Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Bay Area Husker ENews 12-23-09

Merry Christmas Bay Area Husker Fans,

I hope you are having a wonderful holiday season and get a chance to enjoy all the fun that comes this time of year, including the chance to watch lots of college football during the next two weeks ;o) The team is finishing up their preparations and will head west on Friday for the bowl game next week. Ndamukong Suh keeps reeling in the awards...and the latest one is huge...he was named the AP Player of the Year! He's also had a song written about his football prowess and I've attached the MP3 file so you can listen to the music...more info below.

Big news about the women's basketball team. They are undefeated and ranked 14th in the country after beating #5 LSU...see article below!

In addition to a few articles about mid-year athlete graduations (including Suh) and the baseball team, I've added some holiday greeting and funny websites at the end of the email...enjoy. Since I'm headed to San Diego myself, this is the last email before the bowl game. The game will be on ESPN and coverage starts at 5 p.m. Pacific Time on Wednesday the 30th. I'll send the next email after the first of the year, so I'm also wishing everyone a Happy New Year...have fun and be safe.

On a more serious note, please take the time to remember the true meaning of this blessed holiday, and please say a prayer for those on watch around the world who are protecting our freedom to worship and our ability to celebrate the season. May they come home safely, and with honor, to eventually enjoy a "belated holiday" with their families.

Happy Holidays and Go Big Red (White and Blue)!


Watch Parties: 

If you can break loose from work or your holiday chores to head out to our four favorite watch sites for the Holiday Bowl next Wednesday, you will probably find a number of other Red Clad Husker fans there preparing to cheer on the team to victory over Arizona. Game time is 5 p.m. but you may want to get there early to claim a good seat and order up some great pub grub for dinner during the game.


The Nebraska football team underwent its earliest day practice of the 2009 season, working out for an hour and a half inside the Hawks Championship Center on Saturday morning.

"We had a good week of practice," head coach Bo Pelini said. "They've earned some time off (now) and we'll have a little bit of rest. We had a real physical week. I've had some success in bowl games and the big key is you have to get enough practice, but you don't want to over-practice them. You don't want to get to the point where guys are worn out physically and mentally. You have to find the balance."

Approximately 85-90 players will be in Lincoln throughout the holiday break for informal workouts, before the entire team rejoins Thursday, Dec. 24 to being game week preparations for the Holiday Bowl. The Huskers will depart for San Diego on Christmas Day as NU meets Arizona on Wednesday, Dec. 30 for Pelini's third bowl appearance as Nebraska head coach, including the 2003 Alamo Bowl as interim head coach.

"It's the next challenge," he said. "It gives us a chance to get better as a football team and hopefully gain some momentum going into the offseason. Obviously everyone wants to finish on a high note and get that 10th win, but it's also about continuing the progress we're having right now."

Several Huskers had an event-filled day, as eight Nebraska football players are part of the December 2009 commencement ceremonies in Larry Asante, Tyrone Fahie, David Harvey, Colton Koehler, Blake Lawrence, Derek Meyer, Matt O'Hanlon and Ndamukong Suh, in addition to former Husker Octavius McFarlin.

"That's the No. 1 goal when you come to school, more so than football wins and losses or anything else," Pelini said. "We're proud of them. They worked hard at is so it's great to see."

Nebraska senior defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh has been named the Associated Press National Player of the Year, the wire service announced on Tuesday.

Suh is the first defensive player to win the honor since its inception in 1998, and also the first non-Heisman winner to capture the AP award since Iowa quarterback Brad Banks in 2002. Suh is Nebraska's second winner of the AP National Player of the Year Award, joining quarterback Eric Crouch who captured the award and the Heisman Trophy in 2001.

Suh received 26 of a possible 59 first-place votes from the panel, edging Stanford running back Toby Gerhart, who received 20 votes.

The award adds to a memorable month of honors and awards for the 6-4, 300-pound Suh. In addition to Tuesday's honor, Suh was the winner of the Outland, Lombardi, Bednarik and Nagurski awards, and was also a unanimous All-America pick. He was also named the Big 12 Conference Defensive Player of the Year and was selected to every All-Big 12 team announced.

