Sunday, January 11, 2015

Thinkin' of a Master Plan

PYB checks in to wish its loyal readers a happy 2015 and share some random thoughts.

--Let's start with the first, and thankfully last, game of the Barney Cotton Era in Lincoln. Nebraska had a chance to beat a mildly good USC team, but blew it. It was a fitting snapshot of the flashes of hope followed by befuddling ineptitude that characterized the Mark Bo Pinelli regime:

--Sloppy play, complete with untimely penalties.
--51 pass attempts
--515 yards allowed
--Three yards per rush attempt
--Horrendous play calling, blowing a chance to win on the final series (Translation: Ameer Abdullah didn't get the ball).

All in all, another shoulda, coulda, woulda. NU had the talent and speed to match the Trojans, but couldn't maximize opportunities and lost. Another 9-4 season. Let's move on.

--Nice to see Nebraska's new staff recruiting in Dallas, a hotbed of football talent that Pinelli and his band of Keystone Kops somehow ignored. Apparently, the formula of finding players in Texas, Florida and California and then getting them on the field is good enough for good college football teams but not those with coaches obsessed with the Rust Belt. Such a formula also helps programs keep more than five linebackers on their rosters.

--University of Nebraska-Lincoln administration fucked Avery Moss. In a pathetic display, Nebraska's Interim Title IX "Administrator" hid behind excuses and buzzwords (risk) and delayed a decision on the matter and ultimately refused to reinstate him. So....the university somehow screwed up the decision, after having a year to determine Moss's fate, and then finally issued a verdict less than a week before the semester began and left the kid no time to sort through other college options and make a wise decision? Unreal, indeed. The whole situation is baffling and makes PYB ponder yet again if there's a real leadership problem on the Lincoln campus.

And, let's be clear. If UNL decides not to have dong swingers on campus, we'd be fine with that. Make the decision right away. Dragging heels and then playing God with a young person's future is horrifying. Moss was "too risky" to bring back now, after completing his required counseling during his suspension, but wasn't "too risky" 12 months earlier before completing said rehabilitation. Lies. Title IX is a fucking joke and the fact that there is a person with a title that starts with Title IX is a bigger farce.

Anyway, sign this petition. Not because it should be OK for someone to whip out his crank on campus, but because our state institutions should act with expediency and respect if they're truly about the betterment of their people. And those making six-figure salaries need to be held accountable.

Surely, it's too little, too late, but UNL should be forced to reinstate Moss and live with any bad public relations ramifications that it brought on with its reckless business practices. Nice job, Arturo, by not allowing him to stick it out in Lincoln, you provided the icing on the cake with one final capper for the long list of indecent
embarrassments during Pinelli's tenure.

--For those of you that have been busy, we'd like to take this opportunity to tell you that the Big 10 is now awesome at football because its teams went 5-5 in bowl games. Teams lost by an average margin of 15 points to Louisiana Tech, Tennessee, USC, Missouri and Stanford.

Wins over a flawed Alabama team, a defenseless Baylor team that went brain dead in the final five minutes, a shaky Auburn squad, a mediocre-as-usual Boston College that missed an extra point in overtime and a North Carolina team that gave up 70 points to East Carolina has the league trending up and on the way to elite status. Just ask any loser who roots for his favorite team's conference during Bowl Season.

--John Harbaugh is delusional if he really believes that Joe Flacco is the NFL's best quaterback. Surely, he realizes that Flacco is in the running with Eli Manning and Trent Dilfer as worst quarterback to win a Super Bowl. And, we all saw what happened last night when Ray Rice, Ray Lewis and Ed Reed weren't there and Flacco was forced to make a game-winning play. Didn't happen and the Ravens blew two 14-point leads. It's also tougher when the NFL isn't rigging games to help Lewis and Reed end their careers on a positive note.

--Kobe Bryant is a nerd, and his fake tough guy act in practice this season proved it -- again. "Soft like Charmin" For real? Anyway, his analysis of the skill differences between European and American players was spot on. This was not an instance of him being a bitter prick.

This was him telling the truth, and the NBA surely hated it. For all his flaws, at least Bryant has a game that is fundamentally sound. His stomach must turn when watching Queen James (did you really think we'd talk about the NBA without taking a shot at Her Highness?) and Carmelo Anthony run the dribble-for-22-seconds-and-chuck-it-up offense. The Cavaliers are currently hovering around .500, as James has found it harder to win without stacking his team with multiple multi-year All Stars. Anthony's Knicks have dropped 15 straight, and he's sitting on the bench nursing a sore knee. Bryant knows its best to force 40 shots a game in the framework of the triple-post offense.

