A “Worst Of 2018” article requires a complimentary “Best Of 2018” article, so here it is. Once again, I asked our staff to stay away from politics and religion, and also that they not choose redundant items.
How was 2018 overall?
I called it the year of “Meh” earlier on our “Worst of 2018” bit. Was it that bad? If you saw it as a stand-alone year, with no future nor past, you’d conclude “meh” without much reservation.
If you see it as a building block for where Nebraska is going in the future, things look pretty good in many areas. Scott Frost looks like the best choice to lead Husker football. John Cook got a team to a national title game and then didn’t announce his retirement (I thought there was a good chance that would happen). Tim Miles and his program look poised to have the best team in school history. Amy Williams is building a good women’s basketball program.
Darin Erstad... it’s debatable whether Nebraska baseball could be worse than last season, but if you were paying attention you knew that going in given the number of pitchers that were lost to injury early on.
So... 2018 - I’m okay to see you go and usher in 2019 in hopes of a better year.
What would you consider the best Husker-related moment of 2018?
Nate M: The snow was falling and I realized wearing brown dress shoes to a football game was a mistake. It was cold enough that my phone simply died. There was one minute and fifty seconds left in the fourth quarter and Nebraska had the ball. It was second down with five yards to go and if Nebraska gets a first down they win. Unfortunately Nebraska was going up against one of the best rush defenses in the country. We’ve seen this movie before. Nebraska fails to get the first down. The Huskers punt and the opposing team finds a way to win.
However, on November 17th Nebraska was able to get that hard fought first down to win the game against Michigan State. With a great MSU defense and the weather conditions it really made the Scott Frost led team do whatever it took to win and they did it. Nebraska teams in the past several years lose that game. Hopefully it was a signal of the tide turning.
Jill: Amy Williams being named Big Ten Coach of the Year for the turnaround she orchestrated in women’s basketball.
Mike: Nebraska jumped out to double-digit first half lead on Creighton in basketball, and then did what good teams should do to overmatched opponents: they dominated them the rest of the way. In the process, they silenced all of the Jayskers until they head back to Lincoln for the spring game in April.
Uglydog56: When the volleyball team beat Penn State in that fifth set to start the end of season run. It was amazing to see the combination of team cohesion and sheer athleticism in the last part of the volleyball season.
UNLWiebe: I think my favorite moment was the spring game back in April. This was the first Husker “game” I had watched with my dad since the 2016 Music City Bowl. Being in college is awesome, but he is the one that taught me the ways of being a Husker. Next year I won’t have season tickets, so hopefully we’re able to watch some live games next year.
Patrick: This is a tough one. I think I would have to say it was when we realized that Isaac Copeland and James Palmer Jr. were coming back to the basketball team this year. Those two are two huge reasons why Nebrasketball is doing so well right now. If they didn’t return then I think we would be looking at a very different team.
Jon: Finally winning a game in football. It was nearly as good as having sex after a long drought. The Akron game was canceled and everyone was like “aw, that sucks, that would have been an easy win.” Colorado - there were too many turnovers. Troy - Adrian Martinez was out. Michigan - “What the fuck is going ON?” Purdue - “Damn you all to hell, Jeff Brohm.” Wisconsin - I have no clue, I tried to kill myself with alcohol. Northwestern - “There’s a curse; perhaps a witch. We need to find whomever or whatever it is a burn it in a public ceremony to cleanse our beloved Husker football team.”
Minnesota - “YEEEEEHEHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA. Scott Frost is gonna be the best coach in Nebraska football history!” I was thankful it was against Minnesota so I didn’t have to hear crap from my rotten son.
What about the best non-Nebraska related sports moment?
Nate M: Terence Crawford. How awesome is it to have one of the best boxers in the world training and competing in this state. Nebraskans will come out and support their team regardless of the sport. Terence Crawford isn’t an exception. His fight against José Benavidez was my favorite non-Husker related sports moment of 2018. The 12th round TKO was awesome and I love it when the crowd gets into it. Omaha didn’t disappoint.
Jill: After waiting to watch a Triple Crown winner since I was a little kid, I’ve gotten to see a couple of Triple Crowns in the past few years. In 2018, it was a horse named Justify who retired with an undefeated record as a race horse.
