A Breath of Fresh Air

With the stars aligned (and my work schedule making it imperative) I attended my first Pelini-run spring practice on Monday.

Even as a member of the media, you walk into the Hawks Championship Center and immediately feel more at ease. Under Bill Callahan, I can recall entering the compound wondering if I would be vaporized if I recorded anything past the allotted 5 minutes of stretching. Now coaches are waving to the cameras.

Okay, maybe that’s not true. But the vibe is completely different. Coaches are willing to stay as long as necessary after practice, helping reporters fill their notebooks. Players don’t seem in as much of a hurry to dodge the assembled media, staying off to the side if they’ve been requested. According to someone in the know, Bo Pelini actually volunteered to speak to the media after every spring practice, but was told that wasn’t necessary. Instead, he speaks three out of every four times.

In fact, you could say that the Huskers are making themselves too available. There is now nothing to hide, nothing to leave to the imagination. The open-door policy seems to apply to everyone with a heart-beat. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if they open portions of practice to the public sometime down the line. Doc’s orders.

Let’s take a moment to compare and contrast the Bill Callahan and Bo Pelini era with regards to football practices:

Callahan – Photojournalists can shoot the players stretching, jogging and doing everything except playing football. Once the actual practice begins, you must leave immediately so as not to reveal team secrets (such as, “how receivers catch the football.”)

Pelini – Photojournalists can shoot through the first individual period, usually lasting about 30 minutes. They are encouraged to stay a little bit longer for those final beauty shots.

Callahan – Photographers must remain on the sideline at all times.

Pelini – Photographers are advised to wear green non-contact jerseys while standing at mid-field so as not to be decapitated during live scrimmaging work.

Callahan – The head coach will speak once every three practices, so as not to be burdened with communicating with the outside world on a regular basis.

– The head coach will speak following nearly every practice so as to let Husker fans know that all is well. He will also force reporters to hone their question-asking skills. Those that do not improve said skills will receive an already-perfected death stare.

Times are a-changing in Lincoln.

And for the better.

BTW – a reporter from Sports Illustrated was at practice on Monday, speaking to players and coaches about Bo. Expect a nice feature in the coming months.


One Response

  1. Yo Schick im surprised you haven’t said anything about Cody Glenn moving to LB…

    What do you think about the move?

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