Game Week: Fresno State (2014)
The cover photo in this week’s slideshow (below) shows Ameer Abdullah destroying the hopes and dreams of 8 young men. While he destroyed them, I cheered wildly. I laughed and high-fived my dog and never even began to pity the 8 young men who had come halfway across the country only to almost pull off an enormous, season-making upset, then have it pulled out from under them at the last minute by Superman. This is why sports are neat. Nobody really wants Rudy to win.
God, that game was awful. I know it’s greedy and entitled of me but I really look forward to those McNeese St. games on the schedule because I assume it’ll be the one week of the year I don’t gnaw my fingernails off by the third quarter. But oh well. The ending was so crazy fun I’m willing to forgive the fact that the rest of the game forced me to start drinking in my pajamas. FORCED ME!
This week in the tunnel, well, I won’t even spoil anything for you. I’m excited for you to read it. Follow TWOS on Twitter for stupid jokes all week long and I’ll see you back here next week to get prepared for the Miami game by remembering Cory Schlesinger’s Top 100 Fullback Traps.
Game Week: McNeese State? (2014)
JORDAN WESTERKAMP CAUGHT A BALL HE COULDN’T SEE BEHIND HIS BACK AND STAYED IN BOUNDS.
Sorry. Still getting over that one. And still getting used to watching the Huskers actually manhandle a team. That was nice, wasn’t it? It’s way more fun than biting our nails while Wyoming drives down the field. Also, it gives us the opportunity to identify which people are shitheads by listening for someone who says, “Oh yeah they did what they were supposed to do BIG DEAL.” Those, for the record, are people who are unimpressed by a team that met their highest possible expectation. Neat.
This week we’ve got a little bit shorter edition. I’m going to start making these just a tad bit shorter, as a rule. Mostly because I am way too busy watching that Jordan Westerkamp catch on a constant loop and don’t have time for more jokes.
But the tunnel is alive with the sound of music. Today, Westerkamp searches for a nickname while Bo names a very special interim coach. Follow TWOS on Twitter during the week, and stay classy, Husker Nation.
Game Week: Florida Atlantic (2014)
When I was a kid, I had a friend whose house I stayed at all the time. He had a Nintendo in the basement and we were bad at talking to girls so the basement was really the only place we ever needed to be. It was a bachelor pad for 9-year-olds. And it was all well and good, until my friend’s dad would saunter downstairs and start making weird, awkward, bad dad jokes. He’d also ask us about relevant musicians of the time. And he just looked so uncomfortable. But he was trying! He wanted to connect to us, wanted us to like him. Wanted to be part of it.
Bo Pelini is now that dad.
Weird, uncomfortable, awkward and funny - sometimes intentionally and sometimes unintentionally. God love him, he’s trying. So let’s check in on Happy Bo, Awkward Bo, Scared Bo and all the rest of the gang in your first TWOS comic of the season. I hope you love it. Check us out on Twitter, and check back next week for a new edition.
God damn it’s good to be back.
An Exclusive Excerpt of Carl Pelini’s Novel
Last week, news broke that Carl Pelini is, among other things, an aspiring novelist. Here at Tunnel Walk of Shame, we’ve been blessed with an advanced excerpt of one chapter of the book! Gotta say, it’s pretty scintillating stuff. Hope you enjoy it.
A Tale of Two Titties
By Carl Pelini
Chapter 6: Film Study
Midnight crept quietly into the film room. Cal Panini’s eyelids battled gravity as yet another mobile quarterback decimated his defense on the TV’s in front of him. Fucking dual-threats, he thought, taking a another dignified sip of Sailor Jerry’s from his FAU tumbler. Neat, with chopped up sleeping pills, just the way he liked it.
For years, the nights hadn’t been kind to Cal, and tonight was no different. The pressure of his first head coaching gig coupled with the intense pangs of heroin withdrawal made Cal feel like maybe the whole world was out to get him, just as he’d always suspected.
The last thing a headache like that needs is a loud knock on the door, and yet, there it was.
“Great! Who is it now?!” screamed Cal, carelessly brushing a stack of old Hustlers into the “sin bin” he kept under his desk.
The door creaked open, and what slid through brought a tear to the old ball coach’s bloodshot eye.
