It’s Friday! That means 10 big stories in 10 little bites. Our coverage of Big Ten media days is all over Omaha.com (and will be through Sunday).
We hit Bill O’Brien. And Big Ten coaches’ differing viewpoints on recruiting Penn State players. And Jim Delany’s thoughts on NCAA sanctions. We hit Urban Meyer’s media day debut. And James Vandenberg’s bear hunting trip. And, of course, we examine Bo Pelini and Nebraska.
As a result, even though I’m in Chicago, I’ll cover mostly other topics here, starting with an Omaha radio show leaving the air waves way too soon.
We are creatures of habit, and one of my favorite morning habits the past three years was The Schick and Nick Show on 1620 The Zone.
Separately, Matt Schick and Nick Bahe are engaging, bright, witty individuals. Together, though, they were one of Nebraska’s best sports teams.
Sure, they could talk quarterbacks and point guards. In fact, they tackled the heavy topics better than most shows. But Schick and Nick made their mark because of humor. I can’t count how many times I sat in the grocery store parking lot, laughing in the car as I waited for a segment to end.
They created parody songs and parody promos, even parody press conferences. They dropped bleeps into Husker broadcasts. They impersonated everybody from Bill Cosby to Bill Self. They were just as comfortable talking Full House as they were Final Four. They compiled a library of sound bites that became so familiar you knew them by heart. They mastered the art of the inside joke.
No wonder the show, which ends today, had a cult following. No wonder listeners flooded Schick and Nick e-mail folders the past month thanking them for frequently making bad mornings bearable, and good mornings better.
Talent is creativity. And creativity is imagination. Few people had it like Schick and Nick.
It’s hard to imagine weekdays in Omaha without them.
>> Nebraska’s alternate uniforms, which players will wear on Sept. 29 against Wisconsin, aren’t bad. I like the big “N” on the chest. I like the double stripes on the sleeve. I even kind of like the helmet. I just wish the pants were a little different than the jersey. They kind of make the uniform look like a superhero costume.
>> On Wednesday, I wrote that the NCAA should’ve taken Penn State off the field for one season. The Big Lead’s Ty Duffy best articulated it.
“The players are reacting naturally and in some sense admirably, though this sentiment supports the criticism of the NCAA getting involved initially and getting involved and not imposing a death penalty.
“The NCAA’s heavy-handed response took a story well beyond football and made it about football. Penn State’s story is no longer a story about horrifying crime, victims and corruption. This story will be about finding the “true Penn Staters.”
“It will be about suffering, endurance and rallying through an imposed crisis, rather than rebirth and sober reflection. Intending to break down the prideful football culture that facilitated a callous act, the NCAA will only end up fortifying it.”
>> Speaking of The Big Lead, here’s more details about the academic scandal at North Carolina, which gets more interesting by the week.
>> Rookie Mike Trout for AL MVP? Better believe it. His numbers are unbelievable.
>> LaDainian Tomlinson, the greatest fantasy football player of the Internet era, influenced millions of lives without knowing it. The latest Bill Simmons column.
>> Michael Phelps v. Ryan Lochte, Saturday in the 400 individual medley. What a way to start the Olympics. I’m rooting for Lochte, but I’m picking Phelps by a fingertip.
>> Tim Layden’s interview with American sprinter Jeneba Tarmoh sheds light on the controversy at the U.S. Trials. Why did Tarmoh refuse to compete in a 100-meter duel for an Olympic spot? Great stuff.
>> I’m interested in your favorite Summer Olympics memories. I was trying to think of mine. I go back to Ben Johnson and Carl Lewis in ’88. Michael Johnson in ’96. Dominique Moceanu and Kerri Strug the same year. What about you?
>> ESPN’s Mitch Sherman (formerly of the World-Herald) writes about a trend in college football recruiting: Coaches are looking at kids as young as 14.
>> SI’s Thomas Lake examines the wonder of SEC media days.
>> Ndamukong Suh is getting sued for more than $1 million. This is why pro athletes shouldn’t drive after dark.
>> The Big Red Bracket continues to draw Husker fans’ attention. (You can vote here.) I saw Matt Davison Thursday at Big Ten media days, and he was concerned the Miracle at Mizzou might be in trouble against The Pipeline. He need not worry. The Miracle holds a convincing lead.
>> On Wednesday, I introduced a 32-team bracket of forgettable Husker moments and traditions, all since 2001. I received 57 votes, good enough to keep this thing going.
Here’s your second round match-ups:
#1- 62-36 (won 1st round, 48-9)
#4- F-ing hillbillies (41-16)
#2- Corey McKeon press conferences (42-15)
#3- Texas A&M referees (54-3)
#1- “I refuse to let this program gravitate to mediocrity,” by Steve Pederson (55-2)
#4- Christmas in Shreveport (36-21)
#2- Dan Beebe trophy presentation (33-24)
#3- Taylor Martinez’s cell phone (39-18)
#1- One (extra) second in Dallas (56-1)
#5- “He’s doing some good things,” by Bo Pelini (35-22)
#7- Beau Davis’ passer rating (30-27)
#6- Panico’s punt returns (33-24)
#1- West Coast Offense (45-12)
#4- Terrence Nunn’s fumble (40-17)
#2- 40-day coaching search, featuring Houston Nutt (49-8)
#3- Jammal Lord’s end-zone INT against Texas (37-20)
I invite you to vote on the second round, either in the comments section or in an email to me — just send your eight second-round winners to email@example.com.
>> Finally, the best news of the morning. Bruce Springsteen is coming to the CenturyLink Center in November. I’ll take that over the Swim Trials any day :)
>> Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend.