Archive for October, 2008

World Series is Over… Already?
Thursday, October 30, 2008

Some things don’t make sense to me. The Boys of Summer play their most important baseball in the cool of fall, while the hockey guys skate for the Cup on summer’s eve. Baseball should be wrapped up by the beginning of October. There is no reason to have it end so late when football is already on the forefront of our minds.  Seeing fans and players bundled up in blankets and neck gators seems a tad out of place.  And the World Series is scheduled to start one week later next year.

That being said, congrats to the Phillies for winning their first World Series in 25 years.  Philadelphia fans may be some of the worst in the history of sports, but perhaps this will take the edge off for a while.  Maybe a month or two.  Or until next Sunday when the Eagles host the Giants.

Game five of the World Series finally ended Wednesday night, resuming following Monday’s rain delay.  The time of game read: 3:28.  It should’ve read:  48:28.

Big Upset

What happened to the Huskers in Boulder?  For the second time in three years, the #2-Nebraska volleyball team traveled to the Flatirons with an undefeated record, and left with a stunning defeat.  The Buffaloes rallied from 23-16 down to win the second set 27-25, winning the match in four.  On Tuesday, head coach John Cook said he still has nightmares about the 2006 match in Boulder, which saw the Buffs beat the Huskers in five sets.  Sounds like he has a new one to keep him up at night.

TV Daze

Being in television, I watch a lot of television. And watching a lot of television, I’m brainwashed with countless commercial tunes. Right now, I’ve got the “saved by zero”, “I tried to do handstands for you,” “five-dollar footlong” and “Burger King ‘shroom and swiss” commercials ingrained in my brain. I find myself humming them during the day. It just goes to show you: television is evil. Except the news.

Sticking with TV, the new cliche question shouldn’t be, “What’s on your Ipod?”, it should be “What’s on your DVR?”  Here’s mine this fall:  The Office, Eli Stone, Heroes, My Own Worst Enemy, Grey’s Anatomy, 24.  Plus, the old standbys:  Conan O’Brien, Seinfeld, O’Reilly Factor.

Anything I’m missing?


Rivalry Revived?
Wednesday, October 29, 2008

It’s official:  Nebraska-Oklahoma has turned into a lovefest.  Hard to believe it was only four years ago that Nebraska’s coach used an expletive in referencing Oklahoma’s fans.  Now, Bob Stoops is crediting Tom Osborne for some of his success, the two head coaches ware waxing poetic about growing up together, and the two programs are holding a dinner Friday night in Norman to relive the Game of the Century.  The dynamics of this rivalry have reverted back to mutual respect, if not deep love and admiration.

These two teams should just meet every year the day after Thanksgiving (yes, bump the Colorado game).  That way they can share Thanksgiving dinner.  It worked for the Pilgrims and Indians, why not the Huskers and Sooners?  It just makes you feel warm and fuzzy, doesn’t it?

I was watching old film of the seemingly prehistoric matchups between Nebraska and Oklahoma in the sports office Tuesday.  There’s something very cool about not seeing the score on the tv screen, and not being inundated with sports tickets and Aflac trivia questions.  Just pure, unadulterated football.   That being said, I like 2008.

Is this rivalry still a rivalry?  Does it evoke memories of the gloried past, or has it lost its meaning?  ESPN is doing a nice job of promoting the game (don’t they always?) by showing old footage of the Sooners and Huskers.  I wonder if this game resonates at all nationally.

Oklahoma Week
Tuesday, October 28, 2008

It’s a special week in college football. Sure, Nebraska-Oklahoma may not have the luster it once had. Meeting only twice every four years will do that. The rivalry was built on mutual respect. Now it may turn somewhat friendly… at least away from the field. This Saturday, Bo Pelini and Bob Stoops meet up for the first time as opposing head coaches.

It’s amazing when you really think about it. These guys grew up in the same small town in Ohio, went to the same high school, are as tight as you can be without being family, and are now the two head coaches in one of the most historic rivalries in college football. It’s a script made for Hollywood.

This relationship is just what this matchup needed. It may not make the game any more competitive, but I don’t think we’ll hear anymore hillbilly talk.

Stat of the day

Nebraska is ranked 78th nationally in pass defense. But they are ranked 2nd in the Big 12 in that same category. No Big 12 team is ranked higher than 70th nationally in pass defense (Colorado). I guess these conference quarterbacks are pretty decent.