“Is this a bad time?” inquired a mysteriously tall drink of water.
Cal read her t-shirt: MS. TEEN BROWARD COUNTY FLORIDA 2007 SECOND RUNNER-UP. It fit snugly over her misshapen breasts and tucked in unevenly to the elastic waistband of her stonewashed jean shorts. “No,” smiled Cal, “it’s not a bad time at all.”
“My name’s Brenda, and I need to talk to you.” This chick clearly meant business.
“I’ve got all the time in the world for legs like those,” said Cal, melting her heart and lady zone simultaneously.
“Please refrain from that kind of talk,” replied Brenda. She was a classic hard-to-get case. But Cal was a classic about-to-get-hard case. “I’m here to talk to you about your conduct here at Florida Atlantic University. I’m a special prosecutor hired by the university.”
Brenda’s nuanced flirtations sent Cal’s head into a tailspin. His palms sweated, or was that just condensation from the glass of Sailor Jerry’s? With these humid Florida nights, sometimes it was impossible to tell. Flustered, Cal pulled out his trusty pack of Newport Slims, and lit the end of one without breaking eye contact with Brenda. Immediately, he realized he’d lit the wrong end, and the cigarette erupted in flames. But Brenda got the message.
“We’ve had reports of repeated drug use, alcohol abuse and misconduct with female staff members, college students and a smattering of senior citizens,” continued Brenda, clearly saving the best for last as a subtle hint to Cal about what she was really there for.
“I see my reputation precedes me,” said Cal, puffing a minty halo of Newport smoke into the ever-decreasing space between he and Brenda. She’d moved to sit at the other side of his desk. He didn’t ask her to. He didn’t have to.
Cal told his story for the millionth time. The drug use and alcohol abuse was medication, from his days in ‘nam. He hadn’t fought there, but he traveled there on a bender in 2006 and had been trying to erase the memories from his mind ever since. You go to bed with a chick only to find out she has two penises, and then we’ll see how much alcohol you need to keep the monsters in the closet when you turn in for the night, cowboy.
Cal moved onto allegations three through seven. In his mind, he cursed his legendary libido for getting him into yet another jam. But secretly he hoped that same libido would land him in a whole different kind of jam: lady jam. A vagina, for the layperson.
“Guess this wouldn’t be the first time my tongue got me in trouble,” said Cal, with a wink.
“That’s consistent with what some of your character witnesses told me,” said Brenda. “Like your little brother, Bob Panini.”
Bob, of course! At that moment, Cal could’ve hopped a Greyhound bus to Nebraska to choke out his little brother. “That son of a bitch.” Bob Panini was always the favorite, the altar boy, the one who kept his bulbous nose cleaner than a fake Vietnamese prostitute’s second penis. It figured he would’ve tried to badmouth Cal, he was always jealous.
Cal explained Bob’s jealousy to Brenda; how he’d wanted the job at FAU, the beauty queens, the lifestyle, all of it. He talked about the coeds, who Bob hunted with the veracity of a free safety, only to watch their fluttering hearts lead them into Cal’s waiting arms. He talked about Tyler Smartinez, the boy Bob called “the son he never had” despite the fact that he has a son. The picture he painted wasn’t pretty, but Cal was never much into painting, unless it was the cool body painting thing they did to Kate Upton in the SI swimsuit issue. Cal pondered what he’d have to do to get that job, creating an awkward 15-minute silence, which Brenda finally filled.
“It’s pretty clear that you have some serious issues, Cal,” she said.
It was time to quit fucking around. “Brenda, what’s my job here?” asked Cal.
“You’re the head football coach, kind of,” answered Brenda, trembling with anticipation.
“And how did I get that job?”
“You were hired after successful stints as a defensive coach at other schools,” said Brenda, probably breathlessly.
“That’s right. You know what they used to call me? The D Coordinator. Because I know how to manage the D. I know how to motivate the D. I know where to put the D to make the D successful. Do you catch my drift?” said Cal. He was now fully spread eagle on the desk, the hand-sewn seams of his Dockers nearly bursting open. “The question you gotta ask yourself, Brenda, is if you can handle my D.”
“Mr. Panini, I think I’ve heard enough.” said Brenda.
“Perfect.” Cal smiled. “I like a lady who likes a little less talk and a lot more action.”
