And don't think that it's just this one game that has made me or any other Husker fan so ill at the thought of cheering them on even if it is against Texas. It goes so much deeper than that. From the McCartney days to now, there has been a built-upon deep-seated hatred for the Buffaloes, but not so much the team as it pertains to their fans.
For so many years, the Big 8 existed as OU, NU and everyone else. A team here and there from time to time made a sudden rise to the top, but consistency always lied with Oklahoma and Nebraska and everyone else was just an also-ran. It wasn't great for the conference for a very long time, but as long as we ruled the roost, we really didn't care. Things had to change though and they did. In some very obvious ways, for the worst.
McCartney came into Colorado with a very clear idea of what he was going to do to get his team ready for the likes of the Sooners and the Huskers, but it was obvious that the Huskers were square in his cross-hairs. Making the NU game "THE" red letter game was only one step, but he literally incited one bevy of cross emotions after another as it pertained to the Huskers. He got fans so incensed over this game, hatred wasn't even an apt. description. What came after that told tales of violence, criminality and arrogance from a team that didn't really know what arrogance was.
McCartney made his team good. Actually, he made his team great and for that, much praise has to be given him and his staff. What the fans became however was quite a different story. Stories of Buff fans accosting senior citizens outside the gates, vandalizing every single car in the Boulder area that had Nebraska plates and throwing ice balls containing rocks at NU fans inside the stadium only grazes the very surface of their now-legendary cruelty. One 73 year old man told me of a time where he actually snuck a lead pipe into the game at Boulder with him for he was sure that an attack from the Buffalo fans was imminent.
Colorado fans became the worst fans in all of college football and at times, even the networks were acknowledging that. This wasn't a rivalry, this was a farce that turned a game between two good teams into a circus because the fans didn't know how to act.
After McCartney had left, the violent under tones of the game gradually died down and now you might even say there is some respect between the mutual parties. Given that however, memories run deep and what was done can be forgiven, but not easily forgot.
What happened last week was no doubt a memory that will be one of the most savorable for all Buff fans for all of time and it happened not when hate ruled the fan base, but the team that took the field and on that day anyway, they made a resounding statement.
So, this week's game for the conference title doesn't have the Huskers in it and even worse, has us rooting for the team that just humiliated us. Once again, the irony isn't subtle, but the facts are these. If CU beats Texas, that gives us a brighter chance at still making the Rose Bowl and as slim as it is, any chance is better than no chance at all.
So damnit to all and damned the history that brings me to the point of nausea, I will find a way to dig deep……dig very very deep and within those depths find a cheer for a team that deserves some. They even deserve some respect.
It's not them though, rather their fans that will make this a very hard weekend to endure, especially if they lose. I'm ready, I'm willing to make (in my mind) is some sort of ultimate sacrifice and cheer the Buffs on to victory. I think I am getting ill though and it could require some inner fortitude I didn't know I had, but as God as my witness, through nausea and a good memory, I will succeed for our Rose Bowl hopes (however slim) are tied to CU's success.
OK., here goes. Gooooooooooooooo BU!…….that didn't feel good.
Let's try another. GOOOOOOOOOOO BUF!!!!! Almost lost my lunch there.
Sigh. GOOOOOOOOOOOOOO BUFFS!!!!!!!!!!! There, I knew I could do it.
Anyone got any Tums? Yech.