--If you're bored and need to kill time until today's NFL games, PYB would like to present this video as a refresher course showing why Michael Jordan makes all the aforementioned NBA 'stars' look like scrubs. And before we hear the 'different era' and 'today's player is more athletic' claims, let's make sure to note the defenders on this video include Dumars, Rodman, Byron Scott, Drexler, Bird, Starks, Kevin Johnson and David Robinson.

Sunday duties call......gotta run. Thanks for reading.


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Reason for the Treason

PYB bides its time this rainy, soggy Christmas Eve, counting the minutes until we deem it appropriate to crack the first cocktail of the afternoon. The sleep-inducing Popeye's Bahamas Bowl isn't sparking a festive mood -- the lone highlight being play-by-play announcer Steve Levy joking that Dr. Lou and Mark May shared a hotel room during their Bahamian adventure. In the meantime, we'll wrap up a few loose ends before wrapping up a few final gifts:

--Regrettably, we failed to bring this up when it happened a couple weeks back....BUT, did anyone else find it fitting/humorous/ironic that Queen James hosted the future Queen of England at an NBA game during her United States visit? Did anyone else find it embarrassing that the three most important people that USA had to offer as hosts were James, Jay-Z and Beyonce? Editors addition: Did anyone else find it humorous that the yellow-toothed Brits seethed at the fact that James didn't show proper respect and actually touched the queen-in-waiting? 

Note to England: You lost the Revolutionary War. Monarchies are no longer legitimate governments. Slavery is no longer legal.

--Tiger Woods has turned over a new leaf. In addition to former champion golfer, Navy SEAL and coulda-been NFL cornerback, he is now elevating friends to professional golf success. Hopefully, Arjun Atwal is close enough to Woods to get a popsicle offer.

Anyway, PYB sees this story as a diversion to the fact that he went T-Last in a fabricated PGA Tour event at his home course. In true drama queen fashion, Woods faked sickness after an opening-round 77 so everyone could laud his warrior status for breaking 80 the next three days straight. Hank Haney followed this up oozing praise....surely, Major success will follow in 2015...

--Tim Miles' Nebraska basketball team continues to scuffle through December, losing in a predictable host-team ambush in Hawaii before fending off Loyola Marymount by scoring 50 points in an overtime game last night. Hey, last season was a great run for a team that got hot. But, for a team without a legitimate 35-minute-a-game point guard and absolutely no inside offensive presence, ups and downs (and more downs) are inevitable -- especially when the element of surprise is no longer in play.

And, when your worthless walk-on dunks in pregame warmups and gets a technical foul, it may just be a sign that it's not going to be your season. PYB is not sure how that can happen.

A 'down' year may be for the best, as Miles builds depth with a highly acclaimed recruiting class. If Terran Petteway stays another year (the NBA draft is only two rounds), and some current big men develop and/or get healthy, 2015-16 may be a more realistic breakthrough season. You know, just like every season in the Taylor Martinez/Bo Pinelli Era was supposed to be.

--"If he wasn't such a jackass, he might have had a chance." PYB heard these words at a small-town Nebraska fitness center less than an hour after Pinelli got axed. Sometimes, the simplest of phrases in the simplest of places bring the most clarity to a supposedly complex situation.

Nebraskans were always smart enough to know that their beloved team would never be perfect. They were also smart enough stakeholders to know that Pinelli, their CEO, had no plan to pull off the road to nowhere and merge on to the highway to success. They expected the state's most highly paid employee to have such goals and a strategy to achieve them . For that, he resented them. For that, he disrespected the very assets that would have made him a king in Nebraska. He was a jackass.

Still, there were Nebraskans that supported him to the fullest. Loyal to a fault, ready to accept whatever was thrown on their doorstep. These are the same Nebraskans who buy the same shitty couch that every Midwestern furniture store peddles to them for $999 year after year. Hard as a rock, but it must be fucking awesome because it's in my basement AND is has a flip-down armrest with a drink holder in the console. Critical thinking be damned, roll with the status quo as the pages on the calendar change and results stay the same.

While we're stuck using analogies, we'll toss out another bad marriage comparison. NU and its fans were stuck in a joyless union for at least the last four years. The game against Iowa was the last hurrah, like a doomed couple trying to spice things up with a special night out. Instead, they got into a fight on the way to dinner (first half and early second half). Then, after a couple cocktails, all was forgotten, good times were remembered, and they fucked each others' brains out (late second half). She even gave him a second round of pussy and kick-started it with a blow job. (Punt return TD & OT win.)

After waking up that morning, the hate returned. The pussy (Eichorst) faxed the divorce papers, and the husband (Bo Mark) told everyone that the pussy was being a cunt as he tried to curry favor with his friends (players) one last time. They laughed, like good friends do, regardless of how little they may have cared. All in all, a pathetic, wasteful exercise that embarrassed a proud fan base, a proud state and a proud tradition yet again.

