals fan, I wanted to watch the Royals bat). 

While in line, I heard a loud roar from the KC crowd.  I returned to my seat to learn that the Royals had just turned a 5-4-3 triple play.  My friends who saw it were, of course, the ones that didn’t care about baseball.  They knew they had witnessed something special, while I, the baseball fan, had unwittingly traded a once in a lifetime opportunity for a hotdog and a Coke.

I am still very bitter about this. 

Basketball

  • A triple-double.
  • Game winning buzzer beater from well beyond three-point range.

Hockey

  • A hat trick.
  • Goal scored by a goalie.

Football*

*I really struggled coming up with bucket list worthy football items.  What I came up with were more about the game than individual performances, which is not what this list is about.  

Sure, game winning field goals can be exciting, but they can also be rather automatic and generic.  I’ve seen some amazing individual accomplishments (a 300 yard rusher, a 500 yard passer, a receiver who had 400 yards in a game) but those are more arbitrary numbers than true bucket list items.  Regardless, here is what I came up with:

  • A tear down the goal posts win.
  • A back and forth, multiple overtime game (high school or college)
  • A touchdown involving three or more players touching the ball (trick plays, multiple laterals, etc.).

Other Sports

  • A perfect 10 in gymnastics
  • Hole in one or a double eagle (witnessing one, not hitting it).
  • A world’s record in any Olympic event (track & field, swimming, etc., but not necessarily AT the Olympics)
  • A 300 game in bowling

What items are on your sports fan bucket list?

Thought of the Day – 7/9/2012

My Twitter feed* informs me that former Nebraska Basketball players Aleks Maric and Ade Dagunduro will be representing their countries (Australia and Nigeria, respectively) in the 2012 Olympic Games.

*Yes kids it is true – you too can follow @FeitCanWrite to receive instant notification of new Feit Can Write posts.  #ShamelessPlug 

Which leads me to this scary revelation:

  • Lowly Nebraska basketball (zero NCAA tournament wins) will have twice as many Olympic basketball players as legendary hoops powerhouse Kansas (Sasha Kaun*, Russia).

*The name Sasha Kaun still makes me think of Chaka Khan’s “I Feel For You”.  #HowMyWeirdMindWorks  #ContinuingTheTwitterHashtagTheme

As I try to digest that fact, I’m starting to think this is less suited for “Thought of the Day” and more apt for Sports Illustrated’s “Sign of the Apocalypse”.

The only thing that would be scarier is if American Football was an Olympic sport and more Kansas Jayhawks made teams than Nebraska Cornhuskers.

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