Sarah Benson sees them in her syrup and pancakes.
Robert Felker sees them in his cows.
David Rogers sees them in his commute home through North Omaha on 580 in the traffic patterns every single day.
Bert Steinbill swore he saw them in a group of deer he is figuring on hunting this fall. "There was one buck chasing a doe and I swore she came around the left side of that group like she was a lead blocker and he was the ball carrier."
Calls to 911 services are up across the state of Nebraska this week as the Huskers prepare to take on Oregon. Oregon runs a spread offense and even though they don't run jet sweeps any more than anybody else does, Nebraskans are seeing the jet sweeps everywhere.
State psychiatrist Martin Pretzel says that this is a phenomenon that's been happening ever since Nebraska lost the Big Ten championship game to Wisconsin, scoring on endless jet sweeps that are forever preying on the minds of Nebraskans during football seasons since.
“Normally, we’d chalk it up to a simple case of pareidolia”, Pretzel said, “But it seems to have gone much deeper than that.”
Pretzel cited a 2004 study done on Nebraskans in which a full 80% could identify the difference between a jet sweep, reverse, speed option, power option, inside zone and outside zone plays.
“Now they see any play going to the outside and it’s automatically a jet sweep. A speed option, even a simple reverse. The psyche of the state is indeed in peril.”
Benson says she tries to arrange slabs of butter in a defensive pattern before she pours her syrup, but no matter how many patterns she tries, the result is still the same. The hot syrup goes right through the butter, flowing with ease on it’s way to the edge of the plate and then drips on the table leaving a mess, her feelings scarred, and damaged for yet another season.
The “Jet Sweep phenomenon” has bothered her so much she stopped eating pancakes and switched to oatmeal.
“So far, so good”, she said with the bland smile of someone sentenced to oatmeal for for breakfast for the rest of their natural life.
Pretzel stated that the only way the state may be collectively cured is for the state’s beloved football team to smash a highly-touted opponent that runs jet sweeps by running their own jet sweeps and scoring.
“Or speed options. Or outside zones. It really doesn’t matter. Listen, just smash someone good to pieces while playing good defense. Is that too much to ask?”, said Pretzel.
In the meantime, Nebraskans need to know what they’re up against. They need to recognize they have a problem, and adjust their mental frame of mind to fight against the urge to see jet sweeps everywhere.
When informed of Pretzel’s broad diagnosis, Felker was not impressed.
“Hey, I know what I saw and what I saw was them cows mocking me.”
Irritated, Felker told me to get off his land.
“You turn around and you drive straight up the middle of that road right there and get outta here.”
His eyes narrowed.
“And I mean straight up the fuckin’ middle.”