Let's face it, no one is going to mistake Bo Pelini for Billy Crystal. (Although based on the evidence of this year's Oscars telecast, it might be tough to find five funny Crystal quotes, as well). But while the angry-guy image of Pelini is probably well-earned, he does have a dry sense of humor that he lets out in public once in a while.
(Note: This should not be confused by the five funniest things @FauxPelini has said on Twitter. That would be hard to narrow down, and if you're not following him there, you should be).
Vintage Pelini in the postgame interview after Nebraska beat Colorado 40-31, describing Ndamukong Suh’s interception and graceful—ahem—run to the end zone to seal the win.
Pelini said these words to Petty Officer Morgan Ryan at a banquet leading up to the 2011 Holiday Bowl.
Pelini and the Nebraska team were honoring the service of the members of the Navy and singled out Ryan as a Nebraska fan. Pelini was joking that he would let Ryan call a play during the game, and the line got a good laugh at the banquet.
Unfortunately, the joke turned into an utterly ridiculous controversy when Ryan wasn’t, in fact, allowed to call the play Pelini had "promised" him at the banquet.
So, Pelini’s gag was funny. The ginned-up controversy was just a joke.
Wait a minute, I can hear you saying, "That’s not funny at all!"
Well, it is in context. It's what Pelini said in the iconic skit done by KETV's Matt Schick in which he interviews Nebraska’s then-defensive coordinator (and Pelini’s older brother) Carl.
In the interview, Carl tells Shick that when the Pelinis arrived in Lincoln, there was a rash of people wanting to make "Carlfense" and "My Carlfriend’s Back" shirts. Carl said he was uncomfortable with those shirts, thinking his baby brother Bo should get the attention instead of him.
Schick, dubious of the claims, asked Carl if he had instead had the shirts made himself. Carl said such an accusation was ridiculous. That's when Bo came into the office and asked if Carl had a second—wearing a "Got Carl?" t-shirt.
Okay, this wasn't exactly ha-ha funny.
This was Pelini in the halftime interview of the 2011 Capital One Bowl after South Carolina had hit a home run touchdown pass on the last play of the half to take a 16-13 lead.
What made the quote ultimately funny in the sense of being painfully inaccurate was how Nebraska was completely unable to recover from that blow, ultimately losing the game 30-13.
This one might be the defining Bo Pelini quote of all time.
While there’s no video, this audio capture clearly conveys Pelini’s frustration after the 2009 Big 12 Championship Game.
In that game, Nebraska clung to a 12-10 lead over Texas with time expiring. Longhorn quarterback Colt McCoy was being chased down by Suh and the rest of the Blackshirts' defense, and as he threw the ball away, the clock appeared to expire before Texas could kick a game-winning field goal. The Nebraska sideline erupted onto the field, thinking NU had pulled off a shocking upset over the heavily favored Longhorns.
But, not so fast.
The officials reviewed the play and determined that the ball McCoy threw hit a part of the stands with one second left. They ruled that once the ball hit anything, the play was over and put one second back on the clock. Texas took that opportunity to kick the field goal to win the game and ultimately go to the BCS National Championship Game, where they lost to Alabama.
Pelini's quote was apparently from a heated exchange with the officiating crew or conference officials shortly after the game. And while it might not be rib-tickling funny, it is definitely a quote with legs and one that has been used to define Pelini.
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