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  • Bo Pelini Salutes the Greatest******* Fans in College******** Football

    By now, you are familiar with the (NSFW) bomb Deadspin.com dropped on the state of Nebraska, Bo Pelini, and the 2013 season. Having read the article, listened to the audio, and witnessed the media explosion that followed, I'm still trying to wrap my head around the situation. Here are some of my random thoughts as of Monday night:

    You have every right to be pissed off. I was upset when I first heard it. It was unsettling. Disturbing. Hurtful. As Nebraskans and fans, we have a deep pride in the program. Over the years, we've come to expect that our passion will be mocked and ridiculed by outsiders who don't understand what we have and why we treasure it. When the barbs come from some east coast media member or fan of a rival school, it is easy to deflect their words because they don't get it. The quote from former walk-on Todd Peterson says it best: "From the outside looking in, you can't understand it, and from the inside looking out, you can't explain it."

    I think that is why Bo's comments are so hurtful - rarely have such words ever come from somebody on the inside. Yes, Bo is not a Nebraska native or an alumnus, but when the recording was made in 2011, he was in his fourth year as head coach, and fifth season associated with the program. By then, he should have known exactly how we tick - how to make us happy and how to piss us off. That he chose to attack us as fans - regardless of the situation or setting - is upsetting.

    I don't think I'm pissed at Pelini. But I am disappointed. And hurt.

    And that may end up being worse.

    Some will forgive. Few will forget. There is a segment of fans who have already forgiven Bo. They understand these things were said two years ago, in the emotional heat of a big win after a stressful week (after which I wrote this). They like Bo's fire, his passion, how much he cares about his players and fights for them. They may say things like "I wouldn't want my worst moments to be recorded and published". They believe certain media members have an ax to grind with Pelini. They see his good traits - the way he graduates players, runs a clean program, and has very few guys getting arrested. They like how Bo talks stresses things that Nebraskans believe in - accountability, honor, family, and a no-nonsense black and white approach. They will always love him for what he did for Jack Hoffman and his family.

    And yet, even for the staunchest Pelini backer, the biggest of the Bo-lievers, the memory of this tirade will never go away. That audio clip is going to linger in their minds for the remainder of Pelini's tenure at Nebraska. Nebraskans are generally a trusting people. We are caring and generous, but will defend our own tooth and nail. But when that trust is gone, look out.

    The wound may heal, but the scar will remain.

    Bo's profane attack is not a fireable offense - today. As the Pelini tape played across the state and nation, there were several audible sounds beyond Bo's vast collection of F-bombs. There was the sound of jaws hitting the floor in disbelief. And for many fans, there was the faint sound of a final straw landing on their back. But as shocked as I was to hear the audio, I'll be even more surprised if the recording gets Bo fired before the season ends. Multiple losses or another blowout may do the trick, but I don't think a two year old string of expletives is enough cause to make a change mid-season.

    Make no mistake, everything else that Bo does or says, every loss or disappointment is now under a much greater microscope than it was yesterday. No, Bo probably won't be fired this week, but the Deadspin piece will definitely make such a decision easier down the road.

    There are so many questions about that tape. There are lots of unknowns here. Deadspin said the tape came from a person who "only recently had come into possession of this audio before sending it our way". Assuming that to be true (and I'm not sure I do), here is a partial list of things I (and everybody else) would love to know:

    • Who made the initial recording?

    • As of the UCLA game, was this person still employed by the University or the Husker Sports Network?

    • Was Bo aware that he was being taped?

    • If the tape changed hands, when did that happen? Why? Who arranged the trade?

    • Who released it to Deadspin? Are they a media member? A booster? A disgruntled employee?

    • Why release it now? Why not last year after the Big Ten Championship or the bowl game?

    • There was some buzz on Twitter that the existence of the tape has been known for over a year. Who knew and when?


    I have no respect for whomever made (and kept) that recording. Hopefully we can all agree that whoever recorded Bo - presumably without his knowledge - and then held onto that tape for their own use is a low-life scumbag. I'm not versed on Nebraska statutes to know if any laws were broken, but the law of common decency was clearly broken by this individual. As much as Bo's words hurt, it is equally as troubling to know that somebody with such low character was working either for the Athletic Department or the Husker Sports Network.

    Take away the profanity, and Bo actually has a point. You may not want to hear it, but Bo does state a couple of cold hard truths. There is a fair-weather contingent within the fan base. For most of the Pelini era, the public perception of Bo's Huskers is based solely on their last game. Even though it is long after the recording was made, consider the first two games of the 2013 season: Nebraska eked by a decent Wyoming team and there is near panic over how bad the season will be. Nebraska follows it up with a blowout of a bad Southern Miss team, and suddenly all is sunshine and lollipops. And when Nebraska is perceived to be "down", there is a vocal piece of the fan base, media, and message board posters that calls for coaches to be fired, starters to be benched, and changes to be made in Bo's schemes.