Note to a Viewer

Monday night, I decided to be a little snarky in my script regarding the NU/OU matchup. I don’t know what snarky means, but I’m guessing it applies. My lead-in read as follows: “It happens two times every four years. No, not John Campbell matching his shoes to his belt. We’re talking about Nebraska and Oklahoma meeting up in the regular season.”

Some newsroom staff began laughing, which caught me off-guard (no one ever laughs at anything I say) and I then began to lose it. Thank goodness Bo Pelini’s 30-second soundbite was long enough to allow us all to regain our composure. However, someone emailed to say she did not appreciate my tone toward John Campbell. Part of her email read, “I think Matt Schick is very mean and rude… If I were John, I’d slap that sports guy across his face.”

First of all, the wait-list for slapping me in the face is about 3 months long. You’ll have to get in line. Secondly, John is not a nice guy. He forecasts rain and cold on my off-days just to spite me. And when I’m working, he makes the sun come out, and then calls me at work to see if I’m enjoying the weather. I just can’t respect a guy like that.


Tuesday addendum:

It has come to my attention that John Campbell actually wrote the above email. Mister Meteorologist has pulled a fast one on us.

I’m going to go slap him in the face now.

Be right back.

Open Mike Monday
Monday, October 27, 2008

After much critical acclaim (read: one person chuckled) our sports intern Mike is back for another “Open Mike Monday.” 


I’d like to thank everyone for the kind responses on our inaugural run of Open Mike Monday.  It’s really more than one intern can expect.  I can only hope I didn’t set the bar too high for myself.  That would be a classic rookie mistake.


Another exciting week in sports, the Huskers move to one win away from bowl contention, and there’s this little baseball tournament thing going on right now as well.


Like a short-stacked poker player, let’s go all in.


Bo says there’s no such thing as moral victories, but I sure thought the Huskers looked more like winners in their loss against Texas Tech than they did this Saturday against Baylor.  If we look at football as a zero-sum game, then Nebraska’s close loss on the road against the Red Raiders was evened out by a less than inspiring victory at home against the Bears.


I would like to see Nebraska throw the deep ball more often (and I wish that I had a witness to vouch for me saying this before the guys on Versus did).  By their count, Nebraska threw past 20 yards six times; I counted five (I don’t consider a deep pass out of bounds an attempt).  And wouldn’t you like to see Niles Paul break free on a streak at least once?


Perhaps the least encouraging outcome of this weekend’s win is that the mistakes appear to be contagious, dare I say epidemic.  Nebraska committed four personal fouls, and penalties are still a defining characteristic of this year’s squad.  Sure tacklers like Ndamakong Suh seem to have caught a case of Missed Tacklinitis.  Even Nate Swift had a couple of drops before breaking Johnny Rodgers’ career receptions mark.  Did he think The Jet would take offense at someone else sitting atop the leaderboard?  It’s okay, Nate.


A couple of dropsies notwithstanding, I’d like to congratulate Swift on setting the record.  For a team as middle-of-the-road as Nebraska is, a consistent performer like Swift can often be the difference in a tightly-contested game.  On a more selfish note, I’d like to thank him for his performance this Saturday as my college fantasy football squad set a league record for points in a week at 209. 

While we’re on the subject of records broken by Big XII players, Chase Coffman is now the Division I record holder for career receptions by a tight end.  As a lifelong Missouri fan (**ducks**), Coffman’s become my favorite player in the history of college football.  His 40-time might keep him from being a 1st round or possibly even a 1st day draft pick, but I think whoever gets him (and wherever) will find him a bargain.  He makes a highlight reel catch at least once a game.


My new nickname for Cody Glenn is Six Flags.  Everything with him is a thrill ride, from his ability to cover every last centimeter of the field to the thick-headed penalties and missed tackles.  Of course, a roller coaster that only goes up isn’t very much fun…or is it?


I haven’t said anything to Schick about Mizzou housing Colorado 58-0, but I’m certain that after he reads this I’m going to be serving some penance.  Either my litter box in my cage will be gone, or I’ll have to watch Volume 3 of his Grey’s Anatomy collection again.

