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Ak-Sar-Ben Itself Merits Praise Along With King Dick And Queen Suzanne - 10-14-10

Come Election Day, White And Terry Can’t Duck Party Labels Any Longer - 10-07-10

Today, Second-Guessing Other Sports Commentators But Some Thoughts On Current Political Issues, Too - 09-30-10

Gates Gives Somber Non-Political Appraisals Of Iraq, Afghanistan - 09-23-10

At Last, A Prominent Moderate Muslim Speaks Out Against Muslim Terrorists - 09-16-10

Today, It’s All About College Football With Some “As I See It” Commentary - 09-09-10

Danes’ Sensible Approach To Immigration Won’t, Unfortunately, Fly In The U.S.A. - 09-02-10

Mosque Controversy Isn’t About Legal Rights; It’s About Moral Use Of Those Rights - 08-26-10

Time To Answer The Obvious Question: What Chance For Success In Afghanistan? - 08-19-10

Two-Paragraph News Story Offers Scary Prospect For World’s Future - 08-12-10

Outdated Constitutional Language Adds To Today’s Illegal Immigration Mess - 08-05-10

Not Wall Street But Democratic Policy Caused Mortgage Market Crash - 07-29-10

Windfarm Promoters Need More Facts, Less Rhetoric - 07-22-10

Nebraska Democrats’ ‘Find A Candidate’ Problem Began Long Months (Years?) Ago - 07-15-10

When The Subject Is Disasters,Obama Needs A History Lesson - 07-08-10

McChrystal’s Firing Spotlights Afghan War And The Slim Chance Of U.S. Victory There - 07-01-10

Advice For An Egocentric President: “I, I, I” Suggests One-Man Team - 06-24-10

Texas Decision Good For Big 12 But Even Better For The Longhorns - 06-17-10

Europe Is Sobering Up From 'Welfare' Binge; Obama-Led U.S. Moving Toward Similar Crises? - 06-10-10

A New Issue: Does ‘Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell’ Make Military Service Easier For Gays? - 06-03-10

Do State Officials Really Understand The Challenges Faced By Omaha Schools? - 05-27-10

Democrats Continue Cheap Shot Campaign Against Republican Congressman Lee Terry - 05-20-10

Cartoonist Koterba Says It Clearly: Don’t Put All The Blame On Schools - 05-13-10

Citizenship For Immigrants Is Inevitable But Start By Closing The Border - 05-06-10

Punish Wall Streeters If They Deserve It But Liberal Dems Spawned The Mortgage Mess - 04-29-10

Did Legislature, Speaker Mike Flood Deserve All Those Kind Words? - 04-22-10

Tiger Sulks His Way Through Masters— Is Obama Gambling On The Nuclear Issue? Rogue States And Terrorists Won’t Sign Up - 04-15-10

Did Obama/Pelosi ‘Sausage Factory’ Produce A Debt-Increasing Unpopular Health Plan? - 04-08-10

The Stories Behind Some Disturbing Headlines And Some Advice For Avoiding National Bankruptcy - 04-01-10

Four-Vote House Margin Makes Americans Swallow Trillion-Dollar Pill They Don't Want - 03-25-10

Insurance Pays 96% Of Family’s Cost For Seven Years Of ‘End Of Life’ Treatment - 03-18-10

President Angry Replaces President Cool; ‘ObamaCare’s’ Chances Helped Or Hurt? - 03-11-10

Americans To Get ‘ObamaCare’ Even If They Don’t Want It? - 03-04-10

Despite The Headlines, There’s Progress In Curbing Violence In North Omaha - 02-25-10

Corporate Expenditures Bad For Politics Except When They Benefit Liberal Candidates? - 02-18-10

Wind Energy Industry Faced Disaster; V.A. Hospital Not Personal Obama Choice - 02-11-10

Some Remarkable Legislative Comments And Some Questionable Media Performance - 02-04-10

When The Subject Is Nebraska Wind Energy, ‘Green’ Is The Color Of Money - 01-28-10

The “Teddy Kennedy Seat” Lesson Might Benefit Both Democrats and Republicans - 01-21-10

