Thursday, December 21, 2006

3 Years Later, HuskerNation is Still Divided

AJ the HuskerH8er had a nice take this week on the divisions within the Husker fanbase over the coaching change three years ago that simply isn't healing. And while I think there is a large portion of the fan base in the middle, there's no doubt that fans are divided and emotions still run deep. And I'm as guilty of it as anyone.

A couple of weeks ago, a Pederson supporter questioned me about a seeming inconsistency in my praise for Iowa State athletic director Jamie Pollard and my criticism of Steve Pederson. In both cases, I didn't think either Dan McCarney or Frank Solich should have been fired. But my respect for Pollard came about not because of his decision to make a change, but rather in how he did it. And my dislike for Steve Pederson started with the clumsy process that forced Solich out and eventually led to Bill Callahan's hiring.

We really should be over this by now. But we're not. And I don't think we're going to anytime soon.

It's on both sides of the issue. Solich bashers are quick to jump on anything to blame on the Ohio coach, just like I'm quick to jump on anything that paints Nebraska's athletic director in a negative light.

I was reminded of this last week when Houston Nutt hit the news again last week. A Nutt supporter somehow got the idea that I was miffed at Pederson for failing to sign Nutt (even though I started the post by saying that Pederson even considering Nutt was a "head scratcher"; go figure) He did have a point that Nebraska fans need to move on.

Husker fans do need to move on, but I doubt it's going to happen. I'm going to try and refrain from revisiting the whole ugly coaching change...whether I'm going to be successful is another thing. The wounds still exist, and they aren't healing. That doesn't mean that I'm suddenly going to stop criticizing Steve Pederson if he does something I disagree with. It simply means we need to put December 2003 behind us, much like Frank Solich himself has. (Check out an interview from last week with Omaha radio station 1620 the Zone.)

In this season of peace, perhaps this is something both sides of the divide could strive for.


PlusDrew said...

Honestly, I see a lot of signs that it's not an issue anymore. And that mainly has to do with the fact that Callahan HAS been successful here. Not wildly successful, but more successful than Solich was in his last 4 years (sweeping the north, going to the Big 12 game).

I don't understand what's so hard about being a die-hard Husker fan, cheering for Bill Callahan's Huskers, and still keeping an eye on Ohio and giving a smile when Solich does something incredible, like take a perennial 3-4 win team to the league title game. Being happy that Solich has found success at Ohio doesn't mean that I'm mad he's still not in Lincoln. It's a moot issue anyways.

I was madder than hell the night I heard they fired Solich. Madder than I've been at any time 5 years previous or since. But I'm over it. Callahan is committed to his job, and I'm looking forward to see what a 5-6 year stretch under his leadership will do to the program.

AJ said...

I really don't think some fans will ever get over this. It's not because it's just a coaching change...but a lifestyle change. Not only is the coaching staff and style gone, but the mystique is gone too...despite the efforts of everybody to keep it.

I's interesting to watch from the outside, that's for sure.

Jason said...

Honestly, I'm surprised we're still talking about this.

Yes, the transition was handled poorly. But, that was three years ago. Callahan has had some success and there are many reasons to be optimistic for the future.

Change is hard for a lot of people. And the end of the Osborne era was a BIG change. But, he's not coming back and we're not going back to the option.

Time to let go.

Husker Mike said...

I think many Husker fans have put this behind them. But there are the folks on the extremes who haven't. Heck, I bet if I check my autopurge filter, I'd find a half-dozen anti-Solich messages in there.

tjelf said...

Who's this Frank Solich guy you guys are talking about?