Archive for July, 2008

Media Daze
Thursday, July 24, 2008

Back from Kansas City.

I like college football just as much as the next person. But listening to 37 players and coaches in the span of 48 hours? Well, that’s enough to make you want to take the season off. Other than the carpal tunnel setting in from taking notes, I’m doing okay.

Here are a few quick hits from my time in KC:

Gary Pinkel now has a competitor when it comes to “who wears the best t-shirt/blazer combination”. Bo Pelini also sported the look, one that I wish I was allowed to get away with on the set of KETV. But alas, a tie is required.

What a difference a couple of years make. Pinkel goes from the Budweiser hot seat to one of the most comfy, cushiony jobs in the Big 12. Mark Mangino must feel somewhat similar. Though he was never truly on any hot seat, the big guy has a big pay raise in his big back pocket while coaching a team that still gets overshadowed by the basketball program. The expectations are high, but Mangino doesn’t seem to be feeling any bit of pressure. You have to wonder if Stoops is somewhat jealous.

Oklahoma wins a record five Big 12 Championships and all anyone wants to talk about are the past bowl game failures. “Hey coach, thanks for the titles, but why the heck can’t you win a bowl?” That must feel good.

The understatement of the year came from Colt McCoy regarding the expectations at Texas. “Sometimes you get down for not winning the national championship, but then you realize that 10 wins isn’t that bad.” Husker fans would party at 72nd and Dodge for 10 wins.

Chase Daniel is a big boy. The media guide lists him at 6’0″, 225 pounds. The guy looks a lot thicker than I remember him. I’m 5’11” (or thereabouts), around 190 pounds. There is simply no room in my body for 35 more. I’m sure Colt McCoy is jealous of his poundage, but I would suggest that Chase lay off of the protein shakes.

Mack Brown is always one of the bright spots at media days. Sure, we only get to speak to him for about ten minutes, but he is so articulate and easy-going that I could listen to him talk football for hours. It must be a requirement that you be laid back to be a coach a Texas. He and Augie Garrido must have some interesting conversations.

Kansas State is predicted to be bad this year, and the attitude of their players does nothing to evoke confidence in a departure from those expectations. Quarterback Josh Freeman sounded like he had been hit four times by a Mac truck on his way to Kansas City. Every Wildcat player talked about the rift that has existed between the Ron Prince players and Bill Snyder players. One brought it up without even being asked about it. If a player does that, you know it’s a big deal. Gee, I can’t imagine why Allan Evridge ever left Manhattan.

Shortest soundbite of the week goes to Ron Prince, when asked for his opinion about Bo Pelini: ” I have never met the man so I have no background on him.” End of soundbite. Come on, Ron… you at least must be familiar with what Pelini said to Bill Snyder after a game?  Then again, maybe he is.

This may be the best conference of quarterbacks in the country. Check out the list: Chase Daniel, Sam Bradford, Graham Harrell, Colt McCoy, Todd Reesing, Josh Freeman, Zac Robinson, Stephen McGee, Joe Ganz, Cody Hawkins… It’s truly the year of the quarterback.

What’s even more amazing is the size of some of these guys:

Ganz: 6’1″, 210

Daniel: 6’0″, 225

Reesing: 5’11”, 200

Hawkins: 5’11”, 190

Hawkins and I share the same measurements. But something tells me he could beat me in a fight.

After this week, here is my predicted order of finish for both divisions:


Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, Iowa State, Kansas State

North darkhorse: Colorado


Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Texas, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, Baylor

South darkhorse: Oklahoma State


CU in KC
Sunday, July 20, 2008

Well, sure the Buffs will be there, but I meant that more as a play-on-letters than anything else.

Big 12 football media days begin on Monday, and Nebraska is the first team to step to the podium in Kansas City. No waiting around this year — Pelini is being thrust right into the spotlight, like it or not.

Joe Ganz, Matt Slauson and Barry Turner will join Pelini in front of the bright lamps and hot microphones. Who would’ve thought three years ago that these three players (and the coach for that matter) would be the pseudo-spokespersons for Nebraska football in 2008?

Also sitting on the hot seats Monday are Missouri, Texas A&M and Texas Tech.

Tuesday it’s Colorado (I am somewhat interested), Kansas, Kansas State and Oklahoma State.

