Huskers don’t plan to be nice to Horns

Video in­di­cates this Oct. 16 is cir­cled on Ne­braska cal­en­dars

Austin American-Statesman - - SPORTS - CEDRIC GOLDEN

Ne­braska foot­ball fans have long been ad­mired and re­spected na­tion­wide for the class they have shown dur­ing de­feats.

They chanted “Heis­man! Heis­man!” in 1998 when Ricky Wil­liams ran for 150 yards in the Longhorns’ 20-16 vic­tory that snapped Ne­braska’s 47-game home win­ning streak.

They ap­plauded as Texas left the field in 2002 af­ter Nathan Vasher in­ter­cepted Jam­mal Lord’s pass near the end zone to pre­serve yet an­other Texas road win.

Now re­spect has turned to angst, as the Huskers have sent a mes­sage that the nor­mally friendly con­fines of Lin­coln’s Me­mo­rial Sta­dium will be any­thing but friendly. The uni­ver­sity, in con­junc­tion with the Omaha World-Her­ald and UNL Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, pro­duced a video on the web­site www. red­outaroundthe­ that ba­si­cally says cir­cle Oct. 16 on your cal­en­dars. (Red ink is a must, I would guess.) That’s the date the Longhorns will visit the Huskers in what could be the last reg­u­lar-sea­son game played be­tween the two schools.

There is a per­cep­tion in the Husker state that Texas never fully em­braced Ne­braska as a mem­ber of the Big 12, and now that per­cep­tion has be­come fuel for this 13-game ri­valry — Texas leads 9-4, in­clud­ing an 8-1 record in Big 12 games — even though Ne­braska ath­letic di­rec­tor Tom Os­borne did have the words “Beat Texas” taken off the last part of the video.

There’s noth­ing like one team leav­ing a con­fer­ence for an­other to add a lit­tle spice to what was go­ing to be a good foot­ball game any­way. And for what it’s worth, this will be the sixth game of the sea­son. Last I checked, the Huskers lost five starters off the nation’s sev­enth-ranked de­fense and one of those was Ndamukong Suh, who was ar­guably the best player in the coun­try. Let’s not look past those first five games, Huskers. There’s plenty of time to hype what’s shap­ing up to be the game of the year in the Big 12. We can wait.

* * * When will these ath­letes learn that this codeine thing is no joke?

With Hous­ton-area rap­pers drop­ping like flies — surely some­one out there has heard of the “Screwed Up Click” — it’s still baf­fling that NFL play­ers are still rid­ing around with this stuff in their cars.

Add for­mer Texas A&M de­fen­sive tackle Johnny Jolly to that list.

Con­tin­ued from C1

The Green Bay Packer was popped a cou­ple of years ago for pos­sess­ing 200 grams of codeine out­side a Hous­ton night­club. Now the NFL has sus­pended him for the 2010 sea­son, per­haps be­yond.

The sus­pen­sion is the least of his prob­lems. He could do 20 years in prison if con­victed. All that for a drug that’s played a role in the deaths of many young peo­ple, who are us­ing it to make a con­coc­tion known as “pur­ple drank” or “siz­zurp.”

No doubt the Pack­ers saw this com­ing a cou­ple of years ago. That could ex­plain why they used their first-round pick in 2009 to se­lect Bos­ton Col­lege tackle B.J. Raji be­fore adding Pur­due’s Mike Neal with a sec­ond-round pick in 2010. Some­thing tells me that con­coc­tion wasn’t worth the $535,000-plus salary that Jolly will leave on the ta­ble this fall.

Of course the Pack­ers re­leased the typ­i­cal ourthoughts-are-with-youthrough-this-dif­fi­cult-time state­ment, which ba­si­cally means, “Kid, you re­ally messed up and we wish you well, but you prob­a­bly won’t be play­ing for us in the fu­ture.”

* * * Free agent wide­out Ter­rell Owens fi­nally re­vealed the rea­son few NFL teams have of­fered him a deal wor­thy of his im­mense tal­ent. Ready for this one? It’s the me­dia. The slimy me­dia have por­trayed Owens in a neg­a­tive light and soiled his pris­tine im­age. He says the me­dia have por­trayed him as a trou­ble­maker, which has cooled some NFL teams on sign­ing him.

“A lot of peo­ple have lis­tened to a lot of the com­men­taries through­out a lot of the me­dia out­lets, mainly ESPN, that has my char­ac­ter in ques­tion as far as things that have hap­pened in the past,” Owens told could face 20 years in prison if con­victed of codeine pos­ses­sion. a Nashville ra­dio sta­tion. “And I think even though I may do 99 good things right and if I do one thing wrong, ESPN and the peo­ple on there is gonna make it out to be the worst thing ever.”

And while we’re at it … The me­dia must have told Carolina Pan­thers linebacker Jon Bea­son to say Owens would be a bad fit as a Pan­ther be­cause the team thought locker room chem­istry was im­por­tant. (Bea­son back­tracked on those com­ments a cou­ple of days later).

The me­dia also per­suaded the Bal­ti­more Ravens to take a pass on T.O. de­spite that team hav­ing one of the tight­est locker rooms in the league, led by the in­domitable Ray Lewis.

If I may, on be­half of the me­dia, I would like to apol­o­gize to Mr. Owens for our role in him not be­ing a mem­ber of an NFL team to­day. It was a cal­lous act by us, with the in­tent of de­stroy­ing his cred­i­bil­ity and hurt­ing his rep­u­ta­tion as a team guy.

Ter­rell, ac­cept this apol­ogy. Who wouldn’t want you on their team? We’re talk­ing about a player who is ar­guably one of the three best re­ceivers to ever play the game. You have never had a run-in with the law. You have never had any re­ported prob­lems with al­co­hol or drugs. You keep your­self in peak phys­i­cal con­di­tion and, at age 36, you have the chis­eled physique of a 25year-old.

I hope those kind words will help even though noth­ing will take away the hurt we caused by black­balling you, Mr. Owens.

Shame on us. Free agent Ter­rell Owens, most re­cently of the Buf­falo Bills, is blam­ing lack of in­ter­est in his ser­vices on the neg­a­tive im­age cre­ated by the na­tional me­dia — es­pe­cially ESPN.

David Duprey

Johnny Jolly

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