Suh is the Nebraska team leader with 82 tackles this season, marking the second straight year he has led the team in overall tackles. He also has 12 sacks and 23 tackles for loss, the third and second-best single-season totals in Nebraska school history. Suh's 56 career tackles for loss rank second on the NU career list, just 2.5 TFL behind two-time All-American Grant Wistrom.

Suh will complete his Nebraska career in the Dec. 30 Pacific Life Holiday Bowl matchup with Arizona. Game time from San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium is set for 5 p.m. (PST). ESPN will provide television coverage of the game, with the Husker Sports Network providing radio coverage.


Lincoln - The most decorated defensive football player in Nebraska history, Ndamukong Suh headlines a large class of 34 Husker student-athletes set to earn their bachelor's degrees from the University of Nebraska during winter commencement ceremonies at the Bob Devaney Sports on Saturday morning (December 19th).

Suh, a 6-4, senior defensive tackle from Portland, Ore., captured the Outland Trophy, Lombardi Award, Bronko Nagurski Award, Chuck Bednarik Award and finished fourth in Heisman Trophy voting while leading the Huskers to the Big 12 North Division title. On Dec. 30, the All-American and Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year will lead the Blackshirts against Arizona in the 2009 Holiday Bowl.

Before he joins his teammates in San Diego for the Holiday Bowl, Suh will join eight other current and former Husker football players in receiving diplomas from Nebraska. Fellow defensive stars from this season's crew of Blackshirts that ranked among the nation's top defensive units include Larry Asante and Matt O'Hanlon. David Harvey, Blake Lawrence, Colton Koehler, Derek Meyer and Tyrone Fahie are also set to earn degrees, along with former Husker Octavious McFarlin. A total of eight Huskers will be ready to compete for the Huskers in the Holiday Bowl with degree in hand.

Lawrence, who had his playing career come to an end in mid-season, earned his bachelor's degree in just 2 1/2 years from Nebraska. McFarlin lettered for Nebraska's national championship teams in 1994, 1995 and 1997.

The Nebraska women's basketball team will have three Huskers pick up their diplomas at the Devaney Center on Saturday, including current seniors Cory Montgomery and Nicole Neals, along with 2009 senior Tay Hester. Montgomery and Neals will return to the Devaney Center court on Sunday at 1:05 p.m., when the No. 20 Huskers take on No. 5 LSU. Montgomery and Neals both earned bachelor's degrees in business-related fields in just 3 1/2 years.

The Nebraska volleyball team adds a pair of distinguished student-athletes to the group of Husker graduates, including two-time first-team CoSIDA Academic All-American Kori Cooper, and 2008 CoSIDA Academic All-American and Nebraska Female Student-Athlete of the Year Amanda Gates. Cooper completed her senior season in 2009 by leading the Huskers to the round of eight in the NCAA Tournament, while Gates and Cooper helped the Huskers to the 2008 NCAA semifinals.

The track and field program features four December graduates, including Chi Kalu, Kacie Sharp and Janae (Mueller) Chochon on the women's side, and Skyler Reising on the men's side.

Four former Husker baseball players, Johnny Dorn, Jason Burch, Jake Opitz and Jared Cranston will receive their diplomas on Saturday, along with a pair of former Husker men's basketball players, Paul Velander and Cole Salomon.

The NU women's gymnastics team adds two graduates to the mix, including Tricia Woo and Sabrina Long, while the men's gymnastics program produced a pair of graduates in Jacob Ives and T.J. Schmidt.

Husker soccer players Anna Caniglia and Aysha Jamani, will be joined by wrestler Austin Baier, women's bowler Kaleena Henning, men's tennis player Renato Melo and men's golfer Trent Price in a distinguished class of NU graduates.

The Husker graduates come from 11 U.S. states, Canada, Nigeria, and Brazil, while also maintaining a rich Nebraska flavor with 12 graduates from the Cornhusker State.

