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Thursday Flakes: Pull Up A Chair Edition

Making a guest appearance with writing Flakes today, let’s take a three-hour tour together (my in-laws are the Gilligans)

Portrait Of Bob Denver
Sit right back, and you’ll hear a tale.
Photo by CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images

SpartyOn here filling in on Flakes today. I thought a little about what I wanted to open with, and was thinking I’d write a little about family after attending my Uncle’s wedding this past weekend. However, after remembering the date tomorrow, I decided instead I wanted to get a little personal and talk about my coming out as tomorrow is International Coming Out Day. Just to be clear, I’m not writing this to be preachy about changing attitudes or invoking some political argument here. That is the complete opposite intent of my intro story. I am merely sharing my own personal story in the spirit of what “Coming Out Day” is, which is sharing who you are, and adding a few tips for how to talk with people who might someday tell you they’re LGBT. So consider this a friendly disclaimer that I’m not saying this to start an argument, and you can feel free to scroll past the intro to the flakes below if you prefer.

Without further ado, here is an abridged version of my coming out (to a degree, you do this all your life so I still come out when I meet new people so to speak). I knew I was different than the other guys in my class by the time we were entering middle school. I wasn’t super happy about it and tried to convince myself it was just a phase for a while. However, by the time I was getting to be an upper class-man in high school, it was obvious to me I was gay. I finally started to get sick of hiding it completely and told a few people in my school, which was not exactly huge. I am from a small town, so surprise, surprise, I told the wrong person and word got around (interestingly, that person has since come out to me that he is essentially bi-sexual and apologized for what he did).

So this essentially forced me to confront the daunting task of telling my parents. So, April 22, 2007, I told my mom. She saved me from having to tell my dad by doing so herself. I won’t get too detailed on this as I didn’t really talk to them about writing this today, but the simple version is they weren’t unsupportive, but it was a few years before I could really actively talk to them about that aspect of my life. I’ve had friends and people I have met in the LGBT community since who have been kicked out of their homes as young teenagers, harassed later in life by bigoted family members, had possessions or money stolen by family, and some who have been sent to conversion therapy unwillingly at young ages. So I consider myself to be a fairly lucky person overall, even before considering how unfortunate the response some people have faced.

Fast forward to today and I couldn’t have a more supportive family. I’ve been married now 3.5 years this month to the most amazing man, and our family treats us on both sides like anyone else. However, I still face the uncertainty meeting new people whether to come out if the topic arises. I still occasionally have horrible things said to me by strangers on the street. So the reason why I decided to share this all with you was in part to say thank you for never being that type of person in my interactions on here, and to encourage you to think about how you can be supportive of friends or family who are struggling with the burden of coming out to themselves and others.

It’s a bit cliche, but the movie Love, Simon last year really did a good job of giving a generic look at coming out. “Simon” is from a supportive household overall, but he gives a fantastic look at why it is still difficult being honest with others about such a big part of yourself that is so different from everyone you know even when those around you are clearly going to be ok with it. For being a parent whose child comes out to you, I’ll get to that. In the meantime, for when a friend comes out to you, especially if you’re one of their first, I think the most helpful thing you can likely do is don’t try to go overboard on any reaction. It’s a big deal for him/her to tell you, and you shouldn’t act smug like you knew or overly shocked like it is some stunning revelation. Just simply be there to tell them that you’re still their friend and you are honored they felt they could confide this with you. If they are struggling in any way, then you should encourage them to reach out for help. In particular, if it is a young person, give them the contact information to The Trevor Project.

As for how to best react as a parent, this scene from Love, Simon (which you should totally watch sometime as it’s a great movie) is hard to beat in terms of having a better response. So I’ll let it answer for me:

Now, onto the Flakes!

Cornhusker News

Frost Focus: Motion, Conflict, and Running the Damn Ball

Last Saturday against Northwestern, we saw an oddity of a game between the Huskers and the Wildcats that was short on offense, heavy on defense, and was actually a pretty interesting chess match between head coach Scott Frost and Northwestern defensive coordinator Mike Hankwitz.

