Hey, guess what. At the end of October, Mrs Corn Nation and I will have been married for 20 years. 20 years is a long time to be married, especially when it's to me. A couple of days ago I asked Mrs CN if there was anything about me she expected to change when we got married.
She said her mother gave her some sage advice before we were married. "Never expect that someone is going to change just because you married them" and took that to heart. "Oh, come on, there has to be something" - I was pushing, asking the tough questions because that's who I am.
"Your sense of fashion" was the answer. She said this as I was wearing an old t-shirt and the bottom half of a set of Superman pajamas (I kid you not) someone had given me for Christmas. What she really meant was "complete lack of anything resembling fashion sense" but as with happens in marriage, you try to soften the blow.
Mrs CN knew what she was getting when we got married, much the same as Husker fans knew what they were getting when Bo Pelini took the head coaching job (you wondered where I was going with this, right?). So did the media. Pelini is a passionate guy, wears his emotions on his sleeve kind of thing
Now here we are, fans and media alike, complaining about Pelini as if we're shocked by his behavior. This past week, you had Lee Barfknecht write a column about "Boorish Bo", using the same AP photo at the top of this article to emphasize Barfknecht's point. Steve Sipple did a more subdued article about Pelini's handling of the referees, implying that Pelini isn't going to get calls because of his "tirades".
Worse yet is an AP article that includes "Bo Pelini" and "demons" in the headline. It also includes the words - "bullied reporters", "tirades", and "harangued" - which apparently leads to the conclusion that Bo Pelini has demons. If they're the kind that make you use the phrase "get over it", perhaps, but then you'd be forced to admit that a lot of us are so possessed.
If the media is going to be after him this badly after one lousy game this season, what's going to happen if the Huskers suffer two or three more losses? Are the media guys going to bait him into a credibility-damaging tirade because it'll give them a great story to run or because they resent how little he gives them in the first place?
If I were Bo Pelini, I'd consider eliminating the postgame pressers. Or maybe wait long enough after the game that he's settled down and can come out in his Cornhusker smoking jacket, with a pipe, relax in a nice chair and answer questions. Maybe he could do that every Sunday night (because he has nothing better to do, like figure out how to fix the offense and be a surrogate father to over 100 college-aged men).
As for fans, we need to relax a little as well. Bo Pelini is not Tom Osborne. He isn't going to turn into Tom Osborne, regardless of how many mentoring sessions the Great Oz gives him.
As it is with conflicts in marriage, you'd better be willing to compromise. Media guys need to find something else to write about. Fans need to accept the fact that Pelini has the best (or worst, depending on your perspective) scowl in Nebraska Cornhusker history. Accept that he's going to give the media guys and officials hell at times.
It's either that or be constantly disappointed and sooner or later get a divorce. It's not a stretch to say that not's the story book ending that everyone is looking for.