Pinelli acted as if making $3 million a year was his birthright and that no modicum of respect toward his constituents was required. He overestimated his own value and pretended to have no idea that his tenure in Lincoln further diluted Nebraska football's brand. But the venom he spewed at anyone with the gall to question his faulted methods told us he knew better. He knew he couldn't cut it as a head coach and forced his boss's hand. Then, one last time, he played the "Poor Me" routine

Too many expectations. Too few private jets.  The excuses kept flowing. Those that mattered quit caring.

Thanks for reading and Merry Christmas....


Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Motherfuckin' Product

PYB wishes Happy Holidays to all you cunts and pussies out there -- especially you cunts and pussies who have more education than an Ohio factory worker. We realize that a lot has happened since our last installment, as soap operas run daily. Our desire to let the dust settle on the Private Mark Pinelli era, along with a busy year's end at work, is the latest bad excuse we'll use for falling behind. Either way, we're here now, so let's get to it. Many of our favorite targets have given us new reasons to take shots at them.

--Private Pinelli, in a lesson of irony, called his boss a pencil-pushing cunt, then whined to his former players for 30-minutes about how tough he had it at NU. Too much pressure at my $3 million-a-year job, in a state where the average salary is $42,000. Too much pressure to not get destroyed by any better-than-terrible team when something was on the line. And we use the term 'something' very loosely, as it means staying in the running for winning half of the worst conference in major college football.

It wasn't my fault, he said. It wasn't YOUR fault he told the players, for allowing 408 yards to a back who gained fewer than 50 yards against Western Illinois. It was a pussy lawyer's fault because he didn't come to see you at practice enough and was too busy running a $75-million-dollar business to consistently tell the coach how great he was for winning nine games a year when any coach in America (and probably many bus drivers) could get seven wins with the combination of NU's facilities and pathetic list of opponents. Don't believe us? Then rely on this complex mathematical formula for proof: FAU + McNeese + Fresno + Illinois + Purdue + Rutgers = 6.

Don't blame Pinelli, dear readers. This was his destiny in just another fatalistic meathead saga. The same one we all saw when Back to the Future came out in 1985. Meathead in charge at the beginning, when brute force worked. At the end, when brains, tact and savvy were required. meathead waxed the car. Obviously, our friends at Cardinal Mooney didn't teach evolution. Adapt or die.....or run home to the only place where high school bullies are relevant 28 years after graduation.

It wasn't Private Mark's fault for a litany of other reasons, as you listen to him fake concern for his players' well being. Let me tell you motherfuckers that I care about you, but nobody else does. At the same time, let me provide you all a life lesson that will serve you well after graduation -- fuck authority and fuck anyone with more education than you. Considering Pelini put fewer and fewer players into the NFL as Bill Callahan's pipeline dried up, that's a bad lesson.

These kids will need to know how to thrive using intelligence and soft skills, at a real workplace and not a locker room. Excuses don't work. Instead, they're the battered spouses who somehow convince themselves they still love their husband and that he's a good man. The 40-point losses are the bruises that tell the rest of the world otherwise. A drastic comparison, yes. But, manipulating 20-year-old college kids to serve a personal agenda is another form of abuse with serious consequences. Mindfucking them to think that one blowhard bully is more righteous and more important than a 135-year-old university with a long track record of class is pathetic.

Perhaps Pinelli did believe his smoke-and-mirrors, four-loss product was good enough for Nebraska.
After all, he learned it as a player at Ohio State. During his diatribe, he played the victim card once more and told NU players how he toughed it out and stayed in Columbus after Earl Bruce was fired following a 6-4-1 season. What a warrior, Mark was! Considering that he was a white safety for a bad team in a bad conference, his other Division I options were likely limited.

Pinelli's persistence paid off, as his final three seasons in Columbus went: 5-6-1, 8-4, and 7-4-1. Given the fact that these were considered successful seasons for the Buckeyes for 25 years, it's not Bo Mark's fault that he took that losing attitude with him.

As NU fans, it's time to take some blame ourselves. We didn't heed the warning signs in 2007. Private Pinelli accosting Bill Snyder for having the nerve to dismantle his shitty defense wasn't 'fire in the belly.' In fact, it's fitting that this 45-second clip shows his defense being blown off the ball, missing tackles and blowing coverages.

Pinelli melting down and berating an official against Michigan State wasn't competitiveness. These were both ineptitude surfacing like a rotten corpse in a stagnant pond. Nebraska, in the end, ignored those instances in a rush to fix a pathetic defensive team.

