Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Shatel on Callahan, and Big XII to Omaha?

I'd like to post a link to Tom Shatel's interview with Bill Callahan in Sunday's World-Herald, but the daily Fishwrap has decided not to post Shatel's columns online. But I will post a few quotes that I did like: (For what it's worth, AJ the HuskerH8r didn't like 'em...)
"We need more depth. We have more competition, across the board. I respected what Frank (Solich) did, what Tom (Osborne) did. I have great admiration for what they achieved. But when you have a different system, ev­erybody has a profile for what they want in their system. I’m not critical of that. I’m just trying to go out and find the players who can fit what we do. If we don’t, we try to work around it. That’s coaching."
"The players wouldn’t need you if they were that good. I remember sitting in a draft room, and we were saying this guy can’t do this, he can’t do that. Al Davis turned around and said, “Well why do we need you then? Why did we hire you?”
Q. How comfortable are you as a college coach at Nebraska?
A. On a scale of 1 to 10? Ten. I enjoy it. I have a passion for this. I take that as a great responsibil­ity every day I wake up. Right next to my mirror in the bath­room, I have (a photo) that Big 12 championship trophy looking at me right in the eye.

Q. What does your wife think about that?
A. She’s fine with it. I don’t know if she looks at it or not. But I look at it.
Q. Some people assume you have a burning desire to get back to the NFL. True?
A. I’m trying to stay here. I think that’s a general perception. Just because you come from that league, people automatically as­sume that you want to go back. I get a chuckle out of it as I watch Pete Carroll go through this. I can’t tell you how many times people have him going to the NFL, and there he is, he’s still sit­ting there, in Southern Califor­nia. It’s natural, if you win big.
I’m happy. I hope this is it. I want to be here. I said that from day one, I’d like to finish my ca­reer at Nebraska. I hope we have the good fortune to do that. But in order to do that, you have to pro­duce. It’s a production business, let’s face it.
Overall, it was a pretty good interview. Although I disagree with some of Callahan's answers, he was forthcoming and the interview is a good start towards healing the divisions in Husker Nation.

One answer did disappoint me greatly:
Q. How often do you talk to Coach Osborne? He’s at Creigh­ton now. Would you like to have him here?
A. I wrote him shortly after re­cruiting and corresponded that he is always welcome to come here, to a practice, to come up­stairs and visit. We want the door open to him and the former play­ers. I’ve done a lot to open the avenues to our former players. You know, it’s amazing to me, a guy is on the radio one day (blast­ing Callahan), and the next day he’s touring our facility.
You don't have your secretary write Tom Osborne a letter. You personally call him, and personally ask him to come in and ask him for his input. That doesn't mean that you have to do everything that Tom Osborne thinks you should do, but you should actively seek out his opinion on things and use him as a sounding board.

The former players aren't dumb; they recognize the half-hearted attempt.

More interesting news this week is the chance of the Big XII basketball tournament coming to Omaha in a future year. Likely? Probably not. While Omaha's facilities are probably acceptable, I think there won't be the political capital in the Big XII to bring the tournament to Omaha outside of Lincoln and maybe Ames.

The bad part of this bid is that it might conflict with the UNO Mavericks during the CCHA playoffs, which might force the Mavs on the road if they make the 2nd round. Perhaps there is a way to tweak the schedule to fit the games in around the Big XII tournament; playing in the morning or early afternoon on Saturday at the Civic, Sunday evening at the Civic or Qwest Center, and then a 3rd game on Monday. Probably not good for UNO hockey fans, but getting Big XII basketball would be a great get for Omaha.

Speaking of the Mavs, they are announcing new plans for season tickets for next hockey season, featuring a $99 season ticket for some seats. That's downright cheap, and a great value for families. Props to whomever came up with this plan. I'm excited about the possibilities for next season.


Corn Nation said...


If Tom Osborne gets actively involved in whatever Callahan is doing it is not a good thing.

If Callahan succeeds, then people will say that it was Osborne's influence that made it successful. If Callahan fails, then it's Callahan's fault. Either way, Bill Callahan is screwed.

He and Steve Pederson either have to succeed or fail without Osborne's involvement.

Tom Osborne truly needs to stay the hell out of everything EXCEPT his relationnships with his former players and coaches, otherwise he will be perceived as meddling.

Husker Mike said...

If Bill Callahan truly wants to spend the rest of his coaching career coaching the Nebraska Cornhuskers, Tom Osborne probably won't be around at the end of that term. Likewise, it will be tough to credit Osborne for Callahan's success if Bill Callahan has a 20 to 30 year run of success.

Bob Stoops isn't afraid of Barry Switzer. Bill Callahan shouldn't be afraid of Tom Osborne. If it can happen in Norman, Oklahoma, it can happen in Lincoln, Nebraska.