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Friday Flakes: My Favorite 2018 Husker and A Bit About Gratitude

Here is a tip: He is currently on the roster

NCAA Football: Nebraska at Ohio State Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

If there was a contest for favorite Nebraska football player for the 2018 season, I think many fans would choose Adrian Martinez. That is for obvious reasons.

Others may vote for Stanley Morgan. I cannot fault that. He came back for his senior season when he could have declared for the NFL draft. He would have been drafted, but he took a chance on this coaching staff. Probably one of the emotional leaders on the team. The hug between Scott Frost and Stanley when the Minnesota game was essentially over spoke volumes about the importance of Stanley Morgan.

And there is also JD Spielman. He and his brother were adopted by a NFL general manager. It is a great story. He has busted onto the scene as a great wide receiver for Nebraska. He isn’t as vocal as Stanley but his presence is known.

Then there is Tanner Farmer. He made so many Nebraska fans proud by some of the words he said in front of the media when times were tough. Those words were probably necessary.

What about the defense? How about Mohamed Barry? He is my personal runner-up. I’m a huge fan. For example, there was a tweet by a current player that later got deleted. Barry responded to that tweet and told him just to buy-in to the coaching staff. I’m super stoked that we have at least one more season of Mohamed Barry (that is if he doesn’t declare. I think he’ll play on Sundays).

There’s also DiCaprio Bootle. The guy that teams continue to throw at, that I am looking forward to the interception that will be coming. He’s a fighter and he’s a baller.

Or Ben Stille. He went to school about 10 minutes from me. I saw him during interviews after the spring game and I immediately thought, “he’s going to be an NFL player.” Oh, and Nebraska fans will remember that he rejected a “Blackshirt” because he felt he could have played harder the game before. I think it was Chris Heady who tweeted that Ben Stille might be hoping to run for office in Nebraska in the future.

But I’m going to go with Devine Ozigbo. He is my guy.

To be honest, I’ve counted him out more times than most. I had never felt he was a starter-quality Nebraska running back. If he was playing, then that means more about the other running backs than it means about him.

I was wrong. And that is awesome.

I love watching him run the ball this year. He looks like he is twice the size of Ameer Abdullah but still makes yards out of nothing at times like Ameer once did. He had a jump-cut against Ohio State which is something I had not seen from him in years past. So we could say that it was a change in the coaching staff. Or we could say it was just Devine continuing to do work. Just. Do. Your. Job.

That’s what Devine continued to do when it appeared in his senior year that an incoming true freshman in Maurice Washington and a JUCO transfer in Greg Bell looked like they were the top two running backs.

I believe it was the first depth chart released that had Devine near the top of the depth chart with Greg Bell. That was notable for most media members.

Devine contiued to do his job.

Well fast-forward and he is on the verge of having Nebraska’s first 1,000 yard rushing season since 2014. Also, Pro Football Focus has him as the second-highest rated running back in the conference through 10 games only after Jonathan Taylor who is currently leading the country in rushing.

In 2016 and 2017 he averaged 4.0 a carry combined. Now this season he has averaged nearly 7 yards per carry. What an improvement.

He also already has more touchdowns this season than he did in 2016 and 2017 combined.

Tomorrow, if the game allows, I’m hoping that Scott Frost keeps the pedal down on offense so Devine can get as close to 1,000 as possible before the last two games against Michigan State and Iowa.

The Devine Ozigbo story has already been good, I’m hoping that if the Huskers finish out this season like they should then it could become great.

One of the best things about writing for Corn Nation is the slack chat room. We talk about our friends, families, jobs. Even really tough subjects come up from time to time but it is a group of people who care about each other. It is pretty cool.

As the Corn Nation twitter account describes us:

“There’s a gob of us. Not all of us are sane. Christians, atheists, Lil’ Red lovers and Lil’ Red haters. All lovers of Huskers, though. Follow at your own risk.”

I think that is pretty accurate.

Well our life experiences and perspectives cannot help but influence the topics on which we write. I mean Jon gets to talk about having died.

The next section is the result of the influence of my own life experience and perspective. I am Catholic. But what I am sharing below I believe would help every single person who takes the time to read it. This includes whether you are a Catholic, Protestant, Non-Christian, Agnostic or Atheist.

This past week the subject of gratitude has hit me from several different directions. The two notable sources of the hit to the face are Chris Stefanick, a Catholic who has a show, among other things, called Real Life Catholic on EWTN, and A.J. Jacobs (on the Tim Ferris Podcast), a writer, who label’s himself as an agnostic.

So there is something here for everyone.

A Bit About Gratitude

So a Catholic and an Agnostic walk into the bar. And they start talking about gratitude. Little do you know, while they may not agree on some things, they do agree on one thing.

Gratitude could change your life.

In the new episode of Real Life Catholic this week, Chris Stefanick had a segment about gratitude. It was good, but I want to actually reference a segment from the first season. That segment can be found here on Youtube, but I transcribed it for you.

Pope Francis said “We have to ask ourselves, are we even capable of counting our blessings anymore? What a tragedy it is to be blessed in so many ways and to be too busy to even notice.

I think of my own life. My wife who puts up with me. My kids who come running to me when I get home from work. The sun shining on me right now. Dude, I am a super-lotto winner. So often I am too distracted to even notice it and take it all in. I become grumpy and whiny as a result.

Some of the happiest people I’ve ever met are living in some of the poorest places in the world. The young people who smile more than American teenagers...these kids have nothing. But they do have gratitude for the little that they do have.

Thankfully, it is not really hard to unleash the perspective changing power of gratitude in your life. All it takes is to use two simple words as often as possible. ‘Thank You.’ Thank your friends for the gift of their friendship. Thank your parents for dinner. Thank your wife who loves you, even when you’re not yourself. Thank that cop who pulled you over for keeping you safe. Above all, thank God for everything.

