I grew up believing that the football fans from Nebraska were boorish hicks with little but their team's history of beating up on other schools to bolster their questionable self-esteem. Win or lose (and back in the olden days it was more often the latter) we at the University of Colorado would take solace in the fact that at least we didn't have to live in Lincoln - and we weren't above reminding visiting Husker fans of this fact as they left our stadium. Loudly.
Times, it would seem, have changed. Now the boorish-ness appears to have jumped the prairie and landed squarely in Boulder, Colorado. Officials ordered two sections filled with students emptied in the fourth quarter of Colorado's 30-3 loss to Nebraska on Friday after water bottles and other debris were thrown onto the field. That was pretty bad - made worse only by the fact that the game was being nationally televised. Oops.
CU coach Gary Barnett said he went over to the sections in an attempt to calm down fans, but they couldn't hear him. "The students were just frustrated with the game and the way it was going," Barnett said. "They expressed that. I don't have much else to say. I bear the responsibility for the way our team played."
Okay Gary, fair enough - but about the time you staple this together with the recent "troubles" experienced by the University of Colorado Buffaloes (they lead the conference in fostering an environment hostile to female students and using a school cell phone to set up sexual liaisons), you start to feel like maybe losing a few games and maintaining a certain moral high ground might not be so bad.
We used to mock the Cornhuskers and their fans with our notions of life beyond the gridiron. Now we are mired in the same muck that used to follow those "elite" teams. Big-Time College Football has come to Boulder. Lincoln doesn't look so bad after all.