Watching from home

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It’s Friday at 2 o’clock and a feeling of sadness runs through my entire body because, for the first time since Michigan State and Kirk Cousins came to Lincoln in 2011, I was now destined to miss a home Husker football game.
Just breathe, baby. Just breathe.
Of course the weather was ideal, but that’s okay. And missing the game wasn’t by choice, but rather by necessity with a sore back after overdoing it once again. But I was determined to keep a stiff upper lift until the game was over, until undoubtedly the Huskers would finish off Indiana to move to within one win from bowl eligibility.
So Saturday morning I hung my Big Red flag, did a few cleaning chores around the house and watched Cindy mow the lawn for me, all the while trying to keep track of Ohio State-Wisconsin and Kansas State-Oklahoma.
Those games got my blood primed for the Husker kickoff, black jerseys and all, this time from the comfort of my recliner, where concessions are free and the bathroom is just a few feet away.
And what a great start. FOX showed the tunnel walk in its entirety, so that was comforting to see, and Noah Vedral led the team to two early scores, 14 quick points into the south end zone just eight minutes in. Time to grab a couple cookies and to flip over to watch a couple plays of Iowa and Northwestern.
And then things started happening, little things looking back, like injuries, missed assignments, lining up incorrectly, a missed field goal, a defense without a pass rush, cornerbacks who don’t know where the ball is, and turnovers.
Oh, those dreaded turnovers.
What’s really frustrating about the whole game is how we now let teams come into Lincoln, teams without much football tradition at all, so to speak, letting them run up and down the field on our defense, game after game, season after season.
Anyone remember our 47-home game winning streak back in the 90s? Anyone remember when the Blackshirts were once a feared unit, dealing out punishment week after week, teams so beat up that many times they’d lose the week after just because of all their bumps and bruises?
So time now has to be our friend. What Scott Frost has said since this past spring and what he was telling people this summer, that Husker fans should see a big jump in year two, just hasn’t happened.
Is the problem that some of the older players still aren’t buying in? Maybe. Is it that some of our best players are only freshmen and sophomores, and that they simply need more time and experience? Maybe. And during Halloween week, is it still the ghosts of Eichorst, Callahan, Pelini and Riley hovering over Tom Osborne field? Most definitely.
Whatever the case, I’m definitely still all in as a fan, and I’m confident Frost will change the culture, change the mentality, and keep finding better talent, year after year.
So while the recliner was a nice change, I’d much rather pay for my food, and stand in line to go to the bathroom.
DAVE BRADLEY can be reached at advertising@hamilton.net.

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