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The Roller Coaster That Was 2017

I have a hard time looking back and defining this year.

I had one goal in 2017. It was pretty simple, in the big scheme of things.

Don't go to the hospital.

That was it. I wanted to spend the whole year not going to the hospital. Maybe I am jinxing things by publishing this a little early, but I'm okay with taking fate into my hands. I didn’t go to the hospital. In a way, it was a great year!

This is that article where we look back on the year and try to digest exactly what happened.

The Biggest Story of the Year

You can have a debate - a pretty good one - about what was the biggest story of the year for Husker sports. It all depends on whether you are a true Husker fan of all sports or if you're just here for football.

Obviously, if you're just here for football the biggest story of the year was the hiring of Scott Frost, Nebraska's native son coming home to save the program. In the big scheme of things, it's an amazing story. You think about all the things that had to fall into place for this to happen and God knows that we all want Scott Frost to be the success that we hope he is.

I would argue that the biggest story of the year is our volleyball team’s national title. I realize that women's sports don't provide us with the ego boost that we will require as males, but you have to look at this from a couple of perspectives.

First, John Cook took a team that replaced three all-Americans and got them to beat the best team in the nation twice. Penn State is an incredible team, and not only did this volleyball team beat them in the semifinal game but they swept them at home – the first time the Penn State had been swept at home since 2003. That is an amazing statistic.

I work with a Penn State guy a lot. I texted him the stat of the year.

Penn State 33 – 0 against everyone else

Penn State 0 – 2 against Nebraska

That is a beautiful, beautiful statistic.

I'm going with the volleyball team as being the biggest story of the year.

The reason being: the national title in volleyball is in the bag. We own it. It's not something that is hope, and it's not something that's in the future. I realize that the state of Nebraska has built its ego around the football team, but at least a part of us recognizes that the women of our state kick ass. Our women's sports are excellent. Whether it's rifle, volleyball, bowling, basketball, softball, or track – our women deserve the recognition of being amongst the best in the nation.

Like I said, it doesn't boost our egos, but maybe it should. Women should be a big point of pride in Nebraska.

Bottom line – until the men catch up, the women are the story of Nebraska. They are wonderful, and if one wants to have a good fruitful life, one might ask oneself – what if I spend my life with a Nebraska woman?

I have. It's pretty good so far.

Biggest Nonsports Story of The Year

I want to get too political here, and I'd ask you to be decent in the comments. The fact that a guy took a bunch of weapons into a Las Vegas hotel room and killed more people with guns, and then, in less than a month, disappeared completely from the public is mind-boggling to me. I didn't know what a “bump stock” was before this incident. I am a gun owner. I have hunted all my life. I don't own handguns, mostly because I don't like them and because I have suffered from depression to the point that I recognize that if I owned a handgun I would've killed myself years ago. I have no idea why somebody needs to own something like a bump stock.

The bigger question is "Why did this guy completely disappear?" Was it because there was no "terrorist" methodology and that the news media couldn't sell it?

Why did the whole bump stock issue disappear from politics? We want to scream about gun control but apparently only for a few days after a horrible incident happens. We have no attention span. We are our own worst enemy right now. We don't ask our politicians to do anything because we can’t pay attention long enough to actually ask them what it is we want them to do.

The Personal Story of The Year

Brian is gone. 41 years old. I have a hard time contemplating why I'm still alive while Brian is gone. Some would say that it's part of "God's plan", but that's just a copout because we need to rationalize life. Heidi would say that "God is not done with me yet", and as much as I love her, I hate that explanation.

I received a lot of emails after Brian's death that stated: "I don't know what to say". I know what to say. You might find it harsh. I feel like I've experienced too much death. My parents are gone. In October I took a trip to Missouri to see some childhood friends and at one point we recounted how many people didn't make it as far as we did. It hurt a lot. I suppose this is what it’s like getting older, but still I have no idea why I’m still alive and Brian is not.

Life doesn't stop – even for a second – after you are gone. The world does not stop moving. If you find this depressing, please don't. It is a message that you should be living life to the greatest extent possible. You should let those people in your life that you love know that you love them every single day. You should let those grudges go. You should forgive those that have wronged you. You should do these things because they are a burden you carry, like a weight you have to bear, and the more you gather, the more it weighs.

You should live and love. It’s not about how many goats you have. Life is about how much you love.

Do these things. Look at everyone you meet with the idea that you are an individual and you want to be treated like an individual - and treat them them same.

2018 is coming. Get your asses in gear.

And BTW, if you still have it in your heart, or need to give some money away before the end of the year, Brian’s Gofundme is still live.