Being one of the many who did not attend a large university, specifically a school that does not have a large football program, NCAA football has somewhat fallen off for me.
But then I found a 35 year old, first-time father playing a video game. And it has completely reinvigorated my love for college football.
Like others, who didn’t go to a big school, everyone has a story as to why they root for a particular team in college football.
“My friend’s brother went to Alabama, so I’ve always rooted for them.”
Yeah… Sure man, I’m sure all their winning had no effect.
*Roll Tide though*
“I always liked those colors as a kid.”
“My dad/uncle played for them 40 years ago.”
“My family has always liked Notre Dame, so they will always be my team.”
The list can go on and on, but truth be told, the following is how I came to root for the Cornhuskers.
Twenty years ago I was entering high school. That sounds absolutely crazy to say, but it’s true. It was at that time I can remember finding out Eric Crouch was somehow related to me. Umm yeah, the Heisman winner, that Eric Crouch. Yeah he’s pretty good. Whether he’s my 2nd or 3rd cousin, who knows. It doesn’t matter. But it’s true. (Eric had my brother and I up to Canada to stay for a week and see him play for the Toronto Argonauts, true story. What up, cuz.)
Anyway, Nebraska was the team I had. Bingo. They were red & white. My high school was red & white (shout-out OCHS).
Okay, fast forward 20 years… I’m 34 now, and I just can’t give 100% to sports team number 6 or number 7 on my priority list. We already have the Eagles, Phillies, Flyers, Sixers, Tottenham (#COYS), Golf, College Football….
I have work and a family. (No family, who am I kidding, but I own a dog!)
So for me, college football fell off. I stopped caring, really.
Phillies won a World Series!
Eagles won a Super Bowl!
Tottenham made the Champions league finale!
Tiger was back!!
The Process was finally in the stage we’d been waiting for!!
The Flyers….ehh…well, things are looking up!
I mean I was betting college football. Let’s not get crazy here. I didn’t just forget about it. But when you’re betting, you aren’t caring who wins or loses. You care who makes you money. There is no passion or love for one team or conference.
Then this pandemic stopped everything, like out of a Stephen King movie.
After 11 weeks with no sports, I found myself waking up at 5:00 AM to watch Korean baseball. Bored out of my mind, without real competitive competition, I learned chess and became okay at it. Definitely not good, but I can play.
Out of nowhere, Coach Duggs introduced me to what Florida State, USC, Texas Tech, and now Tennessee football seasons are like. And maybe it’s because there are no sports to watch, so I’m stretching or diggggggging deep to feel that “love” sports give us. But I began to follow every night around 9 PM the NCAA video game played live on Twitch.
(It’s actually really crazy right now. 70k people tuned in to watch Coach Duggs, the Texas Tech Red Raiders HC, win his latest trophy – a Cotton Bowl win.)
So who is this Coach Duggs?
If you follow the Barstool Sports accounts on any social media, you have heard of Duggs. A husky/younger version of Andy Reid. An offensive coordinator turned head coach, created by Dan Katz of Barstool Sports.
In short, he plays NCAA Football 2014 on XBOX360 and live streams the games on Twitch. You can stream it right to your TV as you would Netflix or YouTube.
But as soon Coach Duggs won the Cotton Bowl, he was gone. The fictional college football coach left Texas Tech and headed for the SEC to coach the Vols. Twitter went into an uproar. 100k retweets and official college universities chirping Coach Duggs.
That was it, I was sold. I thought to myself, “I’m going to get back into Nebraska Football.”
With the quickest screenshot I’ve ever executed, I saved the Huskers’ 2019 schedule and quickly cropped out the results on the far right. I then turned YouTube into my own personal Netflix. Sportsflix, really.
You can watch any college football game you want on there, literally just type in the matchup. I can watch the 20-minute highlight film from each week, or I can watch the 40-minute recap (shows every single play, no interruptions). Each week is a new episode. Honestly I have no idea what games they won or lost last year. It’s like a miniseries that I’m just binge-watching.
Currently I just finished Episode 5 of the ‘19 Huskers season.
#5 Ohio State just came into Lincoln and HANDED us a home loss. Martinez, our QB, looked like he was in a completely different game. He was playing high school football (chuck it up or pull it down and run). Granted, Ohio State is ELITE and made him look absolutely terrible. But to be clear, he has dramatically underperformed this season so far. Not the best first few episodes for one of the stars of this show.
As of now, here are a few of my thoughts on this cast of characters after the first 5 episodes:
- That Colorado (week 2) loss was one of the most painful things to watch. Scott Frost, that is on you. We brought you in so that kinda stuff DOESN’T HAPPEN.
- Martinez is not the answer as of now. Turnover x1000
- Defensively, I trust #21 and #23.
- DLine is solid; they get great pressure.
- Our linebackers are not good. #31, #5, #7, and #30 need to step up. They can blitz, that’s about it. Can’t cover and can’t tackle.
- #1, #28, #10 are the highlights of the offense, OL looks real solid too.
- #26 is always solid when he gets a chance to touch the ball.
- TE isn’t bad either, reminds me of Kyle Brady.
- Martinez just doesn’t look at any option past 1(X), 2(RB Flat), or 3(run).
But do you see? Do you see the madness here??
I’m breaking down the 2019 Nebraska Cornhuskers football team on a Tuesday night in May.
One can only handle so many serial killer documentaries, rewatching Roy Halladay’s perfect game, or the Eagles’ AMAZING Super Bowl run. I mean, this season of Survivor wasn’t bad, and The Challenge on MTV has been good so far. But I needed sports that I really didn’t know the outcome to. I needed a new Netflix series that encapsulated the love we have for sports and to be invested.
Coach Duggs may not have a stop in Lincoln, but he has awoken my love for the red & white. I can’t wait to finish this season and get ready for the next.
You better bet your bottom dollar I’m taking a trip to Lincoln in the future too. I’ll be there with my #7 Crouch jersey, in God’s country, living my best post-quarantine life.