Of Bangarangs & Daggers Episode 22: The Super Secret Scrimmage Episode

It’s super secret and super fun

Chair Week! Top Songs with the Word “Chair” in the Title

It’s my list and I get to rank them however I want.

Red Report: Verduzco says ‘We’ll just have to see’ about Martinez’s availability vs. Minnesota

Nebraska sophomore quarterback Adrian Martinez was present at practice Wednesday morning and was wearing full pads, but his participation level and, more importantly, his availability for Saturday’s game at Minnesota remain in question.

Minnesota once told the Huskers they were ‘no good.’ Nebraska responded with 84 points

“They were talking a lot of junk on and off the field,” 1983 Heisman Trophy winner Mike Rozier said after the game. “They were telling us we were no good and how we were not going to win the game. We just kept our mouths shut and went out and did our jobs.”

‘Just gotta stay locked in’: Husker defensive backs will be tested by trio of Minnesota receivers ($)

Inside linebacker Mohamed Barry doesn’t usually concern himself much with wide receivers. This week, he’s at full attention.

Noah Vedral’s star-crossed turn involves Matt Turman’s sister, Kansas State ... and fate ($)

Earlier this week, I called Matt Turman to talk about his nephew, Noah Vedral, waiting and getting that big moment. But as we talked, it hit me that there’s a bigger story. The story about the small, small world of Nebraska football. And the power of fate.

106-year-old fan attends her first Husker game, meets Nebraska coach Scott Frost

Thelma Chase has been a die-hard Husker fan for close to a century. Two weeks ago, she made it to her first game.

Moos’ grand visions for athletic facility include a lot of size and tons of history

Nebraska athletic director Bill Moos has a vision for the mega-football facility that will be a jewel of the downtown campus. He has a lot of visions for the project, actually. Sizable visions — literally.

Austin, offensive line work together to solve snapping issues

Matt Farniok turned a few heads Monday when the junior captain said there was no excuse for Nebraska’s continued issues with off-target snaps throwing off the timing of the Husker offense.

Adversity caused by rare three-set loss could make team stronger

Now Nebraska has dropped to No. 5 in the poll after a humbling, three-set loss against Wisconsin last week. Nebraska hadn’t been swept in its previous 84 matches, dating to the 2016 national semifinals against Texas.

Around the B1G

Gophers defense goes into Nebraska game with budding confidence

A group text went around in the Gophers defensive line’s group chat this week, setting the tone for Nebraska on Saturday after a standout game against Illinois. “ ‘Hey, we’re going to practice even harder than we did last week,’ ” rush end Carter Coughlin said of the message. “ ‘Scouts, make sure that that happens.’ ”

Off Beat Empire: Powering Through

Anyway, apologies for a brief column this week, but I’m going to jump right into the halftime shows. (Damnit Moos, start recording the band performance professionally already!)

How Stacy Fitzgerald — whose 3 sons play football and whose husband coaches at Northwestern — defends a game under siege

It’s late Sunday afternoon. The Bears-Raiders stunner is now a box score, clearing the slate for a Chicagoland Youth Football League game in Northfield. A mother and father watch from the press box at Robert Naughton Field, fixing their eyes on the quarterback. The name across the back of the No. 15 jersey: FITZGERALD.

Maryland unveils plans for a $36 million home for its basketball programs ($)

The plans for the 60,000-square-foot facility include two full-size courts, a strength and conditioning facility, locker rooms, lounges and space dedicated to sports medicine. Turgeon said the strength and conditioning facility is at least four times the size of Maryland’s current space. Women’s coach Brenda Frese called the center a “game-changer.”

‘Progress’ or more potholes? California’s NIL law stirs debate in Big Ten

Whether student-athletes should be paid beyond the costs of attending a university has been an ongoing debate — and one that was brought back into the national spotlight thanks to California’s Fair Pay to Play Act, which was signed last week by Gov. Gavin Newsom in the face of opposition from the NCAA.