Some Legislative Issues—Like Gambling—Deserve Quick Death But Water Issues Deserve Careful Attention - 01-14-10

Today: ‘Big Daddy’ Government Wrong Again, And How Justified Is Cornhusker Title Talk? - 01-07-10

Dan Neary Worthy Of The Honor--
Today Some Upbeat Comments But "Obama Care" Debate Demands Attention
- 12-30-09

Even Without That Health Bill Vote, Another Term For Nelson Was Questionable - 12-23-09

Let’s Talk Football And Why Nebraska’s Suh Deserved The Heisman - 12-17-09

Image of Immigrants Would Be Helped By Less Cinco de Mayo, More 4th of July - 12-10-09

Image Of Islam Is Badly Damaged By ‘God-Approved’ Slaughter Of Non-Muslims - 12-03-09

Close Call For NU Research, Reputation; Thanksgiving Reminder: Count Your Blessings - 11-25-09

NU’s Reputation And Research Role Are Both At Stake When Regents Vote - 11-19-09

Obama’s ‘Yes We Can’
Changing To ‘Maybe We Can’t’?
- 11-12-09

Review The History Before Renaming A Street; Memories Of Sarah, Our Sweet Senior Dog - 11-05-09

“Socioeconomic Diversity” More Important Then Academic Achievement In “Learning Community”? - 10-29-09

A Visiting Sports Columnist Agrees: ‘There Is No Place Like Nebraska’ - 10-22-09

Might Obama Wish He Had A Chance To Say ‘No, Thanks’ To Early Nobel Prize? - 10-15-09

Don’t Overlook The Variety Of Aid Which Goes To ‘Poverty Level’ Families - 10-08-09

Smorgasbord Today: From UN’s “Nutcake Day” To Obama Performance Here And Abroad - 10-01-09

Must Defense Continue To Cover For Huskers’ Anemic Red Zone Offense? - 09-24-09

'Energizer Bunny' President Continues To Add Proposals For Reform - 09-17-09

Today, Variety: Football, Golf And Why No President Should Televise Himself Into The Nation’s Classrooms - 09-10-09

Massachusetts Gave Kennedy Significant Second Chances - 09-03-09

Obama’s Problem Not Just With GOP
But With A Great Many Americans
- 08-27-09

Tiger Could Use Sportsmanship Lesson—And Less Coverage From Fawning Media - 08-20-09

Gallup ‘Competitive’ Label, If Accurate Long Term, Is Good News Not Only For Nebraska Democrats - 08-13-09

Democrats Go All-Out Negative:
Trash Private Insurance Industry
- 08-06-09

Journalistic Watchdogs Turned Lapdogs When Obama Called That ‘News Conference’ - 07-30-09

Look Back, Mr. President: Opposition Is Catching Up - 07-23-09

Dem Lynch Mob Might Hang President’s Hopes - 07-16-09

Dems Start Oust-Terry Effort In The Political Gutter - 07-09-09

Despite Liberal Media's Views, Nation Better Served By Viable GOP - 07-02-09

A Varied Menu For You To Consider - 06-25-09

Freshman President Learning Some Political Realities? - 06-18-09

Voices Of Reason Raised Too Late To Slow Rush To Wind Power? - 06-11-09

Public Will Be Watching Prosecution Of Three Teen-Age Creatures - 06-04-09

Wealthiest Paying Less, In Taxes?
It’s Simply Not True
- 05-28-09

Notre Dame And Obama
Offer A Splendid Lesson
- 05-21-09

Special-Interest Liberals
Shouldn’t Badger Obama
- 05-14-09

A Surprising Source: Obama
Cites Positive Results of Iraq War
- 05-07-09

Media Transfer Their Love
From Candidate to President
- 04-30-09

Suttle Campaign Subtly Two-Faced? Or ‘Just Politics’? Voters Will Decide - 04-23-09