Brenda stood up and glided through the still-open door. Then, she turned back. “This is my card. I will need to find you a good lawyer. Please call me when you’re not visibly intoxicated and you’re ready to talk about next steps.”
Cal swung his leg back up on the desk and reached for his bottle of Sailor Jerry’s. “Will do, Brenda. And you let me know when you’re ready to talk… about the D.”
The door closed. But not on opportunity. Cal had Brenda right where he wanted her.
Legal disclaimer: this is a parody. I mean, when the real thing comes out it may be more similar to this than I could ever imagine, but for now, it’s a parody.
Game Week: Nebrasketball (2014)
I can’t believe I had to write a Nebrasketball comic. I really can’t. I have no idea how to write a Nebrasketball comic. There is no Taylor Martinez. There is no Imani Cross. We don’t have round-the-clock access to who these guys are, what they’re like, what they do, etc.
All I know is, I have to do this. I love Husker Sports and we are staring at something completely unprecedented in its history: a men’s basketball team that not only matters, but looks like it might matter for a while. A coach that wants to build something more than his resume, players that want to be a part of an origin story, and a fan base that’s starting to overcome its Post-Traumatic Nebrasketball Disorder long enough to enjoy success, and create more of it.
How fucking fun is this? Remember when we all sighed and turned the page on the Tim Miles hire? And even once we started to recognize his value, we assumed it wouldn’t pay off for a few more years. And here he is, transforming transfers into all-conference players and Doc Sadler recruits into the kind of aggressive, proactive players Doc Sadler could never seem to produce. It’s unreal. And it is so fun.
So here it is. Your first ever Husker Hoops comic. I mean, this might just suck. I’m gonna warn you now. But TWOS has always been a celebration and parody of the things I love and hate about Nebraska football, so with the basketball team stepping up to the plate, it’s time to have some fun with them, too. Mostly with Mike Peltz. Look at Mike Peltz. Scroll down and look at that picture of him corn-holing Doug McDerpitt. What a glorious human being.
This week in the tunnel… fuck it: it’s Nebrasketball time.
Game Week: The 2014 Gator Bowl
It is fitting that a program that can’t seem to get out of a rut also keeps experiencing bowl game deja vu. Of course we are playing a mid-level Florida bowl. Of course it’s Georgia again. And of course its Aaron Murray-less Georgia, denying the only storyline (redemption) that would’ve made this an interesting game. I mean, at least give us Alabama so we can ogle AJ McCarron’s mega-babe LADY FRIEND. The bowl system is fucking terrible.
I’ve come to the point that I don’t think Bo will ever win a national title here. And I don’t think this fan base - as it is currently comprised - will either. Bo and the fans have clashed to create a toxic culture where winning doesn’t happen. That leaves us in some sort of Groundhog Day purgatory. And if Bo ever breaks through and wins big here (I think he can, I just don’t know that this is the right environment for him), he’ll leave for a new job in a second. Fun! In the meantime, the current team is about as fun to watch as any I can remember. And they love playing for Nebraska. So I hope they turn the ball over 8 times and still beat Georgia by 10. It would be fitting.
And now, I’m going to take a quick second and abuse this virtual microphone I have. I’m not going to bum you out with a sob story before you read a 91-slide carousel of dick jokes, but the last month has been a difficult one for me [I’m OK. Save condolences and prayers for someone who really needs them. Really.]
That’s why there have been less @tunnelwalkshame tweets. Why I didn’t scramble to write an Iowa comic after the Taylor Martinez tribute. Sorry about that. I wasn’t in the right space to do TWOS things. I might still not be. But I’m still really surprised and humbled by the fact that people look forward to this comic. I know it’s reached a certain critical mass, but it’s still overwhelming. I didn’t ever expect that my hiatus from dick jokes would disappoint anyone.
And I have to tell you, your disappointment means the world to me. Making something that means something to anybody? That means a lot to me. And so I’m hijacking this space for a second to say thanks. After a rough couple weeks, it’s nice to know that I can put a few laughs into your day. I don’t know if this comic is going to be that good, I might be a little off my game. But I think you’ll like it. And I hope you do. I hope you fucking love it as much as I fucking loved writing it.
Now, let’s enter the tunnel. First stop: Jortsville, Georgia.