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.