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Let’s FJM a dumb Nebraska blog

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Since Wisconsin didn’t play Nebraska yesterday we had time to be sassy.

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This is Ken Tremendous
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If you’ve been around the sports internet for a long time you already know what FJM stands for. If you haven’t, it stands for the name of the blog Fire Joe Morgan. The motto of the blog was “Where Bad Sports Journalism Comes to Die” and while they focused primarily on baseball, they’d touch on other sports as well.

Ken Tremendous, Junior and dak were the three friends who started the blog and they championed baseball analytics and humor in their posts roasting sports commentators who just didn’t quite “get it” yet. The three writers, who eventually abandoned their pseudonyms to reveal themselves as Michael Schur, Alan Yang and Dave King, are also talented television writers having worked on shows like The Office, Parks & Rec, Brooklyn 99, The Good Place and Workaholics.

Their signature style of blogging was to find bad journalism and, well, basically make fun of it line by line which is a style known as “fisking.” It is fun to do and when we saw this preposterous article by Steven M. Sipple of the Lincoln Journal Star there was only one thing to do.


In the journalism world, “why” is an incredibly important word.

It’s an incredibly important word in the non-journalism world where people are asking “Why? Why did you write his column?”

I get the feeling it’s not all that important to Big Ten Conference brass.

You probably know where I’m going with this. Nebraska had a nonconference opponent lined up to play Saturday in Memorial Stadium in place of Wisconsin, which pulled out of a scheduled Saturday game because of a rise in positive COVID-19 tests in its program.

Oh Sip, we definitely know where you’re going with this.

The nonconference opponent that was set to come to Lincoln, Tennessee-Chattanooga, was well-prepared from a safety standpoint. The entire team and coaching staff reportedly tested negative for COVID-19 using PCR tests Wednesday night. UTC’s team trucks were loaded with gear and ready to head to Lincoln. Game on. Let’s do this. Let the kids play the sport they adore.

All that was needed was the Big Ten’s approval.

That should be easy to get for a program like Nebraska! They certainly haven’t been an irritant to the conference decision-makers for months and definitely aren’t asking for a rule to broken just for them, a school that has been in the conference for decades and decades and has built up goodwill over that time.

It didn’t happen.

::insert shocked face emoji x1,000,000::

According to Yahoo Sports, there wasn’t even an actual vote during a Thursday morning meeting of conference presidents and chancellors. Who really knows if that’s the case? We’ve been down this road before with the Big Ten, which isn’t big on transparency. We’ve noticed that deficiency time and again during its handling of the pandemic.

Is Nebraska big on transparency? Why was Maurice Washington allowed to continue to play on the team despite facing felony charges in California but then was removed from the team for unspecified “team rules violations?” Very transparent imo.

It’s strange to me that the Big Ten isn’t saying why it denied Nebraska’s players the opportunity to play Saturday.

Oh...it’s because the Big Ten said there wouldn’t be any non-conference games this year and last I checked Tennessee-Chattanooga wasn’t in the Big Ten.

Why not immediately release a statement? Why say absolutely nothing? Was it simply that the Big Ten previously agreed there would be conference games only and decided to rigidly hold on to that plan, for the sake of being rigid?

What’s the deal?

Rigidity for the sake of rigidity? What is this, Tom Osborne’s ability to look the other way while his players commit crimes?

I was told by one Nebraska official, “Don’t expect an answer.”

Our Nebraska football writer, Parker Gabriel, reached out to the conference for an official statement and of course heard nothing.

It strikes me as haughty that the conference repeatedly ignores such requests.

THEY. HAD. ALREADY. GIVEN. AN. ANSWER. YOU. DENSE. BASTARD.

According to Yahoo Sports, no one among the Big Ten presidents/chancellors was in favor of granting Nebraska permission to play Tennessee-Chattanooga (UNL Chancellor Ronnie Green represented the Huskers at the meeting).

Weird!

At any rate, you always read about the Big Ten being about unity. That’s so nice. It’s also sort of ridiculous, especially in this particular case. Best I can tell, Nebraska in the eyes of many folks apparently is guilty of an aggressive pursuit to give its football student-athletes the best experience possible during their fleeting college careers. NU is doing all it can for student-athletes — including providing high-level safety — during a pandemic that places various forms of stress on all of us.

The B1G is definitely unified in finding some school to take Nebraska’s place after this is all said and done.

Nebraska took some initiative in finding an opponent and preparing to play a game in a safe environment. Why is that a problem? Why is that being criticized?

Allow me to answer both of these questions! Because there are no non-conference games being played by B1G schools this year. Because Nebraska, for some reason, thinks the rules don’t apply to them.

Think how thrilled Husker football players were Wednesday when head coach Scott Frost informed them there was potential for a Saturday game after all.

“WE MIGHT ACTUALLY WIN A GAME THIS YEAR,” Nebraska’s players.

Then, of course, the Big Ten said no-go, without explanation. The Big Ten always pushes the notion that it has the welfare of the student-athletes in mind above all. I don’t buy it. If that were the case, the conference at the very least would provide a reason for why it won’t allow Nebraska to play UTC when there would be seemingly no harm whatsoever in doing so.

This guy is a freaking moron.

Ohio State coach Ryan Day shared in Nebraska’s frustrations. And, yes, there are frustrations, even though NU’s official joint statement from Green and athletic director Bill Moos showed an admirable level of diplomacy. It’s noteworthy, though, that Frost wasn’t part of the statement.

“I thought they should have had the opportunity to (add an opponent),” Day told reporters. “There’s a team in Lincoln who wanted an opportunity to play, and they aren’t playing this week … When you’re the head coach and you have to look at your players and say, we aren’t playing, even though they did everything right, that’s hard to swallow.”

This pandemic has been great for finding out which people in positions of power are absolutely useless unless doing the one thing they are in power for. Ryan Day, clearly a good college football coach. As an epidemiologist...well, maybe he should hold off on speaking to those issues.

It’s even harder to swallow when there’s no explanation from the league.

There was an explanation.

Fans also want to know why. It’s not an unreasonable request.

They know why. They just don’t like the answer and are interested in painting themselves as the noble, warrior-poet victims.

But, again, we’re talking about a conference that doesn’t exactly put a premium on transparency, at least not under its current leadership.

The Big Ten and Kevin Warren botched their original pandemic response and, quite frankly, their second response but they don’t owe Nebraska shit when the Huskers are clearly trying to circumvent the rules. Please, shut up.