Nebraska Football: The Melodramatic Dan Beebe Fuels The Fire

Kraig LundbergAnalyst IIIFebruary 24, 2017

Something tells me we have yet to see the height of the Nebraska-Big 12 feud.

After Nebraska's comfortable 45-17 win over Colorado, a game in which the officiating finally seemed fair after five straight weeks of controversy, the drama seemed to dissipate.

But only for an instant.

After the Huskers' win, it was soon reported that a Big 12 representative was never sent to give the Huskers their North trophy. 

Upon interview, commissioner Dan Beebe stated that he felt it was too dangerous to send a representative to big, bad Lincoln.

An article by Brian Rosenthal of the Lincoln Journal Star revealed Beebe's comments.

Needless to say, Beebe's comments ruffled a few feathers.

What doesn't make sense to me is the fact that after Beebe delighted in the opportunity to freely offer up some of the specific messages of violence he received from apparent Husker fans, he switched gears and claimed that Nebraska fans are some of the best fans in college football.

After indulging in pasting the Husker fan base, he played good-guy and offered compliments to those who threatened him.

His claim was that those who sent him messages represented only a small portion of the fan base. 

I don't buy it. 

Every fan base has those fans, the folks that get upset enough to vent by sending threatening messages to the people they feel have wronged them. 

Take Boise State for example, whose kicker, Kyle Brotzman, received the same types of messages from fans after missing two chip shot field goals in Boise's upset loss to Nevada.

Do you think Brotzman will quit going to home games for fear of his life?

Of course not. Color me confused as to why Beebe felt threatened by petty hate mail.

With that being said, am I condoning such behavior? 

Absolutely not. 

I think it is a very inappropriate and childish act.

It is also a gross misrepresentation of our fan base, as the vast majority of us would do nothing of the sort. 

Any fan who gets so upset that they feel they need to threaten the life of someone, let's face it, needs to take a break from sports.

So, I just proved the comment that I sought to discredit, right? Not exactly. 

Beebe was right in saying the hate mail came from a small faction of the Cornhusker populace, but what I don't buy is that he actually respects and values the rest of the fan base as much as he says he does.

If he did, why would he go out of his way to get specific about the messages he received? 

Surely, as the top dog of the Big 12 conference, he is bright enough to have realized that his comments would fuel an already blazing fire.

Don't get me wrong, I couldn't care less that we weren't presented the North trophy after the game.

That's not what the Huskers are looking for, after all. 

They want the big time hardware, the last Big 12 Championship trophy. 

I would think that most Husker fans feel the same way, despite what this article by Berry Tramel would have you believe.

The problem I have is with the reason given. I find Beebe's explanation a bit melodramatic.

Nebraska Athletic Director Tom Osborne apparently thought the same thing: "They got whatever they got, and they decided not to come.  That's OK. I don't have anything to say about that."

After he was pushed further, he said, "I've said all I'm going to say. I've had all kinds of e-mails over the years. It's not a problem."

By his words, calm and sensitive as ever, he seems to find Beebe to be a drama queen. 

I must say I agree with that.

Beebe went on to address the Big 12 "conspiracy theory," a phrase a little over-dramatic itself for the claims it represents, but nonetheless somewhat accurate.

His take: "If there were a conspiracy, and if officials were involved, it would be easy to have a team lose just about every game possible.  That's a silly notion. Fans don't always think through things clearly. They have emotions on their sleeve."

Of course it would be easy to have a team lose just about every game possible—that is, of course, if you wanted to spark a full-fledged NCAA investigation.

The way it has played out, Nebraska fans, aside from a few unbiased folks with open minds, are the only ones that see the discrepancy, this being because they choose to.

Other fans of Big 12 teams, particularly those of Texas, strongly disagree. 

No surprise there. 

But whether you choose to admit it or not, I don't feel that anyone can honestly disagree that there have been some particularly poor calls and no-calls, against Nebraska and in favor of Nebraska's opponents, this year.

So then, why is there a "conspiracy theory" floating around?  For lack of a better explanation.

Dan Beebe didn't do much in dispelling that argument, nor did he even attempt to douse the fire.  In fact, he stoked the fire.

After a long, dramatic, tasteless season in the Big 12, only one thing is certain—The Big 12 is saying, "Don't let the door hit you on the way out," and Nebraska is replying, "We'll be down the road before the door latches."

Other Articles

Here are a couple of other articles hardly worth reading, but I decided to rebut anyway:

Truth be told, this was a team that seemed to be in total disarray the second half of the season.

It started with the Texas game in mid-October. Taylor Martinez came into the game as a potential Heisman Trophy contender, but the quarterback was pulled in the third quarter for ineffectiveness.

He was off. He was abysmal. And that was after his benching.

Read more:

If you call a 5-1 record that included back to back wins over undefeated, top 15 teams "total disarray", you may not be cut out for sports writing.  Not to mention the fact that the Texas game, which this writer spent most of her time talking about, was actually the last game of the first half of the season. 

Simple math.

Another thing—she seems to have forgotten that Martinez is just a redshirt freshman, and had never played a down of college football before this year.  Even for a kid as unflappable as Martinez, adversity was bound to rear its ugly head. The Martinez for Heisman talk before the Texas game had about as much tangibility as a politician's promises.

The other article:

Beat Nebraska. Actually do not just beat them; beat them handily, because the thought of the Cornhuskers winning the championship of the conference they tried to destroy makes me throw up a little in my mouth. And the thought of Cornhuskers coach Bo Pelini winning anything ramps a little up to a lot.

Admittedly, I will miss wacky Cornhusker Nation and those 14 TV sets when they are gone.

Of course, I would never say any of this to Bo Pelini's face. Both he and his brother scare me. I prefer to watch Bo's crazy rantings on YouTube with the safety of distance that provides. And I like you, Bob, so be careful when gigging him.

Not to downplay, Bob, but how hard can this be, really?

Texas beat them. In Lincoln. With Greg Davis as OC. And probably Mack Brown's worst team ever.

Iowa State had them beat but blew it.

The Aggies beat them. In College Station. OK, so they did that to y'all, too, but you get the point.

Read more: 

Funny—this writer blames Nebraska for trying to destroy the Big 12, when it was the Texas Longhorns who gave Nebraska an ultimatum while Dan Beebe stood by and sucked his thumb.

It also seems that she fails to realize that Stoops has a very similar coaching style to Pelini in terms of how animated he can get. In fact, Pelini and Stoops go way back.

You think Stoops "gigging" (which is not a term used by the Sooners, and therefore makes no sense anyway) Pelini will set Pelini off on Stoops?

She continues to lose credibility by failing to acknowledge, and instead directly opposing, the fact that Nebraska has one of the largest fan bases in the nation.  14 TV sets—*Chuckle*

Texas beat them in Lincoln because Nebraska gave them the game with four dropped touchdown passes and. need I remind you, Jennifer, that Nebraska also blew a 14 point lead late in the Iowa State game? 

Also, the Aggies were spotted three points in a three point win.  You sound like nothing more than a biased fan by those comments.

After going 10-2 (compared to the Longhorns' 5-7), clearly Nebraska is a much better team than Texas. 

As for the A&M game, could they and should they have done more against the Aggies to overcome the three points?—Yes. 

The offensive line imploded. 

The play-calling was iffy as well. 

No excuses there. But they shouldn't have had to overcome those points in the first place.

So, Husker fans, are you ready for one last, bloody battle with the Big 12? 

It's going to happen and it's probably going to be a doozie.


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