Mike: I was originally going with former UNO hockey star Jake Guentzel, who scored four straight goals against Philadelphia to turn a 4-2 deficit into a series-clinching 8-5 victory for the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Guentzel has recorded just the third four-goal game in Penguins playoff history. The others? Mario Lemieux on 04.25.89 (five goals) and Kevin Stevens on 05.21.91.— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) April 22, 2018
Here's a link to our video player. Things are gettin' crazy: https://t.co/v3ViLfnElO pic.twitter.com/ED7w8dDaF8
But then this past weekend, my son scored his first ever goal in organized hockey. In his squirts game, he was battling along the boards and forced a turnover. He took the puck up the ice, and somehow managed to outrace two other boys and beat the goalie on a breakaway to tie the game at 1-1. Unfortunately, it was all down hill from there for his team; his goal was the only shot his team got off in the first period, en route to an 8-2 loss. Still, I was awfully excited for him to get rewarded today for his hard work all season long.
Uglydog56: When my horse and I scored fourth in horsemanship at the EXCA Nationals. It really validated the work we had put in to develop as a team.
UNLWiebe: The Kansas City Chiefs are my NFL team, so it’s been great to see the success they’ve had this season. For the record I said I wanted Mahomes back in the fall of 2016.
Patrick: Let’s go with Nebraska Wesleyan winning the Division III men’s basketball national championship. I was not following it at all until they made the championship game. Huge win for a in state school.
Jon: Last spring I went to the I-44 Riverside Speedway in Oklahoma City and spent a weekend around dirt track racing. I interviewed drivers and owners, and I shot a lot of phots for the article linked above. I’d say it was one of the better things I did all year and I enjoyed the hell out of it, even the part where I was nearly run over.
I shot the College World Series and the Final Four in volleyball - so I made it to two college national titles. I hope to continue more of that in the coming year.
The best moment of the entire year?
Jill: Moving Ranchhand #1 into his college dorm and fully realizing that we succeeded in raising an independent, smart, kind, and determined young man who was ready to make his way in the world.
Nate M: Covering the Spring Game for Corn Nation. All of the writers here at Corn Nation came to the site first as fans. So when Jon gave me the opportunity to cover Nebraska football as a member of the credentialed media I had to do it. It was somewhat surreal when I picked up my press pass. Then as I was riding the elevator up to the sixth floor I kept questioning whether they would actually let me out of the elevator. Then I stood as I looked out over the field and sat down in my assigned seat. There was a name-tag with my actual name on it. I took that home with me. I hope that was okay.
Not only was I covering a football game as a member of the media, but it was Scott Frost’s first football “game.”
I was well aware that there are members of the media there who are professionals. So I tried to stay out of their way while still doing my job. They are sort of like semi-celebrities here in Nebraska. So it was surreal to see them do their job. It was like getting to look behind the curtain.
I asked Jon during half-time (he was there taking pictures on the field) how to get to the press conference. He didn’t know. He said to just follow the crowd of reporters. So that is what I did. It felt kind of awkward to be following people but I had no idea where I was going. There are no signs that say “Press Conference This Way” in Memorial Stadium. I found my way to the weight room where the press conference would be held. Thank you to Greg Smith of Hail Varsity and Mike Schaefer of 24/7 for leading the way. They didn’t know it but thanks nonetheless.
I learned a lot about how the professionals operate and I’ll be forever thankful to Jon for giving me that opportunity.
Uglydog56: My best moment mirrors Jill's. My 21 year old stepson called me tell me about the apprenticeship program he was starting, and to ask advice about the 401k he was setting up. I might have shed a tear.
UNLWiebe: As a senior in college my life has been pretty stressful this year, but the best thing that happened to me was getting an internship. For those of you who don’t know I’m an ADPR and Sports Media and Communication major at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Throughout the last year I didn’t get any job I applied for, but finally in December I was hired as a social media intern.
Patrick: Easy, when my daughter was born. Everything else pales in comparison.
Jon: I didn’t have to go to the hospital. In fact, there were no serious health events, accidents, or anything of the sort for anyone in my immediate family. Personally, it was just a year.
Having said that I’m ready for a good 2019. I look forward to it, and I plan to challenge myself in new and different ways (no, I’m not going to tell all y’all, maybe you’ll find out as the year goes on).
I hope you all have a Happy New Years!!!!!!