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Corn Flakes: Is Tom Osborne Guilty Of Wishful Thinking?

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Nice article by Lindsay Schnell at yesterday, nice because it's, a high profile national site. It's mostly a rehash of what Husker fans have been reading for a while already, i.e., Mike Riley is the nicest guy on the planet. There are some tidbits here and there, however, but the piece that should catch your eye is this bit:

Osborne doesn’t necessarily agree with the idea that his legend looms large in Lincoln, and hopes no coach feels mounted pressure because of his presence. "I’ve been gone for a quite a long time," says Osborne, 78. "Some people growing up [now] don’t even know when I was there."

My first reaction was that this was a ridiculous comment and I doubted that Osborne had even said it.

"Gone for quite a long time...."

No, Tom.

The pyramids being built in Egypt, Emperor Ch'in and his terra cotta army - that was quite a long time ago. The Spanish Armada being sunk by the English - that was a long time ago.

Osborne's five-year 60-3 run - every Nebraska fan over the age of one knows that happened in the 90s. It only seems like "quite a long time ago" because we have to hear all of the time about how Nebraska hasn't won a conference championship since 1999, and thenm OH DEAR GOD, that seems like... forever.

My second reaction was that if Osborne actually believed this he'd say something like "I really wish Nebraska fans would stop measuring every other coach by my success", which would be a reasonable, sage thing to say.

If Tom said that, we could take it to heart and start judging each head coach by their own merits. We might have reasonable expectations which might lead to fewer heart attacks, fewer overreactions on social media and less angst amongst the fan base...


Can you believe I just wrote that?

I don't believe Dr. Tom is a loony, nor a liar, nor is he anywhere close to stupid. Nor is Osborne senile, although age is implied here. (Every article about Mike Riley brings up the fact that he's 61 YEARS OLD, the insinuation clearly being that he might be too old to continue coaching and certainly TOO OLD to start over at a new place.)

I do believe that maybe, just maybe, that Osborne made the comment because of wishful thinking, not on our behalf, but on his. In other words, he'd like that statement to be true from his perspective, and if we tell ourselves things we want to believe repeatedly we will come to believe them.

Because if it was wishful thinking on behalf of Husker fans - gee, whiz, that's a whole lot of wishing, enough that it might just topple over into delusional.

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