Attorneys: Drop ex-MSU football staffer’s lawsuit against Mark Dantonio, others

Attorneys say a former Michigan State University football employee’s attempts to depose head coach Mark Dantonio have run him afoul of a state law that sealed records tied to a 2017 sexual assault case involving three former players.

Other Sports News

U.S. national team improves to 2-0 in San Juan, Puerto Rico

Middle blocker Haleigh Washington scored 11 points and was a perfect 10-of-10 hitting as the United States women’s national team used its entire 14-player roster in sweeping Mexico 25-8, 25-15, 25-14 on Wednesday on the second day of the NORCECA Women’s Continental Championship pool play in San Juan, Puerto Rico.


Tell us if you’ve heard this one before. The Patriots are undefeated. Not only are the defending Super Bowl champions undefeated, they may have one of their all around strongest teams to date, particularly on the defensive side of the ball where they rank first in the NFL defensive DVOA.

Detroit Lions: Here’s why Monday Night Football is a must-win

The Detroit Lions will battle the Green Bay Packers on Monday Night Football in Week Six. This is a must-win game for Detroit and here is why …[Because it’s against the god damn Packers! That’s why!!!]

Mantha, Neal should have solid season after four-goal games, numbers show

Red Wings, Oilers forwards each poised to score 30

Fantasy goalie top 25 rankings for 2019-20

Gibson enters first 10; Greiss outperforming Varlamov for Islanders; Hutton joins list

Stick To Sports? Nah!

Leading crisis prevention organization for LGBTQ youth releases ‘coming out’ handbook ahead of National Coming Out Day

Come out, come out, wherever you are — and whichever way is the best way for you. That’s the message that The Trevor Project — the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ and questioning youth — wants to convey with the release of its new handbook on coming out.

Fat Bear Week

Who doesn’t love big, fat bears? At least from a distance. And who doesn’t love filling out a bracket where winners move on and losers go home? Combine the two and you’ve got Fat Bear Week — a kind of Ursine March Madness, in October.

Serial Bull Murderer Befuddling Authorities

Five young purebred bulls mysteriously showed up dead on the ranch this past summer, drained of blood and with body parts precisely removed.

Cedar Point Rejects Six Flags Buyout

Sandusky-based Cedar Fair, the parent company of Cedar Point and 10 other amusement parks, has rejected a $4 billion offer from Six Flags, according to Reuters.

A Deadline Passes With Little to Show for Fliers ($)

The Transportation Department missed deadlines last week on key traveler issues like seat dimensions, evacuation safety, cockpit barriers, refunds for services not delivered and flight-attendant minimum rest. The big question is whether it ever will fully comply with Congressional requirements signed into law by President Trump a year ago.

Nobel Prize in Chemistry Awarded to Developers of Lithium-Ion Batteries ($)

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to three scientists for their work developing lithium-ion batteries—power sources that touched off a technological revolution that gave rise to cellphones and electric cars. (Perhaps a bit belated as these hit the market in 1991)

Category 5 Super Typhoon Hagibis roars across Western Pacific Ocean toward Japan ($)

A weakened but still powerful storm could make landfall near Tokyo this weekend.

Best Thing I’ve Seen On The Internet This Week

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Avengers assemble

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Beagle Corner

My husband and I are shameless dog people. Tomorrow, our beloved beagle Taylor turns 1.5 years old. We spoil her like she is an actual child of ours and are lucky to have landed with one of the most tame and relaxed beagles ever (though she’s still 1.5, so... not that tame!). So I’m going to shamelessly share a few of my favorite photos of her in honor of her half-birthday tomorrow. Dog photos are the best, so you’re welcome!

First time climbing a stair, though she couldn’t get down and wouldn’t go higher.
First time swimming
First football season
Equal barks under the law!