Tom Osborne misjudged the shifting college football landscape, and underestimated the need for a business leader as head coach. An executive who knew how to pull the right levers in hiring, motivation, and decision making. Considering the Frank Solich disaster, he made his second straight bad hire for his beloved football program. Seventeen years later, we're all stuck on this hamster wheel, scurrying away as the rest of college football goes on outside the cage.

Shawn Eichorst, it's now your turn. You made your play, the predictable 180-degree hire of Mike Riley -- whose aura strikes us somewhere between the teacher we read that he is and the overly friendly weirdo at church that nobody wants to talk to. It's your turn to prove that you're a silent-but-strong leader and not a recluse.

Your turn to fill the stands, to keep the faux riche coming to Lincoln in their North Face sweater vests to pump money through the program's veins -- one shitty toolshed (aka Champion's Club) beer at a time. It's not a football program, it's a brand. A product. A shitty product at this point. Starting next August, it's your motherfuckin' product....

And somewhere, in a dark Youngstown film room that is likely less-featured, but more comfortable to him than the one he had in Lincoln, Private Pinelli cues up one of his favorite movie scenes. He nods his head in agreement. Bo, it's not your fault. Bo it's not your fault. Bo, it's not your fault.......

Sunday, November 30, 2014

A Tale of Two Shitty Teams

PYB sends greetings from the nation's capital of fuzzy shower mats -- Nebraska. Laziness, mixed in with some vacation-time travel/drinking/November golfing, had prevented our posting an Iowa-game recap to this point. Given today's big news that Private Bo Pinelli had been dishonorably discharged from Husker Nation after seven mediocre seasons at the helm, we'll have more later this week as time allows.

But, since we took the time at 5 a.m. this morning to watch the Husker-Hawkeye-Hero pillow fight once more, we'll post those comments here and let the dust settle on the Bo Madness before chiming in on that topic. We will say that Friday's contest was one more installment of Pinelli's rattletrap rickshaw on the road to nowhere, and that the feelgood win was the final public exhibit leading to his eventual undoing. Let's get to the big-picture topics of the week:

--Nebraska started the Iowa week with a laundry list of injuries. Some usual suspects (Kenny Bell, Randy Gregory) and some newcomers (Mark Pinelli, Corey Cooper, Alonzo Moore, Zach Sterup). Then, of course, some mid-game additions (Ryne Reeves, Tommy Armstrong). What, we ask, is behind all the constant injuries? Poor conditioning? General softness? Bad luck? Tougher opponents? Who knows, but somewhere Thad Randle sits and says, "SMH."

--Matt Millen, despite being a horrible NFL general manager, called a nice game and provided some insightful, impartial analysis. The only point that we called into question was when he said Armstrong had improved between the start of the season and the end.

--Greg McMullen, who credited Bo Pelini as the reason he left Ohio for Nebraska, was awful. He did it all Friday. Got blown off the ball. Played patty cake with pass-blocking linemen. Jogged while pursuing plays. Got shredded for his lack of effort by former NU players' tweets. Watch the tape -- sickening at best.

--Maliek Collins had another good game and cemented himself as one of the handful of playmakers on the NU roster. Is it any coincidence that Nebraska's most impactful defensive lineman came pre-trained as a state champion wrestler and likely didn't require a ton of coaching in that regard?

--Racist NU fans got their wish, as Ryker Fyfe made a two-play appearance after an Armstrong injury. His one pass attempt was nowhere close. Armstrong returned the next drive.

--Iowa turned the ball over four times in the first half, and NU turned it into seven total points in the first 30 minutes. Under Pelini, that was a Husker specialty -- turning potential 14-0 leads into ties or deficits.

--The Hawkeyes' first touchdown came on a poorly called and executed 3rd & 12 pass play. Tim Beck dialed up deep routes for all three receivers, despite having a poor offensive line. Armstrong held the ball for one, two, three counts too long. Ball tipped. Interception. Touchdown.

--Sam Foltz caused one first-half turnover, with a tackle after his punt. He also lobbied for a Hawkeye game ball by recording his weekly shanked punt and also dropping a punt snap that led to an Iowa touchdown return by Nebraska native Drew Ott. Add Foltz's gaffes to a missed Drew Brown field goal, and the kicking game was pretty shaky.

--Iowa quarterback Jake Rudock worked for his game ball as well, accommodating the Cornhuskers by missing several open receivers during the game -- most notably a wide open receiver in the third quarter. Had they connected, Iowa would have taken a 31-14 lead and likely won the game.

--Sam Cotton dropped his weekly pass.

--NU actually used tight end Cethan Carter -- twice. Once on a 34-yard pass in the two-minute drill that helped cut Iowa's lead to 10-7 right before half. The other was on NU's game-tying drive at the end of regulation, on a hot read by Armstrong, no less. Baby steps.

