Friday, October 17, 2014

The Real Question: Do Husker Fans Like or Dislike Bo Pelini's Policy on the Blackshirts?

This morning at CornNation, Derek Hernandez asked whether the Blackshirts are dead at Nebraska.

The quick answer is:  No. (shakes head) No.  (shakes head)  No. (shakes head)
 So far, most CornNation users are avoiding the Trollbait. Some, more strongly (NSFW language) than others.

Most Husker fans know by now that Bo Pelini doesn't view the Blackshirts as an entitlement, but rather as a reward:  they are something that the defense earns. If Nebraska had somehow won at Michigan State, we probably would have seen them awarded afterwards. The defense certainly played well enough, I believe, to earn them in that game.

That Bo Pelini is handling the Blackshirts differently does NOT mean that Bo Pelini is killing the Blackshirt tradition. He's changing it.  But he's not getting rid of it.  Last August, I toured the facilities as part of the Husker Football 202 program and I assure you, references to the Blackshirts are EVERYWHERE inside of North Stadium.  If Bo Pelini were trying to get rid of the Blackshirts, he certainly would not have Blackshirt mentions everywhere inside the complex.

There is a question here that's probably worth asking though.  It's not whether whether the Blackshirt tradition is dead or not.  (That's uninformed at best and pure trollbait at it's worst.)  Rather, it's whether Husker fans like Pelini's policy on the Blackshirts?

Yes, the past tradition was that the starters on defense got the Blackshirts before the season started. And that worked for the first 40 years or so.  Something changed though, and since Hernandez brought the subject up, I'll respond.
What if that devil Bill Callahan pulled something like this?
Well, gee... actually he did.  Didn't stop Kevin Cosgrove from sporting the black, even though the defense didn't in 2007.  (But hey, don't let actual facts get in the way of a good tirade against Bo Pelini. Oh wait, here comes another "four losses" debate in response. Nevermind.)

I think that is the source of why most Nebraska fans aren't up in arms over when the Blackshirts are awarded.  Hernandez even acknowledges it:
"Blackshirts are earned on the field," Pelini said.
Husker fans remember how bad the defense was under Callahan, and most don't mind that Pelini makes the players earn it each season. Not all fans, mind you. Deep down, it really comes down to your core feelings on Pelini.  If you like Pelini, you probably like Pelini's policy.  If you don't like Pelini, this is just one more thing that Pelini is doing to destroy Nebraska football.

Some members of the media used to always ask Pelini about the Blackshirts, though now, they've let up on the question.  I suspect they are tired of it as well.  Evidence shows that Pelini will hand them out at some point, and when it happens, we'll hear about it then.

And hopefully, it's next week. Because it would mean that Nebraska's defense treated the city of Chicago to an exhibition of great defense on Saturday night.

And isn't that what Husker fans REALLY want?

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