Friday, September 20, 2013

What the Bo Pelini Rant Can Teach Us

Soon you will learn the power of this fully operational football coach
There is precisely one circumstance under which Nebraska fans will not forgive coach Bo Pelini for his Mamet-esque rant from a couple years back that just got released over at Deadspin, and that's if he fails to win enough games.

That's it. Nothing else matters - not the tut-tutting of the national media or the hand-wringing moralizing of folks who seem to have ignored exactly how college football operates. If Pelini wins games, the faithful that he told to eff off will laugh and shrug it off and talk about how he's fiery and a real competitor. They'll say that it's proof of how much he wants to win, or something to that effect. They'll say they forgive.

On the other hand, if he runs a couple of 4-8 years in a row, maybe with an early season loss to someone from the MAC, then all this will come flooding back. He will be flagged as disrespectful, and not the right guy to lead the program, and a bad example for the team (because football players are clearly delicate wilting chrysanthemums who have never heard a word that rhymes with "fire truck" before). You get the idea.

And if you doubt me, just remember: the reason Deadspin got the video was that someone was mad about the way the Huskers played this Saturday. One loss, and someone's digging up antique video to hand to a national publication that loves breaking scandals.

The message is clear. Losing is the only unforgivable sin. Win, and all the evidence of your bad behavior stays hidden, because you're giving the fan base what they want.

Lose, and you're in Deadspin.

And after that, you're gone.
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