--Mack Brown forgot Ameer Abdullah's name and had to be reminded of it by ABC's John Saunders. Seems the former Texas football coach is as bad in the middle of halftime updates as he was in the middle of games.

--With two game-changing punt returns, De'Mornay Pierson-El cemented himself as one of the best NU playmakers in 20 years. We have trouble naming a consistently better one -- especially at souch a young age...let's hope the new Nebraska braintrust maximizes his potential the next three seasons.

--Private Pinelli's Blackskirts gave us the worst of times. They gave us the best of times. On Friday and all season. After a rocky start, the unit controlled the game the rest of the way. This, a week after giving up 133 yards to a molasses-slow Minnesota quarterback and two weeks after giving up 408 to Melvin Gordon.

The consistency of this defensive inconsistency and the wide variance in the team's ability to function at an acceptable killed Pelini in the end. It was a game-by-game, half-by-half, drive-by-drive proposition. Not good enough for a $3 million defensive guru.

--PYB was happy with the end result, a 37-34 win. PYB was sad after Beck played for overtime with an uninspired combination of playcalling and clock management on NU's set of downs with goal to go. Letting seven seconds expire after second down before calling timeout with 20 seconds remaining was sloppy at best.

Calling timeout with 12 seconds to go after a bad third-down play call and before the tying field goal was unacceptable, as it forced NU to kickoff one more time and risk losing before actually forcing overtime. High school shit. Shit we saw countless times under the Pinelli regime.

Luckily, like Nebraska, Iowa was error prone and had fewer playmakers. Nebraska had five. Iowa had zero. Luckily, Iowa pulled a Nebraska and started its overtime possession with a false start. Luckily, offensive coordinator Greg Davis went brain dead after Iowa got inside the ten and forced his squad to kick a field goal.

And finally, in one last stroke of luck, Bell provided NU fans with one last taste of excitement. Bell, questionable all week with a questionable head injury, caught a long third-quarter touchdown and the game winner to boot.

He left Husker Nation with one last taste of the feelgood drug he sells. Big plays that temporarily cover larger, team-wide flaws. He's like a woman in that regard. Talks too much at times. Whines. Let's everyone know how underappreciated she is and how unfair life is. Makes fans wonder if all the effort is worth it.

But, when times are good, and she feels up to it and gives us the pussy -- nothing feels better and a magic elixir of nostalgia helps us temporarily
forget the realities that paralyze Nebraska's hopes of winning big again.

Nothing felt better Friday, and NU fans reveled toward a warm holiday weekend and 80-degree temperatures. Sunday, cold reality reappeared in the form of Pelini's pink slip, and Cornhuskers across the country braced for another winter of uncertainty. And hope. Onward....

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Up in Smoke

PYB went to the first half of Nebraska's football game against Minnesota last Saturday. We witnessed a far-from-perfect but almost opportunistic half of football from the Huskers, as they racked up 21-7 lead. Due to logistical reasons, we had to leave at halftime.

By the time we got parked in front of a television to watch the game's end, the Gophers were on their way to pounding a more-talented-but-soft-as-hell opponent into the ground. On its final offensive series, as Tommy Armstrong led NU's rattletrap offense down the field with as much efficiency as Cheech & Chong's SS, we all knew the end result.

So when a Minnesota defender stole the ball from DeMornay Pierson-El, we weren't surprised. Then, when Nebraska's Blackskirts let a Gopher running back drag them nine yards for a game-clinching first down, we didn't bat an eye and another game, week and season were up in smoke in Lincoln.

There's no need for in-depth analysis here. But, for the sake of tradition, here's what we saw:

--NU fans did their part. Filled the stadium. Provided a generally positive attitude. Cheered pretty loudly for a poorly coached, heartless team.

--Nebraska can't run block or pass block. We listened to Offensive Line Coach John Garrison Monday night on the radio, and he admitted the unit has struggled with both techniques and with penalties. He was honest -- something too rare in this staff. It was refreshing. But, any time a coach is so freely admitting that about his squad 11 games into the season, PYB would say that team is effectively fucked.

--PYB had Minnesota +10 points. Easy money. We were just sad that no money line was published and that we forgot to bet the second half while departing the game.

--The 'Skirts had no answer for Minnesota quarterback Mitch Leidner and his zone read play. He ran 22 times for 133 yards. He ran about as fast as Garrett Gilbert did for Texas in 2010. Two glaring concerns here: Gilbert lost his job the next year to Case McCoy and David Ash and that $3 million Bo Pinelli was outcoached by Mack Brown. Ouch.

