The University of Wisconsin athletic director and football coach sent a letter to students this week asking that they clean up their filthy mouths and stop with the “vulgar chants.”
UW students are notorious for chants that include colorful words that begin with F and S. The AD and coach said they’ve received letters from fans who are not impressed — particularly those who bring children to the games.
Here’s a sample: “The vulgar profanity the students chant back and forth to one another for amusement inside the stadium during the game is simply pathetic. I expected much more from the Wisconsin program.”
The AD and coach wrote asked students to be a little more creative. “We believe you want to represent yourselves, your university and the football program in a classier manner than this. We believe you can have a great time at Camp Randall without chanting four-letter words.
We tell our student-athletes all the time that the way they behave in public is a reflection on themselves, their families, the football program and the university. We are asking you to reflect on the impression you are leaving on other fans.
The letter did give the kids credit for the tradition of singing charming songs like this:
Former Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe tells ESPN.com that a guy named Harvey Perlman fought hard against Beebe’s proposal two years ago to equally share revenue from TV rights.
He says the Cornhuskers stood in the way of a revenue-sharing proposal that has been adopted since Beebe’s ouster.
“It could have kept all 12 together,” Beebe said Saturday, nearly three weeks after his contract was bought out by the Big 12 board of directors on Sept. 22. “I proposed it two years ago when Nebraska and Colorado were in the league as we prepared for our television negotiations we did last spring.”
Beebe said none of the Big 12’s recent defections had to occur.
“I asked for them to consider it,” Beebe said of the revenue-sharing pact. “Nebraska was one of the biggest objectors of equal revenue rights, and their president Harvey Perlman said that. We could have done this two years ago and none of this would have happened.”
Read the story here.
Not that there was anything wrong with it… but Husker quarterback Taylor Martinez’s father and the University of Nebraska announced today they have decided to end their licensing agreement.
Martinez’s father owns a California-based apparel company called Corn Fed, which made a deal with the university in which Nebraska gets a 10 percent on all Corn Fed products it sells. The agreement was made a year before Taylor Martinez committed to UNL.
The university issued a press release today in which Nebraska Athletic Director Tom Osborne said, “Both parties agreed that it would be prudent to no longer have a licensing relationship between the University of Nebraska and Corn Fed. Both the Martinez family and the University of Nebraska feel this decision is best for all parties, and specifically in helping limit distractions for Taylor and the football program.”
The Los Angeles Times broke the story about the agreement in December.
As if the 19-7 loss in the Holiday Bowl weren’t bad enough, now Huskers Coach Bo Pelini is catching hell from Fox Sports for reneging on a promise they say he made to a U.S. Navy seaman from Nebraska that he could call one play during the bowl game.
According to Fox, Pelini one-upped the Washington Huskies coach by giving seaman Morgan Ryan of Minden, Neb., a field pass and jersey — and a promise to let him call one play in the bowl game. Ryan, a loyal Husker, was ecstatic at this gift before a seven-month deployment at sea.
But the game wasn’t as festive as planned, and Pelini never followed through. Then when questioned about it during the post-game press conference, he told the Fox reporter “It was just a joke, ma’am!”
Now he’s getting ripped on national sports shows.
Pelini’s temper is quickly becoming as much of a story as the precociousness of his quarterback or the return of the program to national prominence.
It’s interesting to see the difference in the way the story is being reported. In the Lincoln Journal Star, the reporter ledes off with the Husker Athletic Department’s take on the situation — that Pelini was speaking in a “light-hearted manner” and joking. He also describes Pelini as “mild-mannered” when he answered the Fox reporter’s question.
But the Fox news the story paints it as though everybody thought Pelini was serious, and that Pelini “barked” at her when she asked about it at the press conference.
Guess we’d have to see video of the press conference to see for ourselves how he acted.
Again, the Los Angeles Times gets the scoop on what went down during the game where Bo Pelini screamed at him and jabbed him in the chest. At least according to Taylor Martinez’s dad, who gave an interview to the Times. Read it here.
