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The Annual “State of the CornNation Union” Address

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This is the annual “state of the union” address.

August is a special month at CornNation. This August our website turns 11 years old. I turn two.

In the past 11 years, I can't think of a season that will begin with more question marks than 2017. I do have the problem in that a lot of my memories have been shattered and my ability to look back 11 years and remember the anticipation that went into each season is a little foggy. Still, this Nebraska team has so many unanswered questions that this season could end up being amazing, or it could be terrifying, and how we all handle it as Husker fans are going to say a lot about who we are.

I haven't been on any roller coasters lately. Used to love them when I was younger, as in, before I had children whom I had to take on rides instead of going on rides myself. I use to attend network technology conferences every year and one of them (the name I forget) was located in Dallas. One year they opened up Six Flags over Texas to conference attendees only for the night. There were no lines. I spent the night going on roller coasters over and over and over. I loved the wooden roller coaster Judge Roy Scream. It banged you around a little bit.

You walk up to a roller coaster and while standing in line, you anticipate a fun, fast, exciting ride that gets your heart rate going. You might enjoy the kind that throws you around a little bit, up and down, then side to side as your heart jumps to your throat when it goes over a hill and into a corkscrew turn.

There's that anticipation when you’re hearing the chunk, chunk, chunk as the chains pull you up toward the first peak that gives the sled its initial kinetic energy. You reach the top of the peak and the sled begins its descent. 45 seconds, a minute or two later, and the ride is done. You spent all that time in line wondering what the ride would be like. Was it not fast enough? Was it not jerky enough? With a twist and turns not what you expected? Or was it soooo much fun you want to immediately get in line and do it again?

Did you just let it happen? Are you one of those people that can look at life and take it as it comes, not being disappointed because not because you never set plans and/or expectations, but beforehand you decided that you would just enjoy things regardless of the outcome?

Or are you one of those people who tries to plan and foresee every outcome, then expresses disgust, disappointment and sometimes rage when things don’t go your way?

How are you going handle this coming Nebraska football season? Which approach will you take?

My advice to you this season is to take things as they come. We're sure to experience and glosses that we don't anticipate, as well as we do some wins. I'd urge you to keep it in perspective and not get too angry at the team, the coaches, especially those around you when things don't go as they plan as you planned.

Now that I've said that, we can all laugh our asses off because we know I'm probably the worst among us at handling losses which are why I started CornNation in the first place. All these years and I am still looking for people who take losing as poorly as I do. The swearing, the teetering on the edge of alcoholism, the “YOU’RE TAKING THIS TOO SERIOUSLY” and the instant, murderous rage when someone says, “IT’S ONLY A GAME” - all these are still in play come football season.

On a personal note, I spent the last two years trying to recover from my heart attack and brain injury. It's been an interesting road if nothing else.

Brain injuries are much different than other types of physiological injuries. First, they are invisible, and by this, I mean that no one else might be aware that you have one. If I walk into an office or department store and my arm is in a sling or my leg is in a cast, people recognize that I have an injury and will respond to me differently. They may be more accommodating. No one can see your brain injury. The only person that is aware of it, fully, is you. Even your doctors may be unaware of what you are experiencing unless you tell them. You might frequently lie and say that everything is fine.

The other problem is that no one can give you a timetable as to your recovery. Were your leg in a cast your doctor might say, “You'll have to wear that for four weeks and then you'll be fine." Health caregivers can help you quite a bit with rehab and techniques, but they cannot declare you "healed".

It hasn't been until this June that I felt like a fog had finally lifted. I felt like I was able to think more clearly, although it's clear that there's been damage done. My verbal memory is poor, especially when it comes to names. Tell me your name and I'll be sure to forget it within 10 seconds. My written memory is fine. Tell me your name while you’re wearing a name tag, and I'll remember you forever. There are certain tasks I perform in my job on a regular basis which caused me think he. Working on tasks that require me to maintain a variable my head wears me out and give me headaches unless I'm careful about what I'm doing. I cannot multitask in the same way that I could before my heart attack.

It's all very frustrating.

I thought that these things would clear themselves up throughout the recovery process. “Neuroplasticity” refers to the ability of your brain can rewire itself if you work at it. You might continue to work on making yourself more healthy but eventually, you reach a point, where you say to yourself – “Maybe this is the best I'm ever going to be.” It isn’t the doctors that make that determination; it’s up to you.

I don't have the same energy as I did in the past. My day job is mentally fatiguing on most days. I have a lot of ideas I’d like to write about, but they only rarely get executed.

This is one of the reasons I’ve brought on a number of new people this season. If you're paying attention you've already read their articles. The other reason is that I feel it's important we have some new voices - it's interesting to hear things from other people's perspective. I hope you welcome them into our community and show them the same level of decency you've shown me over the years.

Our traffic is down a bit from past years. It's down because we no longer have relationships with some of the other websites that used to send us traffic. I’m not that worried about that. Our community appears to be strong as ever, and I look forward to another season with you all, come what may.

Whether it's good or bad, it's going to be an exciting season. Tell yourself that had. Convince yourself. It'll make things a lot more fun.