If America Is "At War
With Islam," It's Self-Defense
- 04-16-09

Seven Iowans Change Marriage
Tradition For 3 Million Others
- 04-09-09

Will Liberal Democrats Continue
Escaping The Verdict Of History?
- 04-02-09

Multi-Focused President
Upsets Even Liberals
- 03-26-09

Richard Nixon—Appropriate To Recall The Good As Well As The Dark Side - 03-19-09

Not Reducing Mortgage Costs; We’re Simply ‘Modifying’ Them - 03-12-09

Fair Warning From NY Times: Obama’s “Breathtaking Plans” Would “Transform American Society” - 03-05-09

A Look At Academy Awards Nastiness, But First A Plug For My Book, “Life With Marian” - 02-26-09

Let’s Not Move Slot Machine Cancer From Iowa Casinos To Nebraska Race Tracks - 02-19-09

Whiteclay Is Wrong Target;
Aim At Alcoholism Problem
- 02-12-09

For The Best “Stimulus” Formula:
Put Economic Recovery First;
“Remaking USA” Can Wait
- 02-05-09

Journalistic Hounds Are Still
In Full Pursuit Of Bush
- 01-29-09

‘First Black President’ Celebration
Shouldn’t Further Distract Us
From Job We And Obama Face
- 01-22-09

‘Adults In Wonderland’
Need To Get Real
- 01-15-09

Advice For Husker Fans:
Rejoice—But Be Realistic
- 01-08-09

Kennedy Dynasty History
Includes Shameful Chapters
- 12-31-08

Today Some Merry Christmas Thoughts But A Few Political Barbs, Too - 12-24-08

This Time It’s Indians
Who Break The Treaty
- 12-18-08

Me? A Grumpy Old Man?
One Reader Thinks So
- 12-11-08

Obama Steers A Moderate Course
But Congressional Democrats Veer Left
- 12-04-08

Too Many "Non-Blessings"
This Thanksgiving Week
- 11-26-08

Let’s Hear More About
The Principal ‘Crisis’ Victims
- 11-20-08

Color-Blind Issues Voting
Showed No Turn To The Left
- 11-13-08

Election Made History
But Big Questions Remain
- 11-06-08

Today, A Choice of Topics:
Politics Or Football—Or Both
- 10-30-08

Splitting Electoral Votes Good Idea? Then Why Do 48 States Reject It? - 10-23-08

Dems Take 11th Hour Low Road
In 2nd Congressional District Race
- 10-16-08

Another Government “Welfare Program,” Bargain Mortgages, Caused The Crisis - 10-09-08

Words Can Lose Their Meaning
When A Government Program Is Involved
- 10-02-08

—Have We Learned This Lesson?— Crisis Results When Individuals, Encouraged By Financial Institutions, Try To Live Beyond Their Means - 9-25-08

Bonds To Build Four-Lane Highways?
Where Would The Money Come From?
- 9-18-08

Today, a Large Load of Political
Commentary After a Brief Plug For
My Book, ‘Life With Marian’
- 9-17-08

Major News Media Look Bad
In Non-Coverage of
Edwards’ Sex Affair Story
- 9-11-08

Disadvantaged Students Can Be
Helped Without Discriminatory ‘Affirmative Action’
- 9-04-08

My Favorite Olympic Champion?
It Wasn’t Michael Phelps
- 8-28-08

Will Chinese Get Away With
'Out Air Is Clean' Scam?
- 8-21-08

Windmills, Solar Won't Do It;
Time To Get Real On Energy
- 8-07-08

I Doubt That God or Jesus
Have Heavenly Money on Either Team
- 8-07-08

‘Pop Star’ Obama Lacks Experience,
McCain Lacks Clear Campaign Strategy
- 7-31-08

Top Athletes Should
Know When to Quit?
- 7-24-08

Would Odor of Politics
Taint Fire Chief Choice?
- 7-17-08

Will Hospitality, Qwest Center
Lure Swim Trials Back to Omaha?
- 7-09-08

Omaha Stars Again
On National TV Stage
- 7-02-08

Omaha's CWS Reputation
Gets New "Rave Reviews"
- 6-25-08

S.D. Vote Could Lead
To National Abortion Battle
- 6-18-08

Don’t Let Niobrara Go The Way
Of The Republican And The Platte
- 6-11-08

Voters Didn’t Impose Term Limits
To Rid Legislature of Chambers
- 6-04-08

“It’s Our Turn” Pitch Might
Not End With Hillary Defeat
- 5-28-08

Prime Nebraska Political
Battleground This Year:
2nd Congressional District
- 5-21-08

