Today is October 1st, and I have accepted the NaBloWriMo challenge of a blog post a day every day in October, so, here goes.
I thought I'd write about the most important thing happening in this country today: The Nebraska-Wisconsin college football game. OK, maybe it's only the most important thing going on if you live in Nebraska or Madison, Wisconsin. Anyway, local media has been telling us how important this game is over and over for the last few weeks because:
1. It's the first conference game for Nebraska since they joined the Big Ten this year.
2. Both teams wear red and white and chant "Go Big Red"
3. Former Wisconsin coach, now A.D. Barry Alvarez has Nebraska ties (he played football at Nebraska in the '60s).
4. Both teams are ranked in the Top 10.
This is all very interesting, so why am I not excited? Or, rather, why am I not as excited as I feel I should be?
When the old Big Eight conference became the Big 12 by adding four Texas schools, it was huge. I knew everything about it, couldn't wait for the first game against one of the new schools. Of course, I was working for the newspaper at the time - since I had to read the sports section in detail every day, it all just sort of soaked in.
I think because this is a move, not an expansion, it all just seems overwhelming. I spent 40 years absorbing the football lore and history of the Big Eight/Big 12, and now I have to start from scratch with 11 new schools to learn about? Sorry Big Ten, I just can't switch gears that easily. (As a side note, the Big 12 lost two schools, and the Big Ten gained two - shouldn't they switch names?)
Well, the game starts in an hour and I'll be watching and rooting for a win for the Huskers (the pundits seem to consider them serious underdogs - I guess we'll see if they're overrated tonight), and I promise to try to gather some excitement for the Big Ten in general. (We've got a new rivalry with Iowa - that's going to be pretty cool). And a win tonight would go a long way toward building my enthusiasm. So Go Big Red! (Both of them. But mostly Nebraska.)