I made it to my first UNO Hockey game this season on Saturday, and I did so with my favorite kind of ticket: free.  Being a student has its perks (and the only two disadvantages are being poor and sleep-deprived!!!).  While I’m not sure I expect much more than a middling finish from the Mavs in the CCHA, starting the season off with four straight victories certainly can’t hurt their confidence before the real tough stretch begins.    Dan Charleston appears to be picking up the leadership and goal-scoring flare that Brandon Scero, Bryan Marshall and Mick Lawrence left when they graduated, but UNO needs another to step up.


I think at this point, Jaime Moyer could pull a Pat Venditte, throw right-handed, and no one would be able to tell a difference in velocity.


NHL fans beware if Sarah Palin is coming to a town near you.  She dropped the puck on Opening Night for the Philadelphia Flyers, and they didn’t post a win until their seventh game.  On Friday, she had the ceremonial honor for the St. Louis Blues…who promptly lost 4-0 and had their goaltender injured when he tried to jump over a carpet laid out for the VP candidate.


Going into Monday night’s game between the Colts and Titans, I’ve gone 8-5 for my first week picking NFL games outright.  Hey, if I was this year’s Husker football season, that’d be pretty acceptable.  Let’s see if I can do any better this week.  My picks in CAPS:


–Jets @ BILLS

–Lions @ BEARS

–JAGUARS@ Bengals

–Ravens@ BROWNS


–Texans @ VIKINGS

–Cardinals @ RAMS

–Packers @ TITANS

–DOLPHINS @ Broncos

–Cowboys @ GIANTS

–FALCONS @ Raiders

–EAGLES @ Seahawks

–Patriots @ COLTS


That’s all for this week.  Come back next Monday when I have photos of Matt in his Halloween Costume (I don’t want to give away too much, but he’ll be dressed as his favorite Golden Girl…)


Schick’s Note:   Even though he works for free, I’m going to see to it that Michael receives a paycut.

Huskers and Sooners on the Mothership
Sunday, October 26, 2008

Nebraska and Oklahoma will kick-off Saturday night at 7pm. After Texas Tech defeated Kansas, and Texas defeated Oklahoma State, it was a no-brainer that ESPN Gameday would pay a visit to Lubbock this week. And, in the lovely world of cross-promotion, ABC will carry that game Saturday night.

While we at KETV are bummed to not be carrying the Nebraska game this week, this means we will not be doing an hour-long pregame show. I like working hard just as much as the next guy. Which means that I don’t.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

With a Big 12 road win in their back pocket, and Oklahoma on the horizon, the Huskers seemed vulnerable to a Bear attack. Fortunately, Nebraska’s hunting season opened on Saturday. Not bear season… in fact, there is no bear season. But you get where I’m going with this.

Nebraska rallied past the Bears in the second half for a 32-20 win, marking back-to-back conference wins for the first time since 2006. The win also puts Nebraska into a three-way tie with Kansas and Missouri atop the Big 12 North.

Mind-Boggling Stat to Start Off

Nebraska’s win over Baylor marked the first time in 23 games that the Huskers won after trailing at halftime.  The last time it happened?  2003 vs Penn State.  Bo Pelini was here then, too.

Better Late Than Never

The Huskers looked sloppy in the first half. But they looked good early. Nebraska scored a touchdown on its second offensive possession, while the defense held on its first opportunity. Then, things seemed to unravel for a spell. Ganz misfired on some throws, while the normally-reliable receivers dropped some passes. The Husker defense missed countless tackles, and were seen running into each other while Jay Finley raced to the endzone on a 43-yard first quarter scamper. On the next Baylor possession, quarterback Robert Griffin showed why he will be a star in this league. He a superb track athlete, and he won the 47-yard dash to the endzone to give Baylor a 14-7 lead.

The Husker “don’t call it the blackshirt” defense was also flagged for a pair of personal foul penalties in the first half, and seven penalties for 70 yards in the game. There were too mistakes and not enough execution. A combination that won’t work next week.

Nate the Great

I’ve said it more than a few times on this blog. Nate Swift is the best player on this team. He is by far the most consistent performer. The Minnesota native pulled down eleven catches for 121 yards and two touchdowns, while becoming the school’s all-time leader in receptions.

Frank Solich recruited him to be a part of the old Husker attack. Looks like he fits the newer version just fine.

