Bo Pelini was not himself even during Saturday’s Tunnel Walk experience.
By Randy York
As much as Bo Pelini detests attention focused on him, Nebraska’s fifth-year head football coach should not be embarrassed about making a wise decision to put his health ahead of a football game last Saturday. He is, after all, a husband and a father in a close-knit family and a head coach in a football family that includes nearly 150 players, plus coaches and other staff members. Pelin knows Nebraska fans are everywhere, and he also knows that he’s in their thoughts and prayers.
Bob Feldman, who lives in Broomfield, Colo., pointed out that a lot has happened in the past three weeks, including a road loss and Bo’s unexpected halftime exit last Saturday for health reasons. “John Papuchis and Tim Beck did a heck of a job, along with the entire coaching staff Saturday,” Feldman wrote. “That should tell everyone that the entire program is focused, committed and dedicated to be the best they can be. I also think it reflects on Bo’s vision of what a great program should be. We are moving in the right direction, and we are very lucky to have Bo and all of the coaches as our leaders. Obviously, the players are a big part of the equation, and, in my opinion, our players have the best character in the nation. Thanks, Bo, and your entire staff for a complete team effort in a tough situation. These last three weeks will only make us better in the future when games really count. I am proud to be from Nebraska and a Husker supporter every day. Thank you, Tom, Bo, and everyone else for helping us understand why there is no place like Nebraska.”
Marv Carlock of Laird, Colo., insists that “all of Husker Nation was pulling for Bo and hoping he was okay,” he wrote. “Any comments posted by others in a negative way about Bo are fans from other teams that cannot hold a candle to Nebraska’s well-earned reputation. Yes, we have lost games and it is disappointing to lose when we do not play well. But at Nebraska, we always hope there’s another lesson in sports and in life, so we move on and do not live in the past. I wonder what people really think about when they post negative comments. Have they never made a mistake? Do they say the same things about themselves when they do? Probably not, and they need to know that at Nebraska, we cheer for our favorite team, win or lose. GO BIG RED!”
One Husker fan, Dennis Eschliman of Spokane Valley, Washington, could relate to Bo’s experience. “I hope that an angiogram was performed on Coach,” he wrote. “I had confusing signs in December and had all kinds of tests in the hospital, including a nuclear stress test and was sent home. In July, I had a heart attack which could have taken my life. There are so many things to look for, so Bo and his cardiologist remain in my prayers.”
Bruce Olson, who lives in Chicago, loved Ron Brown’s postgame perspective. “The interview and the article were much appreciated,” he wrote. “I’m a diehard Husker fan as well as a Christian, so please, keep this kind of article coming.” "Cheers Bo!" Lincoln’s Rick Hamik said. “We’re behind you 100 percent, and you are in our thoughts and prayers.”
We also should point out that more than a dozen Husker fans wrote the N-Sider wishing Bo a speedy recovery. They included Kevin Gragert, a warehouse manager at a chemical company in Albion, Nebraska. “Get well fast, Coach!!!!” he said using four exclamation points. “Your team and your coaches did a heck of a job!!!!!!!!” For those counting, the second statement included eight exclamation points.
Casey Sarnowski was watching the Huskers on TV in Citronelle, Alabama, when he learned that Pelini had been taken to the hospital. “I was concerned,” he said, “so I said a little prayer for our beloved coach and watched as my team and coaches did what they were meant to do. Even though we know Bo’s back, we continue to pray for him and his family. Nebraska is all about loyalty and tradition. Go Big Red!!!!!”
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