Here’s the key paragraph: Martinez had sustained a leg injury in the first quarter of that game, and Casey was concerned enough that he tried to call members of the team’s medical staff to check on his son’s status. When no one picked up, he then tried Taylor, who returned the call — to assure his father he was OK — while still in the locker room. The call constituted a violation of team rules, and when word of that conversation got back to Pelini, the coach flipped. Making matters worse, Taylor chose to skip a treatment session the next day after talking the situation over with Casey.
And as a reminder of how tight Taylor and his father, Casey, are, read this older article.
Top 6 reasons for Bo Pelini to go to Miami:
• Obviously, the weather is better. Albeit humid.
• He wouldn’t have to recruit that far outside of Dade County.
• More money.
• The fans there would appreciate his sideline behavior. The Miami chancellor wouldn’t chide him for it.
• He wouldn’t be the only game in town. They’ve got South Beach, the Dolphins, Lebron James and actual celebrities.
• The entire state’s mood isn’t dependent upon the success of his team.
Top 6 reasons to stay in Lincoln:
• Sellout crowds. Mind-boggling popularity.
• Better facilities, and you don’t have to drive in Miami traffic.
• Miami media won’t be as kind as Nebraska media. The Miami Herald, Sun-Sentinel and Dan Lebitar won’t hesitate to tell it like it is.
• He can use this as leverage to get more money here.
• He is the celebrity here. (This could be a pro or con.)
• It would mean more to win a championship here.
My husband was once a sports rube. He says the greatest moment in his life, until he met me, was when his Minnesota Twins won the World Series for the first time during his senior year of high school. Then, his first few years as a sportswriter, particularly his experiences covering big time football and basketball, beat any love of sports out of him. He says he could have covered hockey for a lifetime, as long as he didn’t want to have a family. Hockey players had perspective. They enjoyed it. Never took it too seriously. Got beers with their rivals after games and told old time hockey stories that were funnier than anything in Slapshot, the Paul Newman cult hit my husband calls the best sports movie of all time. But football is different.
That’s why he’s been so interested in Huskermania since we moved to Lincoln six years ago. The pain. The anger. The rubes.
All he can listen to anymore, when it comes to sports radio, is a show on KFAN in Minneapolis hosted by Dan Kohl, who calls himself the Common Man. The show is a disorganized mess of a satire that takes shots at sports rubes, athletes and coaches in the fair-weather fan market of Minneapolis. Kohl says that every year all sports teams basically sell hope.
That’s what Husker football does. It sells hope that every year the Huskers could win a title. This year they made it to No. 5 in the nation. Had a shot at a national title. Sold hope. But they lost three games, and now they’re headed to San Diego for the Holiday Bowl, where they’ll hammer Washington, which they already hammered in September at the height of the hope-selling.
In a pretty condescending fashion, my husband tells me that every time a team plays a game, another team is trying to win that game. One of those teams must lose. And the Huskers won 10 of the 13 games. And will probably win 11 of 14. That’s pretty good, he says. But not good enough for rubes, who expect their teams to win them all. Only one team can do that, sometimes two, sometimes none. And that team is the national champion.
When I watch games with a Newsweek on my lap and a pile of pistachios, I’ll sometimes look up to see a yellow flag or a fumble and say “What the $#*&(@$ are we doing?” And my husband will ask me who I mean by “we,” because I don’t play for the team. I didn’t go through two-a-day practices. I didn’t have to get poked in the chest, thank God, by Bo Pelini in the middle of the third quarter. I hate that when he says that.
On my husband’s Common Man Show in Minneapolis, Dan Kohl likes to play a clip of former Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Tice, in a stunning moment of clarity, advising during a news conference that everybody “Enjoy the season.” Then he got fired. His successor, Brad Childress, coached the Vikings within one idiotic Brett Favre pass from making the Super Bowl. Ten games later, he got fired.
This, according to my husband, is sports. Sell hope (national championship). And when hope is lost (Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma), sell blame (Shawn Watson, Big 12 officials, Big 12 conspiracy, 20-year-old redshirt freshman Taylor Martinez). Then we can sell new hope (national championship). Oops – I mean “they” can sell new hope.