“There will be no fullback trap.”
Those words scare the hell out of Dr. Brian Wetzel, chief psychiatrist at the University of Nebraska-Omaha Mental Awareness Foundation. Wetzel is amongst a group of psychiatrists who are trying to come up with ways to prepare the state of Nebraska for what they fear could be a mental health disaster - the Scott Frost offense.
There’s been so much talk lately about “Nebraska getting back to being the old Nebraska” relative to football that Wetzel is worried that fans might take that a little too literally and expect Frost to do everything the way Nebraska did it in the 90s. Expectations include the fullback, running the triple option, and wearing the opponent down through physical domination.
“People don’t realize it yet, but the Scott Frost offense is not what we did in the 90s. We are worried that once they see it, some Husker fans are going to experience mental breakdowns. They could be as simple as experiencing increased profanity around the state, or they could be more drastic, such as farmers driving their tractors down I-80 in a mass protest.”
Wetzel said that not even psychiatrists could agree on the best approach. One group wants to come up with a group of catchphrases that could be distributed through word of mouth over the next couple of months.
“At least he uses the tight end,” would be an excellent response to fans complaining about the lack of a fullback, although the group of psychiatrists isn’t 100% sure that Frost’s offense will feature a tight end.
Another group wants to put billboards across the state before football season, stating, “THE FULLBACK IS DEAD GO BIG RED” with photos of receivers catching touchdown passes.
Wetzel wants to caution Frost about not showing the wrong things in the spring game.
“Don’t show a fullback run or an option if you’re not going to use one. It will set the wrong expectations come fall and fall is the worst time for mental health in Nebraska. There’s the stress of harvest, and then there’s been all this losing.”
“Frost’s coaches are doing a good job with his message right now,” Wetzel said. “(Running Back coach) Ryan Held’s admittance yesterday that the fullback position is dead is a good start.”
Wetzel appreciated that Held didn’t come right out and say the position is dead, but was more diplomatic in his wording.
Still, he worries that it’s not enough.
“I can’t count the number of times that Scott has said that it will take time for Nebraska to return to their winning ways. I just hope the message of ’time’ is sinking in for people.”
Winning will help with everything, Wetzel says.
“And everyone wants him to win. Except for Iowa fans, but who cares what they think.”
The changes might have a positive effect on the state.
“People might be more willing to accept change,” Wetzel stated, adding, “that’s a good thing because life comes at us more rapidly now than at any time in human history.”
“Who knows, maybe older people will tolerate the younger generation standing more often at football games.”
“Well, let’s not get crazy.”