If you ever wanted a microcosm of spring football games — and how they’ve evolved into more about entertainment than actual practice — may we direct your attention to Lincoln, Nebraska.
The ever-serious Bo Pelini, who’s never met a hat he didn’t want to throw or player whose ear he didn’t want to chew on, was getting set to lead his Cornhuskers out of the tunnel and onto the Memorial Stadium turf. As the camera began to pan to the team as it prepared its entrance, with the crowd getting amped up and ready for their beloved Big Red to hit the field… wait a minute… it’s a little fuzzy, but is that what I think it is…
No, it can’t be. Then again…
Yep, it is. Bo Pelini, head coach of the Nebraska Cornhuskers, gently holding a cat in the second photo and seemingly recreating the Lion King’s “Circle of Life” moment in the first.
For Pelini’s Twitter alter ego, it was game-set-match for the head coach.
(For those unaware of the Bo Pelini/Faux Pelini/Cat dynamic, you can click HERE to catch up on it a bit)
While it didn’t create the dusty atmosphere last year’s spring game did, Pelini dropping his guard and having a little bit of fun — after a very, very turbulent 2013 season — should be seen as a very, very good sign for the Husker faithful.
Via social media, Jim Harbaugh has attempted to walk back some of his strong talk.
Monday, the Michigan head coach was asked to comment on one of his former San Francisco 49er players, Colin Kaepernick, who kicked up quite the controversy this past week by sitting down during the playing of the national anthem to protest what he believes to be the mistreatment of African-Americans in this country. Not surprisingly, the outspoken Harbaugh didn’t mince many words.
As it turns out, Pankey won’t be alone on the suspension sidelines as WVMetroNews.com is reporting that linebacker Xavier Preston will be suspended for the opener as well. No reason has been given for the punitive measure, and the football program has yet to confirm it.
The third-year sophomore would be eligible to return for the Sept. 10 Youngstown State game.
Preston played in 13 games last season. He has been described as the heir apparent to Nick Kwiatkowski at outside linebacker for the Mountaineers.
Jim Harbaugh doesn’t respect Colin Kaepernick’s decision to sit anthem out
The latest sports controversy has reached college football’s borders.
Colin Kaepernick, as you might have heard, kicked up quite the controversy last week by declining to stand during the playing of the National Anthem prior to a San Francisco 49ers preseason game. The former Nevada quarterback’s words explaining to sit the anthem out served to add fuel to the raging firestorm.
“This is not something that I am going to run by anybody. I am not looking for approval. I have to stand up for people that are oppressed. … If they take football away, my endorsements from me, I know that I stood up for what is right.”
Kaepernick has spent his entire NFL career with the 49ers, and his first coach at the professional level was Jim Harbaugh. Now the head coach at Michigan, Harbaugh was asked Monday about Kaepernick, who helped lead Harbaugh’s club to the NFC championship game in 2013, and his decision to sit on the bench while the anthem played.
“I acknowledge his right to do that,” Harbaugh said according mlive.com. “But I don’t respect the motivation or the action.”
While more forceful and tinged with personal opinion, Harbaugh’s comments are somewhat in line those made by a former Oregon Ducks head coach who’s now in charge of the 49ers.
“We recognize his right to do that,” Chip Kelly said according to the Sacramento Bee. “It’s not our right to tell him not to do something. That’s his right as a citizen.”