--As recent history has told us, every time NU squawks about is rankings or mentions its chances at playing in postseason game of meaning, it shits the bed in the worst way. This year was no different, following the bottle blasting it took from a mediocre Wisconsin team (barely beat Iowa and lost to Northwestern) and the pounding it took from a pedestrian Minnesota team -- at home.

--Nebraska fans couldn't make Armstrong the scapegoat this week, while clamoring for the white guy backup. The sophomore was 13/19 for 223 yards with no turnovers but got sacked four times.

--NU ran for 4.6 yards a carry, but still lost to Minnesota -- at home.

--Nebraska's offensive drives went as follows:

First Half

Second Half
Field Goal

How's that for halftime adjustments?

--Following the game, Pinelli had no answers except that Tim Beck's drive-killing, deep pass call in the fourth quarter was OK. Second and 1 is a "waste down", see. The rest of us fucksticks just aren't football-savvy enough to know that. That's fine, if your quarterback is Aaron Rodgers, you have a good offensive line and your best receiver is healthy.

NU has none of the three. NU is not good enough to waste a down against any team. The fact that its coaches are the only ones not in touch with that fact is appalling. The fact they don't realize the result of their frivolous actions is embarrassing. The fact that Pinelli has expressed no strategy to get from bad to better is mortifying.

That's all we have Re: Minnesota. Been there. Watched that. Let's look forward, instead, to NU's epic battle against Iowa tomorrow:

--Iowa is favored by just one point. Load up on the Hawkeyes. Iowa sucks, but at least plays with some balls. It's sad that NU is going to rack up its second consecutive loss to a team that does not try to score in many games.

--Nice recruiting, Huskers. Maybe Pinelli & Co. were too busy signing zone-read stoppers to chase a home-state, starting-caliber defensive lineman.

--PYB hopes that these two warriors can manage to suit up Friday. Kenny Bell is suffering from a head injury. Replays show his head barely hit the turf, and his niece and elevator full of friends told us postgame that he did not have a concussion. Unfortunately, the NU offense has struggled more than usual in the multiple times Bell has left games early this season. We thought Bell only came up lame after dropped passes. This time it was after a 73-yard reception. Things really are devolving in Husker Nation.

Randy Gregory contracted an 'illness' after laying over the dogpile on a one-yard Minnesota touchdown run. Early reports say it's been that tough-to-shake case of NFL Draftitis. Paging Mr. Clowney....

--One last chance for Beck to come up with a real game plan this season. He found an identity against Miami, then threw it on the ground and pissed on it for the next eight games. One last chance, also, for Pinelli and Papuchis to rise to the occasion and slow down a bad offense.

But, we kid noone. They won't do it. We'll watch. We'll hide our eyes in shame. We'll watch NU slide one game closer to a .500 long-term Big 10 record. We'll get the same post-game answers we've gotten for seven years. We'll still be fine.

That's the joint,
That's the jam, 
Turn that shit up, 
Play it again....

Happy Thanksgiving.


Saturday, November 22, 2014

Hitting the Wall

PYB ventures off to Lincoln today for some pre-game tailgating. Still undecided on whether we actually attend the game, we ponder the below:

--Minnesota runs the ball well. Nebraska is terrible at defense. How is NU a 10-point favorite?

--To be fair, after looking at a preseason poster, the Blackskirts are playing this entire season without Charles Jackson, Michael Rose and Leroy Alexander because of injury. Aaron Curry also chose to leave to a better program in TCU right before the season started. Either way, that's four starters that aren't there to miss tackles and blow assignments. Tough to overcome.

--Straight from the "Are You Shitting Me Department": DeMornay Pierson-El has five total targets in the last three games. Considering he's one of two offensive playmakers NU has (and the other one has been injured), PYB thinks an 'offensive genius' would find a way to get him the ball more.

--After too many recent puff pieces, Tom Shatel hits the mark in today's Omaha World Herald. It's all 'big picture stuff.'

--Jay Gruden will likely get axed as the Washington Redskins by the end of this season, but we love that he keeps calling out his pussy-assed quarterback. R! G!! 3!!! By the way, why is Redskins insenstive but Chiefs is not?

--While we're talking about pussy-assed superstars and historically bad teams from Washington. Queen James took her talents and her new court to DC last night and got smashed by the always-lethal John Wall/Bradley Beal combination.

Blame the coach for not understanding the game. Blame Kyrie Irving for not playing point guard well enough while having his new small forward dominate the ball. But it was the Queen who stacked her team. Who shot 8/21. Who ran back home with her tail between her legs. Not so easy to produce without two top-tier All-Stars in Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade.

That's all we have. Just a few quick shots at most of our favorite targets. Time to shower and run to the Star City -- for better or likely for worse.