The 'Browning' of America:
How Far Will It Go?
- 5-14-08

Obama ‘Stumbling’ To Victory? - 5-08-08

"Does Homebuyer Bailout
Reward the Irresponsible?"
- 4-30-08

"Was McCain, Not Clinton,
The Real Winner in Pennsylvania?"
- 4-25-08

"Cleaner Skies Advice For Gore:
Pressure On China, More Nuke
Power If Jane Fonda Will Allow It"
- 4-16-08

"Why The Big Fuss Over
Tiny Gasoline Cost Increase?"
- 4-09-08

"Quietly, Nebraska Yields
All-Public-Power Status"
-  4-02-08

"Obama’s ‘Historic’ Speech Left
Big Questions Unanswered "
-  3-25-08

"Overweight Moore Produces
“Sicko,” Finds An Ally In Creighton Doctor"
-  3-19-08

"Bush Sings, Praises Press
At Annual Gridiron Dinner"
-  3-12-08

"Obama Would Be Least
Formidable Opponent For McCain"
-  3-7-08

"‘Charisma’ Not Always a Good Thing" -  2-27-08

"Could Citizen ‘Packing Iron’
Have Stopped Von Maur Killings?"
-  2-20-08

"Obama’s Style Without Substance
Exciting, But Is It Presidential?"
-  2-13-08

"Barack Obama and John McCain:
A Major Contrast in Egos? "
-  2-07-08

"‘First Black President’
Emphasis Wouldn’t Help Obama"
-  1-30-08

"Kimball Lauritzen: Think of Her
As Joyous on Some New Dawn"
-  1-23-08

"What 'Tough' Election Contest
Was Ben Nelson Talking About?"
- 1-16-08

"Overhyped New Hampshire
Offsets Overhyped Iowa"
- 1-10-08

"Coach Bo Now Well Welcomed;
Time to Start Thinking of NU Wins"
- 1-2-08

"Words of Jews Most Moving
To Me This Christmas Season"
- 12-25-07

"AT LAST: TALK OF PREVENTION
JOINS MOURNING OVER KILLINGS"
- 12-19-07

"Killer Is Getting Just What He Wanted;
Let's Add Anger and
Action to Our Sorrow"
- 12-12-07

"Bo Brings Emotional Fire to NU Job;
Scary News: Huckabee Gain in Iowa"
- 12-05-07

"Callahan Outclasses Loudmouth Critics;
Tom Osborne Treated Him Fairly"
- 11-28-07

"A Thought for Thanksgiving Day:
Tell Them You Love Them"
- 11-21-07

"Callahan Critics: Is Loss to CU
The Only Way to Satisfy Them?"
- 11-16-07

"Crybaby Fans, Sports Commentators
Distracting Players From Their Job?"
- 11-09-07

"Did Bob Kerrey’s Decision Avoid
the Likelihood of Defeat?"
- 11-02-07

"Nosy Congress Makes
Three Bad Calls"
- 10-26-07

"Is This The Way to Run UNL´s
Athletic Program?"
- 10-19-07

"Right Decision Could
Help Both Fair, UNL"
- 10-12-07

"Stop Trying To Make God A Republican" - 10-6-07

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As I See It
Harold W. Andersen is a retired Publisher and Chief Executive Officer of the Omaha World-Herald Company. Full biography.

A number of you have told me that you don’t look forward to reading the column on your computer screen. That’s not necessary if you have a printer. Print out the column and take it with you to the breakfast table or wherever else you choose to read printed material. (You can also call up past columns in case you missed them.)

And, if you haven’t already done so, let us know your e-mail address so that we can send you a weekly reminder when a new column is available.

