Jack Gangwish

Husker Hot Takes – 9/2/2015

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.

Husker Hot Takes – 12/11/2014

Fill your Christmas stockings with a fresh batch of Husker Hot Takes:

What in the holy Incarnate Word is going on with Nebrasketball?

That was a meltdown of epic proportions.  Fouling a shooter taking a three pointer.  Twice.  Throwing away in-bounds passes.  Mental lapses and physical breakdowns.  All while a less than capacity crowd watches quietly.  Somewhere in Indiana, Barry Collier said “Damn, that’s a bad loss.”*

*He probably didn’t say that.

I heard a conspiracy-minded person hint that maybe Nebraska lost on purpose (for reasons that are still unclear to me).  My response:  “If they were trying to lose, they would not have been as obvious as what happened”.

So what now?  Obviously, there are issues both physical and mental going on with this team.  This team isn’t going to develop a dominating post game anytime soon, nor are they likely become three-point marksmen.  My guess is Tim Miles will figure out what his team does well and try to accentuate it.

But if you’re panicking about not making the NCAA tournament or seeing the program backslide, it is important to remember just how unlikely – and incredibly ahead of schedule – last year’s run was.  You may not agree that Coach Miles is playing with house money right now, but surely you can appreciate all of the big steps forward this program has taken – even if they took a giant step back Wednesday night.


Mike Riley is winless as Nebraska’s coach – and his old boy network of assistants is to blame!!!

I am bemused by the hand-wringing over Mike Riley and his future staff.  He’s bringing too many guys with him.  He’s not keeping enough of the current staff.  He should be getting Scott Frost and an all-star cast he’s never worked with before.  Why is he not paying millions for a big name coordinator?  Did you see Oregon State’s defensive stats?  Nebraska is doomed!

Relax.  Take a deep breath.

It should go without saying that Riley wants to surround himself with the best possible staff.  He didn’t come here to lose.  In his mind, the only thing he’s going to gravitate towards is a championship.  If that means bringing along people he knows, trusts, and believes in, I’m okay with that.

Admittedly, my initial reaction to the Riley hired was rather underwhelming.  But, that initial disappointment was not as great as when Nebraska introduced some unknown coach named Tim Miles.  I’m not saying Riley will replicate Miles’s success or popularity, but maybe we should wait until September (or even October) before we call the hire a failure.  Okay?



Jack Gangwish is not going to be PETA’s Man of the Year

Sheesh, you club one little raccoon to death with a crescent wrench and you have to deal with PETA sending letters to your athletic director implying that you are on the fast track to domestic violence.

All joking aside, let’s call that PETA letter what it is:  an attention-grabbing stunt that is unfortunately far too common from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.  It’s a ridiculous “me-too” move from an organization that derails any positive work they could do with stupid antics like this.  I know I’ve already given them far too many pixels.

The whole story is silly.  College aged male sees raccoon on side of road, improbably* thinks “this would be a great photo opportunity!” and attempts selfie.  Raccoon feels camera-shy and bites man, who reacts quickly and harshly with a crescent wrench.

*I say “improbably” for those of us who are not males in the 16-22 demographic, as my wife would never think to take a selfie with roadkill  But for boys in that particular age range, almost no idea is improbable. 

As for Jack, my affinity for tough, hard-working walk-ons is well documented (Mackovicka, Jeff & Joel; Rigoni, Brandon; etc.) and Gangwish certainly fits that bill.  As legend of this grows, I suspect it will only make me a bigger fan.

I am bummed that he announced that the rabies test came back negative.  Not that I want Gangwish to have rabies, but I love the idea of him lined up against some Trojan tackle in the bowl game, foaming at the mouth.  In other words, use this to your advantage!


Are the Huskers secretly working to destroy Wisconsin?

Let’s recap:  Husker AD Shawn Eichorst fires Bo Peini (1-3 vs. Wisconsin with three big losses). Eichorst replaces Pelini with Mike Riley, creating a vacancy at Oregon State.  Oregon State hires Gary Anderson, leaving Wisconsin to have to replace a coach that just took the team to the Big Ten Championship game. Rumors swirl that Anderson bolted for Oregon State because he did not like working for Nebraska grad Barry Alvarez.  Alvarez now will coach the bowl game and will hire another head coach.

Is this all part of some elaborate plot that Eichorst and Alvarez cooked up to neuter Wisconsin and give Nebraska a clearer path to the Big Ten West title?  Probably not.  I won’t claim to know (or want to speculate) why Anderson thinks Oregon State is a better job than Wisconsin, but it’s not a great look on Wisconsin.  But if Eichorst and Alvarez are conspiring on anything, it should be to get rid of the ugly-ass Freedom Trophy.


Erstad on Hall of Fame ballot.

The former #1 draft pick and veteran of the Angels, White Sox, and Astros appears on the ballot for the 2015 Baseball Hall of Fame.  Erstad would need to appear on 75% of the ballots to be inducted.  However, with Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz also appearing for the first time, his chances are not that great.

The balloting process for the Hall of Fame has been under criticism for a while.  My suggestion is to make it an online fan vote.  With Husker Nation behind him, Erstad would be elected for sure.




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