So, I woke up Sunday morning a little worse for wear simply because Saturday had been wonderful and wonderful days require the follow up of a wonderful night augmented with adult beverages and, of course, celebration and discussion of the day’s events.
Late Saturday afternoon, the good times began when the media finally confirmed that Scott Frost was actually on board as Nebraska’s newest head coach. And just as a cherry on top, Georgia rewarded Gus Malzahn’s impertinence with a 28-7 thumping of Auburn in the SEC title game. (I had family members attend Georgia and grew up cheering for them. Nebraska is #1 but Georgia retains solid #1A status).
When I finally began shaking out the cobwebs around 10:15am, I flipped on the TV and realized that three amazing things were happening:
1) The Karate Kid was on (the original, not that weird mess in China with Will Smith’s annoying kid),
2) The All-Valley Karate Tournament was underway and
3) The “You’re The Best” Daniel-san-rises-through-the-tournament-brackets-montage was starting!! (Go ahead & watch it. You know you want to. Take it away, Joe Esposito!)
As Daniel LaRusso scored the first of several huge upset victories, I knew that this was more than mere coincidence. Before the first chorus of “You’re the BEST! AROUND! And nothing’s ever gonna GET YOU DOWN!” had finished, it was obvious. This was an omen. Providence even. This was a preview of our destiny.
I knew at that moment that after years of experiencing the football equivalents of California beach ass whippings, getting thrown down hills on a bicycle, and being beaten unconscious within sight of home, that help had arrived even if help looked way more like a high school movie villain than a sweet, elderly karate master.
It didn’t matter. I believed in my heart with the introductory press conference less than two hours away that I was being sent a sign from the college football gods that this thing is about to turn around. The bullying is over and both a new way of doing things and return to our old foundation is imminent. Our training is about to get serious again, no longer the equivalent of Daniel in his living room throwing air punches that were diagrammed in a stupid karate book.
We are about to learn Frost-Miyagi-do martial arts, high octane offense style.
We are about to bring Husker Power back to weight room.
We are about to make Blackshirts proud again.
We are about to deliver some Spinning Backfists of Payback to deserving bastards whose time is over.
Not even close to immediately, but sooner than some think, we are going to hoist trophies and leave the arena arm-in-arm with Elizabeth Shue in her gloriously snug sweaters.
Quite simply, we are him.
WE ARE THE KARATE KID.
By the way, I am so sure of that, I have even recasted this classic, Husker-style. Click here to see the original one.
THE NEW CAST:
Daniel-san: That’s your Nebraska Cornhuskers - we’ve been eating fists and toenails from the college football’s bullies for years and it is now over. Get your buff rags, sander blocks and paint brushes. It’s time to sand the floor, paint the fence and every teenage boy’s favorite - WAX ON, WAX OFF. Stop giggling.
Mr. Miyagi - Newest Husker Coach and Sensei, Scott Frost - We will learn his kung fu and his kung fu is strong. Yes, he’s our teacher, but he still looks like he can squat 500 and clear Dat Nguyen off the edge for an I-back after making the option pitch. If Urbs or Jimmy Franklin get snotty during the handshakes, they could find themselves on the receiving end of the same choice Miyagi offered to John Kreese after he got out of line with his boys in the parking lot in Karate Kid 2.
Johnny Lawrence - The Ohio St. Buckeyes - Who else? This is the big bully who kicks sand in everyone’s face and seems to have taken a perverse pleasure in running Nebraska out of the stadium lately. No one deserves a Crane Kick to the teeth in front of an adoring crowd as time expires in the 4th quarter more than these guys.
Sensei John Kreese - Urban Meyer (Also - who else?) - Sure, he looks more like something you set traps for in the kitchen as opposed to a violent teacher of things like “No mercy, sir!” but make no mistake, he is the architect of the machine that the Buckeyes have become. His fall will be sweeter than a well-made Mai Tai.
Ali with an “I”- Hmmmm....Bill Moos? - Ok, follow me on this. If the Huskers are Daniel-san and Ali is the gal who falls for him on the beach when they first meet, then who better than our new athletic director to fill that role? Think about it. Didn’t we all notice how much this guy seemed to love everything Huskers from the day he arrived?
And if we want to complete the comparison, weren’t we smitten with Bill and his straight talking ways immediately as well? Of course we were. This has been love at first sight and the Frost hire just sealed the deal. No tight sweaters, though, Bill - just stick to the suits.
Dutch - The odd and foul Penn St. Nittany Lions - Dutch is the Aryan-looking sidekick of Johnny’s best known for his mocking smirks and devastating burns to Daniel such as, ‘What’s the matter, Danielle? Mommy not here to dress ya’?” No one else in the Cobra Kai carries a stronger hint of future fraternity date rape or worse. Dutch IS Penn St.
Bobby - the Wisconsin Badgers - Bobby is best described as the only Cobra Kai with a conscience. He is the one who wanted everyone to stop and consider that maybe good, clean fun was going a tad too far when every other Cobra Kai wanted to hold up a virtually unconscious Daniel-san and take turns kicking him in the face. When ordered to take him “out of commission” in the semis, he only does so reluctantly and then apologizes profusely.
Therefore, I give Wisconsin that spot. They are the 2nd best team in the conference and Bobby is the 2nd highest finishing Cobra Kai in the All-Valley. Wisconsin just works harder and whips your ass. So does Bobby. I think.
Tommy - the despicable Iowa Hawkeyes - Tommy’s the weaselly guy that cheers the hardest for beating Daniel to death at the fenceline, yells “Put him in a BODY BAG, YEEEEAAAAHHH!!!”, goes batshit like a spoiled 8-year-old when Daniel bounces him from the tournament and is generally just a hyper, obnoxious, masochistic little creep.
I think this one needs no more explanation.
Freddy & Daniel’s other buddies from Reseda - Husker fans who think 7-5 or 8-4 is the pinnacle & we’ll never recruit well here anymore, so just accept it already & do better things with your life - These sorry excuses are definitely the equivalent of Freddy and pals who befriended Daniel-san and then turned their back on him after Johnny whipped his ass for trying to save Ali’s radio. Nice guys.
Of course, they were right there when he pulled the upset in the finals helping carry him off the mat following the victory. Daniel should’ve busted the trophy over their collective heads. Just a little food for thought when these folks forget they said all that and try to pile on the bandwagon following the 2020 CFP final: Nebraska 31 Alabama 30
Lucille Larusso - never say die Husker fans - Daniel-san’s mom, like those 40-year season ticket holders in West Stadium always had her boy’s back and supports him through thick and thin. Well, you know, except when she uprooted her son from his home and friends in Jersey to take a restaurant greeter job in California. Hmmm. May have to give this one more thought.
The stupid karate book that Daniel tries training from - Mike Riley, Bob Diaco, Cavs and company - An outdated offense, an unstable DC and...well...Cavanaugh. Okay, this one might just be an insult to the author of Football For Dummies.
There you have it, everyone. Proof positive that the universe has assured us that the Huskers will soon take their rightful place back atop the college football world. No need to thank me, I think of it as a publice service.
However, you’re welcome