It once was said Nebraska's rabid football fans would follow their beloved Cornhuskers en masse anywhere. . .probably even to the moon.
Now it appears those fervent Nebraska followers would have been more postseason-conscious if the Huskers had played in the Lunar Bowl instead of the Orange Bowl.
NU's ticket sales of around 4,000 were among the lowest of any school ever invited to participate in the 59-year-old Orange Bowl.
Can you see the headline? "Nebraska Fans Choose Moon Over Miami."
And the smaller headline we call it a dropout would read: "Husker Boosters Prefer Sea of Tranquility to Biscayne Bay."
"We're disappointed, obviously," Orange Bowl executive director Steve Hatchell said.
Disappointed? How about shocked? Nebraskans rejecting their customary late December migration to a bowl game is like wood ducks, coots and mergansers wintering in Winnipeg.
WHY DID so many red-clad football nomads decide to stay home in Alliance, Norfolk, Scottsbluff, Valentine and Beatrice? Or did they really stay home? I wonder how many of them followed the Nebraska basketball team to Hawaii instead.
Sure, Hawaii costs more than Miami, but Nebraska's state motto is "The Good Life." That makes me believe Nebraskans know good living where they find it, and Honolulu is definitely good living.
Besides, I think Nebraskans are just plain bored with Miami. They've been jaded by too many visits victims, as it were, of Nebraska's football success. Winning is one thing, winning ad nauseum is another.
Nebraska football fans are also famous for their letters to the editor mostly to the Lincoln and Omaha papers.
Typically, letters will second-guess coach Tom Osborne's play-calling. Other letter-writers vow to defend Osborne to the death because he's such a fine man and just look at his record.
ANYWAY, IF indeed Nebraskans would rather go to, say, Hawaii than Miami, then those letters to the editor could very well take on a different tone next season.
I can't believe coach Osborne used his first-string players late into the fourth quarter in last week's 27-24 win over Kansas.
Doesn't coach Osborne realize we must lose to Kansas if we have any hope at all of going to the Aloha Bowl? Doesn't he know the Big Eight's third-best team gets to go to Honolulu?
How can we hope to spend the holidays in Hawaii if all coach Osborne cares about is winning? C'mon, coach Osborne. Winning is easy. Sandbagging so your fans can go to Hawaii is a skill.
All right, so that's a bit far-fetched, but is it unrealistic to theorize that third place in the Big Eight, now that the Aloha Bowl goes with it, isn't more of a plum both for the fan and for recruiting purposes than the Orange Bowl?
Will the time ever come when a Big Eight football coach goes for a tie instead of a win when a deadlock would assure third place and a victory second place?
Perhaps not, but it COULD happen. Do not underestimate the allure of Hawaii.