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The Start of the Matt Rhule Era At Nebraska: A Tribute of Hope

Life in and out of sports

Nebraska Spring Football Game Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images

It may seem weird to start the “Sports Season” with a eulogy-esque like celebration of life, but things have taken an odd turn for me. This week celebrates Husker Volleyball playing in Memorial Stadium on Wednesday, while football kicks off its season at Minnesota on Thursday.

However, life has taken a slightly worse turn outside of sports.

My beloved cat (Dr. Gregory Housecat) was put down Wednesday after being diagnosed with an incurable cancer at the age of 12. My fluffy Mama’s boy has spent the last 5 years living with diabetes, mainly out of spite for myself and my daughter, but unfortunately this is one bridge too far.

So, while I will still be celebrating watching Husker Volleyball playing at Memorial Stadium, I will also be celebrating my kitty’s life.

That got me thinking, when emotions of life hit hard sometimes, it’s good to channel the emotion elsewhere. There are certain moments of history in one’s life that will be forever ingrained into their memory, but the return to “normalcy” is where people channel the next part of the story.

Sports have been a huge part of my life, to the point where yelling at my TV scares my wife. I couldn’t be happier this week is happening, so imagine the brick wall I want to run through because Husker Volleyball is already 3-0 on the season and about to play in front of 85,000+ at a football stadium. THAT’S INSANE!

Update: Official attendance was 92,003 (a world record). Ok, so I almost tore my house (not cat) apart when the volleyball team came out with the tunnel walk. The national anthem had a flyover. Chants of “Go Big Red” and “Husker Power” emanated from the stands. The light show, the drones, the fireworks and a Husker win.

I stood in the middle of the living room almost the whole time. I LOVED EVERY DAMN SECOND OF IT!! Can the Huskers just play at Memorial Stadium every match? We can build a dome...just saying.

Oh, and then there’s the small matter of football kicking off Thursday at Minnesota. The Rhule era will officially begin, and what better way for me to channel my cat’s spite for things than going on the road and RUINING SOMEONE ELSE’S NIGHT?

Running backs getting fed the ball more than Housecat being fed Fancy Feast every time someone gets off the couch is the kind of Bleeding Husker Red passion I need to cheer on Nebraska!

Husker fans of late have embraced the anger and hatred of losing a loved one, and by that, I mean football games. Avid Corn Nation readers may recall a certain gentleman (looking at you Jon) embracing those emotions 2 years ago after a loss at Minnesota. Losing someone/something that is so deeply cared about can only be described in the manner Jon did it.

I leave you with this. In reality, the tribute of hope is sometimes it is the only thing that remains. The ONE thing when you look around and know in your heart things will get better. Hope is when you walk into a new season, and everyone starts with the same record. Hope is where dreams live, even when reality tries to make it die. Hope springs eternal and that’s why an optimist thrives on it, because it will get better.

So, I’m going to pour one out for Housecat, and to all Husker fans out there (and especially you Jon),

There IS hope, but still F everything, Go Big Red!