I must say I was impressed that Bo Pelini didn't wait for the inevitable question about his behavior to apologize to fans; he started his press conference with his mea culpa. He said what needed to be said yesterday, and from that perspective, I think this whole episode starts to calm down. (Nevermind some ESPN talking heads who still have to work through their material...) We'll see if we start seeing a "kindler, gentler" Pelini on the sideline.
I know that in certain segments of Husker fandom, Bo Pelini's apology isn't enough. I get that, but let's be honest: Tom Osborne was a special case, and aside from Turner Gill, there aren't a lot of men like that. When Pelini was being hired, I felt he had the biggest risk as he's rough around the edges. But he's got the biggest upside. Eventually, I think he'll learn how to manage his emotions better on the sideline.
One thing I didn't like was Bo's explanation of what happened with Carl Pelini and the TexAgs.com cameraman. When Bo said that Carl was trying to escort a player off the field, I thought back and asked "what player?" I didn't have access to the video at the moment, but I couldn't remember a player in that vicinity. Then the still pictures came out, and Carl's explanation fell on the floor. I don't blame Bo for this; as Carl's brother and boss, he took him at his word. That forced Carl to issue his own statement of apology today. Wouldn't you like to be a fly on the wall when Bo found out that Carl's tale was fiction?
Bottom line was that Saturday night was not the Pelini brothers finest night. But they survived, and hopefully they've learned some valuable lessons.
On the local sports scene, Ralston just inked a deal with the Omaha Lancers to build a new 3500 seat arena on the old Lakeview Golf Course. I'm not sure I see the logic in this development; it's going to use tax revenue from a proposed Menards home improvement store to pay for the $25 million arena. That might fly, except I don't see the relationship between Menards and an arena. I don't see a Menards store being dependent on the arena, so the arena is siphoning tax revenue away from the state that could be used on other programs. That's not to say that Omaha couldn't use another recreational ice skating facility, but I just don't see the value in a Ralston arena. Like the Trailer Park at BFE, it's government welfare for sports franchises. And right now, government has much higher priorities for our tax money.
Speaking of baseball, the folks trying to bring an independent league team to Omaha are turning up the heat on MECA to play at TD Ameritrade Park. They have a franchise in the new 16 team North American Baseball League and thought they had a deal with MECA...only MECA is now holding out due to concerns about the league's viability. It's curious to me why MECA wants to wait and see. It seems that these independent leagues twist and turn from year to year anyway. If the new league fails but the team is a success, they'll simply get absorbed into another league. If they're willing to pay MECA's price to play downtown, I'm not sure I see a reason why not. It would diminish concerns that some people have about the new ballpark sitting idle all year.