Shooting Point Blank

So, here we are, folks, the college football season is yet again at our doorsteps and in a few short months, we'll all be complaining about it going by as fast as a wink. Now, since Southern California and Virginia Tech will be butting heads soon and UNL's first contest about a week away, I felt it a good idea to wax poetic a bit and give the Corngrigation a bit of advice heading into the first game of the Bill Callahan era. Consider this your official pep talk from the Blank One.

The key idea I'd like to get across today is that we are, in fact, on the cusp of a brand new age of NU football. It's a season which brings about the type of excitement that I haven't felt in well…ever, honestly. Now I know, I'm not the most experienced person out there to throw out the "ever" tag, but meh, it's being used. You truly get that sense that something special is about to go down. It's in the way Coach Callahan talks after practice. You don't really get the middle of the road speeches we're used to, but rather a frank and honest discussion about what actually took place. Seems simple enough, but sometimes, honestly has a place above coachspeak.

My advice for those of you making this your first game or your hundredth is this: take it all in. Remember how everything was. How crisp the air was as the briquettes on the grill began to fire, how cool the beer was sliding down your throat, how the warmth of the sun felt bouncing against your skin. Remember how the stadium looked with her new national championship banners waving in the late summer breezes and how good the Valentino's pizza tasted as you watched the 2004 charges of Dear Ol' Nebraska U go through their paces before game time. Remember it all, because some day, you'll want to be able to say, "I remember when…"

A lot of folks wonder just what they should wear to games that have never been before. Let me simplify the situation for you: Wear red. Sure, white's nice on an early September day and black's a solid addition when rooting for the ‘Shirts, but red is the color of the season, after all. Allow me to go a step further, if I may. You know what I really miss in the crowd? Energy, passion and the desire to just have fun. Paint your faces, bring signs for the camera crew, even wear a cornhead if it means you'll toss your guarded feelings at the door and be a rowdy, rambunctious fan. Do whatever it takes to bring out the fan that I saw in tapes past, the fan that I miss sitting next to and buy a beer for when I actually get the opportunity.

That brings me to my next point (SEGUEWAY!), as you may or may not be aware, Coach Callahan and company are recruiting their back ends off and, as a result, Nebraska has a number of studs with a capitol "S" coming to town for the Western Illinois massacre…game…GAME! Many of them have made mention to loving the atmosphere of Nebraska and what's a major factor of that atmosphere? Say it with me now, "FANS!" So, you have Blankman's permission, folks, be loud, be rowdy (as indicated above) and make life hell for an audibling opposing quarterback. Let those recruits know that should they decide to don the Scarlet and Cream, they will be supported and cheered for from 15:00 to 00:00.

Look, folks, I know it's been a LONG off-season for all of us and yeah, some of us are a little agitated for multiple reasons. The fact of the matter is, though, that the season is here. It's time to leave quarrels about whomever and whatever at the door and cheer for the football team because, after all, that's why we're here, right? Just one Blankman's opinion, but we've got a very good group of kids in 2K4, folks. There's no reason not to give them their due when they've worked so hard to accomplish what they will.

I think the key for this season, folks, is don't be afraid to dream. Everyone says that Nebraska's in transition and they're not expecting much, so why should we, right? Wrong. The foundation for success is believing that you can achieve before the fact. Do that and you've already won half the battle; now all you have to do is perform adequately. As I said before, this is a special group of kids. They're very bright, they have dreams and there's no reason why we, the people who back them, shouldn't have them too. This team wants a Big XII Championship ring, I say, why not? When it comes down to it, all that is across from our kids are other kids of the same age group. If our boys believe, they can achieve, it's as simple as that.

So, there it is, laid out as simply as it can be. It's going to be fun and I cannot wait to be a part of it along with those I love and cherish. Also, if you happen to be in Lincoln and enjoy Cajun food? Visit Crawdaddy's underneath the O St. Viaduct. They've got great food, friendly wait staff and it'll keep ya full for a good long while. The season's here, folks, we can finally exhale. Welcome to one of the most exciting time in a coach's life. Welcome to 0-0.

Questions, commentary and other sentimental objects can be sent to Blankman71@cox.net

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


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