I used to have this little column in the sports section of a local publication. We called it the Tailgate. It was fun. As I clack away this Springsteen book, I thought it’d be fun to give myself something to do outside of raiding Bruce’s work. I also worry the local publication might have the rights to Tailgate. So this isn’t that. It’s the TaleG8, which works because it’s on the Internet and everything on the Internet has a stupid name. I’ll try and do this each Friday. A little sports. A little music. A little whatever.
Went to see the Zac Brown Band with a buddy Jack last week. Jack’s a Nebraska alum, and he made quick sport of pointing out other Nebraska fans in the crowd. There were many, and they were easily spotted because they were wearing Nebraska hats and were wrapped in Nebraska blankets.
Nebraska fans are a proud people and you can’t just say “fuck you” to them. You can’t even say you’d like to say “fuck you” to them. At least not if you’re the coach at Nebraska and coming off a loss. Mostly you shouldn’t come off a loss.
Deadspin unearthed a two-year-old tape of a pissed of Bo Pelini (is there any other kind?), and he does indeed say he’d like to say “fuck you” to the fans. But he began by saying he wanted to tell a member of the media, “Get the fuck away from me. I’m done with you, motherfucker.”
Which must have thrilled the fans. Fans love it when Coach puts the media in their place. To follow such a high with the realization that he thinks the same thing of some of the fans? Well that’s … pretty funny, actually. It sort of makes me love Pelini even more than I already do, and I love him a lot because his Rage Monster is an all star Rage Monster.
I’d pay for a channel that showed me nothing bot Pelini’s rage and Lane Kiffin’s confusion, Kiffin perpetually stuck with the look of the kid at the frat who thought he’d bought dope and instead got a bag of grass clippings.
Pelini’s crime was specificity. In Eugene, Mark Helfrich was too vague. Helfrich told reporters tight end Colt Lyerla missed last week’s game because of “circumstances.”
“Circumstances is extremely specific,” he told reporters, grinning.
Lyerla wasn’t too pleased, and he told the Oregonian’s Jason Quick just that. Naturally, everyone got mad at Quick, because the media’s just trying to bring down the home team, yaknow? (No it’s not.)
Secrecy is important these days. Not so much for a competitive edge, but because lord help us if the world discovers these state employees are paid seven figures to teach people to shove each other around. That’s still all football is.
Three games into his head coaching career, Helfrich is undefeated, so he can say whatever he wants, I suppose. But “circumstances” is a bad word. You rarely hear “circumstances” and think good things.
Circumstances being what they are … you probably shouldn’t return to your home until all the snakes are accounted for.
Given the circumstances … it’d be impossible to remove the umbrella without causing more damage. Sorry. You’ll just have to live with it.
Circumstances have changed … you’ll want to call your lawyer.
Anyhow, it was pointed out in more than one place this was all much ado about nothing. Which is true. Pretty much all the time.
Ray Wylie Hubbard at Mississippi Studios on Sunday
Ray’s all kinds of cool, and he was one of my favorite interviews last year. “I write what I know about,” he said, and what he knows about is all kinds of cool shit. Cool guitars. Cool amplifiers. Cool cars. Cool books. Cool grooves. And a whole bunch of cool places some of us might drive right past, or be terrified to walk into.
Live it’s like going for a ride with all those things through a dark Texas night.
[Photo: Todd Wolfson]