Good Griffin

He’s one of the quickest players you’ll ever see at Memorial Stadium. A Big 12 Champion in the 400-meter hurdles, Griffin made the Huskers look silly in the first half. He rushed eight times for 93 yards in the first two quarters. In the final two quarters he carried the ball eight times for 28 yards. The freshman was something special on Saturday. Fortunately for the Huskers, he wasn’t special for the entire game.

Easy, Bo

I’ve come to the conclusion that Bo Pelini isn’t going to last very long at Nebraska. I’m not talking about the possibility of him getting fired. I’m talking about his health.

I think it’s fair to say that he lost six months of his life at Memorial Stadium. We’ve seen him work over the officials before. But Saturday afternoon, Bo was working overtime. I think every umpire on the field heard from Bo at least once, and I’m sure they had some stories to share around the postgame cooler. They probably won’t share those stories with their families, though.

I wonder when Bo’s constant scolding of the officials will work against him. If there’s ever a 50/50 judgment call that a ref must make, will he chose to give the call to a team who’s coach has been berating him the entire game?

Bo was also caught (and unfortunately heard) giving linebacker Tyler Wortman an earful, most likely for not reading his keys. The VERSUS television microphones picked up Bo’s “you (expletive) moron” fairly clearly. It was only a split-second later that the television crew cranked the background music. Good idea. I’m glad Bo has already earned the respect of his players. It might’ve been a tad bit harder to do so after that display.

Maybe it was the early kickoff, and the caffeine from Bo’s morning cup of joe hadn’t worn off yet. If that’s the case, may I suggest a switch to decaf.

Up Next

After a couple of weeks off from high-caliber opponents, the Huskers hop back in the saddle this week. Top-five Oklahoma will be Nebraska’s toughest test of the season, including any opponent the Huskers may face in a bowl.

Can the Huskers hang with the Sooners?

Nebraska vs Baylor Blog
Saturday, October 25, 2008

This is your place to react to the Nebraska-Baylor game.  Just click on “responses” above, and submit your comments.  The best comments will be used in the Big Red Zone.  Possibly as soon as Saturday night!

Fire away.  I will post my comments later Saturday night.  Keep checking back to join in the discussion.

Keep the Streak Alive
Friday, October 24, 2008

The pressure is on this weekend.

A glorious streak is on the line.

In Bill Callahan’s four years as head coach at Nebraska, he never lost to Baylor. A perfect 2-0. Nebraska has won eight straight against the Bears. It’s a streak that speaks to the tradition of the program. Bo Pelini would be well served to keep this streak alive. It’s one of the only meaningful streaks still intact. In fact, I would put it above the sellout streak in importance.

As I said after last week’s game, Nebraska’s Big 12 north dreams are still alive. By Saturday night Nebraska could find itself in a three-way tie atop the division. They’ll need Missouri to slip up at least once more to keep those hopes realistic. I’ll allow you Husker fans to cheer for my alma mater this week.

Random Thought: Tampa Bay’s Grant Balfour has a very unfortunate last name for a pitcher. It’s like if you had a placekicker named Steven Wideright, or an NBA player named Eddie Airball.

A Return to Normalcy
Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Okay, “Open Mike Monday” went off with a bang. But our intern received too much positive feedback for me to feel good about my job security. So let’s move on.

Husker News Conference

It was definitely an interesting Tuesday in Lincoln. Usually the media overlooks “Baylor Week.” It still does. Much of the media luncheon (pepperoni and sausage pizza were both on the menu today) centered on Bo Pelini’s coaching philosophy. It was very engaging, yet odd at the same time. You would think that the Huskers had just won three games in a row, or had just beaten a top-10 team. One dominating win over Iowa State, and now everyone believes the tide has turned and the season is in full rebound mode. It’s hard to disagree, seeing as how the Huskers hadn’t won like that in any road game since 2001. But still, the opponent this week cannot be overlooked. Afterall, the Bears defeated the Cyclones by the same margin.

