The new ribbon boards have been installed in Memorial Stadium on the east and west balconies, giving the HuskerVision crew plenty of time to play with their new toys. I'm anxious to see them in action; if used properly, these boards can really add to the atmosphere of the game. Additional game statistics, auxiliary scoreboards, and brief animations to pump up the crowd used judiciously will benefit everybody and correct some of the sins of the 2006 expansion. Steve Sipple's concerns about overwhelming or commercializing the atmosphere have been mitigated at Nebraska, unlike at other venues where the whole game turns out be a non-stop commercial. They keep much of the commercials silent, but could do a better job of delaying some of their canned features after touchdowns.
One thing that sadly won't be changing is the insipid "Power of Red" banners; they're going digital as well. I had hoped that Steve Pederson's firing would have been the end of that slogan, but no... it lives on. Turns out that the signs will be going digital, which means that sometimes the "Power of Red" will disappear for something else... maybe something useful like another adidas advertisement. It's not that I want more advertising in Memorial Stadium; I just find the "Power of Red" to be annoyingly stupid; what does it mean really? The color has some sort of power? Whatever it supposed to mean; it's lost. And on game days when that asinine banner gets pulled over the student section, it's about as subtle as Mark Levin railing at President Obama.
Steve Gow, of the Lake County (MN) News Chronicle, reports that UNO hockey coach Dean Blais has an out clause in his contract that allows him to pursue the Minnesota head coaching position if it opens up. Big deal? Probably not; that's the risk UNO has to take to hire a Dean Blais. Minnesota is a top school in hockey --- and the alma mater for Blais. Maybe that explains all of the focus on Mike Hastings, but from my perspective, that's a bridge to cross when that time comes. If Blais and Hastings have made the anticipated impact on UNO when Blais decides to leave, then Hastings will most assuredly be the leading candidate to take over at that point. If not, he should just be a potential candidate in the mix.
UNO has started a rather cool promotion; fans can request a UNO flag to fly outside their home. Many people around the state fly "N" flags for the Huskers; it's a revenue creator for Nebraska. For UNO, it's not a revenue producer, but rather an advertising medium. UNO could spend hundreds of dollars to buy billboards around town...or give away 3' x 5' flags to their fans who'll fly them in neighborhoods across town. It's a subtle way to not only put your brand out there, but also to show that people in this town do care about UNO. My request went in, and Durango will be flying along with my Husker flag this fall.
Coming up tomorrow at CornNation; my preview of Iowa State. I'm halfway through the opponents so far, and let me tell you, it's a lot easier to do these previews for conference opponents than Sun Belt foes.