ESPN's SportsNation is trying to fill that summertime void by conducting an online vote for the best college traditions. Fair enough; it's summer time and we're waiting for football season to begin. The matchup is between Ohio State and Nebraska. Ohio State's tradition is the "Script Ohio" that the Buckeye Band forms each game, with one lucky individual getting the honor of dotting the "i". Great pagentry, and a great tradition.
So what was Nebraska's entry? A horseshoe.
Wait... a horseshoe? That's right, a horseshoe.
OK, let's forgive ESPN a bunch of ignorance. The horseshoe really is a bit part of a larger Nebraska tradition: the Tunnel Walk. Pretty cool tradition, mind you...but let's put it in perspective. It's less than 20 years old, and it was created by that rat b**rd Steve Pederson. Script Ohio is 58 years older and requires precise marching, and culminates with the honor of dotting the "i".
Sorry, but the Tunnel Walk loses that comparison. It's cool, just not that cool.
And frankly, Nebraska's traditions don't hold up that well against some of the rest of college football. When I heard of the Horseshoe being nominated, I racked my brains for something that could compete with "Script Ohio", and frankly, I couldn't come up with many. The fiftieth year of sellouts? That comes close, but it's not really an action you can point to. Sea of red? A lot of places dress in their school colors. Balloons after the first score? Maybe, but that's not very impressive. "Waving the corn" has some potential, but only about a third of the stadium does it, and besides, we stole it from Kansas. "Husker! Power!" is a good chant, as is "Gooooo Biiiiiiig Reeeeedddd! GOBIGRED!", but again, those chants aren't there either.
Doesn't make Nebraska football bad, just that we haven't identified that signature tradition that's only Nebraska. The Tunnel Walk might be there some day, but it's too new...and certainly not up to the same level of tradition as Script Ohio.
I'm sure that the word is being passed around once again to "vote for Nebraska" in this vote. Except we're not voting for Nebraska, but rather a tradition. And in this one, Ohio State's tradition is much better than Nebraska's. We're not voting for Bo Pelini, or for Jim Tressel here. We're not voting for Tommie Frazier or Terrelle Pryor. It's two traditions, and the tradition ESPN picked for Nebraska doesn't hold a candle to the other.
ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit caught his underwear in a huge wedgie when an ESPN discussion as to the best college football team ever came down to a question of 1971 vs. 1995 Nebraska. He accused Husker fans of stuffing the ballot box. When it's an argument like whether 1995 Nebraska was the best team ever (they are), whether 1994 Nebraska was better than 1994 Penn State (probably two touchdowns better), whether Ndamukong Suh was the best player in college football in 2009 (should have won the Heisman), or whether Tommie Frazier got screwed in this year's college football hall of fame vote (he did), Nebraska fans should jump in with their partisan opinion. And do it with confidence that it's the right thing to do.
But for the "horseshoe"?? Sit this one out, or vote for Ohio State. This isn't a vote Nebraska should win.