You thought you were going to get into Leavenworth Street today without some hot Pelini/Eichorst talk?
Here is what we saw:
Nebraska Athletic Director Shawn Eichorst came out of the box full of piss and vinegar. Maybe it was just the adrenaline or the heat of the lights, but he seemed particularly fired up to announce Nebraska football coach Bo Pelini’s firing.
We had read on the Twitter earlier that Pelini had posed a sort of love-me-or-leave-me to Eichorst, and maybe that was Eichorst showing how he felt about that. (Then again, maybe that was just a rumor. At this point we don’t know.)
What we do know is that several times Eichorst noted that the firing was due to “on and off the field” actions. “On” we get. But is “on” just the win-losses or does it include the screaming at the players, screaming at the refs, nearly hitting the ref with the hat, one-word responses to sideline reporters?
And is the “off the field” stuff more than just the non-responsive post-game press conferences, the taunting Eichorst to fire him and the recorded rants at the fans and sports-writers?
Or is there more to it?
“We will compete for Big Ten and national championships and we will do so with class, integrity, sportsmanship and with a commitment to our student-athletes. I believe the action taken today is in line with that vision.”
So… one could read that to say those things were lacking under Pelini?
For what it’s worth, Nebraska Regent Hal Daub noted “There is more to the story that maybe meets the eye, it’s a combination of perception. And perception and reality and image. And I think all those things converged.”
He thinks or he knows?
Anyway, we agree with those who say Eichorst’s new coach will be a quick hire. We can’t imagine he would pull a repeat of Steve Pederson.
And we will also give our $.02 about expectations for Nebraska football.
We have been Husker football fans since coming out of the womb.
And, as luck would have it, same for being Creighton basketball fans.
(Yes, get over yourselves “Jay-sker” haters.)
Point is, if Creighton has an average season, those fans celebrate. If they win the conference, awesome. If they make the post-season tournament, super awesome. What’s the near pinnacle for them? Sweet 16.
Anything close to that — and players who play hard, don’t get in trouble, etc. etc. — and fans will continue to fill the home court.
But look at somewhere like Kansas or Duke. They would NEVER accept that standard for their basketball programs. They expect at least Sweet 16, and you better at least be talking Elite 8 and you had better be in the National Championship hunt year after year.
Now basketball and football are very different, and we get all that. But Nebraska football has a higher expectation than “good”. They had better be in the hunt for “great”. They haven’t been close to that with Pelini.
Now you may argue that he still needs more time and everyone should be more patient. And frankly we are on the fence, if that’s your argument. If Pelini got another year, we would likely have shrugged.
But when you start telling us to get pumped for Minnesota and Iowa? And that the outcome is a tossup?
Well, that’s when our faces start to go blank.
That is not the expectation around here.
All that being said, we are still going to play for the Bits of Broken Chair Trophy next year, right?
We had completely forgotten what we wrote at this time last year, when the exact same discussion was going on after Nebraska’s loss to Iowa. Here is what was on LeavenworthSt. on 12/2/13:
After watching the Nebraska game on Friday, then seeing Coach Bo Pelini’s press conference afterwards, we thought the OWH’s Tom Shatel put it best when noting that Pelini basically set himself on fire during and after the game.
(And frankly, of all the off-the-wall things Pelini did — chewing out the sideline reporter, swinging the hat, swearing at press conference, essentially daring the AD to fire him — we felt the fake punt attempt was the most egregious. It made Pelini just seem to be saying, “F, it and F the team. Yeah I’m going for it here. What are YOU gonna do about it.”)
But whether Pelini should have kept his job or shouldn’t have, isn’t where we are going here.
We were most curious about the comments on the whole thing from…Tom Osborne.
Now we get that Osborne got asked what he thought, and if he said “no comment” or some such, it might be interpreted the wrong way. But that being said, it would have been preferable for Osborne to have said, “I support the difficult job that the new Athletic Director Shawn Eichorst has…”
But he then went beyond that and said Pelini should get to keep the job because he has had nine wins, and he had eight this season.
Uh, well, that’s nice. And what if Eichorst STILL plans on firing Pelini after the Bowl game? Or what if Pelini wins eight games next season? Or what about Pelini’s on and off-field behavior? Should that be a factor? Hey, maybe or maybe not, but Osborne seemed to sweep it under the rug. And further, Osborne even seemed to be taking a dig at Eichorst for letting Pelini hang out in the breeze for a while.
Dr. Tom would be advised to take a page out of George W. Bush’s book, and simply not comment on one’s predecessor, knowing how difficult the job is — without having the former office-holder giving their two-cents on everything.
Be interesting to hear what Dr. Tom has to say today.
A quick note about when Eichorst threw HIMSELF — unneeded — into the situation at the press conference by saying that he himself played “championship caliber football.”
We scrambled to the Google and learned that Eich did indeed play football — at Division III, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.
Not exactly an Orange Bowl team there, Shawn.
We noted on the Twitter that these type of things always come in 3s.
Chuck Hagel…Bo Pelini…who would be next?
Then a follower noted that Hagel wasn’t number 1.
Congressman Lee Terry was.
Strangely enough, Terry will probably accept that company
We don’t know if this will be a weekly item, but a few notes on our latest 2016 #NE02 GOP suggestions.
We wrote that former Nebraska quarterback, radio host and current Kutak Rock associate attorney Garth Glissman could be a VERY interesting candidate. But it was immediately pointed out to us that there are two other big swinging schlongs at Kutak Rock already (likely) interested — former Senate candidate Bart McLeay and former Attorney General candidate Brian Buescher. And they are Kutak Rock partners.
Don’t think that doesn’t make things slightly uncomfortable in the halls for the young associate Glissman to be mentioned in the same breath as those in corner offices (or at least better offices). Interesting dynamic.
So we would suggest a required Law-Firm primary, prior to the GOP primary. And we haven’t decided yet who gets to vote.
How about this: Unless you just turned 18 or moved to the district, you only get to vote in the Law Firm primary if you voted in the previous GOP primary. Or, maybe, only Nebraska Bar members get to vote.
Hmm. We’re still working on this. We will take suggestions.
Oh, and we will continue to add former Creighton Law Dean to the #NE02 conversation. And should we just have an all-Law pre-primary? Add in Koley Jessen’s Bryan Slone? Welch Law’s Dan Welch? Any other Bar members up for it?
ICYMI, there was an interesting article from former Reagan speech writer Peggy Noonan in the WSJ article about the level DC has come to in past few years. The gist was about Congressional staffers speaking out of turn, being too familiar with their bosses, etc. etc. She called it the “West Wing-ization” of Washington (OK, maybe that’s what we are calling it). The idea is that staffers and others in DC think they should act like actors from that show.
We found the article to be a must-read for anyone who is in government or wants to be. And then it went to another level this weekend with the House Congressional staffer who made comments about the First Daughters.
We aren’t really that interested in the “debate” about that on either side. But what we did find interesting is that the comments of some random lowly staffer have been lifted to the realm of CNN and some sort of national conversation. We realize it is a result of the online world in which we live, but it still causes head shaking from us.
So be warned, young Hill — and Lincoln — staffers! EVERYTHING you say and do in and around and outside of the Capitol, on Facebook, on Twitter and Instagram, these days is ON THE RECORD. Think several times about that one more beer at Tune Inn. (Heck, you probably have to think twice about that Tune Burger. Oh sure, it’s delicious, but how many calories? And where did the beef come from? And is that whole grain? And….)
Hey did you know it is Cyber Monday?
There are deals a-plenty, and how about helping out your friends here at Leavenworth St. and clicking our Amazon banner up top before you purchase. It’s win-win baby!