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Nebraska Congressman Says America Needs Winning Husker Football

Husker fans sure want winning football. But non-football fans (and fans of other teams) could not care less. America has much bigger priorities than NU football.

Scott Wolf & Michael Gerson Host A Malaria No More Reception Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images

In an op-ed column in Friday’s Omaha World-Herald, U.S. Representative Jeff Fortenberry (R-Nebraska) reflected on the struggles of Nebraska football this season and the surge in optimism with the hiring of Scott Frost as head coach.

Football means something to America. And an epic program such as Nebraska’s means something even more. As I said to one national media outlet, “America needs Nebraska to win.” It is about respect for the Cornhuskers and their culture of excellence. It’s about our big, corn-fed linemen, our hard-nosed backs and our tradition of receivers who actually block. We help give America a sense that guts and determination, tradition and honor, still matter.

Well, if THAT isn’t fodder for Nebraska-haters from whatever conference (Big Eight, XII or Ten) the Huskers have been in, I don’t know what is. Yes, football is truly America’s sport. Baseball makes that claim, but football is this country’s most popular sport; it draws the biggest crowds and the biggest television ratings. But does America REALLY need Nebraska to win?

Absolutely not.

Sure, Nebraska fans need it to win. The Big Ten would really like Nebraska to win; there’s a reason why Nebraska has been the big domino in conference realignment. But America itself? No.

As Nebraska football “gravitated towards mediocrity” thanks to mistakes made by former University leaders, other programs emerged to fill that void. Oregon, Wisconsin and Clemson come to mind right away; the idea that somehow the “Nebraska Way” is morally superior is patently offensive to people in the other 49 states.

Heck, it’s offensive to people in this state who don’t wear clothes with a Big Red N on it. It’s this type of thinking that makes people hate and ridicule Nebraska fans.

Scott Frost has his work cut out for him to rebuild Nebraska football and restore the Huskers back to the place that NU fans want it to be. Don’t add any ridiculous pressure to “make America great again” on top of that.

Because when it comes down to it, really only Nebraska fans need Husker football to win again. Some others may benefit from it, but when it comes down to it, America really isn’t affected whether Nebraska football goes 15-0 or 4-8.