The event wraps up Wednesday with Baylor, Iowa State, Oklahoma and Texas.

Feel free to post any questions or comments.

Lucky Named Preseason All-Big 12
Thursday, July 17, 2008

Running back Marlon Lucky is the lone Husker named on the all-Big 12 first team in the preseason media poll.  Missouri had eight players, while the Sooners had six.

We’re getting close to the start of the season, with Big 12 Media Days next week in Kansas City.  I’ll be making the trip for that extravaganza.

Fall camp begins August 3rd, and before you know it Western Michigan will be in town.  It’s hard to believe that the wait is almost over.

Who is your preseason Husker MVP?

Who is the guy off the radar who may “come out of nowhere”?

Who is most pivotal for Nebraska’s success?

What will Nebraska’s record be at season’s end?

Let’s start talking some Husker football.

Sweet Release
Friday, July 11, 2008

Brett Favre has formally asked the Packers for his unconditional release.  According to ESPN, Favre informed the Green Bay brass on Tuesday of his desire to return to the team.  After being met with a lukewarm response, Favre and his agent requested the future Hall of Fame quarterback be released.

Favre has waffled in recent years about retiring.  Even during his retirement news conference back in March, you had to be kidding yourself if you felt he was finished.  The words he used were from a man who still wanted to play, but for some reason was hanging it up prematurely.

It doesn’t sound like the Packers are going to take him back.  Should they?

Where do you think Favre will end up?

My gut says Green Bay or Minnesota.

And spaghetti.

Words with Woody
Friday, July 11, 2008

Earlier this week, I had a chance to play Champions Run in Omaha, sight of this year’s Cox Classic.  Also a part of media day was Rob McCartney.  It was my first time playing Champions Run, and in the scramble (thank goodness) my team finished at -10 (62).  I wish I could always play on a scramble.

Woody Austin was also in town for a benefit for austism and Brook Valley School.  He played the eighth hole later that afternoon, playing with each foursome that came through.  With a camera in tow, I followed Woody for a few swings.  Fellow KETV employee John Oakey was among the first groups to come through.  Hilarity ensues.

Check out the video link.

Back in the Game
Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Another week has gone by without a post from yours truly.  I suppose it’s my form of a vacation, even though it takes 10 minutes to write one of these things.  Maybe a little bit more when I waste time talking about how long it takes to write one of these things.

In an effort to blog more consistently, here are a few quick-hitters on the Swim Trials to get us back on pace…

The Olympic Swim Trials were a great event for Omaha, and showed just how much this city appreciates amateur sports.  Never mind the fact that Michael Phelps is a millionaire.

Speaking of Phelps, instead of a Speedo LZR Racer, he should be required to wear a gorilla suit when he swims.

The Swim Trials lasted all of eight days.  I hope the NCAA and CWS Inc. were taking notes.

I applaud Omaha for bringing the Swim Trials to town.  I only wish our media access wasn’t so limited.  I understand it’s an NBC event which guarantees exclusivity in many capacities, but there were so many stories we simply could not tell because of our lack of access.

And when did USA Swimming become this aristocracy?  Did I miss the memo on that?  Swimmers blowing off the media even after qualifying for the Olympics, having to beg and convince others just to answer one simple question after a race.  Doesn’t this sport want more coverage?  I even know of one colleague in town who wanted to do a story on Michael Phelps’s mother, Debbie.  When he went up to her to inquire about an interview, she handed him the business card of Michael’s agent.  Wait, this is still swimming, right?

All that said, the Trials should return in 2012.  You’d be hard-pressed to find a better venue with better fans.

What did you think of the week that was?  Do you care if the event returns in four years?

About Schmidt
Tuesday, July 1, 2008

At least one eastern Nebraska native will be representing the Cornhusker State in Beijing.

Alice Schmidt finished second in the finals of the women’s 800 meters in Eugene Monday night, earning her way to the summer games. She clocked in with a time of 2:00:46 for her first-ever trip to the Olympics.

Schmidt was a track star at Elkhorn High School before going to the University of North Carolina. But the reason for her success can be traced to her time as an intern at KETV.

In life, you can do all the workouts, training and weight-lifting you want. But nothing gets you ready for the trials of both track and life than putting up with Jon Schuetz for an extended period of time.

Congratulations, Alice.

I would say “Do us proud,” but you already did.