That being said, it’s always interesting when a football coach mentions the name of the coach he replaced. It’s almost like you’re hearing a bad word. That happened on Tuesday, when a reporter asked Bo if it was fair to say that this team didn’t understand what hard work meant until he arrived. “Well I don’t know about that. I know Coach Callahan and his staff understand what hard work is, because that would be saying they didn’t know what they were doing, and that is not the case. He’s won a lot of football games; they’ve all been around good football before. I’m not exactly sure. Do we have the same philosophies and beliefs? I don’t know, I don’t really worry about what happened in the past. I guess when I say they’ve bought in, I think these guys have bought in from day one. It is a learning curve…”

Linebacker Cody Glenn was much less politically correct when asked what the difference was about this coaching staff. “We know he cares and that he has our back. With the old people (staff), you didn’t sense that. With him, you know that. He tells you that. He shows you that. When you have a guy like that, you’re going to want to fight for them.”

UNO: Ups and Downs

It’s safe to say that Pat Behrns didn’t envision his first year in the MIAA like this. A 3-3 conference record was nearly unthinkable at the start of the season. Especially when you consider that the team hadn’t lost a regular season game since 2006. Sure, the conference is arguably the best in Division II. But the Mavericks were supposed to be one of the best in Division II. What happened?

Injuries on the offensive line haven’t helped. Perhaps there was still some lingering psychological damage from last year’s premature playoff departure. Whatever it is, it’s just sad to see Zach Miller’s (and the rest of the seniors’ for that matter) season go like this.

Behrns isn’t ruling out an at-large birth into the playoffs. He believes one team from the region with three losses with get in.  But that would involve winning their final three games. Can they do it? Behrns believes they can. So do the players. That’s good enough for me. They’re a severe longshot to even have a shot at a postseason bid, but playing in the toughest league in all of Division II can’t hurt their chances. Either way, as Pat Behrns says, if you love football and you’re passionate about playing the game, you’ll find a way to perform to the best of your abilities. Let’s hope the Mavs hear the message.

Elsewhere at UNO, it was a nice start to the season for Mike Kemp and the Maverick hockey team. This team isn’t expected to do much this season, and a split in the Mutual of Omaha Stampede would’ve raised some red flags. They’ve got two more tuneup games with Mercyhurst this weekend before the real season begins.

Regrets Only

In an interview with A&E, Jose Canseco said that he regrets naming names in his book “Juiced”, where he shed some light on the characters of the steroid era.

“I should have not written that book,” said Canseco. “The more I think about it, the more I regret putting these players in my book…I was so mad at Major League Baseball… I felt like I needed to put them in my book as evidence to show the world that I was telling the truth. I never really realized this was gonna blow up as big as it was gonna blow up and hurt so many player.”

You did how many book signings, talk shows, and interviews in advance of the release of your tell-all book, but you didn’t know how big it was gonna blow up? Save the apologies. Furthermore, the Ball Four of the steroid era ripped the mask off of some of these baseball “legends”, and helped clean up the game. Some of baseball’s hallowed records were broken because of steroids. But how many more were preserved because of the book? Jose, can you see?

Larry, Larry, Quite Contrary

The Kansas City Chiefs’ abysmal record (1-5) is being overshadowed by the work of their star running back. And that’s not a good thing. For the fourth time in the last five years, Larry Johnson has been accused of assaulting a woman. Earlier this month, he allegedly spit his drink at a woman and threatened to kill her boyfriend. What a guy. The Chiefs may suspend him for this week’s game. I wouldn’t. Women might be safer with him actually on the field. It’s too bad this guy won’t clean up his act. Why he’s allowed to go out without a friend/teammate is beyond comprehension.

I, for one, am proud to say that he has no roster spot on any of my three fantasy football league rosters. I am, however, somewhat embarrassed to say that I have three fantasy football league rosters.

Open Mike Monday
Monday, October 20, 2008

Believe it or not, we have interns at KETV. Yes, I know what you’re thinking: who would want to work anywhere for free? Well, let me tell you: KETV is a special place.

Our sports intern this fall is Mike. He’s a dedicated (read: lost) soul, who has definitely lightened our loads in the sports department during Husker season. As a reward for his efforts, I am allowing him to write on this blog once a week. Yes, more unpaid work for Mike.

Every Monday morning you will see Mike’s latest work here.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the first installment of “Open Mike Monday.”

(Views expressed by Mike do not necessarily represent those of Matt Schick, unless they are funny and you agree with them)


I suppose some introduction is in order.

