2007, I take great pleasure in burying thee, you year of great suckage. If ever there is a time machine invented, you're one of the last dead years I'm coming back to see.
It wasn't a great personal year for me. The year started with my older brother Jim suffering a massive heart attack at the Chili Bowl. We were told at the time that he wouldn't live through the next few days. Toward the end of the year my Mom suffered a fall and bleeding on her brain. She recovered from that, but it was the end of her independence as she's now in a nursing home.
And then there's the Huskers.
A review on the Husker suckage that was 2007.
- The men's basketball team doesn't make it to post-season play, ending their season with a loss to Oklahoma State in the Big 12 tournament. The season included a win over Creighton but a 92-39 mauling at Kansas.
- The women's basketball team made it to post-season play, losing to Temple 64-61 in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
- Mike Anderson's baseball team experienced a tumultuous season, enduring several suspensions, and the dismissal of pre-season All-American Ryan Wehrle. They played the toughest schedule in the nation, finishing 32-27 and making the NCAA tourney. Their season ended when they lost the regional title game to Arizona State.
- The good news about baseball? Texas, a team that many thought would win the CWS (the "Augie Garrido factor" , didn't get out of their regional bracket. I love it when that happens. I don't hate the Longhorns, I just don't want their baseball team doing any better than we do. Wait. Yeah, in baseball, I pretty much hate the Longhorns.
- Women's soccer had a horrid season, finishing 1-8-1 in the Big 12 and 5-10-4 overrall. This is from a team that sees the NCAA tourney on a regular basis.
- Women's volleyball finished as co-Big 12 champs and then finished their season being swept by California in the Wisconsin regional final. They finished with a 30-2 record, their only other loss to Texas. It says something about Nebraska volleyball that their season is considered a disappointment. Possibly the worst thing about 2007 and Husker volleyball is saying good bye to Sarah Pavan.
- And then we get to football. The year started off with Marlon Lucky making a trip to the hospital for undisclosed reasons. If that wasn't an omen, we should have been tipped off what kind of year it would be when running back Kenny Wilson broke his leg carrying a television. Sam Keller gets in trouble for throwing a cup, and Maurice Purify gets busted twice in five weeks.
All of this before the 2007 season started. Typical off-season stuff, or a foreshadow of what was to come? There were huge expectations for 2007 football. Husker fans were disgusted that Missouri was picked by many pundits to win the Big 12 North. Clearly we had drank the Callahan kool-aid and great things lie ahead.
Mercifully, Nebraska's season ended with a loss at Colorado and along with it, Bill Callahan's reign. The final tally would be 5-7, the second losing season in over 40 years, but the second losing season under Callahan. The Husker defense would finish 2007 ranked 116th in rushing, 84th against the pass, and 112th overall, the worst defense in Nebraska Cornhusker football history thanks to the suckage that was Kevin Cosgrove.
The year's best story belonged to a former Husker as Joba Chamberlain exploded into the national limelight after being called up to the New York Yankees. Chamberlain is the ultimate rags to riches work hard for your dreams story.
And so we move to 2008
My brother Jim survived his massive heart attack going through quadruple bypass surgery. He'll be back at the Chili Bowl next week, his car racing with 85 other rookies on Tuesday night. If they make the top 15, they'll move on. It'd be a great way to make up for 2007.
2008 brings hope to Cornhusker fans, but let's not make the same mistake we made last year. Don't drink the kool-aid. Bo Pelini won't make us Big 12 champs in a single season. The good news is that 2008 can't be worse than 2007, so relax and enjoy the ride.