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Pinelli's Greatest Hits

PYB is scared. Scared to watch the rewind of another nationally televised Nebraska disaster. Mind you, we're not scared to watch the carnage -- as we've seen it countless times before. The scars we already have minimize much of the pain. Not scared to admit that our beloved alma mater is a nationwide joke and has been for at least 13 years. Not scared to witness the Blackshirt tradition wither, under the guidance of an Ohio State Buckeye, into a brittle, laughable, farce of a concept that continually turns opponents' stars into superhuman beings recording never-dreamt-of records.

No, not scared of that at all. We came to grips with that long ago. We are scared, however, of the lack of any sort of leadership in Lincoln. The acceptance of futility. The dismissal of giving up 49 straight points to a mediocre team as "big picture" stuff. The refusal to tend to the small details that make up said "big picture." Most of all, we're scared that nobody is willing or capable of doing anything about it.

We sat with you, dear readers, and hoped this time would be different. Hoped the early 17-3 lead wasn't a mirage in a desert of meaningful wins that spans 10+ seasons. It felt different, briefly. It felt different until Melvin Gordon ripped off his first big run. Then a long touchdown run, complete with missed assignments, missed tackles and a patented Corey Cooper belly flop. The bed was pissed. And the rout was on. Call the bookie. Time to double up.

What is wrong with Nebraska? How much time do you have? PYB could go on for hours. Paragaph after paragraph. Of course, any of the faults we pointed would be techniques described in any Coaching Football book at the public library. What's the point? Read back through the last few years' worth of columns. Same disaster, different Saturday.

Luckily, we got pulled to a party with friends at halftime. Sure, the game was on at the party, and we could keep ourselves apprised of the latest hail-mary interception, false start, botched quarterback-running back exchange, missed block, whiffed blitz pickup. Friends consoled us. Told us it was still a game. We knew better. We knew this was another bad Nebraska joke. We didn't have to look at the scoreboard, which rolled upward on the Wisconsin side like a progressive jackpot in Las Vegas.

This wasn't just one 'off day' in the "big picture". This was more basic than that. Readily apparent to even the most untrained eye:

--NU has played two above-mediocore teams this year. Both teams have blasted NU. Outside of a first- and fourth-quarter fluke in those games, Michigan State and Wisconsin outscored Nebraska 62-10. Neither the Spartans or Badgers has a quality win this season, and their best games are losses to Oregon and Ohio State, respectively. Welcome to the Big Ten, Nebraska.

--Nebraska cannot, will not, or is incapable of, properly filling gaps on defense. These aren't just minor misses. These are complete fucking breakdowns, resulting in long run after long run after long run. How can Western Illinois do it, but Nebraska can't seem to so ever since Mark Vedral met Colorado in 2001?

--After three straight games of not being able to hold the edge against Wisconsin, NU finally 'adjusted' in then second half and brought Josh Mitchell off the corner with his shoulders turned perpendicular to the line of scrimmage. Multiple times. From day one of seventh-grade football practice, any defender responsible for outside containment is told to never do this. Ever. 

--Nebraska trailed Wisconsin just 24-17 near the end of the first half. After relinquishing 21 straight points, and saddled with a quarterback that is completing less than half his passes in conference play, most coaches would kneel the fucking ball, head to the locker room and adjust. Not Bo Pinelli. Our favorite Private thought it a good time to flip the switch, as he always does in panic time, to Beck Mode. (See drive chart below). 

Most coaches would realize a seven-point deficit means that just one touchdown and extra point ties the game. Get to halftime. Take a deep breath. Decide on a second-half strategy. Demonstrate leadership. Execute chosen strategy.

The Youngstown Brain Trust, however? Run the ball to a third and three. Take a sack. Fake a punt in the first half of a seven-point game (yeah, We're Fine, and feel confident our defense can stop Wisconsin but we're faking a punt deep in our own territory down one score in the first half. Anyone think Wisconsin noticed that?). 

As lucky as it was to convert the fake punt, NU collected a personal foul penalty that pushed it back to its own 25-yard line, one yard from where it began the drive. That said, surely the coaches would now take the air out of the ball and run clock. Nope! Tim Beck dialed up bomb after bomb after bomb, throwing caution to the wind and risking interceptions and fumbles with each rendition. 

