Unity Council, We Hardly Knew Ye

Greetings and salutations, all, Blankman here with yet another doodled and scribbled manifestation of my Big Red fantasy known as Shooting Point Blank. This week, it was made known that Nebraska Head Coach Bill Callahan has determined that the Unity Council is going the way of the do-do, New Coke and Gary Barnett's credibility. What impact will this have? Let's discuss.

Okay, so the summarized version for those of you joining the kegger late: The Unity Council was established a way back when as a sort of self-policing unit for the football team. Decisions would be made from anything such as uniform trim to disciplinary action. Players were given a set of rules and should they decide to get a tad saucy, the UC was around to help iron out the wrinkles. So, Billy Cal (as he is known on the streets) decided to ditch the Unity Council like a quarterback draw on 3rd and 5. "ODDS BODKINS!" you say? Not so fast, mi compadre. All will be well in the land of Callahan.

"But Blankman, what about what happened in Oakland? Jerry Rice and Tim Brown didn't like Bill. What makes you think he can handle college-aged kids with their rock music and dancing?!" That's some attitude you've got there, mister. Fact of the matter is, Oakland is two major things: 1.) A town with a pro franchise and 2.) A team with more receding hair lines than the crew brought in to roast Henny Youngman. Jerry and Tim may know their foosball, but I guarantee after spending as much time in The League as they have, they've talked to a few agents and know the score. Don't get what you want? Bitch about it.

Bill Callahan understands the basic fundamentals of teamwork: Love, honesty, commitment, hard work and a sense of belonging. So what does he do upon waltzing into the Land of The Runza? He takes the boys out bowling. After the spring game commenced, Callahan and his assistants hosted more than 300 players, parents and family members in a barbeque. Coach Cal goes out of his way to make sure that his kids feel that they are loved, that they are appreciated and that they are family. If you've read any of my past work, you may know that I put out a yearly letter to the incoming recruits letting them know that not only have they joined a team, but that they are family. "Right, until the first loss" you say. Incorrect, there, Wisenheimer. That's what separates Nebraska from any other ball club. It's not the offense or the uniforms, it goes beyond that. It is the love we as Nebraskans have for our sons and daughters. That is the common tie that binds us all and Cal knows this, he embraces it.

So, the Unity Council's gone, who's going to make the tough decisions when Johnny Q. Badass is caught doing something unsavory? I dunno, anything your standard son of a Chicago cop would, I suppose. Now, truth be told? I've never met the man, but I can safely assure you, my readership, that there was discipline in the Callahan household when little Billy's hand was found in the cookie jar or he was caught watching film after bedtime. Coach Cal's home is now the University of Nebraska and these 100 or so boys are his boys. I actually saw a picture of Coach Callahan with some specs on and I stopped for a moment. This guy had the look, not just in his face, but in his eyes, of a father. The kind that loves his kids unconditionally but isn't afraid to put boot to butt when lessons need to be taught. He's the kind of guy who I would love my son to play for some day and be like a second father to.

Now, I am not discounting the Unity Council in any way here. It was a fine system for T.O. I know this, Coach Cal knows this and you more than likely know it. However, these are new times what with the MidWest Coast Offense and sold out spring games and new times call for comfort where it can be found. Who is to say that Tom's way is the only way? Surely there's other ways of making sure a young kid playing big time college ball has his head on straight and, I'm sorry, but you cannot convince me that a man who is meticulous, as cunning, as razor sharp as Bill Callahan doesn't know how to get something proper in place. Coach Cal won't be doing it all, though. I've heard it from recruits and I've heard it from ‘Huskers about various coaches: "He's cool. I can relate to him. He's really laid back but he can get after it when he needs to." Sounds like this may just be a competent side dish to our main course.

So, in closing, allow me to offer this: Cal has not been tested yet. No one has done anything silly or stupid yet. YET. What happens when the inevitable occurs? Well, that we have yet to see. However, after everything I've just laid out for you like a tablecloth, after everything that you've read and seen about this man, what do you feel will happen? After watching him piece together game plans months in advance, after seeing him recruit with the precision of a surgeon and smile his way into the heart of Nebraska, is there really much doubt? After seeing Bill Callahan embrace what we all do and love what we all love, could we really have anyone better than this "Nebraskan by Choice" making the decisions?

Questions, commentary and other vague references can be sent to Blankman71@cox.net

===Brandon a.k.a. Blankman #71===

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