1. Drake Martinez has decided to leave Nebraska. Or his Dad decided. Either way, this is the first time since 2009 that a Martinez kid hasn’t been in the Nebraska Football program. Was there too much pressure being Taylor’s kid brother in Lincoln? Or is there such a thing?
Andy K: Maybe I don’t have enough respect for Martinez family drama storylines, but I only saw this as a reach for a more immediate chance at playing time. With Leroy Alexander and Nate Gerry ahead of him (along with D.J. Singleton maybe?), my thought is that he saw the writing on the wall every day in practice and wanted a chance at more than just potentially one year of starting or hoping someone got hurt. From what I understood, it was very amicable parting. I mean, "Drake Martinez To Transfer" is about the only time his name has come up since "Drake Martinez Signs With NU", so I didn’t see a great deal of public pressure.
Husker Mike: I have to wonder how much affect the negativity some folks have regarding Taylor affected Drake’s decision. Maybe he just didn’t want to be the butt of TWoS jokes for the next four years.
David: I can’t imagine being Taylor Martinez’s little brother was a lot of fun. TMart was one of the most polarizing players I’ve ever seen at Nebraska. Living in that shadow couldn’t have been easy. If it was a search for more playing time, that’s fine, but it strikes me as a deal that would just be uncomfortable for most people to have to deal with. That seems reasonable to me.
Ty: I have to echo what David and Mike said. I’ve seen younger siblings who can’t handle living up the expectations (real or imagined) of older siblings. I know I sure as hell wouldn’t wanna be on TWoS’s radar like that. Although I’ll still read every comic he posts.
Cobcast Ryan: I don’t think that there is a single answer. I have a feeling that its a little bit of everything. Lincoln can be a very passive aggressive place when it comes to football and the players. Plus on top of that his brother caught a lot of heat, his dad isn’t Nebraskas favorite person, he will always be the other Martinez, etc etc etc. Plus he’ll get more playing time and probably not get made fun of by TWoS and others. I’m not innocent either, Taylor has been the butt of many a joke on my podcast but its all in love. I hope they realize that.
Brian: I guess I didn’t get the point of signing Drake to begin with, but I have to think that Dad hasn’t done much favors for the younger son. Let him go, it’s alright.
2. A lot of folks say that, because of how Bubba Starling and now Monte Harrison eschewed a Huskers LOI for a Major League Baseball contract. Folks say that you should stop recruiting kids that could leave in the MLB Draft that summer. Good idea? Or keep aiming for the stars with these kids?
Paul: not recruiting a kid because he’s a potential MLB draftee is silly. That’s like saying we shouldn’t recruit the best players because they might go somewhere else.
Andy: I can see both sides of this argument somewhat. I don’t believe in just dropping any pursuit because he might get drafted by MLB, but I think it’s a definitely wise to consider how much time & resources to use in that pursuit. Let’s face it, if they’re headed for a seven figure payday (or close), they’re silly to take a fraction of that in the form of a scholarship while playing a more dangerous sport. The decision itself will always be a no-brainer. The best-case scenario with kids may be Josh Booty where we vampirically wait/hope for a washout & they show up on campus when they’re 24.
Husker Mike: It’s not an automatic decision; it depends on what the kid wants to do. And because they ARE kids, they are prone to change their mind. Khiry Cooper turned down the baseball money to play football. Certainly take it into consideration, but don’t rule anybody out, because they might surprise you.
David: Don’t be scared off by players being talented enough to play professional baseball. You might be get lucky with one of them and get them on campus. It’s still worth it to have your name attached to talented players like that.
Ty: If we’re not going after these kids, people will find fault in that. This is a no-win really, until we land a couple of those kids. If we stop recruiting them, boosters and fans will say we’re not going after the perceived blue-chip recruits. If we keep pursuing them and don’t land them, then people think we should focus energy elsewhere. It’s your program, your system. Go after the kids that you think will fit.
Cobcast Ryan: I say sign everyone and let the staff sort ‘em out. You never know, Bubba Starlings numbers aren’t looking so hot, we could get that 24 year old quarterback we’ve always been dreaming of.
Brian: Bubba isn’t coming back, but then again, that’s probably best for both involved. Besides, it you’re going to try to get the best available player, sometimes you’ll have to fight MLB agents and such to get them. Mike is right, you’ll win some you don’t think so. However, I would say that at the very least, agents should be upfront with college HC’s and at least tell them what’s up. If you’re using a LOI for leverage, tell someone. That’s what Scott Boras did with Bubba, and Starling missed starting in complex ball ASAP (compare to Monte Harrison signing and getting there ASAP).
3. With the talk of the B1G lowering ticket allotments for teams so they don’t take it in the shorts too bad when making a bowl game, what’s a decent number for schools to get in your eyes?
Andy: I say 0/zilch/none. 1) Most people will find better deals elsewhere. 2) This might actually force bowls/selection committees to put together some matchups that people want and make some of the useless bowls/venues go away. Let’s put it this way - Georgia/Nebraska II doesn’t happen if there are no guaranteed allotments. That was nothing but an "Aw, screw it, it fits." move.
Husker Mike: Schools shouldn’t be required to buy tickets to bowl games. If anything, the schools should get a commission for helping the bowl sell tickets.
