TIME OUT by Joe Flanagan

Doesn’t get much better than ‘09 finish!

Oh, the good times.
We’ve all been there. The times when all seems right with our world. The sun rises on time and shines brightly, food tastes a little better, all our luck seems to be good.
These golden times aren’t forever, but they’re sure great while they last.
Our family was fortunate enough to usher out 2009 and bring in 2010 with such golden good times. After all, how often do you enjoy a resounding Husker bowl victory, followed by news the next morning of your first grandchild being born?
It was a first for me, anyway!
That’s right, if you haven’t heard, Adam and McKenzie welcomed Turner Joseph Flanagan last Thursday, right on the heels of Nebraska’s 33-0 shellacking of Arizona, making me a proud first-time Grandpa.
Order has been restored to NU football and our family is in store for a brand new adventure. It just doesn’t get much better than that!
We knew, of course, that the baby news would be arriving at some point and time, but wow, I have to admit I didn’t see that 33-0 Husker win coming. Like many, I tuned in Wednesday night expecting a low-scoring dogfight and hoping for a victory by any margin, even one slim point.
It looks like it’s time to raise our expectation levels a bit, huh?
I don’t think one can overstate the job Bo Pelini and his staff has done in two short years. I was confident that Pelini would be successful, but I could never have imagined the turnaround happening so swiftly.
Think back, just for a moment, to 2007. A defense that was a laughingstock. A team with shattered confidence. A fractured fan base.
Now, heading into 2010? A defensive unit that is, arguably, as good as any in the land. A Big Red Freight Train building up steam. A united fan base not only dreaming of, but anticipating, future Big 12 and national championships.
Pelini and company have put a solid foundation in place with a Blackshirt defense that will be the backbone of the Nebraska program. As long as Bo is in charge, fans can rest assured the Huskers will enter each and every season with a rock-ribbed unit that gives them a chance to compete with any team, any time, anywhere.
The NU offensive performance in the Holiday Bowl also offered proof that the final ingredients to the championship recipe are ready to be stirred in.
Yes, it was just one game. Yes, there is still work to be done. But, we saw Shawn Watson’s vision in San Diego. A multiple, aggressive attack that with health, more experience and a few more recruits, will be one step ahead of defenses and provide more than its share of support to the Blackshirts.
The future isn’t three-yards-and-a-cloud of ground-up rubber tires. The option isn’t coming back as the main offensive staple. There will be a strong ground game, for sure, but there’s going to be some flash and dash, as well.
It’s an exciting time. Bo said it himself Wednesday night – “Nebraska is back”.
And, in the Flanagan family, there’s a new Husker who, in a few years, will join us in cheering on future Big Red juggernauts.
Good times indeed!