Nebraska’s Scott Frost Legend Grows during Weather Delay, Cancellation
The long awaited debut of Scott Frost, the head coach at Nebraska, will have to wait another week after a monster storm hit Lincoln right after opening kickoff Saturday of the Nebraska VS Akron game. How big was the storm? It was the first time in the history of Cornhusker football that a game was cancelled because of weather. Amazingly, the longest weather delay on record at Nebraska is 19 minutes. Think about that? All those snowy games Nebraska has played since, say 1893, and the longest weather delay is 19 minutes. Remarkable.
Several funny things happened as a direct result of the weather delay, including the legend of coach Frost growing. Here are some fun facts from Memorial Stadium Saturday.
Nebraska fans can be the greatest fans in college football. The fans are notoriously friendly. Too much so sometimes. They take great pride in welcoming the enemy, making them feel at home. On Saturday, it was no different. I scrambled to find a fun bar to hang out at until the weather cleared. Mistaking me for an Akron Zips fan, the Husker faithful bombarded me with “Thanks for coming”; “Hey, good luck”; “Looking forward to seeing your team play”; and, then of course, “So sorry we didn’t get the game in”. At the end of the night, I was like “Go screw yourselves.” Those people in Nebraska are way too nice.
The Nebraska student section, usually as friendly as any student section in the country, went crazy when there was a 2 hour and 40 minute lightning delay. The weather was serious, Monsoon type rain and lightning everywhere, the kind of lightning bolts that strike grain bins and irrigation pivots, but those kids didn’t care. They went from normal Nebraska, down to earth young people to “Chucky Rocks the House” in about 5 minutes. They rocked the stadium for a couple of hours, jumping up and down, enjoying the rain and each other, singing and dancing to the beats. Who is that D.J. who was managing Nebraska’s play list during the delay? Whoever that is tell them I want to sign them to a deal to deejay in Vegas. They had the place bopping all night long.
And then there were the stories about Scott Frost. As we all know now, Frost has rock star status in Nebraska, and there is probably no other time in the history of Cornhusker football where there is more anticipation. That is what made the delay, and ultimate cancellation, so hilarious. Here are a couple of fabulous tidbits about Frost.
Frost is a legend in Nebraska who signed with Stanford out of high school, then transferred back to Nebraska, later leading them to a national title as starting quarter back for Tom Osborne’s 1997 Nebraska team. Where is Scott Frost from you ask? A cornbelt town called Wood River, NE, population 1,325. But, what a lot of people may not know about Scott Frost is that his Mom, a former Olympian who also coached track at Nebraska, was one of his high school football coaches at Wood River. Now, I suspect there are very few Division I head coaches whose Mom was their high school football coach. Actually, it is pretty much a guarantee that Frost is the only coach in Division I whose Mom was a football coach. Anyway, legend has it that one day one of Frost’s teammates in high school was lipping off to his Mom, so she took matters into her own hands. When the dust up was over, Frost’s deflated teammate chewed out Frost for not helping him stand up to his Mom. Scott Frost’s rumoured response to the guy was precious. “I am never going to stand up for you to my Mom. I see her in action everyday and every night. If she is chewing your ass out, believe it to be true she has a good reason.”
But, the best story I heard about Frost was from his days at Oregon. Frost and the Oregon coaching staff were in Las Vegas supporting the Oregon basketball team during the 2015 Pac 12 Basketball Tournament. At the time, Oregon had just made it to the national title game of the College Football Playoff. After one of the Duck’s early round hoop wins, a gorgeous gal, who clearly had one too many adult beverages, approached Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich and asked him “are your Mark Helfrich of the Oregon Duck football team.” Helfrich, tongue in cheek, pointed to Frost and said “no, he is.” From that moment on, the woman was all over Frost. Coach Frost, to his credit, went along with the ruse. They stood there and talked with the woman, made her feel welcome, then eventually sent her on her way. Frost, cracking up, shook his head and said to Helfrich “there will be a time when I get you back for that.” He may be well on his way, answering prayers as the coaching savior Nebraska fans have prayed for since Tom Osborne’s retirement. Signaling the future, a confidant Scott Frost quoted at Big 10 media day, “We’ll be really dangerous and hard to beat in the very near future. People better get us now”. Perhaps the lightning was a Bob Devaney orchestrated event. Nebraska is back.
And finally this from the weather delay. Nebraska announced the game could not be played Sunday because both teams agreed it would cut into their preparation for next week’s games. So, let me see, Akron wanted to cancel the game because of next weeks “big game” against Morgan State, where the game will be played in front of maybe 10,000 fans. The Cornhuskers have Colorado next week, not exactly Alabama or Ohio State. 90,000 people came to Lincoln to see a football game, so instead of playing Sunday where the economy in Lincoln would get another boost because they stayed an extra day, we decided to send everyone home so Akron could get ready for their next big game. Trying to figure out a word for this ….. Ridiculous.
NOTE: The photo from Memorial Stadium courtesy of Kelan Buhr.