Two news stories hit the wires this week and although not related, (at least I don't think they are) are pretty interesting.
The first involves Nebraska head football coach Bo Pelini (yea again) and his conduct at a luncheon held on the USS Ronald Reagan on Dec. 28 prior to Nebraska's bowl game with the Washington Huskies, as reported by Lisa Horne from FoxSports.com. Both teams and their coaching staffs were in attendance and Pelini and the Washington head coach, Steve Sarkisian came bearing gifts. One serviceman from Washington and one from Nebraska had been randomly selected to represent their states and the lucky guy from Nebraska was Petty Officer 3rd Class Morgan Ryan, a 20-year-old seaman from Minden, Nebraska.
Sarkasian, the Washington coach, went first, giving a field pass and a Washington Huskies jersey to a crew member from Seattle. Bo went next and sweetened the pot a lot because in addition to a field pass and a Husker jersey, Pelini announced that Ryan would call one play during the upcoming Holiday Bowl. According to the report, the luncheon attendees went wild with hoots and applause because one of them was going to live out a dream.
Ryan was so pumped about his opportunity that he spent all of his spare time studying Washington's defense, looking for a weakness he might be able to exploit with his one play call and he kept what that call was going to be a secret from everybody, including his own mother.
Game day arrived and Ryan, dressed in jeans, Converse tennis shoes and a Husker jersey and hat, took his place on the sidelines with the team. As Husker fans everywhere know, the game started bad and got worse, resulting in a 19-7 loss to a team we had beaten like a yard dog earlier this year. Ryan paced the sidelines nervously all game long, waiting for his chance that, unfortunately, never came. In fact, Ryan said Pelini never approached him, looked at him, or acknowledged his presence. When the reporter asked Pelini during the post-game press conference why he didn't let Ryan call a play as promised, Bo barked at her that "it was a joke mam."
If it was, it appears that Bo was the only one in on it because Ryan reports that many Nebraska players and even a couple of assistant coaches asked him after the luncheon what play he was going to call. But that chance never came. Paul had been let down and deceived by his favorite team's head coach in front of his peers and colleagues.
Media relations manager Keith Mann released the following statement to FoxSports.com on Wednesday. "It was pretty apparent to those in attendance at the luncheon that Coach Pelini's comments were made in a lighthearted way, as he mentioned after the game."
Pelini has no class and no integrity. He berates players and officialsconsistently and in doing so, casts a dark shadow on the football program and the state. He was the wrong man for the job when he was hired and he's still the wrong man. And, as my good friend Dick Trail says, that's the way I see it.
The other story that drew attention this week was another prediction for the end of the world. A loosely-knit group of believers unofficially led by Harold Camping, 89, who believes the Bible essentially functions as a cosmic calendar, say the end day is fast approaching; May 21, 2011 to be exact. So people are quitting their jobs, calling off their upcoming marriages, and leaving their homes to spread the news all over the country. They're even putting signs on buses, cabs, and the benches at bus stops announcing the date.
This predicting has been going on now for thousands of years. Jesus and Paul believed the end time would come in their own or very near future, although Jesus said in Matthew 24:35-36 that "Heaven and Earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my father only."
But those two verses have never stopped ego-driven human beings from continually and constantly believing that they have figured it out. Because of that, the predictions just keep on coming, one or two a year every year so I'm going to join the crowd and make one too. I believe the end day will come when the sun burns out probably 4 to 5 billion years from now which will give humans plenty of time to make billions of more wrong predictions about the specific day, month, or year that the world will end.
Finally, the latest weather reports from the National Weather Service in Goodland indicate the possibility of a major winter storm hitting our area Sunday and Monday with significant snowfall, high winds and potentially the lowest temperatures in the past 15 years with lows in the double digits below zero and wind chills 30 below or even lower.
If this all comes to pass, it will produce immediate life-threatening conditions for anyone who gets caught out in it so please stay tuned to your local forecasts and don't travel unless it's absolutely, positively necessary.