“I admire each of these student-athletes for the way they balanced school with competition,” Nebraska Senior Associate Athletic Director for Academics, Compliance and Planning Dennis Leblanc said. “These graduates add to Nebraska’s great tradition of academic and athletic excellence. These student-athletes have come from different parts of the country and the world to receive the highest quality of education while competing in athletics at the highest level. The athletic department, the University and the entire state of Nebraska are proud of them.”

Nebraska’s 2009 December class of graduates helped build on the Huskers’ great student-athlete tradition, which includes an NCAA-leading 271 CoSIDA Academic All-Americans across all sports. Nebraska continues to feature one of the highest graduation rates in the nation with a Big 12-leading exhausted eligibility graduation rate of 94 percent.

December 2009 Nebraska Student-Athlete Graduates (34)

  • Student-Athlete, Sport, Hometown, Major
  • Larry Asante, Football, Alexandria, Va., Economics
  • Austin Baier, Wrestling, Greenfield, Iowa, Business Administration
  • Jason Burch, Baseball, Papillion, Neb., Psychology
  • Anna Caniglia, Soccer, Omaha, Neb., Marketing
  • Kori Cooper, Volleyball, Amarillo, Texas, Speech Language Pathology
  • Jared Cranston, Baseball, Colby, Kan., Geography
  • Johnny Dorn, Baseball, Grand Island, Neb., Sociology
  • Tyrone Fahie, Football, Virginia Beach, Va., Management
  • Amanda Gates, Volleyball, Columbus, Neb., Communications
  • David Harvey, Football, LaPlata, Md., Sociology
  • Kaleena Henning, Bowling, North Platte, Neb., Sociology
  • Tay Hester, Women's Basketball, Moreno Valley, Calif., Psychology
  • Jacob Ives, Men's Gymnastics, Houston, Texas, Actuarial Science
  • Aysha Jamani, Soccer, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Business Administration
  • Chi Kalu, Women's Track and Field, Zaria, Nigeria, Advertising
  • Colton Koehler, Football, Harvard, Neb., Business Administration
  • Blake Lawrence, Football, Shawnee Mission, Kan., Marketing
  • Sabrina Long, Women's Gymnastics, Tulsa, Okla., Communications
  • Octavious McFarlin, Football, Bastrop, Texas, Sociology
  • Renato Melo, Men's Tennis, Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Finance
  • Derek Meyer, Football, Campbell, Neb., Agribusiness
  • Cory Montgomery, Women's Basketball, Cannon Falls, Minn., Business Administration
  • Janae (Mueller) Chochon, Women's Track and Field, Columbus, Neb., Nutrition, Exercise and Health Science/Dietetics
  • Nicole Neals, Women's Basketball, Chandler, Ariz., Management
  • Matt O'Hanlon, Football, Bellevue, Neb., History
  • Jake Opitz, Baseball, Littleton, Colo., Sociology
  • Trent Price, Men's Golf, Lincoln, Neb., Business Administration
  • Skyler Reising, Men's Track and Field, Lincoln, Neb., Music Education
  • Cole Salomon, Men's Basketball, Omaha, Neb., Accounting
  • T.J. Schmidt, Men's Gymnastics, Blair, Neb., Nutrition, Fitness and Health Sciences
  • Kacie Sharp, Women's Track and Field, Plattsmouth, Neb., Biological Sciences
  • Ndamukong Suh, Football, Portland, Ore., Construction Management
  • Paul Velander, Men's Basketball, Blacksburg, Va., Biological Sciences
  • Tricia Woo, Women's Gymnastics, Milpitas, Calif., Nutrition Science
A MAN NAMED SUH... I got the attached MP3 file from a number of Husker contacts (thanks to all that sent it along)...pretty cool having a song written for our award winner!

Local radio stations around Nebraska were playing this song by a band named "Full Choke" about every hour the week before the Big 12 game. Based on the tune "A Boy Named Sue" by Johnny Cash. It is a local group out of Norfolk. The story (and associated MP3 link) is at

Lincoln - A total of 22 former Huskers saw action during Week 15 of the 2009 NFL season.

