Pelini & Beyond

Eichorst - Kalter SAB 01You 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?

Eichorst said:

“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 notedThere 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!



  1. buck turgidson says:

    Bravo, Shawn Eichorst. I really admire a man who says 9 wins vs McNeese St and Illinois and Purdue is not good enough at Nebraska. Blow out losses in every meaningful game is not good enough at Nebraska.

    9 creampuff wins and 4 blow out losses … combined with abominable sideline and press conference behavior … should absolutely not be an acceptable standard at Nebraska. Shame on the fans who think that’s the best we can do, or that’s all we’re capable of. Shawn Eichorst knows we can do better, and I’m thankful he’s willing to bet his job on it.

  2. Macdaddy says:

    Ashford’s staffers shouldn’t see themselves as West Wing staffers but more like D’Annunzio caddying for the Havercamps.

  3. Brian T. Osborn says:

    I see political parallels with your analysis, Buck. Take a look at the NDP. The best they’ve done for head coaches are guys like Achelpohl (we’re still waiting on that audit of the books, Steve), Covalt and Powers who continue to use two or three plays out of Pop Warner’s playbook, always doing the same thing and expecting different results. Their booster clubs can’t even raise enough money to keep the office staffed. The current head coach, Powers, started his tenure with what seemed to be a drunken harassment of your NEGOP Chair, Mark Fahleson, in a parking lot and it hasn’t gotten any better since. What few “victories” they’ve been able to achieve were all pretty low hanging fruit, but to hear them tell it they accomplished miracles.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Here’s a good, old saw: if we cared as much about as we cared about Nebraska football, we might actually .

    The hard-on for football in this state is ridiculous.

  5. Off The Record says:

    One thing is ALWAYS certain: You NEVER have to think twice about the deep fried hamburger at the Tune Inn.

    And maybe I’m biased because I love a good Natty Bo at the Tune just as much as the next guy, but I would submit that it’s NOT the beer that makes people make stupid/mean/naive/misinformed statements loud in public.

  6. Mussolni Bit Pelini now he doesn't work says:

    The comparison of Creighton basketball to NU football is an odd one. But since Sweeper brought it up, it occurs to us that perhaps a fan base and a funding base are not separable.

    Funding a Jesuit school must be a tight narrow pile of big buck-a-roos. Chances are, they are either welded into the church or grads themselves. A potent distillation of loyalty, ambition and success, which is conversely watered down in a state school where its tuition proceeds are less than it gets from federal taxpayers and much less than it gets from a Unicameral taxing every working High School dropout across Nebraska to force those poor bastards to pay for their bosses kids to attend college. (An over simplification but you get the point.)

    All wide taxation and narrow allocation results in this sort of mini-socialism. And that’s fine. All for the greater good. However such necessarily broadens the base to force the worse, dumbest, most evil taxpaying Nebraskans into vested Husker donors. Who knows what they want? A national championship? Roller ball with real heads crushed? Nude cheerleaders from hooters?

    It is difficult to tell how funding streams differentiate a fan base, but money talks, so it must.

  7. Jake Plummer Comeback Dream says:

    I’m not sure how he’s viewed within the Nebraska GOP, but Garth is viewed as a joke within the Omaha legal community. Among the fakest fakers who have ever faked.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Since we are still going to be paying Bo until the end of his contract, can we find something useful for him to do around UNL? Maybe give him a broom and have him clean up the stadium after the games.

  9. Interested Observer says:

    But would he make a clean sweep of the entire stadium or would he just clean up the easiest 75% and leave the other 25%?

  10. ricky says:

    Wow for once I am in almost total agreement with Mr Street Sweeper. And find myself in agreement with my Representative on the NU Regent Board Mr Daub.
    The Regents knew Pelini was going to get canned, but not all of them agreed.
    Probably Regent Clare was disappointed, seeing how he did lawyer work for Mr Pelini, and served on the Pelini Foundation for God knows what reason.
    Regent Hawks had no comment on the firing, and I wonder what that means?
    Which brings me to my question of where the 15 million dollars comes from to buy out the Husker coaches. If you look at the NU Athletic Deparment budget, I doubt you will find $15 mill tabled for OTHER.
    Here is what I think happens: the Nebraska Foundation gets a tax deductible donation from the rich guys and they give it for specific reasons. Like for example firing a jerk like Pelini.
    But the boosters don’t want people to think they are calling the shots for Mr Perlman, so the athletic department claims the money was found in a closet somewhere.
    What would be interesting would be to find out the inner workings of the Nebraska Foundation and the NU athletic department, but something tells me that is the LAST thing the public with ever km now.

    Ricky from Omaha

  11. Virginia RWP says:

    Well, here’s a report from RWP’s eyrie, very near the Nation’s Capital. I see it all.

    It was a shitty day here in the DC metro; cold drizzle and fog. And from my lofty perch in Rosslyn, overlooking the Key Bridge into Georgetown, I wondered why there was so little inbound traffic on the George Washington. Easily answered; a sinkhole opened up overnight, and the eastbound part of the highway, which takes commuters from Fairfax County, VA, to what we like to call The District, was closed. That sucked for tens of thousands of people. RWP, with his 3 months in Arlington, knows how to negotiate the suburban rat-runs of Arlington, but most long time residents don’t.

    Cut forward to 5 p.m.. Obama has been visiting Bethesda, MD, to make a speech looking for $6.2 bn to fight Ebola in other countries, and to pretend he gives a shit about the military by visiting Walter Reid. Now, His Highness can’t be expected to negotiate rush-hour traffic through Georgetown, so they decided him to take him back on the GW: over the Chain Bridge, east through Virginia along the south bank of the Potomac, and back across the Key Bridge into Washington. Problem was, the inbound GW was closed. See sinkhole. So what did they do? They closed the outbound GW, and reversed traffic for the benefit one very large car, which sped down the empty highway, across the closed off Key Bridge, and back to Washington, so the President could attend a DNC fundraiser for 30 millionaires at a swanky hotel. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of commuters, who hade been delayed by an hour or two by the sinkhole on the way in, were delayed another hour or two on the way home, because the President needed to drive the GW in the wrong direction to shill for money.

    People accuse Obama of thinking he’s royal. That’s an offense to royalty. George III would not have treated his subjects this badly.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Hey, RWP! Where was your indignant attitude when GWB commandeered an aircraft carrier full of sailors eager to see their families after back to back deployments, delaying their homecoming so that he could dress up as a “war hero” and deliver a photo op, declaring the war over even though it is still going on?
    George III may not have treated his subjects so badly, but your buddy George Jr. sure as hell did!

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