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Frosted Flakes: Nebrasketball Is Not Dead - It’s About How Much Heart They Have Left

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Where do we go from here?

NCAA Basketball: Nebraska at Indiana Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Now I lay me down to sleep,I pray the Lord my soul to keep

If I die before I wake,I pray the Lord my soul to take.

I haven’t said that prayer in years. I said it last night. I’m surprised I remember it, although that has more to do with Enter Sandman by Metallica than it does with my upbringing. I don’t recall ever having learned that from my Mom.

Tomorrow is my annual cardiology check up in downtown Minneapolis at Hennepin County Medical Center. It’s projected to be between -20 and -30 with wind chills at -60. Temperatures like that mean you can get frostbite very quickly if you leave skin exposed. I’m still going.

Last year’s check up was a breeze. I walked in, met with my cardiologist, Dr. Lou Kohl, a young man I’ve come to love and respect, while at the same time wanting to spend as little time with as possible. We talked. He asked if there were any problems. I said no. Then we talked about religion for a few minutes. I left.

This year he’s going to ask that same question. I’m not going to say no. I’m going to say tell him things have felt a little weird. He’s going to ask me to explain. I am going to say the trigger word “heartburn” which we both know were the signs for both of my heart attacks, as the second time I had to have a stent put in is regarded as a second heart attack. I prefer to think of it as maintenance because it makes me feel better.

Dr. Kohl will order an EKG. The last time I had an EKG I caught site of it before the nurse left. At the top it said “ACUTE MI” - “MI” being “myocardial infarction” - the medical term for a heart attack. I wasn’t doing anything but a routine exam. My cardiologist walked in and explained that the nurse was freaking out as she left the room, that she thought I was having a heart attack. I asked if that EKG reading was normal. “It’s normal for you” was his reply.

If my EKG is “weird”, I imagine they’ll admit me to the hospital and order more tests. And take blood. They are always taking blood. This is not something I’m looking forward to, but ignoring it is not an option.

Don’t be freaking out on me. If I thought it was a severe problem, I’d have already gone to the ER. I can get on our treadmill and walk without any problems - if you take into consideration my being an old somewhat out of shape once-dead guy. It’s just that weird feeling. It’s slight, but it’s there.

It’s interesting how hyper-sensitive you can become when you’re paying attention. When my recovery first began I paid attention to my heart so closely that I could sit still and feel it beat. There’s a good and bad in that. Good - I learned that I could listen to my body and it could tell me what was going on. Bad - the same as I became pretty sensitive to every quirk that came along. It took a while for me to relax and learn to trust my that my body was healing. (I am still trying to write a book about my experience of recovering from a heart attack and a brain injury but you wouldn’t believe how shitty it is to write about your own death.)

Note there wasn’t fear associated with my recovery. Being dead was incredibly peaceful and after my experience I have no fear of death. I do have a massive fear of being permanently crippled so that I can’t shoot football games, for example, or that Mrs. CN has to constantly take care of me. That’s why I’ll make sure to get to my appointment - “what you don’t know can’t hurt you” is a bullshit line that men tell themselves because they don’t want to go to the doctor and when they do that they only make things worse.

Nebraska plays Wisconsin tonight at home. Isaac Copeland is gone for the year. It’s like there is some kind of curse over Nebrasketball. You can blame Tim Miles all you want, but it’s always been like this. I hope (still do) that our beloved Huskers can get their shit together, get into the NCAA tourney and win a game.

I had to turn the TV off the other night before the Ohio State game ended. It hurt my heart. I hate to admit that publicly, but it did. We can all get angry about basketball, and lord knows we do, but it doesn’t do any good.

I’ll probably turn the Wisconsin game on to see how it goes for a while. I want to see how Tanner Borchardt does against Ethan Happ. It sounds like a terrible match up, but putting your walk-on guy against one of the best in the nation to see how he does should be interesting. If he were a football walk-on we’d all be singing his praises as the guy who earned a scholarship. Instead he chose Nebrasketball and frequently gets ridiculed.

BTW, you should all look up the term “HackaHapp” so you’re familiar with a strategy used against Happ by other Big Ten teams.

As of right now, Nebraska is still in the NCAA tourney.

Joe Lunardi at ESPN has us at a #8 seed. Jerry Palm at CBS has us at a #10 seed.

Also - Nebrasketball is no longer ranked, they are still in the “Receiving Votes” category.

I know. I know. It’s all down hill from here. The self-loathing by Nebraska fans regarding basketball is as constant as death and taxes, but the question is - how much heart is left in this team? Can they pull this season together and become the greatest team in school history?

There’s still time.

News

2019 NCAA Tournament: Three Big Ten Teams Locked - Off Tackle Empire
Nebraska, Purdue, and Wisconsin are all loved by NET and Kenpom but losses matter so there is a slimmer margin of error. Purdue is in the best shape because their losses were all Quadrant 1 losses while Nebraska and Wisconsin have some pretty bad ones (really? rutger?). They definitely need to win the 50/50 games they have down the stretch to keep themselves feeling good.

Overreaction Monday: Is it Time for Iowa Basketball to Look Beyond Fran McCaffery? - Black Heart Gold Pants
After a disastrous week of Iowa basketball, many Hawkeye fans are calling for a change at the top.

Ugly first half too much to overcome for Michigan State against Purdue - The Only Colors
The Spartans dropped their first Big Ten game of the season against Purdue, 73-63 in West Lafayette.

Rage, And Then Silence | mgoblog
By halftime it was hard to tell exactly what Indiana fans were booing: the refs, their team, various Michigan players, their grandmothers. Could have been anything. What was clear is that 17,222 people were livid. And yelling. The sheer level of concentrated white-hot rage inside Assembly Hall leapt off the screen.

College Basketball Rankings January 28: Purdue Returns to Top 25 - Hammer and Rails
Boy, that was a scary couple of weeks.

Minnesota Defeats Iowa 92-87 - The Daily Gopher
Minnesota defeated Iowa 92-87 at Williams Arena. With the win, the Gophers are now 5-4 in conference play and 15-5 on the season. Jordan Murphy and Amir Coffey led all Minnesota scorers with 23.

Home is where the hurt is - The Crimson Quarry
Indiana has always used Assembly Hall to its advantage. What happens when that vanishes?

Purdue Athletics Surpasses $100 Million in Revenue - Hammer and Rails
Show me the money!

College basketball rankings, polls: Wisconsin climbs back into top 25 - Bucky's 5th Quarter
Three straight wins boost the Badgers back.

NCAA Basketball Rankings: Tennessee stays No. 1 in AP Poll - SBNation.com
The ACC has seven (!!) ranked teams and Purdue makes a big jump after their upset of Michigan State.

Then There’s This

I keep seeing these predictions about how we’re going to have driverless cars and trucks in the next few years. Then I see shit like this.

Imagine all the shit you could do with this. Imagine you really wanted to know what your girlfriend was doing when she’s out without you. Her phone is in her purse. If you call and she answers, you just say “Hi, I missed you” and call back later.