For the second time in his career, Demorrio Williams hit triple digits in tackles for a season, as the Chiefs’ linebacker produced 13 solo stops on Sunday to increase his season total to 102. Even with the strong individual effort from Williams, the Chiefs were unable to hold off the Browns in a high-scoring match-up, 41-34. The 13 stops were second only to his 17-tackle performance against Baltimore in 2006.

Zack Bowman continued to be one of the bright spots for the Chicago Bears as the former Blackshirt deflected two passes and intercepted Baltimore’s Troy Smith to collect his fifth interception of the year. However, Bowman’s effort was not enough as the Bears fell to Sam Koch’s Ravens, 31-7. For Koch, he averaged 39.3 yards on his seven punts and pinned the Bears inside their own 20-yard line three times.

In a meeting of former Husker kickers, Kris Brown’s Texans defeated Josh Brown’s Rams in Houston, 16-13. Kris scored 10 of the Texans’ 16 points, as he converted on field goals from 27, 25 and 52 yards, while also making one extra point. In the loss, Josh made one extra point and was a perfect 2-2 on field goals from 33 and 28 yards.

We have one ticket for sale to the NU-UA Holiday Bowl at the price of $81, what we paid for it. If you could advertise for us with the Bay Area Husker Fans, we would appreciate it! The ticket is in the South end zone, lower level Section 15. Its on the Pac 10 side of the field but a great view of the game. For more info contact:

Diane Dodd



There have been a lot of changes in the HuskerPedia events for the Holiday Bowl. The main change is a change of venue for the Tuesday, Dec. 29th Sidetrack Concert. It has been moved to Dick's Last Resort in the Gas Lamp District just a few blocks from the team hotel and within walking distance of several downtown hotels. Here is the summary:

Tuesday, Dec. 29th - Dick's Last Resort, $10 cover charge, no advance sales, get there early and enjoy the crab dinner special.

Game Day tailgate - Section A 4 of the stadium parking lot. Doors open at 11:30 for advance sales, noon for walk ups. Cost is $39 in advance, $50 walk up price.

House of Blues post game celebration - advanced sales $10, walk up price $15.

Left Turn Party in Salt Lake City on Dec. 27th - venue has been changed to the Utahns for Nebraska watch site and price is $15 for adults and $10 for kids and includes food. Join the UT4NE crowd on the way to the game.

Link to all of the above is here.  

Game tickets - We have a few game tickets left at cost. Don't pay after market prices.

Game tickets are here.

Hotel rooms - Get a great rate at several San Diego Hotels at this link or by calling 888-878-9649.

When coming to the game please consider taking the trolley and/or bus system to get around. Parking can be expensive and hard to find. The House of Blues and Dick's Last Resort are located within walking distance of several downtown hotels. The best rate is at the Westin downtown. and is close to trolley and bus lines.

The Tailgate the Nation crew will be filming at our tailgate and we will become a part of their documentary that is scheduled to be released next summer. Come to California and be in the movies. Hope to see you in San Diego.

David Max

Lincoln - Fresh off a 77-63 win over then-No. 5 LSU, the Nebraska women's basketball team jumped six spots to No. 14 in the Associated Press Top 25 announced on Monday, Dec. 21.

The 11-0 Huskers, who are off to the best start in school history, gained 193 points in the poll, increasing their total to 455 after ranking 20th last week with 262 points. NU entered the poll for the first time this season at No. 24 on Dec. 7, earning 131 points after a road win at previously unbeaten Miami on Dec. 5.

The last time Nebraska was ranked as high as 14th in the AP poll came on Dec. 29, 1997. The Huskers achieved their highest ranking in school history at No. 12 the first week of December in 1997.

Nebraska is one of six Big 12 teams in the rankings and the only unbeaten team remaining in the league. Baylor is ranked No. 5 in this week’s poll, while Texas A&M is No. 10. Oklahoma is ranked 13th, followed by the Huskers, while Texas is No. 17. Kansas is ranked No. 21, while Oklahoma State is lead Texas Tech and Iowa State all received votes.

