A couple weeks ago I was discussing sports writing with a friend; the conversation starting with him asking whether or not I take on the role of curmudgeon. I told him I did not, that I try to avoid it because it seems to me to be an easy cliche’, and that I didn’t want to become the guy that just bitches about everything.
I brought up Pat Reusse, who has been a fixture in the Twin Cities in Minnesota for a very long time, and how I didn’t recall Reusse ever writing a positive column about anything. He’s that guy for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. My friend pointed out that Reusse has done quite a few personal interest stories that were positive, but I don’t recall them. What I recall is his constant drag on Minnesota sports teams, although in his defense, there isn’t a whole lot to be positive about when it comes to Minnesota sports.
Look around the nation and you’ll find “curmudgeon sports writer guy” everywhere, probably even in Nebraska. There’s a reason for this and it’s because (like I said) it’s easy, and because it works. There is always something to bitch about when it comes to sports, for example, our most recent recruiting class. If you’re positive, you might feel like it’s a good class. If you want to be curmudgeony, you can say, “Mike Riley didn’t get Greg Johnson and Darnay Holmes, so therefore he failed.”
The most beautiful part about curmudgeony sports writing is time. The 2016 Nebraska football season has ended. No one can go back and make the losses to Ohio State and Iowa go away, so curmudgeony sports writing guy can bitch about them for months, or forever if they like.
It’s even easier when you get older because you can reference how things were so much better years ago and a segment of the population will side with you because they believe the same things. “Bring back the triple option”, “They have to have a fullback”, you can say, and many will agree with you because it worked before and certainly it would work again, damn these young kids who don’t understand that. I didn’t lose friends at Khe Sanh for this, you ungrateful little shits.
‘Member back before we had penicillin? I do. Tom Novak could play with broken ribs and went both ways. ‘Course they could have Bourbon and cigarettes on the sideline then, and didn’t need all these fancy doctors. Remember tackling? Yeah. Nobody plays defense anymore because this generation is full of wimps. Good thing they have penicillin, cry babies.
Tyronn Lue had his jersey retired at Pinnacle Bank Arena last night. I’m not going to tell you that I know enough about Nebraska basketball history that he deserves having his jersey retired, but if it helps the program get better and recruit so be it.
The big question now is... what will the sports curmudgeon bitch about next?
Seriously. I’d like ideas. What works best is a single idea I can bring up and drone on about until it’s fixed. It’s best that it’s never fixed so I can drone on about it forever without having to come up with new ideas, because I’m OLD and I haven’t had a new idea since 1957.
I’d really not like to become curmudgeony guy, because I don’t want to be that guy in real life, and I feel like after a while it may become difficult to separate the two. On the other hand, that whole “lazy” thing sounds pretty appealing. Hell, maybe I’m already there.
Have at it, commenters. I need ideas.
Oh what a night Thursday will be at Pinnacle Bank Arena. In the midst of being head coach of the world champion Cleveland Cavaliers, Husker fans will welcome Tyronn Lue back to Lincoln to retire his jersey.
In the final home match of their Husker careers, seniors and All-Americans Jaycee Carter and Rachel Martin led the Nebraska rifle team in a record-breaking performance against the University of Alaska-Fairbanks on Thursday. Martin led the team in smallbore with 582. Carter scored the second-highest score in air rifle (593), helping the Huskers to the second-highest air rifle score in school history (2,367). Additionally, the air rifle score broke the NU Rifle Range record by three points.
The return, provided to USA TODAY Sports by the conference on Thursday, showed that the distributions to its 14 members schools ranged from $41.8 million for the University of Georgia to $39.1 million for Alabama and Mississippi.
After one year as an assistant, the former 10-year NFL vet takes over the Badgers’ defense.
Given the popularity of last week’s post on recruiting Bill Daley, a star on the National Championship teams of the 1930s and 1940s. I thought I’d pull out a few more nuggets on recruiting during the Bernie Bierman era of the 1930s.
"He’s dead, Jim"
Get your guns up, Texas Tech fans, because the Red Raiders' spring game is coming to Frisco.
They're college football's next big stars. And they'll see the field next year.
Nebraska is in here!
The public wants blood. Some fans and media are shouting for the NCAA to give Baylor the so-called "death penalty." My Twitter timeline after the lawsuit was filled with one common sentiment: "Shut them down."
This is NOT a NCAA issue. This is a civil and possibly criminal issue, just like Penn State in that regard. The civil and potential criminal penalties will far outway anything the NCAA can do to Baylor. Part of that is because civil lawyers have more teeth and part of it is because the NCAA is really nothing more than a bureaucratic holding company.
Former Baylor University head football coach Art Briles, fired athletics staffer Colin Shillinglaw and other high-level officials in the athletics department repeatedly attempted to keep players accused of crimes out of the public eye and the university’s judicial system, three regents said in an answer to Shillinglaw’s lawsuit filed this week.
Read through all this and it’s horrifying if true. WOULD YOU SEND YOUR DAUGHTER TO BAYLOR? I hope not, for crying out loud, regardless if you think the problem has been solved, the attitude seems to have remained.
Briles dropped his libel lawsuit against school officials Wednesday, claiming he just wanted some peace in his life. Those officials — regents Cary Gray, Ron Murff and David Harper — have since offered documentation in response to another lawsuit filed by a former member of the football staff that, if accurate, proves Briles knew much more than he said he did about what was happening with the football team under his watch.
Retired NFL defensive lineman Stephen White studied the tape and saw a distinct advantage the Falcons have that will be hard to stop, even for the Patriots.
Where will Lady Gaga fit?
There’s nobody better than Frank Sinatra at half time shows. His bit in 1965 beat everyone then and will forever. Who the hell even watches these things anymore? These kids can’t sing. They all lip sync.
Then There’s This
How are you dealing with dissenting opinions in your news feed? And within your circle of friends and family?
Tell you what. It’s much easier if you just don’t have any friends and avoid your family.