Monday, October 06, 2008

Monday Night Beer: Daniel's Smack Falls Flat

Chase Daniel has gotten a lot of mileage from his allegations of "dirty" play by the Huskers. The charge? A Husker spit on him in pre-game warmups. Since then, both Missouri coach Gary Pinkel and Bo Pelini have investigated, and neither staff found much of substance. In fact, the whole charge simply doesn't make much sense. First of all, what was Missouri's Heisman Trophy candidate quarterback doing all by himself within spitting distance of the Huskers during pre-game warmups? And why wait until after the game to bring it up, and through the news media no less?

And while gross and not sportsmanlike, it's not really "dirty". (Until the offenders own up to this, I suggest that the team not get their post-game snack after the Texas Tech game.) When I first heard of the charge, I figured it had to do with Zac Potter's personal foul after hitting Daniel early in the first quarter. But while it was a helmet-to-helmet hit, it wasn't late at all. In contrast, while reviewing my recording of the game to find the Potter hit, I noticed a Sean Weatherspoon late hit on Joe Ganz, who had just fired a touchdown pass to Nate Swift. Weatherspoon, who wasn't flagged, took two steps and launched into Ganz helmet first. No flag, either for initiating contact with the helmet or for the late hit. One late hit doesn't make either team "dirty" however.

It was a rough night for the officials, who also failed to stop the clock when Nate Swift caught a pass and ran out of bounds with 1:05 left in the first half. A couple of questionable calls involving Denario Alexander. In the first quarter, getting a pass interference call on Anthony West even though the only way he would have caught the ball was out of bounds. In the second quarter, Alexander could have been flagged for offensive interference on Armando Murillo's interception attempt.

But don't get me wrong...the officals didn't cost the Huskers this game. The Tigers stomped the Big Red fair and square. Nebraska needs to get the penalty situation ironed out...and quickly. When you have 14 penalties and go minus-two on turnovers against a great team like Missouri, you're begging for a 52-17 butt-kicking.

Wow...14 penalties? Enough is enough, gentlemen (and I use the term loosely). That includes the staff as well. Time to start playing smarter out there.

I've got to be honest here. There has been absolutely zero buzz about UNO hockey this offseason. Even the media and coaches picked them eighth in the CCHA in the preseason polls. But suddenly, some buzz started to come out of the team itself. First head coach Mike Kemp:
"We're going to be a different looking team from what we've been the past few years. We're bigger and stronger, but we've also been able to maintain a lot of our team speed."
Then senior Dan Charleston:
"We have a really fast team, a lot faster than the last three teams I've been on here with the Mavericks."
The biggest criticism of UNO hockey in recent years is that the Mavs have been fast, but vastly undersized. Best example is the 9-2 squashing that Boston University put on the Mavs in the 2006 NCAA regional. Bigger and faster? If that's for real, and not some preseason marketing hype, this could be exactly what UNO hockey needs.

UNO might also get some promotional marketing out of Governor Sarah Palin once the election is over. (Heck, she says "Mavericks" enough that they've made a drinking game out of it!) Last night, Palin gave a speech in downtown Omaha at the run-down Civic Auditorium and was awarded one of UNO's cursed black sweaters from the Mavs horrible 2003-04 season where they finished dead last. Hopefully, she'll wear it proudly! Of course, I'm sure that'll go over well in her home state with University of Alaska Nanook fans...especially when UNO heads to Fairbanks in mid January.

(Two Palin comments in a week? Is this suddenly becoming a political blog?)


PlusDrew said...

I caught at least two separate occasions when the clock didn't stop after a player ran out of bounds. Thought that was kind of bizarre.

I really hate Chase Daniel because of his mouth, but I've not seen a more impressive player in the Big XII that I can remember.

AJ said...

To be fair Mike, Daniel hasn't mentioned any of it since the post-game interview. When pressed on Monday by Missouri based reporters, he refused to comment and said it was in the past.

Not sure where you're coming from on the whole 'won't let it die' comment. If anything, the media is looking for something interesting to talk about after a very uninteresting game.

And again, even if it was a big deal...why would he make it up? What on earth would he have to gain from it? Especially if he wasn't going to name names?

He basically said.."They talked trash, one dude spit on me...they play dirty...we shut them up".

I agree with you though that this isn't a big deal..even if the entire defensive line spit on him. He has scoreboard. Move on.

Husker Mike said...

I never said that Daniel "wouldn't let it die". I just said that he leveled the charge and it's ran non-stop ever since. It's gotten much more play than it deserves, especially the "play dirty" comment. Problem is that everybody has now heard Daniel's charge nationwide.

huskerhater7 said...

UNO hockey was the best part of my 4 years in Omaha. You think Pelini gets the skers on track this year?