NEBRASKA drive start at 03:24.
1-10 NEB 26 Timeout Nebraska, clock 03:24.
1-10 NEB 26 Armstrong Jr. rush for 5 yards to the NEB31 (Caputo, Michael).
2-5 NEB 31 Abdullah, Ameer rush for 2 yards to the NEB33 (Trotter, Marcus).
3-3 NEB 33 Armstrong Jr. sacked for loss of 8 yards to the NEB25 (Trotter, Marcus). (Editor's Note: RUN THE FUCKING BALL)
4-11 NEB 25 Timeout Wisconsin, clock 02:05.
4-11 NEB 25 Foltz, Sam rush for 14 yards to the NEB39 (Jordan, A.J.), PENALTY NEB personal foul (Editor's Note: Panic time.)
(Hannon, Zach) 15 yards to the NEB24.
4-12 NEB 24 1st and 10.
1-10 NEB 24 Armstrong Jr. pass incomplete to Bell, Kenny, PENALTY WIS holding (Shelton, Sojour) 10 X8 (Editor's Note: Run the FUCKING BALL!)
yards to the NEB34, 1ST DOWN NEB, NO PLAY.
1-10 NEB 34 Armstrong Jr. sacked for loss of 6 yards to the NEB28 (Jean, Peniel). (Editor's Note: Run the FUCKING BALL!)
2-16 NEB 28 Armstrong Jr. pass incomplete to Bell, Kenny, PENALTY WIS pass interference (Shelton, X9 (Editor's Note: Run the FUCKING BALL!)
Sojour) 15 yards to the NEB43, 1ST DOWN NEB, NO PLAY.
1-10 NEB 43 Armstrong Jr. pass incomplete to Bell, Kenny. (Editor's Note: Run the FUCKING BALL!)
2-10 NEB 43 Armstrong Jr. sacked for loss of 11 yards to the NEB32 (Schobert, Joe;Goldberg, A.).(Editor's Note: Run the FUCKING BALL!)
3-21 NEB 32 Armstrong Jr. pass incomplete to Bell, Kenny.(Editor's Note: Run the FUCKING BALL!)
4-21 NEB 32 PENALTY NEB false start (Kalu, Joshua) 5 yards to

Maybe we just don't understand, not being steeped in that Youngstown tradition. Sometimes, it's all about perspective. Remember, football is just a game and it takes a true genius like Beck to put fans back into the proper frame of mind.

Despite being castrated on national television for approximately the 20th time in a decade, there's plenty left for NU to achieve. Senior Day. FUCKING SENIOR DAY?? A crappy game on a frozen field against a crappy Iowa team. A middle-of-the-pack-in-the-worse-division-of-the-two-in-a-terrible-conference finish again in 2014. Silly PYB -- remember, if you aim for the turds, you're sure to end up with the maggots!

From stem to stern, this was another Vintage Pinelli effort. Two weeks of preparation, or lack thereof. Failure to capitalize on early opportunities. Lack of ability to cope with adversity. Mental breakdowns ensue at rapid pace. National bottle blasting proceeds. Records broken. Another year wasted. A cold winter on the plains with little warmth in site.

This, hopefully, was the grand finale for Private Bo Pinelli's Greatest Hits in Lincoln. Like most bands pushing forth a cash-grab compilation, he's washed up and his drummer and guitarist (Beck and John Papuchis) are severely overmatched. In music terms, they went from playing roadside shitholes in Topeka to Madison Square Garden and never had a fucking chance.

Under the bright lights, they froze. They blessed us with the following. Sing along, friends, and remember the good times:

Track List
Missouri 52 - NU 17 (2008)
Oklahoma 62 - NU 28 (2008)
Texas Tech 31 - NU 10 (2009)
Iowa State 9 - NU 7 (2009)
Texas 20 - NU 13 (2010)
Wisconsin 48 - NU 17 (2011)
Northwestern 28 - NU 25 (2011)
Michigan 45 - NU 17 (2011)
Ohio State 63 - NU 38 (2012)
Wisconsin 70 - NU 31 (2012)
UCLA 41 - NU 21 (2013)
Minnesota 34 - NU 23 (2013)
Michigan State 41 - NU 28 (2013)
Iowa 38 - NU 17 (2013)
Wisconsin 59 - NU 24 (2014)

Hidden Tracks
Michigan State 27 - NU 22 (2014)
South Carolina 30 - NU 13 (Live from Orlando, 1/2/2012)

Maybe NU should take a page from Queen James and disallow football. It would save the state of Nebraska the embarrassment of being proven to be softer than Dwight Howard every time it appears on national television.

Somehow, the Huskers are a 10-point favorite over a smarter, tougher, better-coached Minnesota team this Saturday. There's no way they win on Hawkeye turf the day after Thanksgiving. We get an 11 a.m. kickoff in each game, with hopefully fewer witnesses to this rattletrap program on the road to ignominy.

We'll be drunk by noon, but that's OK.
NU will be relevant some day
Load the box, and still can't stop shit
It's Pinelli's Greatest Hits,
It's Pinelli's Greatest Hits.....

Respectfully Yours....PYB