Winging It, Vol. 19
THE YEAR IN REVIEW
4 -- In college bowling action, Florida State loses the National Championship
to the University of Tennessee when Tee Martin hits three strikes in a row to
pull out a win for the Volunteers. Meanwhile, FSU third-stringer Marcus
Outzen can only muster two spares and a strike and finishes with a league-low
11 -- In yet another badly-played postseason all-star game, the nation's top
college seniors all either injure or embarrass themselves in front of a
nationwide audience that consists of Billy Ray Poncier of Opelousas, La.
12 -- "Spawn" creator Todd MacFarlane buys Mark McGwire's No. 70 home run
ball at an auction for $3 million. At the same venue, "Batman" creator Bob
Kane purchases the University of Baylor's athletic department -- plus a free
souvenir beverage mug -- for $3.99.
15 -- The nation grabs its collective throat when a heavily-favored,
purple-clad football team with a quarterback wearing No. 7 loses an overtime
championship game inside a dome to a southern team following a fourth-quarter
collapse, thereby blowing a chance to play for the title.
16 --The Minnesota Vikings relocate to Manhattan, KS.
29 -- Millions of viewers from around the world tune in to Super Bowl
XXXXVMCMLVIII to watch manly beer commercials. Meanwhile, Denver wins its
second straight NFL championship, giving hundreds of thousands of
mountain-dwellers meaning and direction in an otherwise pointless existence.
2 -- Early-morning crowds flock to Pennsylvania to see if Joe Paterno can see
anything out his window without his glasses on.
12 -- President Clinton is acquitted by the U.S. Senate of two counts of
impeachment: Obstruction of Justice and Owning a Stupid Razorback Hog Head.
14 -- DeAngelo Evans sends a "Be My Valentine" card to his biggest admirer.
18 -- More than 36.1 million viewers tune in to "ER" to watch George Clooney
quit his job and move on to lucrative movie deals. The attention and fanfare
provides a trio of Husker players their first inkling that quitting might
just be the best way to get what you want.
24 -- Nebraska quarterback Bobby Newcombe complains of dyslexia symptoms to
the team doctor after having a recurring dream about catching passes, not
16 -- Nebraska's baseball team defeats Chicago State, of the Big Ten
Conference, 50-3 in a nonconference game. Shorty after the game is called via
Mercy Rule, Frank Solich offers NU baseball coach Dave Van Horn a job as
17 -- In Jedi-like fashion, a glowing apparition resembling Bob Devaney
appears at Duffy's Bar on 'O' Street, has a drink and then staggers over to
20 -- Nebraska quarterback Bobby Newcombe goes into a KFC and orders a
three-piece leg and thigh meal. Instead, he is given wings and backs.
27 -- "Shakespeare in Love" wins the Oscar for Best Picture, but only after
Academy voters learn that fellow nominee "The Thin Red Line" is about World
War II, not the '98 Nebraska front seven.
1 -- Rick Neuheisel, born on this date in 1989, celebrates his birthday.
14 -- Bill Byrne announces that because of injuries, the traditional
red-white Spring Game will be replaced with a big breakfast at Perkin's on
48th and O streets, where everyone will sit around and talk about the 1994,
1995 and 1997 teams. Admittance will be $35.
15 -- Athlon's, a college football preview magazine published annually by
Florida State's public-relations department, goes to print.
17 -- More than 62,000 fans brave wind, rain and cold to watch a quasi-game
and to look at skyboxes they'll never be able to afford. Down on the field,
the injured Red reserves beat the injured White reserves 27 to 12.
4 -- The Sporting News names Florida State Quarterback Chris Weinke as its
top Heisman Trophy favorite. Disappointed he came in at only No. 8, Peter
Warrick applies for a Dillard's charge card.
11 -- A bunch of Nebraska linemen graduate with 4.0 GPAs during Spring
Commencement. In a much more publicized story, Lawrence Phillips is signed by
the Barcelona Dragons of NFL Europe.
14 -- The Mountain West Conference, or Mowesco, holds its inaugural media day
and unveils its new motto: "MWC: Eight Teams No One Cares About."
19 -- "Star Wars: Episode I, The Phantom Menace" hits theaters, causing lines
in front of Lincoln movie theaters even longer than those at Memorial
Stadium, where hundreds of fans who attended the 1998 season finale are still
waiting to use the restrooms.
14 -- Street & Smith's College Football Preview hits newsstands. Amazingly,
Florida State is No. 1. The magazine's experts also pick Arizona as a team on
the rise and Kansas State as a team on the decline.
20 -- While flying home to Albuquerque for a visit, Nebraska quarterback
Bobby Newcombe is bumped from first class and must sit in a window seat with
a view of the back of the wing.
24 -- The National Collegiate Athletic Association begins building a case
against the Notre Dame football program after receiving a tip that the
school's starting quarterback, wide receiver and tailback are horses.
29 -- Marv Albert returns to NBC an announces he will do play-by-play for
Notre Dame games in the fall. Animal-rights activists picket NBC Sports.
4 -- Nebraska fans everywhere celebrate life, liberty and the right to
second-guess Frank Solich at every turn.
14 -- "The Blair Witch Project," an innovative mockumentary about three
missing college students who disappear in some woods north of Omaha, gives a
trio of Husker players their second inkling that vanishing from the scene can
get people's attention really quick.