    In my opinion, Bo was right to call out the fans who left that Ohio State game. Right before halftime, many fans showered the team with boos. Lots of those fans left at halftime or shortly into the 3rd quarter. Those fans quit on the team that night, and in Bo's black and white world, that is unacceptable. Looking back on what I wrote after that game, I was pretty hard on our fans too. I didn't use any expletives, but I was in row 47, not coaching on the sideline against my alma mater.

    And finally, Bo was right: the night's biggest play was made by a "******** wide receiver playing cornerback".

    Now what? We all wake up on Tuesday and realize it wasn't a horrible dream. So what happens next? What does the fallout look like? Even before the loss to UCLA, I was expecting a lot of tickets to be available for Saturday's game with South Dakota State. Now? I would not be too shocked to see empty pockets in the stands.

    As for the rest of the season? Who knows how this will impact the team. Surely they are little fragile after the UCLA game, and the increased scrutiny on their coach won't help. In my opinion, it goes one of two ways: either they completely and totally collapse in a 2007-esque ball of horror or they go into the famed Pelini "bunker mode" and do just enough to win the Legends division.

    And the off-season? In a sentence I did not think I would type 12 hours ago: short of a Big 10 title or BCS bowl game, I do not see how Bo Pelini coaches this team in 2014. I'm currently not against him as a coach, nor am I calling for him to be fired (yet), but I feel the damage done by this tape is going to be too much for Shawn Eichorst and Harvey Perlman to look past when the season ends.

    Whether or not you choose to kiss Bo Pelini's "assout the ******** door" is completely up to you.


    Dave Feit is a freelance writer living in Lincoln. Additional thoughts on the Huskers (and everything else) can be found on his blog (www.feitcanwrite.com). Follow him on Twitter or on Facebook.


    Comments 6 Comments
    1. Unregistered's Avatar
      Unregistered -
      You must be talking about the same fans that booed the 1982 Nebraska Football team as they marched to the locker room against Auburn. Also the same fans that turned on their native son Scoot Frost for leaving the state to play college football. He then returned and was again abused until he helped Nebraska win a National Championship. Did this same fan base want to can Coach Osborne in the late 70's and late 80's before he turned the 90's into a Hall of Fame career.
      Nebraska fans are just like all other fan bases. They love their team and want them to win every football game that is played.
      So do not make yourselves out to be better than anyone else that walks the earth.
    1. Unregistered's Avatar
      Unregistered -
      T.O. would have NEVER been in this type of situation. Coach Bo is exactly what he is....unfit for Nebraska duty.
    1. Unregistered's Avatar
      Unregistered -
      Perlman is the problem. He should have came out and said he was aware of that incident 2 years ago and it had been addressed. Why is it every few years we have the same issues... looking back Perlaman has hired and fired more coaches and AD's in the last several years. I think it is time for a new person at the helm of the University. Now he has opened the flood gates... I am not discounting Bo's comments it was wrong but he is a passionate man and those same fans that left the game that night are probably the same rude patheic fair weather fans calling for changes... WAKE UP NEBRASKA AND GET A LIFE! LET'S GET BACK TO DECENCY! The season has only started give the kids a chance! They are kids afterall with now a leader in flex becuase of the media and the Mr. Perlman.
    1. Unregistered's Avatar
      Unregistered -
      Dave: A thoughtful piece. I just wish Coach Pelini would be as thoughtful under the pressure that does follow the head coach at Nebraska. Like TF and Coach Pelini, I have had time to reflect. HC means HC, not DC. DC is where we are lacking. I am sorry but Papuchis needs replaced. The scheme needs simplified so 18-19 year olds can execute it. There can be no "fear" in running the Blackshirts. When JP made that comment after Saturday's game, that is when I came to my opinion. The Blackshirts should be fearless. Their leader is the DC, not the HC. And you are right about the fans as well. I will always stay to the end, no matter how frustrated and disappointed I am. But there are some highly fickle fans who aren't happy unless they can complain. Support the Big Red, be vocal and proud and get back to the best fan base in the land, and maybe the team will follow our lead.
    1. Unregistered's Avatar
      Unregistered -
      This is really not that hard, Pelini came in at a time when we needed him. Helped a bit, looked promising. His time is now over. He has had plenty of time to understand the Nebraska culture, build a team that is competitive, dont have to win every game, but be competitive. Do it with honor and run a clean program. He is unable to do so, thanks for his effort. The tape is human. We have all said things we wouldnt want put on the internet. The product on the field is enough for me to call for a regime change. Shaun and Harvey knows what needs to be done. Now find a proven commodity and lets get Cornhusker Nation back on track, and accept our Legends. GBR
    1. Unregistered's Avatar
      Unregistered -
      T.O. was never in this situation because technology was not advanced enough to hide a recorder in the later 80s and early 90s. I am sure he said a few choice words about fickle fans, and media gurus. I am sure Bob Devaney, had a few drunken rants as well back in the 60s and early 70s. Get over it. "where never is heard a discouraging word, and the skies are not cloudy all day." are words from a song. They were not based on real life. Please get one, fair weathered fans.
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