The Huskers will enjoy the Christmas holiday with their families before returning to Lincoln to practice on Dec. 27. Nebraska returns to action by closing its current four-game home stand at the Devaney Center against Albany on Wednesday, Dec. 30, at 3:05 p.m. For tickets, visit or call 1-800-8-BIG-RED.

Also, Husker fans who were unable to attend Nebraska's win over No. 5 LSU on Sunday at the Devaney Center, have an opportunity to watch the game for free on-line at for the next week. A free replay is available right now on in the Exclusive Videos section of the home page.


Lincoln - The Nebraska volleyball team finished the 2009 season ranked fifth in the final AVCA Coaches poll released Tuesday afternoon. The Huskers finished the year with a 26-7 record after falling in the regional final to NCAA runner-up Texas in the Omaha Regional final on Dec. 12.

It marks the sixth straight year that the Huskers finished in the top five of the AVCA poll, as Nebraska has finished in the top five a total of 16 times dating back to 1988. It also marks the ninth time this decade that Nebraska has finished the season in the top five of the final AVCA poll.

With Tuesday’s ranking, Nebraska is one of only two programs in the country to be ranked in every AVCA poll since its inception in 1982. The Huskers have been ranked in the top 10 for the last 97 polls dating back to 2004. In addition, NU has been ranked in the top 10 for 366 of the 400 polls, trailing Stanford, which has been ranked in 367 polls.

Nebraska closed the season by winning 10 of its final 11 final matches, including four sweeps over teams that reached the NCAA Sweet 16. Nebraska advanced to a regional for the 16th straight year, the longest streak in the nation, and has played in an NCAA-best six straight regional finals.

The Huskers finished the decade with a 307-26 record and the only program in the nation to win 90 percent of its matches since 2000. NU collected nine top-five finishes in the AVCA poll this decade, and made five NCAA semifinal final appearances, winning NCAA titles in 2000 and 2006.

Nebraska will return six starters, including AVCA All-Americans Sydney Anderson, Brooke Delano and Tara Mueller for the 2010 season.


University of Nebraska baseball player Zach Hirsch was featured on the Today Show Thursday morning, as his friendship with Graham Jackson, a St. Charles North High School student who has Asperger’s syndrome, was featured. Watch the inspiring story by clicking on the link below.

Lincoln - University of Nebraska Baseball Coach Mike Anderson announced that 11 high school seniors have signed National Letters-of-Intent to play baseball at Nebraska beginning in the 2011 season. The recruiting class features players from seven states. In addition, seven of the recruits garnered first-team all-state honors last season, including Nebraska products Logan Ehlers (Nebraska City, Neb.) and Mike Pritchard (Omaha, Neb.). Ehlers was the Louisville Slugger and Gatorade Player of the Year in Nebraska in 2009.

“These are kids we have followed and tracked for the last 18-24 months, and we are excited that they have signed to become Huskers,” Anderson said. “Our focus is always first in the Midwest in identifying players and tracking their development and have them continue that development in our program. The thing about this class is the balance, as have six pitchers and five position players. We are still going to have our work cut out for us because there are some kids in the class who are very draftable. This group, combined with the class we got to campus this fall, will set the tone for our program the next few years.”

Name                      Pos          Ht.        Wt.       B/T       Hometown (High School)
Colton Bickerstaff   C/INF       6-0        195       L/R       Mineola, Texas (Mineola HS)
Logan Ehlers           LHP          6-2        200       L/L       Nebraska City, Neb. (Nebraska City HS)
Jon Keller               RHP          6-5        225       R/R      Cedar Rapids, Iowa (Xavier HS)
Tyler King              LHP          6-1        190        L/L       Republic, Mo. (Republic HS)
Tanner Krietemeier RHP/OF   6-2         185       B/R      Castle Rock, Colo. (Rock Canyon HS)
Jon Musser             RHP         6-5         205       R/R      Waukee, Iowa (Dowling HS)
Shane Opitz            INF          6-2         180       L/R       Centennial, Colo. (Heritage HS)
Brandon Pierce      RHP          6-2         200       R/R       Gunter, Texas (Gunter HS)
Mike Pritchard       OF            6-0         170       L/L       Omaha, Neb. (Creighton Prep HS)
Ryan Richardson    IN             6-0         170       R/R       South Elgin, Ill. (St. Charles North HS)
Drew Robinson      INF/OF     6-1         185      R/R        Las Vegas, Nev. (Silverado HS)

Holiday Greetings and Internet Fun!