David: I agree, schools shouldn’t be required to purchase a certain number of tickets. Especially now that the conference, at least the Big Ten, not sure if all conferences will do this, will do more placing of teams rather than the bowls taking which ever team they thought would be better for them.
Ty: Is this the place to rant about how there are too damn many bowl games? None. If the bowls want to sell tickets, they need to make themselves relevant again. Hell, even if it’s a good match up, I don’t want to go to Yankee Stadium in December/January to watch an outdoor game. It’s ridiculous. Find a way to make the games meaningful and interesting to watch, and stop having the SEC-B1G, Big XII-ACC type games. There’s already a de facto hierarchy of bowls, let the top ones pick first (after the selection committee is done) then by the time the New Mexico Bowl picks, let them figure it out.
Cobcast Ryan: Supply and Demand, isn’t that what they always say? The market will correct itself. Schools get burned because of Stubhub, scalping, Craigslist, fence hoppers and the knot hole section. I agree with Husker Mike.
Brian: The thing about schools and commission is, that if they sell ½ their allotted tickets, schools make money off of each ticket. But if they don’t sell ½ or such, they pay per ticket (if I have it right, and I think I do). I’d rather see a number of tickets comped to an AD, but that’s what they have to use for staffers, season ticket holders, and band & such. Therefore, schools can use those tickets to whatever they see fit, but if they do sell them to season ticket holders/donators, they make straight profit. You’ll have enough fans buying them through TicketMaster and such to justify it.
4. Excluding Memorial Stadium (because #Huskers), what’s the best sports facility you’ve ever been inside and seen with your own two eyes, and why?
Paul: Call me biased, but the fitness center at Offutt Air Force Base is the best fitness center I’ve ever seen. If you’re looking for competition venues...Jerry’s World is pretty awesome
Andy: I haven’t hit the road a ton, but to be honest, I’d still say Sun Devil Stadium for the 1996 Fiesta Bowl. It was the first stadium in which I ever watched a game where I could go to a sold-out event and enter the stadium, walk about freely and hit the can without a) being crushed in with hundreds of other people any time I left my seat, b) having to allow half the 2nd quarter and all of halftime to take a piss and/or c) having to walk in groups of 12 through a fucking tunnel lit by hanging bulbs. The Rose Bowl - Where Claustrophobia Happens!
Husker Mike: I got out of the habit of travelling to away games during the Callahan error, so I’ve missed a lot of facilities. Haven’t even been to Pinnacle Bank Arena yet. But honestly, almost all of the Big XII’s stadiums were pretty much crapholes. How bad? Iowa State’s Jack Trice Stadium was actually fairly nice, comparatively speaking, in comparisons to the rest of the conference. I do like Omaha’s CenturyLink Center, especially for hockey.
David: Allen Fieldhouse. It was loud, intimate and raucous, even in the terrible games I was at. It was everything I always wanted Nebraska basketball to be. We got closer to that at Pinnacle Bank Arena, but it’s still got a ways to go before it’ll be on that level.
Ty: Can I say Devaney for volleyball? I guess I should go NON-Husker.
Old Mile High in Denver. I was there once for a Raiders Monday Night game and again in the South Stands against… I don’t remember. Awesome crowd (Kinda jerks like fans in that state can be…) but just a great environment. Loud, rickety…. never quite sure if the stadium would hold, but damn.
Cobcast Ryan: Happy Valley was pretty great. It didn’t feel big but its huge. Also on a side note... Iowas stadium is the worst thing I’ve ever seen.
Brian: Working at ATT Stadium in Arlington, I get pretty meh when I talk about other places. But trust me, I get meh on ATT too cause I’m there a lot ("nah, that big screen in the middle of the stadium isn’t that impressive anymore, can it?"). However, I will say that Minute Maid in Houston is a pretty nice place to catch a game.
I haven’t been to Kaufmann in KC since the redesign. Reliant Stadium in Houston is alright, actually. I did get to go into the Astrodome the last year they opened it up for RodeoHouston and stood on 2nd base and looked straight up at the top of the dome. That was pretty cool. I was planning on going to Allen ISD Stadium this fall but, well….
5. Yes or no and why….. Ban the wave at sporting events.
Andy: No, because the same fossils who attend Husker games to yell "Down in front!" non-stop suddenly have to stand a few times & it’s really fun listening to them bitch.
Husker Mike: No, but the wave is only permissible in a couple of instances. For example, a football game where one team is up by 30 points in the second half. Or the game is delayed for any non-threatening reason: rain, power failure, shattered backboard at a basketball game, or shattered dasherboard at a hockey game. Or a spring game, where you are trying to keep a bunch of kids entertained.
David: No, don’t ban it. Just stop doing it.
Ty: No. Don’t ban it. Some people enjoy it. I’ve been at NASCAR races where they gave it lap times. It can be fun, but it’s gotten overdone.
Fun Fact: At the Olympics in Beijing (I was there as a spectator) they implored fans to do the "Mexican Wave"
Cobcast Ryan: No, this is America. If you ban anything the terrorists win.
Brian: YES YES YES YES. Ban the wave. There’s a reason that Chuck Morgan puts the damn post on the board of Globe Life in Arlington when it happens. Bad things happen to both fans and teams when the wave starts. And it’s always the 2-3 chowderheads that need to start it cause THEY are bored. Well, every time that happens, we need a sign put in front of them like this (Husker themed of course)...
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