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Nebraska Football: Are We Becoming The New Philadelphia?

Husker fans are at a crossroads. Do we continue our current path toward destruction? Or do we realize we don't want to become the next Philadelphia?

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Nebraska, we need to get our shit together. Though the Mike Riley apologist in me has been severely battered and wonders whether it remains fit for this world, I am not speaking of the on-field product. I am referring to us as a fan base. We're getting dangerously close to becoming Philadelphia. Yeah, Philadelphia.

I lived three years in northeast Pennsylvania. Trust me, we do not want to be Philadelphia (at least not as sports fans. Some of my best friends are from the Lehigh Valley).

There are two things I can tell you about Philadelphia sports fans. 1.) They are completely engulfed by the nationwide perception of themselves, trying desperately to live up to the reputation that has been put upon them 2.) They believe they have a significant impact on their team's performance even though evidence shows that, if they do, it is minimal or, in fact, negative.

Though the nation's perception of Nebraska fans is the polar opposite of Philly's, those two traits that I just now arbitrarily assigned to Philadelphia fans fit us to a T. The only thing that has separated us from those battery-throwing, Santa-hating hooligans is our niceness. But suddenly, that niceness appears to be a front that only appears when the weather is fair or better. We've hung onto our niceness for opponents, but we're now tearing each other apart. Players and fellow Husker fans are on the receiving end of vitriolic stampedes on a daily basis.

Let's regain that niceness. Not just for BYU and Southern Miss fans, but for each other. Fans, coaches, players, that poor puppy whose owner makes him wear a Taylor Martinez jersey. Everyone.

I get it. We have spent the past 16 years being nice with no championships, national or conference, to show for it. So naturally, we seek for things to change. Coaches, uniforms, monolithic fanbase personalities. Even if you believe there is a correlation between a coach's meanness and his success level (there isn't), we are not coaches. Our effect on the game is negligible at best. If anything, there are exactly two ways to affect the fortunes of the Huskers.

1.) Keep showing up and being supportive in hopes that quality recruits are impressed, or 2.) Generally be a dick and scare anyone with talent (playing, coaching or otherwise) away from our beloved program.

That's it. We have no power. The sooner we figure that out, the better.

Creating our entire identity on the backs of college football players is cute and folksy when we're winning. It takes on a far darker tone when it creates weeks of ill-mannered folks in small towns verbally abusing each other over the internet.

I cried after losses to Florida State and Arizona State in the 90s. It took me weeks to get over Ricky Williams and Co. ending Nebraska's bid for a three-peat. But you know what? I was 10 when we lost to Charlie Ward. I was 11 when Cory Schlesinger rambled past Miami. I was 12 when Tommie Frazier danced all over Florida. And I was 13 when I shed a tear over Jake Plummer's escape efforts. I'm still passionate about the Huskers, but since 1996, I've learned to not take things so hard. It's simply not worth it. I was upset for a minute on Saturday, but then I spent the next several minutes enjoying a nice dinner with my wife. I've had too many falls ruined by the likes of Chase Daniel to let a Husker loss linger longer than 10 minutes.

Continue being good to our opponents, Husker fans. And for the love of God, be good to one another. There are too many more imporant things to worry about. Like not becoming that godforsaken hellhole Philadelphia.

Pat Janssen can be heard weekly on the Big Red Cobcast, which can be found on Corn Nation.