Winging It - 6

Flipping through the pages of the latest installment of the popular literary series


1. Keep your head down. Pace along sideline and adjust headset. Try to maintain an air of confidence; lean forward and clap in the direction of your offense's huddle as it assembles on the FieldTurf.

2. As your starting quarterback is brought down after running a draw out of the shotgun for a four-yard gain, try to remain calm. Refrain from using expletives when calling on the damn freshman kicker for the fourth time already.

3. As the starting quarterback approaches you on the sideline, assure him that the fans are not booing him -- they're actually booing your decision to run it again because you have zero faith in his arm. Which is, actually, sort of like booing him, just not directly. Regardless, assure him this is not the case and that he'll do better next time, you just know it.

4. Repeat as necessary.


1. Do not panic. With any luck, the shirt is made at least partly of cotton, which is a very absorbent material.

2. Try to locate some water. Water is a liquid substance often reserved for designated drivers and can usually be found behind the bar. Ask a waitress or the bartender for a small plastic cup of this substance.

3. Return to where you were standing and throw the water in the face of the idiot who spilled his beer on you. Immediately put your sweatshirt to your mouth and quickly suck the beer out of it before it dries.


1. Keep your eyes down at all times. Don't make any noises that would draw attention to yourself. Move slowly and methodically; try not to make any sudden or unnecessary movements or bar stops.

2. Be smart. Let the smaller, slower, older Nebraska fans absorb as much of the abuse from the assclown Colorado fans as possible, including being hit by full beer cans thrown from passing cars. Use them as cover for as long as you can, preferrably all the way to your car.

3. If you find yourself cornered by Buffalo fans, try to wound their vital organs. In other words, avoid striking them in the head, the heart or the groin area.

4. If you cannot fight them off, point behind them and claim that you see the commissioner of the Pacific Ten Conference over there, on the lookout for new member schools. While they are distracted, quickly run away.


1. Spend the entire off-season thanking Jesus you're not coaching your cross-state rival, Alabama, with that mess he inherited. Instead of preparing your team for the season opener, place emphasis on the fact that you have 16 starters returning and all your tough games are at home this year.

2. In your first game against USC, let your offensive coordinator be bold and decisive. Maybe. If you want to.

3. Forget the BCS, the SEC title, and the national rankings and embrace mediocrity. It suits you well.


1. Assume a slightly embarrassed smirk. For effect, push your hat down as far down on your head as it will go without looking too conspicuous.

2. If your date appears to be offended, mortified and/or stunned by Joyce and Paul's lyrics, attempt to feign surprise and concur wholeheartedly that they are far too crass for your refined taste. Loudly curse your made-up friend who recommended you come here tonight. Mention that you would leave right away if it wasn't for the $5 cover charge.

3. Treat her prudish attitude like a cut that needs to be cleaned out -- the only way to do this is put large amounts of alcohol on it. Continue until the problem is abated.

4. If she is not cussing like a sailor by the time they sing "Sweet Caroline," take her home immediately. Do not call her for a second date.


1. Whatever you do, do not yell, cry or attempt to flee. This is very important to remember. Losing your cool in this situation will only use up oxygen.

2. Attempt to slowly remove yourself from the position, week by week, over the course of the season. One way to do this is to run a fullback dive every time it is third and long.

3. Remember: Most people in this situation have found this condition to not be a permanent one. Even if your efforts don't seem to work right away, you will eventually find a way out of Waco. In the meantime, your key focus should be to minimize your pain as much as you can during your time there. Rationalizing 56-0 defeats to Texas as "really not as bad as it looked" is a time-honored and quite popular technique.

4. In December, when you have sent out as many resumes as you can, somberly schedule a meeting with your athletic director.


1. Do not look downward at the floor or show any type of weakness. Stand firm and yell. Wave your arms back and forth and stick out your tongue. Show the Nebraska basketball team that you are not frightened of it in the least.

2. When a time out or other sufficient break in the game occurs, mention to your neighbor you are going to get a hot dog from the concession stand. Once in the concourse, run from the building as fast as possible. Sprint if you have to.

3. Once you have found a warm, safe place, lie down with a wet rag over your face. Relax and try to think about a happy moment in your childhood. Like Christmas, for example -- the one when you were eight and got the Donny and Marie dolls. That usually works in this situation.


1. If you frequently discuss the ineptness of Nebraska's starting quarterback on Internet message boards and then find yourself being accused of misspelling his first name, the best course to take is to counterattack quickly, ruthlessly and without mercy. Use whatever you have in your arsenal -- witty comebacks, subject-changing off-topic comments, unwarranted personal attacks, whatever -- to throw people off your scent. Never, ever apologize.

2. If this tactic proves to be ineffective, log off the board immediately and change your screen name. This should provide you an ample amount of cover to plot a comeback under a new alias.

3. Do not attempt to spell the words "dominant," "genius," "lose," or "Pelini" for the next 100 to 200 posts under your new screen name. It will be a dead giveaway of your identity; you'll get busted easily.


1. Continue wearing red, and dress in layers whenever possible. Early in the season, the weather is quite changeable, which necessitates a number of different outfit scenarios. Remember, if you wear a light-colored shirt, wear a red hat. If you wear a red shirt, wear a black or light-colored hat. Never try to match reds; it's virtually impossible. Especially with all this scarlet-colored Husker Nation gear floating around.

2. If you succumb to the temptation to feel a bit edgy over your unbeaten team's performance thus far, make good use of the nervous energy -- predict at least four losses unless things get turned around quick. Do not accept that a four-loss season would be a big improvement over last year. This is Nebraska, after all.

3. Do not panic. The next game is only eight days away.

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