Thursday, June 09, 2011

Thursday Night Beer: Sleep Deprived Out-of-Office Edition

It's been a busy week out-of-town, so here are some belated quick takes.

Darin Erstad. There are two ways to take Erstad's hiring as the new head coach for Husker baseball: (1) Tom Osborne was bold, or (2) Tom Osborne was lazy and gave it to one of his former players.  Which one is correct? It comes down to your perspective, I guess. I lean towards the "bold" label. Erstad is an intense player who should bring instant name recognition when he's out recruiting. Lee Barfknecht calls him a "rock". The lack of experience doesn't necessarily mean it's a bad hire either. Larry Dieker had never coached before becoming manager of the Houston Astros. They won the division four out of five seasons.

TD Ameritrade Park and Flooding. At this point, I'm not terribly concerned; it'll take a lot more flooding to make it there. If anything, I'd be concerned about the Qwest Center. That being said, getting there may be difficult for people who drive in, just based on the flooding on the Iowa side of the river.

Big Ten Network: I'm not quite sure what's going on between the Big Ten Network and local cable companies like Cox in Omaha or Time Warner in Lincoln, but it's definitely a power play. It's a confusing story, as Jim Delaney seems to indicate that the Big Ten Network might not televise any Nebraska games until some of these other cable companies sign an upgraded contract. I'm thinking I don't have an issue, as my cable company added BTN last December to their basic cable package. But if the Big Ten decides to pocket the broadcast rights and refuse to televise the games, who knows what will happen.  My best guess is that Cox and Time Warner are trying to hold the Big Ten to an older "out of area" deal, as BTN charges cable companies outside the Big Ten region less than they charge companies in Big Ten areas.  When the cable companies signed up with BTN, Nebraska was a "proud member of the Big XII" and thus "out of the area".  Now that's changed, and the Big Ten wants the deal upgraded. And the leverage is Nebraska football.

Eric Crouch:  With the word that Eric Crouch was trying out for the Omaha Nighthawks, the almost predictable knee-jerk reaction of "quitter" came back. I've never quite understood the disdain some people have for Crouch around here. Did he quit the NFL? Yes... he decided he didn't want to play wide receiver. After watching him get lit up over the middle in his last preseason game, I kind of see why.  But the whole "quit the Huskers" thing? Let me ask a question: how many practices did he miss?  So he went back to talk to his old high school coach? Big deal. How many players talk to their high school coach after they graduate? Remember, Millard North is less than a one hour drive from Lincoln. And let's remember something else: Eric Crouch was clearly a better quarterback than Bobby Newcombe. Newcombe was an exciting open field runner, but he wasn't half the quarterback Crouch was.

Squeakball:  I may have to turn Twitter off for the evening, as I'm getting way too many confusing tweets from people that are apparently watching the Not Basketball Association.  I guess there was a game tonight. Me, I'm looking forward to game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final tomorrow night. Being on the road, I missed games 3 and 4 which turned out to be blowouts. But the first two games were pretty darn good.

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