Nebraska Cornhuskers: Lil' Red Freaks Me Out

Tom CuddContributor IMay 7, 2008

During the slow period of the off season, I like to make time for reflection upon the state of Nebraska Cornhuskers Football. Sometimes, I come up with insightful statements, such as, “If we start running the triple option next year, we’ll beat everyone to the latest offensive fad by at least five years! 25 National Championships, here we come!” While that gem is left for another blog, the thoughts weighing heavily on my mind the last week or so has focused on one area: Lil’ Red Seriously Freaks Me Out.

I can trace the origins on a basic level back to my fear and hatred of clowns and other clown-like folk. This all began when I watched the movie Killer Klowns from Outer Space on HBO when I was probably eight or nine. It instilled an indescribable fear when even in proximity to a clown. In fact, I even get an anxiety attack when I sense a clown nearby even if I can’t see him or other people don’t know he’s there. It’s like a clown spidey-sense. But Lil’ Red is not quite like clowns.

The problem is Lil’ Red doesn’t move in slow deliberate steps. While mostly made of air, he appears to lumber in a slow gait, until you see him bounding in giant moon-sized leaps! He’s got exceptional closing speed. If he didn’t have such short arms, and if they could find pads for him, he’d be an exceptional defensive end or strong side linebacker. Plus he’s nearly indestructible. Have you seen all curious little children punching him? It happens all the time and he doesn’t even feel a thing. Nothing phases this frightening behemoth.

Let’s not forget his additional otherworldly abilities. He can also suck his head inside his body - as if the devil himself swallowed it whole. As for more underworld activity, he also writhes on the ground for minutes (like a demon jumped into him) before bouncing upside-down on his head. I think an exorcism may be necessary.

Regardless of what you may think of this creature, his antics often ruin my pre-game and halftime fun. Some may call him a lovable, huggable, child-friendly mascot - but many children cry when near him. It’s because they have an innate sense for what I already know: Lil’ Red is no more than a demon-possessed monster, whose soul-devouring abilities shake me to my very core.