Gratitude may not change your circumstances. But it does change you.

In the words of Solanus Casey, “It’s ‘Heaven Begun’ for the grateful on earth.”

On this past week’s episode of The Tim Ferris Podcast, Tim had A.J. Jacobs as a guest host. Jacobs talked about his new book coming out, titled Thanks a Thousand. In that book he wrote about his journey to thank everyone who was a part of his morning coffee. And by everyone, I mean everyone. Let’s just say he probably spent a bunch of money on airline tickets.

The book is about gratitude. The point of the episode, I would say could be covered by a quote he shared,

“So it is not happiness that makes us grateful. It’s gratefulness that makes us happy.” -David Steindl-Rast.

In this episode, he also shares his top 10 tips to help us be more grateful.

  • Strategy #1: Declare War on the Negative Bias. [14:19]
  • Strategy #2: The Art of Savoring. [19:34]
  • Strategy #3: Practice Six Degrees of Thankfulness. [23:23]
  • Strategy #4: Don’t Forget You’re Going to Die. [28:40]
  • Strategy #5: Using Gratitude to Fall Asleep. [31:20]
  • Strategy #6: Thou Shalt Not Have Nostalgia. [32:20]
  • Strategy #7: Try to Discover the Hidden Masterpieces All Around You. [35:42]
  • Strategy #8: Go Analog. [37:32]
  • Strategy #9: Fake It until You Feel It. [41:05]
  • Strategy #10: Use Gratitude as a Spark to Action. [42:20]

So hopefully, this may help you in some form or fashion.

Nebraska Sports News

Ozigbo grading out among Big Ten's best
Nebraska senior running back Devine Ozigbo is having the kind of season that could result in all-conference honors, and this week Pro Football Focus released its season grades to back up Ozigbo’s solid season.

Huskers RB Devine Ozigbo finding stride in quest for 1,000 | FOX Sports
Its goal of a winning season long gone, Nebraska is shifting some attention to Devine Ozigbo and a couple of his teammates’ pursuits of individual milestones.

For Huskers, 3 x 1,000 likely equals late-season success | Life in the Red |
Highest on the priority list for Nebraska is finding a way to finish the season with three wins. Actually, one to start would do just fine.

But the Huskers also have a trio of skill position players within striking distance of major plateaus.

Inconsistent special teams continue to frustrate as Huskers look for answers | Football |
Any signs of progress, no matter how small, for Nebraska's special teams unit were all but erased after a dismal day at Ohio State.

Husker volleyball hopes to continue winning streak against Michigan | Sports |
The No. 6 Nebraska volleyball team will look to extend its current win streak to four games when it takes on the No. 15 Michigan Wolverines on Saturday, Nov. 10.

Husker volleyball sweeps Iowa | |
The Nebraska volleyball team moved to 29-0 all-time against Big Ten foe Iowa Wednesday night with a 25-15, 25-22, 25-13 road win.

Nebraska JV football team lives on | Sports |
The JV team of the Big Red is alive and well in York. Even though the Nebraska freshman JV team officially ended in 1990, it was brought back in 1993

Steven M. Sipple: Chinander's first season no day at the beach as Huskers try to nail down the 'Blackshirt life' | Column |
Nebraska's forced six turnovers in the past two games combined, but has given up bushels of yards and points on the season. "Not fun," Erik Chinander says. "It's not good

Non-Nebraska Sports News

The NBA and NFL Have Become Videogames - WSJ
NFL teams are passing more. NBA teams are shooting more 3-pointers. The most popular strategies in professional sports? They’re how we’ve always played videogames.

Bryce Harper turned down 10-year, $300M offer from Nats
Bryce Harper turned down a 10-year, $300 million offer from the Nationals late last season, according to reports.

Makes me think he doesn't want to play for the Nationals. Which means he will become a Cub and I will be happy.

NBA offensive explosion
The NBA's offensive explosion leaves defenses helpless, plus why the Nets' offer sheet slump won't hurt them, Brian Windhorst writes.


You Should Actually Send That Thank You Note You’ve Been Meaning to Write - The New York Times
New research showed the recipients of an emailed expression of gratitude felt much more “ecstatic” than writers expected.

A Little Thanks Goes a Long Way: Explaining Why Gratitude Expressions Motivate Prosocial Behavior
From the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology: We propose that gratitude expressions can enhance prosocial behavior through both agentic and communal mechanisms, such that when helpers are thanked for their efforts, they experience stronger feelings of self-efficacy and social worth, which motivate them to engage in prosocial behavior.

“Memento Mori”: The Reminder We All Desperately Need – Daily Stoic | Stoic Wisdom For Everyday Life
Memento Mori—the ancient practice of reflection on mortality that goes back to Socrates, who said that the proper practice of philosophy is “about nothing else but dying and being dead.”

Study: We all underestimate the power of a thank-you note | Ladders
A new study published in Psychological Science finds that we underestimate the power of a thank-you message to our detriment.

Opinion | Choose to Be Grateful. It Will Make You Happier. - The New York Times
In concept, saying you’re grateful even if you’re not seems bourgeois and saccharine. But it’s actually a tool to a better end.

Denver Riggleman, writer of Bigfoot erotica, Wins His Congressional Race in Virginia
Denver Riggleman, who writes Bigfoot erotica, just won his congressional race against Olivia Wilde’s mom, Leslie Cockburn.

He wrote a book titled "Mating Habits of Bigfoot and Why Women Want Him."

The Best Thing I Saw On The Internet This Week

Thank you for reading. I appreciate it.