Some friendly, non-solicited advice and suggestions for several members of the Nebraska football program, and those that enjoy it:
- Taylor Martinez: When talking to the media, don't say anything other than generic clichés. I get that you are confident ("if we don't go to the national championship game, I'll be disappointed.") and you have set strong goals for yourself, notably a completion percentage "70% or above". But please, stop. All it does is provide fodder for the haters, the doubters, the message board critics, the talk radio naysayers, and the negative writers to use as a weapon against you. Just stick with bland, nondescript sound bites ("I think this team can accomplish our goals" and "I trust my receivers to catch whatever I throw their way") that cannot be parsed into a million pieces.
Bruce Thorson-US PRESSWIRE
- Bo Pelini: Hopefully you know by now that every Saturday ABC/ESPN/BTN/whoever has a camera dedicated to catching any negative reaction, yelling, or sideline eruption in full HD quality. So if (when) you feel the need to vent or rage, hold up the playcard in front of your face or hide behind Barney Cotton.
- ABC/ESPN/BTN: Instead of leaving a camera on Bo Pelini for the entire game, mix it up a little. Show the band, the cheerleaders, and Kenny Bell's afro.
- Adidas: Hire some new designers in your alternative uniform division.
- Nebraska Chemistry Department: As you may recall, when Der Viener Schlinger was first introduced, it wasn't very good at schlinging vieners (with a tail wind, they could barely get one into the East Stadium balcony). Then the NU Engineering Department got a chance to redesign it. After that, they were launching Fairbury franks halfway to the Coliseum. Why am I bringing this up? The helium shortage means no red balloons after the first score. Surely you guys can figure out a suitable substitute without the potential risk of a Hindenburg disaster. Get on it.
- HuskerVision: Show multiple replays of plays under review. If we trust the officials to make the right call and not be influenced by the crowd (and I do), what harm is there in letting those of us in the stadium see the same replays those at home are seeing?
- Nebraska Ticket Office: I'll be applying to two seats for 2013. But due to my financial situation (adoption expenses and minivan payments really hurt the budget) I won't be able to make a "donation" for the right to purchase tickets. Set aside some seats for me - and other fans with modest incomes - anyway.
Courtesy of Huskers.com
- Kenny Bell: Don't cut that glorious afro. I don't care if they need to order a special helmet for you. Leave it alone.
- Husker fans: Maintain an even keel throughout the season. If Rex rushes for 150 yards and 3 TDs against Southern Miss or Idaho State, it doesn't mean that he's going to win the Heisman. If Martinez throws an interception or (heaven forbid) Nebraska loses a game, it doesn't mean the sky is falling nor should a player be benched, a coach fired, or the program shut down. I know that Twitter, message boards, Facebook, blogs, radio shows, and 18 other instantaneous media outlets lead us to overreact to everything, but just stop and take a breath first.
- Tommy Armstrong: Prepare to be the most popular man on campus if/when Nebraska loses a game, or Taylor has a bad game.
- Andy Janovich: It has been a while since one of my fellow Gretna Dragons has graced the Memorial Stadium turf. Make us proud.
- Barney Cotton: This would be a really good time to have your best (and most consistent) offensive line.
- Eric Martin: I know the new kickoff rules were put in place to stop guys like you from doing what you do. But please do not stop being a Red Bull-fueled runaway train.
- Nebraska beat writers and media: Stop asking when the Blackshirts are going to be handed out. If you haven't figured it out by now, Bo will do it when he's damn good and ready.
- Rex Burkhead: Stay healthy, keep doing what you do (on and off the field), and use your platform to bring awareness to your buddy Jack whenever possible. But mostly, stay healthy.
- Guy Who Stands All Game Long: Look buddy, I'm with you. I'd much rather stand than sit - especially during a close game. But if the person in front of you is not standing up, be considerate and sit down.
- Guy Who Stands All Game Long (2): Encourage the person in front of you to stand up.
- Quincy Enunwa: Try to get more pancakes than one of the offensive linemen. If that isn't realistic, I'd settle for a (clean) hit that knocks a guy out of his shoes.
- Taylor Martinez (2): Until we know how good your backup is, slide or run out-of-bounds instead of taking a hit.
- Jason Peter: Unless you can help supply Pelini with players like Tommie Frazier, Ahman Green, Joel Makovicka, Grant Wistrom, and yourself, focus on today instead of how things were done in the mid 90's.
- Blackshirts: When you make a big play (i.e. a sack, turnover, tackle for big loss, or a key 3rd/4th down stop) throw the bones. You've earned it.
- Ron Brown: Keep your personal politics to yourself (or at least distance yourself from your role with NU). Stick to being a great coach, a positive role model, and the spiritual leader we saw last year in Happy Valley.
- Husker Media: There is a fine line between thoughtful, honest criticism and taking cheap shots / trolling a passionate fan base for reaction. Stay on the good side of the street.
- Lee Barftknecht: Yes, this means you. I know some Husker fans were real jerks to you in 1997, but try to play nice.
- Husker Fans (2): Learn to recognize the difference between thoughtful, honest criticism and a cheap shot from writers and radio hosts.
- That One Guy in My Row at Memorial Stadium: Try to get there before kickoff. And if you need to go to the restrooms, concession stand, or wherever 15 times a game do so during a dead ball - not in the middle of a play.
- Husker Fans (3): Remember, these are 18-23 year olds in that awkward transition from "kid" to "man". These guys are not getting paid, are working their tails off, and are taking college courses that many of us could not pass. Criticize their performance and mistakes all you want, but do not boo them, bash them unfairly, or make it personal. We're better than that.
- Everyone: Enjoy the season.