Loon Droppings, Volume 12

After an autumn full of warmth, a winter storm swept across parts of Nebraska on Friday. This forced surprised residents all across the Husker Nation to batten the hatches. Still, because most weather patterns go west-to-east, they probably should have seen the maelstrom coming ... especially judging from the nasty events in Boulder. On Friday the Cornhuskers got caught up in the mother of all blizzards, whipped up mainly by CU's howling north-south runners.

After an autumn full of warmth, a winter storm swept across parts of Nebraska on Friday. This forced surprised residents all across the Husker Nation to batten the hatches. Still, because most weather patterns go west-to-east, they probably should have seen the maelstrom coming ... especially judging from the nasty events in Boulder. On Friday the Cornhuskers got caught up in the mother of all blizzards, whipped up mainly by CU's howling north-south runners. At the same time, Nebraska looked like they were running around with snow shoes on. Argh, by the time they resolved to dig themselves out of this mess, it was too late -- they'd been buried in a Colorado avalanche.

A few takes:

GOLDEN BROWN: One of the biggest enterprises in the state of Colorado, of course, is the Coors Brewing Co. Everyone out there -- men, women, babies, Bill McCartney's grandchild -- drinks that wretched, bitter swill. Now, it behooves most athletes to stay alcohol-free during the season, but that didn't stop CU running back Chris Brown from pounding down a six-pack against Nebraska's vaunted defense Friday. In fact, nothing really stopped Brown, come to think of it. Ye gods, this fourth-stringer accounted for the same number of points by himself that NU scored the whole game. Impressive. But it wasn't hard, though, if the other team's defensive strategy is to verbally goad the opponents to take a knee, rather than using the much more effective "tackle" technique. For some inexplicable, must-be-a-misprint, the-planets-are-all-aligned reason, the usually iron-clad D-line got crushed Friday like an aluminum beer can. Maybe Frank Solich gave Craig Bohl a motivational sideline shove one year too early.

GO BIG READ: About 10 minutes before kickoff in Boulder, the Loon's U.S. mailbox was graced with the new issue of Sports Illustrated, which featured none other than Eric The Red splashed all over the cover. While I read as SI proclaimed him a front-runner for this year's Bronze Boy, off in the distance I could hear a neighbor screaming at his dog. Most of the rant was unintelligible, but I made out something about that "effin' jinx." Ah yes. Quite frankly, this SI Curse Theory has approximately the same makeup and consistency as a pile of buffalo chips. If I hear one more squawk about how a fricking magazine cover led to this meltdown, I'm going to cancel everyone's subscriptions. Besides, a few slips aside, it didn't really appear there was a big ol' jinx on Crouch. It actually was a pretty typical day for the offense -- the Machine put up five TDs and a field goal. On a day when the other offense looks strikingly familiar to the St. Louis Rams, that's usually plenty good for a W.

DESTINATION UNKNOWN: Knowing that the final game on the Cornhuskers' schedule was likely to be as pleasant as crawling through a half-mile of bug-flavored glass shards, there seemed no reason to rush out and reserve a seat on a Los Angeles-bound aeroplane. Seems like that opinion was in the minority around these here parts, though. But is a ticket to Cali (the Golden State, fool, not the HQ for all those coke cartels) really a waste just yet? Unlike those horse bettors who tear up their tickets too quickly, the Husker Nation might be wise to retain their boarding passes. It's a decent wager that with the BCS gone, Bill Byrne will decline to take his boys to Dallas on Jan. 1, precisely one month later than they planned to be there in the first place. Naw, after laboring in vain in Colorado, NU is probably due for a Holiday. Hey, if that works out and you do indeed head west to San Diego, make sure you're not flying United. They have a hub in Denver.

THE BOTTOM LINE: On this post-Thanksgiving Friday, there's still lots to digest -- or, in this case, choke down. Like, for example, what was the worst thing that happened at Folsom Field? Well, it wasn't that Colorado's players were already taunting the Big Red in the middle of the second quarter. It wasn't that the Huskers stunningly gave up the most points in a ballgame since they started playing football in Lincoln. And it wasn't Brent Mushmouth, who, if he wasn't constantly reminding viewers that CU was a 10-point 'Dog, was debating whether it should be the Bengals or the Colts to choose Colorado's student manager in the first round of the 2002 NFL draft. Nah. It's that within minutes of the final gun, the plasticene airheads on the local TV news used that tired, old "well, I sure hope the sun comes up tomorrow" line. Jeezus, let's put this into perspective. Sure, it smarts to come this close. But admit it: In the moments after the TCU game, did you really, truly think NU would even be in a position to play for a conference title on Nov. 23? They say it's better to have loved and lost than to never loved at all -- and win or lose, my heart will always pump lots of red. Big Red. Nebraska 11, Opponents 1.

==STEVE==
Baud to the Bone.
The dudes with 'tude are in THE POND, Home of Nebraska's RED CLAD LOON.


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