Funny, entertaining and thought provoking click away if you find the time to check them out during the holidays.

Have a great holiday!

If you are looking for a great place to donate to a good cause this Christmas, check out the Salvation Army's on-line kettle for your contribution. Not quite the same as putting money in the red kettle wherever bell ringers are located, but its a secure website and nearly 90% of your donation goes to "Doing The Most Good". Click on the website: and then click on the secure "Donate Now" kettle. You can also establish your own (or organization) kettle to collect donations in your name, or donate to one that is already established. Many thanks.

On-line cards and Christmas greetings:

The concept of computerized Christmas light shows synchronized to music has grown exponentially and some of the coolest house lighting displays can be found at You Tube. Most of them are now professionally done and here are a few that you should get you looking for more. - Amazing Grace - Carol of the Bells - Original display that kind of started the concept - Wizards of Winter

Another Christmas card with a house you can decorate as you like. Click on the link below, use the icons to turn day to night, snowfall, etc.
Click here: Deck the House

Cute website with an animated Santa and several reindeer singing a jazz version of "White Christmas" done by the Drifters in the early 50s...
or at:

A beautiful photographic and poetic look at Christmas, honoring the silence of the night...

Beautiful Christmas cards from Ashland University in Ohio...
Go to and click on any of their Christmas greetings. I especially like the 2005 and 2004 versions. When they are done, take a minute and listen to the university choir.

Christmas Card designs by Jacquie Lawson, a British graphic artist (she also does wonderful Thanksgiving and July 4th cards)...

The Twelve Days of Christmas -

Santa's Jigsaw Puzzle -

Wonderful, multi-layered site that you navigate by clicking on different elements in each scene...

Merry Christmas from the magic snowman!

A perennial favorite...Click on a Reindeer for Holiday Cheer! Each deer (including Santa) has a different part in making the music..,,4845,00.swf

And a Happy New Year's greeting to enjoy on the 31st! Don't forget to use your mouse and click to create fireworks in the background.,,16961_rs,00.swf

On a lighter note...

My personal favorite...a great collection of Calvin and Hobbes Snowman Cartoons!

NORAD's Santa Tracking (for all those young at heart who want to still believe)...

Christmas Countdown (for the youngsters who can't wait)...

Elf Snowball Fight - Sorry, but the Elf movie version has been taken down by the Warner Brothers folks, but there is still one you can play once you skip the card writing intro (good for easing the frustrations from Christmas shopping)...

The Penquin lives for this, honest......

1. Click on the link below.

2. Click once on the Yeti to start the penquin.

3. Click the Yeti again at the right time to hit the penguin with the bat as he descends from the cliff.

4. What's your distance? Near perfect swings will get the penguin out past the 300 yard marker!

5. Click Okay and try again!

Click Here:

And here is another perennial favorite...Penguin Diving...tough getting a high score from all three judges!

Shake that Snow Globe! (one of my need to watch all of the action closely to discover that it isn't just a quiet and friendly winter scene)...

How far can you catapult Santa?
Click the mouse to get the elves started, then click and hold to load the catapult, releasing when you want to give Santa the big ride. (takes a little practice to get him out there very far...especially before you fall into the crevasse. Not to brag, but I got him out to 270 feet)

Visit our Bay Area Huskers website for additional Husker information, Links, Upcoming Events, Past Events, Watch Sites, and the Schedule of Games. Also order Merchandise online, and get information on Husker Scholarships. Check out the History of the Huskers and meet our Directors.

Say hello today, email us, sign up for our newsletter, and become a member of the Bay Area Huskers Alumni Chapter.

1 comment:

  1. Merry Christmas!

    Here are some beautiful Christmas ecards for you:-)

    Christmas Choir

    Jingle Bells


    Jazzy Christmas