I’m Mike. I’m an intern at KETV. I spend a lot of time helping out the sports department, and now that Matt’s let me out of my cage, I’ll be making weekly appearances here at “Schick’s Shtick.”

If anyone’s interested in an advance copy of my tell-all book on the secret life of Matt Schick, send me your PayPal information and I’ll hook you up. The tidbits–they are a’juicy.

Every Monday, I’ll be here to give you my thoughts on sports as I see them, and who knows, mayb

e I’ll get tangential and offer up some commentary on the rest of this world. I believe I just made my AP Lit and Comp teacher from high school proud by my use of the word “tangential.” Thanks Mrs. Baker.

Because I’m hoping to get on your good side, I’ll get to the heart of things…now.

  • When you’re trying to decide what was most impressive about a victory, it’s usually a good sign. That’s the position I’m in with the Huskers 35-7 rolling of Iowa State. Ultimately, I have to go with the running game finally showing life. Marlon Lucky, Quentin Castille, and Roy Helu Jr. each had over 65 yds. rushing. Midway through the 4th, the game was decided and the game plan was obvious, and the Cyclones still couldn’t stop the run. I can’t remember the last time I saw Nebraska really take what they wanted on the ground before Saturday’s win.
  • I think the Huskers version of the “Wildcat” formation needs a name. Wild Corn just doesn’t sound quite right. Whatever you want to call it, I hope Shawn Watson finds more ways to sneak it into his game plan. I noticed Castille in the backfield on Lucky’s 2nd TD of the game; I think it would be a mini-adventure to see Marlon pitching it to Quentin in the future.
  • My bitter saga with Nate Swift continues. Every week I don’t start him in my college fantasy football league, he has a week like he did against the Cyclones. When I play him, he’s a non-factor. We are each other’s jinxes. Why must we play these games, Nate? Why?
  • If you have at least one working leg, you too can be a Nebraska punter.
  • I know Nebraska volleyball is undefeated, but they should really find a way to sneak Ndamakong Suh onto the roster after his swat of Austen Arnaud’s pass. It was, dare I say, Larsonesque.As the Huskers prepare for Baylor this week, I’m sure much of the focus will be on Robert Griffin, and it should be. I don’t want to say he’s the next Brad Smith, but I’ve seen flashes from him that make me think it could happen. Of course, if Baylor follows the same trajectory with Griffin that Mizzou did with Smith, then they should be national championship contenders two years after he graduates. So, hey: BEARS IN 2014!!!
  • I’m glad the Rays have advanced to the World Series. It’s easy to fall into the mindset that they should be good because of so many high draft picks, but tell that to the Pirates and Royals, who have suffered just as long and are only just now looking like teams with direction. One thing I will not be looking forward to is watching games in that dome, though. I can only hope that the series doesn’t go more than five games so we don’t have to make a return trip to the Trop.
  • UNO hockey still has that new-season smell, and it’s a good thing because Mavericks fans probably want to forget about the disastrous football season as soon as possible. The inaugural season of the MIAA hasn’t been kind to Pat Behrns and his team, but I have faith in Coach Behrns that the Mavs will adjust quickly.
  • Matt needs Randy Moss to deliver him 14 points tonight against the Broncos in his PPR fantasy league. Denver ranks dead last in the NFL in pass defense. I think Schick’s gonna make it out okay. Straight cash homey **thumps chest**.
  • The winner of this week’s matchup between Omaha Northwest and Omaha Benson will be 2-7 on the season and going to the playoffs. Of course, the prize isn’t much, as it most likely means they get to be linebacker fodder for Creighton Prep.
  • While we’re talking about high school, I’m trying to find a way to import Michael Burrus into Madden ’09. If anyone’s successful, let me know.
  • To wrap this up, I’ll take my shot at predicting next week’s NFL games, not against the spread. I’ll update my season totals weekly, and you can lambast me if (when) I fall flat on my face. My picks in caps:

Raiders @ RAVENS


Buccaneers @ COWBOYS


BILLS @ Dolphins


CHARGERS @ Saints (in London)

Chiefs @ JETS

Falcons @ EAGLES

Browns @ JAGUARS

Bengals @ TEXANS

GIANTS@ Steelers

Seahawks @ 49ERS

Colts @ TITANS

Thanks for joining me on this pilot episode of Open Mike Mondays.

Intern Out.