Husker Heartbeat 12/30: San Diego Super Huskers!

By at December 30, 2010 | 11:11 AM | Print

Welcome to Husker Heartbeat – a sampling of links and quick wit to start your morning! Keep checking each morning, Monday-Friday, for new links! We look for the offbeat as well as the straightforward – so don’t just think of us as a typical link farm!

A quick abbreviation key FYI: OWH=Omaha World-Herald, LJS=Lincoln Journal-Star, CN=Corn Nation, BRN=Big Red Network, HI=Huskers Illustrated, BRR=Big Red Report. If we need to add more – we will. Others, like ESPN, are self-explanatory.

*OWH Tom Shatel writes the essentially the same Holiday Bowl preview column we did several days ago, but he turns it into the list, so we guess that's OK.

*Steve Sipple thinks Taylor Martinez can silence doubters with a big performance Thursday. We guess we said that, too, but we certainly didn't write this:

Pelini said Martinez in time will become more comfortable doing interviews. He seldom did them this season. In fact, I can't remember the last time.

"He's ready to do it," Pelini said.

This season, Pelini said, he wanted to protect Martinez a bit. The coach essentially wanted to ease the kid into the spotlight. Nothing wrong with that.

"I think now you see a young man who's a lot more comfortable in his role than he was in September," Pelini said.

"He's grown up a lot."

We can remember the last time: After the Kansas game.

Beyond that, well, Pelini's plan to "protect" Martinez didn't exactly work.

First, it didn't actually seem like a plan. It seemed like Martinez not wanting to talk. The press requested Martinez all the time; we were never told we couldn't. If it was a plan, then just announce it to the press, so the LA Times doesn't waste its time and money flying to Lincoln and trying to interview Martinez. (We'll get to the LAT in a minuto.)

Second, Bo's protection disappeared the second he unleashed fury on Martinez during the Texas A&M game. Was it part of the plan to upbraid the freshman on national TV with curse words and spittle?

We hope you're seeing a narrative form over several weeks in the Heartbeat section. We're not frustrated with Martinez's off-field behavior; we're frustrated for him. If Bo understood, as he suggests in the Sipple column, all of the inherent risks in starting a brand new, young quarterback – when he had a ten-game starter and fifth-year senior on the bench – then he mismanaged, in our view, the situation by allowing multiple negative opinions to bloom and persist about Martinez. Then he compounded it with that sideline sermon delivered two inches from Martinez's face.

Bo's a better head coach now than when he started. But he's also trying to control more aspects of the team than he did in 2008, when Joe Ganz, Matt Slauson, Todd Peterson and Nate Swift essentially led the offense, under the direction of Shawn Watson. As rotten of a head coach as Bill Callahan was, he still managed to cultivate this small handful of leaders who made Bo's job in 2008 easier than we can appreciate.

*Now, more on Martinez – from his dad, who admits he called Martinez during the Texas A&M game (c'mon, man) and T-Magic skipped the "team shakeout" the following day for reasons the story doesn't make entirely clear.

"Maybe [that] wasn't the politically correct thing to do," Casey now says."

Maybe not.

*If you know the way, let Curt McKeever say so.

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