First, a reminder:

Attractive, hardbound copies of “Life With Marian”—a book which a good many readers have said they would be interested in owning—are still available for purchase (for $22.50) at The Bookworm in Countryside Village.  If more convenient, you can now also send a check payable to Harold W. Andersen for $26.66 (includes tax and postage) and mail to me at P.O. Box 27347, Omaha, NE, 68127.  A copy will be sent by return mail.

A Visiting Sports Columnist Agrees:
‘There Is No Place Like Nebraska’

October 22, 2009

Since 17 years ago when I started writing columns for publication at least once a week, I have prided myself on communicating (with a few exceptions) with my readers on a weekly basis, regardless of brief vacation trips, a few trips to Europe and a few brief hospital stays.

This, obviously, has involved some extra effort in the week before the “in absentia” column’s appearance.  (There have been occasions when some week-of-publication revisions were made by telephone or fax machine between on-the-road rounds of golf.)

This week I’m trying something new—borrowing a fellow internet columnist’s work in order to provide a message which I think will make good reading for anyone interested in Nebraska and Nebraskans’ national reputation.

I’ll conclude with a couple of brief offerings, including another of my reports on life with Marian.

First, with thanks to Jay Walker, the football play-by-play broadcaster for the University of Louisiana at Lafayette “Raging Cajuns,” the Internet column which Walker wrote after broadcasting the “Raging Cajuns” 55-0 loss to the Nebraska Cornhuskers in Lincoln last month: 

The headline said that the Southeastern Conference “thinks it has great atmosphere.”  Walker’s column suggested that if a football fan wants to “learn what REAL college football atmosphere is about,” he should come to Lincoln and attend a game in Nebraska’s Memorial Stadium.

Walker wrote:

“This is my 18th season covering Cajuns football.  And, for eight years before that, I had the opportunity to broadcast selected games on TV as well.

“I’ve been to nine SEC stadiums.  (I’ll go to a tenth next season at Georgia.)  I’ve seen the grove at Ole Miss, Birmingham and Tuscaloosa.  I’ve been called ‘Tigerbait’ in Baton Rouge and experienced some pretty good hospitality in South Carolina.

“I’ve said hello to the folks at Illinois and Minnesota.  Felt September heat in Tempe, AZ.  Been to Manhattan, Lubbock, Austin, Stillwater and College Station.  College Station was probably the best.  Folks say ‘Howdy’ when they see you.  And they say ‘welcome.’  Haven’t been to the Horseshoe, the Big House or Happy Valley.  Nor have I seen Touchdown Jesus.

“But I’ve been to College Football Nirvana.

“It’s located in Lincoln, Nebraska.

“From the time we touched down (‘Welcome to Lincoln,’ the police offers doing the escort said) to the time we left the stadium (‘Thanks so much for coming, have a safe trip home.  We hope you’ll come back again’) every Cajun fan felt like a guest.

“That’s right.  A guest.  Not the opposition…not the enemy…a guest.

“Check in to the Cornhusker Marriott, not far from campus.  Fans of Big Red Nation are already there.  Smiles, handshakes…welcome to Lincoln.  Good luck tomorrow.  Board the bus for dinner.  Arrive at Misty’s, Lincoln’s famous steakhouse (I mean, you got to eat a steak, right?).  There were about 25 in our party.  We had to wait about twenty minutes for them to get everything ready.  No problem.  As soon as the patrons saw the Cajun gear, they wanted to talk…introduce themselves…welcome to Lincoln…thanks so much for coming.  Hope you enjoy the game. 

“Is this for real??  And, it continued throughout the evening and into the night.  We made lots of friends.  We Cajun people make friends pretty easily, but it’s even easier when folks want to be friends. 

“In Lincoln, they all want to be your friend. 

“Gameday is different in Lincoln.  They tailgate, sure…but it’s tougher because, well, there’s just not a lot of tailgaiting spots.  But they do open the soccer field next to the stadium.  Families can let the kids roam free. 

“Nebraska radio does a pregame show there.  And, a band plays during the commercial breaks.

“I did an interview at the soccer field with the Nebraska radio folks.  And then, had a pretty good trek to the media entrance.  At each gate, the sight was the same.  Hundreds line up, waiting for the gates to open so they could get into the stadium and watch their team warm up.

