Let’s await Game Day with another edition of Husker Hot Takes:
Jon Schuetz is in (and then right back out) as public address announcer.
This fiasco is not a good look – at all – for the University. First off, are they really setting the precedent that all social media posts are fair game, even those made months before you are a candidate for a job? I completely get not saying anything negative while a UNL employee, but the idea that something posted months ago disqualifies somebody from a job is concerning.
Then, there is the perception that University leadership is does not tolerate those who publicly criticize University officials. I am a supporter of Chancellor Perlman, especially for the things he has done for UNL (you know, the actual school – not necessarily the athletic department). But by this standard I’m likely disqualified from ever holding a public-facing job at UNL – as are the majority of people with a Facebook or Twitter account. I don’t recall bashing Perlman here or on social media, but the odds are good that somebody could find something they find objectionable.
Finally, how do you make the hire – let alone send out a press release – when you haven’t finished vetting the candidate? If a review of the candidate’s social media accounts for questionable content is protocol, then you probably should let that process finish before making any announcements. Had UNL done that, they find the “offensive” post, tell Schuetz that they’re going another direction, and both parties are spared public embarrassment.
As for Schuetz, kudos to him for taking the high road and handling this with nothing but class. He didn’t try to say he was “hacked” – he owned what he wrote and respects UNL’s decision. From what I’ve heard, that is the type of man and professional he is. Long time company man Lane Grindle will be behind the PA mic on Saturday. I haven’t read if he has the job permanently or on an interim basis. In any case, it’s worth noting that Perlman is set to retire in June.
All the cool kids are wearing black
I’m happy to see the Blackshirts handed out – if for no other reason than avoiding the weekly Blackshirt Watch by the local media. I’m also happy to see the tradition returning to its roots instead of the much maligned way that Pelini and staff handled it. There are – to my knowledge – no written rules or criteria on when and how the Blackshirts should be handed out. Although, I’m sure that given a choice, “how they did it in the mid-90’s” would be the preferred standard.
And that’s part of why this topic is close to “shark jump” status: Had Pelini’s defenses maintained the high level of the 2009 squad, his method of giving out the shirts when they were “earned” on the field would probably become accepted as the right way. But since his last few defenses had big issues, we almost universally reject his way of doing it.
Personally, I liked the Craig Bohl method of handing them out in a ceremonial type setting instead of just hanging them on a locker. I think that method helps to underscore the legacy and exclusivity of the Blackshirt mystique (as well as creating a made-for-YouTube moment), but alas, Bohl’s defenses struggled too.
Jack Gangwish is my hero
Jack Gangwish had himself a pretty good Monday. He endeared himself to the local media by offering some great quotes in the press conference (with “head-butting mother fathers” being a personal favorite) while displaying the passion that got him elected a team captain. Then prior to practice, he received a Blackshirt and had an emotional reaction that has gone viral.
Regular readers will know that I have a soft spot for in-state walk-ons who toil in obscurity, pay their dues, and earn key roles on Saturdays (see also: Makovicka, Jeff and Joel; Rigoni, Brandon; and dozens more). Gangwish has entered that elite pantheon, and I’m excited to root for him this fall.
Mormons have a sense of humor (and Photoshop skills)
Husker fans on Twitter already know Faux Pelini (@fauxpelini) Tunnel Walk of Shame (@tunnelwalkshame), and Zombie Devaney (@ZombieDevaney) are some funny folks to follow. But for the BYU game, you may want to consider following Boney Fuller (@boneyfuller). He’s had some pretty funny tweets taking some good-natured swipes at the media guide head shots of Husker players (freshman TE Matt Snyder is a personal favorite, with honorable mention to kicker Drew Brown), as well as noting the resemblance between some Husker players and ears of corn. My guess is he’ll have some more good content between now and the end of the game.