I don't have flakes today. Instead, you get a diatribe, because, man, sometimes it's just gotta get out of me.
I'm not going to tell you all about my children. That's too much information. Suffice it to say that they're 21, 18, and 15, respectively, and they're no longer in that age at which they should be naive about the world.
If you're one of those parents who think that your children should be naive about the world, well, damn, I'm not sure what to think about you other than to say you can't protect them forever and might as well go about the business of preparing them for whatever lays ahead, which means that you should prepare them for the dark, sick, cold world that awaits them.
That was a single sentence paragraph, btw. Yeah.
You can pretend all you want, but I'm telling you the truth. Chances are, if you're reading this, I'm older than you and therefore wiser, because this is the first lie we tell you, i.e, age = wisdom.
On a certain level it's true. I'm turning 52 in June, and I can tell you with no lack of certainty that I'm wiser than you, unless you say that you're older in which case I'll just respond that you must be dumber than me.
All the innocence in my children's lives was destroyed in 2007 when I don't give a fuck what age they were Bill Callahan was in charge of the Husker football program and they heard their father say things that made sure that they would hear no other worse things from any other human beings ever.
That was a whole paragraph written in an attribute to The Road.
Am I proud of the fact that I said such horrendous things in front of my entire family?
Well, yeah, actually I am. I wasn't proud of it in 2007 because I wasn't proud of anything. No Nebraskan worth their salt felt pride. (There is an inherent problem with this, but we should discuss this "WHO WE ARE" problem later. It's the offseason. We can do anything.)
I am now? Yeah, because as my children have grown older the fact is they're going into a sick, dark, world that doesn't give a shit whether it lies to them or not. Right now, the institutions that are supposed to stand for something only stand for it on the basis of lies.
Obviously, we could start with our federal government, but being as we're a sports site that tries to steer clear of politics... well, there. You could go next to the NCAA, making millions upon millions for a small amount of people (administrators, athletic directors, coaches), but not sharing a bit with the people they're exploiting (student athletes). I find these things truly egregious.
Those are not what I'm talking about, though, because the honest truth is - we can't do anything to change those things. Not you and me, anyway.
What I'm talking about is personal. It's this lie we tell our children. We let them believe that we are saints and they are monsters.
"We never did these things you do now!", we say collectively as old people (the same thing our parents told us as we watched Elvis Costello on Saturday Night Live/The Beatles/Elvis Presley on the Ed Sulivan show/Bennie Goodman/Bessie Smith/generations now/ because there weren't no TV, but radio).
It's not sportsmanship, says someone named Jean Peck. "Sit Down", says a lot of Memorial Stadium.
No as a representative of the generation above you, we never smoked dope, we never drove drunk (if you're old enough you remember when no one cared), we certainly never got into fights where we were beaten (or not) and the police were called (or not) and it was accepted part of being alive.
I remember listening to a couple of older Nebraska fans who had gone to Madison, Wisconsin for the first Big Ten game there. They complained about being treated badly, which mostly meant the Wisconsin students shouted "FUCK NEBRASKA" at them. They took it as a challenge, apparently, and not a greeting, which is too bad, because when I reminded them as Vietnam era graduates that Madison was one place in the nation where that era's protests against the war began and why did they think things should have changed they did not agree but simply walked away.
This is us, as humans. When you're young you don't have shit. As you get older, you get more shit, and then when you're old, you worry about losing all your shit.
This is a real problem in a nation full of old people worried about losing their shit, i.e, the NCAA, Mark Emmert and his $3M salary, Harvey Perlman and whatever the hell he makes, and then there's that Shawn Eichorst dude who never talks to anyone really, but still makes a cool million a year. That's a fair amount of shit to lose.
So I say to my children, we, the old people expect to bankrupt you as students. We expect to do the same to student athletes. We expect to do both because we're in charge. That and we're older (wiser) and better at lying and you're still at that stupid age where you think the truth actually matters.
Good thing you have lawyers. In the end, they probably won't help that much. You know why? They're probably old lawyers.
I told you it was a diatribe.