“By the time Nebraska came out, about 45 minutes before kickoff, the stadium was about 65% full.  There was no ‘hey, let’s stay outside and pound a few more beers.’

“Because it was gameday.  And they came to see football.

“By the time the band was ready to come out, 86,000 strong were in their seats.  They stood and clapped along when the Cornhusker Band played ‘Fight on Cajuns’ to honor their guests.  And when the band played ‘There is no Place Like Nebraska’ I knew that the statement was true.

“For the first time ever in my years covering the Cajuns, I did not hear a single boo when the Cajuns came out of their tunnel onto their sidelines; in fact, I heard a smattering of applause.

“During the game, 86,000 cheered as Nebraska rolled.  They didn’t leave at halftime to go out and start drinking (and remember it was 34-0 at the half).  Some were outside, but they had passes to get back in and by the time the second half was ready to kick off, they were all back in their seats.  In the fourth quarter there were STILL over 80,000 in the stands.  Security keeps an eye out for the sign of alcohol in the stands, which is how trouble starts.  If they see alcohol they don’t turn a blind eye.  After all, college football is about a FAMILY atmosphere.

“And when it ended, the fans stayed for another Cornhusker tradition.  They applauded the Cajuns as they left the field.

“Now you might say…sure, it’s easy to clap for someone when you just beat them 55-0.  But they do that when their team LOSES.  The newspaper on Saturday morning reprinted a handwritten letter from Florida State coach Bobby Bowden after the Seminoles got a hard fought 18-14 win years ago.  Yep, the Nebraska fans cheered them as they left.

“More of the same postgame.  There was a young man in a wheelchair where the Cajun players were getting their postgame meal.  As each player came out, the young man thanked them for coming and wished them safe travels home.  Many of the players stopped to chat for a minute.

“Then it was over.  And, as the buses left for the airport, the fans that were still there waved and applauded.  No one finger salutes.  No ‘you suck’ chants.  Simply, safe travels, my friends. 

“If the two teams should play again in the future, plan ahead Cajun Fans.  Make the long drive or the relatively short flight.  Come in Friday…leave Sunday.  And, you will learn what REAL college football atmosphere is about.

“Because, trust me...there is no place like Nebraska.”

* * *

The Heisman Trophy For Obama?
And Why Didn’t He Just Say ‘No’?

From the evidence which comes to my attention, the reaction to what five Norwegians awarded to President Obama continues to be largely critical or at least highly skeptical. 

The award of the Nobel Peace Prize to an American president after less than nine months in office has, of course, produced some humorous comment in addition to the more scathing language of such commentators as columnist Ross Douthad in a piece which appeared in The New York Times:

Douthad wrote that Obama blew a chance “to draw a clean line between himself and all the overzealous Obamaphiles, at home and abroad, who poured their post-Christian, post-Marxist yearnings into the vessel of his 2008 campaign.

“It was a chance to establish himself, definitely, as an American president—too self-confident to accept an unearned accolade and too instinctively democratic to go along with European humbug. 

“He didn’t take it.  Instead, he took the Nobel Peace Prize.”

In short, Douthad concluded, Obama “wasn’t brave enough” to tell the Nobel Peace Prize committee “No.”

Douthad pointed out the obvious; i.e., that “the prize leaves Obama more open to ridicule.”  As an example of the ridicule—some of it pretty funny—is this “news headline” making the rounds on the Internet: 

BREAKING NEWS:  THIS JUST IN!!!  OBAMA WINS THE HEISMAN TROPHY AFTER WATCHING A COLLEGE FOOTBALL GAME!!!

* * *

Marian Suggests Unusual Christmas Gift

As Marian looked around my at-home “workroom” (for some reason known only to Marian she disapproves of my calling it my at-home “office”), she said she was reminded of a conversation with son David in a recent early December. 

Marian recalled that David had said something like, “What would you and Dad like for Christmas?  We always have a hard time picking a present for you two.” 

Marian said her reply was:  “A dumpster,” indicating she had in mind not only my overflowing “workroom” but also our overflowing attic and garage.

# # #

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