17 -- Playboy's annual college football preview issue comes out, featuring a
centerfold of Ron Dayne with no clothes on. No one buys it except Florida
State fans, since their team is ranked No. 1.
28 -- Nebraska quarterback Bobby Newcome is visited by a African Wundu spirit
doctor, who tells him he'd be better off at wingback.
1 -- Two-a-days begin in Lincoln. All 136 members of the football team show
up, along with a couple of middle-aged fat guys who feel they owe it to the
team to be there because they refer to the Cornhuskers as "we."
21 -- Nebraska wingback Shevin Wiggins is arrested for allegedly fooling
around with a 14-year-old. Suddenly, Solich starts rubbing his chin when
watching Bobby Newcombe run the option in practice.
28 -- Following a 41-7 loss to Penn State in the Eddie Robinson Classic,
Arizona Coach Dick Tomey is shocked to learn that it is legal for your
defense to move after the opposing offense snaps the ball.
29 -- On TV, Notre Dame graduate Regis Philbin asks "Who Wants To Be A
Millionaire?" In a related story, Kansas agrees to play in South Bend against
the Fighting Irish for a fat payday. The money is earmarked toward the
Jayhawks' $6.5 million weight room project.
29 -- After learning that Bobby Newcombe will start against Iowa, reserve QB
Eric Crouch "quits" and leads a slow-speed pursuit from Lincoln to Millard in
his white Ford Bronco.
4 -- In the second half of Nebraska's 42-7 win over the hapless Hawkeyes, UI
Coach Kirk Ferentz orders his offense to punt on first down to avoid any
8 -- Correll Buckhalter disappears from campus. Buckhalter returns to the
Huskers three days later, claiming he was simply in line for the bathroom
with the rest of the folks at Memorial Stadium.
11 -- Nebraska's dreams of a first-class sports facility come true at last
with the opening of a $36.1 million press box renovation and stadium
improvements. The new Memorial Stadium features comfortable seating,
excellent visibility, state-of-the-art accommodations and nearly three
14 -- Dissatisfied with being unable to carry the ball at least four times
each play, DeAngelo Evans quits the team. Taking a cue from Evans, all the
offensive linemen also walk out, demanding the right to have normal-sized
15 -- Out of the clear blue sky, Bobby Newcombe suggests he switch to
9 -- The Notre Dame horses apologize to the NCAA, then sign huge NFL
20 -- Nebraska center Dominic Raiola has a few choice words for the Texas
Longhorns, the "Dallas" TV series, the show "Walker, Texas Ranger," George
Dubya Bush and oil in general. Solich reprimands the kid for shooting his
28 -- Frank Solich is reprimanded by the Big 12 conference for shooting his
mouth off about Texas referees.
30 -- Seeing the first results of its new weight room, Kansas pushes Nebraska
around Lawrence for three quarters before suddenly realizing they are still
Kansas and that they still have a coach that looks a lot like a Pokemon.
6 -- UNL police arrest Memorial Stadium ticket-taker Roger Baskerville of
Washington, Kan., on suspicion of letting in groups of fans without tickets.
Investigations show that he may have been doing this for years. An appalled
Bill Byrne reminds all ticket takers that only friends and family of athletes
can get in without paying.
7 -- With an eye on the Nov. 26 Colorado game in Bill McCartney's old house,
Ralph Brown becomes a Promise Keeper, announcing that Nebraska "will not
lose" to Kansas State.
18 -- True item: Kansas defensive tackle Dion Rayford gets stuck in a
drive-thru window of a Taco Bell when he tries to go after employees who left
a chalupa out of his order. This one doesn't need any embellishing.
26 -- In his worst display of clock management yet, Solich mistakes the end
of the third quarter with the end of the game with his Huskers leading
Colorado 27-3. With the Huskers celebrating in the locker room, Colorado
rallies to tie the score on an eight-play, 65-yard drive with two minutes
remaining in the game. However, the Buffs run out of steam in overtime and
4 -- Nebraska wins the Big 12 title after it is learned that Texas actually
seceded from the nation back in 1865 and is ineligible for intercollegiate
6 -- Tom Osborne is named "Coach of the Decade" by ESPN, who cited his three
national titles as a major contributor to their selection. Later, the network
publishes a list of "tainted titles," with the 1997 Husker Miracle In
Missouri making the cut.
18 -- A whole bunch of blue chip recruits are "impressed" with Nebraska, but
are worried about "freezing their asses off." So they go to Notre Dame and
25 -- The Demon Deacons beat the Sun Devils in the Pentagram Bowl.
27 -- BYU, who cupcaked their way to a perfect season in '84, gets it in the
karma shorts again by getting whipped by unbeaten Marshall, one year after
losing their bowl to unbeaten Tulane.
28 -- More than 65,000 Texas A&M fans pack the Alamodome to find that Texas
teams still can't win in that place.
31-- The 20th Century ends on a hopeful note when Terry Bowden's microphone
is deemed Y2K noncompliant and shuts down permanently.
See you in 2000.
Countdown to the Milloonium. Play Infuriating Husker Trivia in THE POND,
Home of Nebraska's RED CLAD LOON.