Posted August 30th, 2010 by Jack
Filed under: Feature, Football

We’ve had a rocky relationship over the years in a weird masochistic sort of way.  When we first all got together, back in 1996, you were an evil, determined mistress, a vision of perfection with no vulnerable, tender side.  You dismissed all who came before you – sometimes even violently and machinelike, with no real pleasure to speak of.  Color was irrelevant and so was location -your place or theirs, you had your way with everyone and they were forced to do your bidding.

Then when we really did hook up for the first time, on a cold December night in St. Louis, you weren’t exactly at the height of your power.  Arizona State came out and coldcocked you three months before.  In true Nebraska spirit, you took out your pain and agony on the rest of your schedule.  Some of our old friends were soundly thrashed by the Lady in Red, and when it came down to the end, you prevailed over mighty Colorado and were waiting to beat that little upstart Texas for your largely ceremonial dance ticket.

Well it didn’t happen.  I overcame everything that you had and everything that you stood for, and emerged from that dome with a smile and a trophy.  I rolled and left you a second embarrassment in a single season, something unthinkable to you and everyone you knew.  Of course, you chose 1997 to wreck havoc and take revenge upon all that had wronged you, in a year I’d like to forget.  You emerged unscathed, walking into Seattle and taking U-Dub’s lunch money early on.  You even brushed off Kansas State right after that, whom at the time you didn’t know was to question your power in upcoming years.  You were back where you felt like you belonged.

Then 1998 happened.  Solich happened.  Ricky and Major happened.  Something unthinkable happened.  I went to your house on Halloween, decided I’d had enough of you and your bullying, and hit you as hard as I could.  And you went down, and I left with all of your Halloween candy.  Nobody had invaded your crib and came out victorious in seven years.  I think that was the day our relationship changed.

1999 saw us both sleek and watchful, confident in our abilities but wary of our foes.  You didn’t survive a return visit to my place, but you did get the last laugh in San Antonio.  I was the only blemish on your dance card back then, but you could safely say this was not the one-sided relationship it used to be.   You could even make the case that maybe we were growing a little fond of each other, but we each had our own stuff going on after that.  We were both trying to get from good to great and besides, we both had K-State and Oklahoma to deal with.

By the next time we finally saw each other again in 2002, you were a mess.  You’d even let Iowa State and Oklahoma State push you around.  I left Lincoln for the second consecutive time victorious, an unprecedented feat.    Colorado even wiped their muddy boots on your once-hallowed carpet and strolled away whistling.  I wondered what was wrong with you but after kicking the crap out of you in Austin in 2003, I realized I had better things to do.  Nebraska could take care of herself.

I was a little busy in 2004 and 2005.  I’m not going to apologize.  You’d been where I was ten years before, so you understand.

2006 showed me in the position that you had in 1996, albeit a little weaker.  But that didn’t stop me from taking a third straight win in your house.  I was beginning to think about leaving a note on the fridge so you knew what I liked to eat when I came into town.  We were both trying to find ourselves again, being good but nothing special.  I’m not going to talk much about about 2007 besides you finally realizing a change was due and I beat you again.  I was proud of you for reinventing yourself but kept a healthy dose of skepticism.

2008 was crummy for both of us in different ways.  You had to deal with Missouri and Texas Tech’s best punches and you’re still feeling out this whole cougar thing.  Traveling to Oklahoma doesn’t sound like much fun – I mean, I always say I’ll meet halfway – and getting beat down there has to be worse.  That was the year I learned I don’t like pirates.

I can’t explain last year.  I was at the top of my game, feeling all of the rushes and pressure of 2005 again.  You rolled the clock back despite shocking losses to Iowa State and Texas Tech at home in back to back weeks.  You partied like it was 1995, your salad days.  I won’t get into how and why I get second chances and you don’t.  It just happened that way.  All of the hatred and the fear I had of you in the nineties, though?  It’s a complete role reversal.  I’m at the top of the hill and you’re trying to knock me off one last time before you go run off with your new friends.

I’m not going to wish you luck, as that would be completely asinine.  I do want to thank you for some great memories that have come at your expense over the years.  Sure, you’ll always have San Antonio…but I’ll always have Lincoln.




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  1. reply to  #1


    Greatness. Major hitting Mike Jones and then him barreling into the end zone was one of my best memories from college. The celebration on campus was amazing.

    Of course the Big 12 CCG in the Alamodome was one of the most miserable so oh well. That was back when Nebraska fans were actually great to deal with though, but I guess that’s easy when you win once in a while.

  2. […] Dear Nebraska… ” 40 Acres Sports […]

  3. reply to  #3

    matt ricker

    nebraska the big ten and ya still are the 3d most popular team ha ha ha

  4. reply to  #4

    jean Schultz

    Who has the last laugh as texas has lost how, many 3 and maybe more to come. We slipped up one time not 3 so brag on to who ever will listen to you blowing. Texas always blows harder than the wind in west texas.

  5. reply to  #5


    The fact that Nebraska was embarrassed at home by the worst Texas team in the last ten or so years is way more relevant than the last laugh regarding overall records. Have fun with your new friends up north.

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