June 3, 2023

Golden Age Golds

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Shatel: Nebraska fans say stop with the hype. The truth? We won’t know until September | Football

First downs and second guesses:

Hmm. Where are those old letters?

Back in the day when folks used to put pen to paper and find a stamp, I had a couple of drawers full of them.

If I dared to say Tom Osborne ran when he should have passed, or vice versa, here they came. If I wrote that Tommie Frazier had a hair out of place, it was mail call time.

How dare you criticize? Go back to, um, wherever it was you came from.

So I had to chuckle this weekend when the reactions came in on how things with Scott Frost and Mark Whipple are going well. That is, according to Frost and Whipple.

The email posse was not amused. Enough hype, they said. They don’t want to hear about how things going well. They don’t believe it anyway.

I get it. Totally understand.

Nebraska fans are tired of athletic directors and football coaches overselling and underdelivering. They’ve heard every line, been made every promise.

People are also reading…

There may have been a sports writer guilty of that, too, although I cannot confirm.

The Huskers have a lot of holes to fill, but new material to fill them with. There’s a lot to prove. But the sun will come up. Don’t quote me on that.

Here’s the thing: Nobody has a bad spring practice. And most new coaches or assistants are the smartest guys ever, according to players who needed a fresh look.

It’s not hype. It’s the truth.

That doesn’t mean Nebraska is going to win a bunch of games in the fall. It means, well, not much at all. Until we see it in September.

Funny, but the same folks screaming “hype” will be all for the preseason stories next August on Nebraska volleyball’s chase for a national title.

But John Cook, he delivers.

Meanwhile, Bill Moos is gone and Frost has stopped making proclamations to the Big Ten.

What’s the saying? Don’t rip the messenger. The coaches and players talk, we record and relay to the fans and readers.

Besides, it’s not like anyone did a book on Frost before he coached a game at Nebraska.

Nebraskans are tired of words. Some might even long for the days when the closest thing Osborne said to praise was “We have a chance to be OK.”

That’s not a jab at the coach. Please, no letters.

» Bill Busch on how involved he was in special teams last season as an analyst:

“I could see things, but I wasn’t able to do anything,” Busch said. “The upside of it is, I was able to have a really good feel for the current players and their ability.

“You can make suggestions, but when your name is not on it, and you’re not the one who has to get in front of the media … I’ve lived that nightmare before.

“There’s nothing worse than some know-it-all standing behind saying, “ I think this is better. I think this is wrong.’ That’s just not how a professional works.”

Busch was talking about coaches, not sports writers.

» Welcome back, Nebraska and Creighton baseball, to TD Ameritrade Park. Wait, are we calling it Charles Schwab Field yet?

» While the NFL mulls changing its overtime rules, I’ll repeat my take: One 10-minute extra period — the way offenses play today, someone will score. The defense has 10 minutes to get the ball back. If one team hogs the ball for 10 minutes, the other team should have made a stop.

» Or, maybe you agree with Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin:

“To be quite honest with you, I’m a sudden death advocate,” said Tomlin, who is on the NFL’s Competition Committee.

“I just think 60 minutes (regulation) everybody has had a fair opportunity to win the game. So, win the game. I don’t fear sudden death.”

But should it be decided by a field goal? A touchdown? Or, as Tennessee proposes, a touchdown and a made two-point conversion?

» Chiefs fans can say what they want, but Tyreek Hill is that good. Nobody in the league has his instincts to freelance in the open field and ability to outrun everyone. And he and Patrick Mahomes had a special radar.

The Chiefs don’t beat the Bills without Mahomes’ chemistry with Hill and Travis Kelce. Ironically, that game changed the NFL. It put the rest of the AFC on high alert and a lot of teams acted accordingly.

» So the Detroit Lions will be on “Hard Knocks” this summer. Anybody remember “Paper Lion?”

» There are only four blue bloods in college basketball: Kansas, Kentucky, UCLA and North Carolina.

Duke and Villanova are not blue bloods.

Think of it in terms of Stock Exchange seats. The four blue bloods are old money. Duke and Nova are new money.

Now think of it in terms of “Trading Places.” Duke and Nova are Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd. KU and North Carolina are the “Dukes.”

One more and I’m outta here: Thank you, Coach Jim Flanery and the Jays, for how you represented CU and Omaha in a classy postseason run. You sparked imaginations and made new friends, and I’m sure you’ll see a lot of them next season.

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