Over the past few weeks, I had the unfortunate privilege of watching my favorite college football team disintegrate into a level of mediocrity below anything I could have imagined. It’s not been an easy season to watch, but I was also kind of glad it was happening. I knew we needed to hit rock bottom in order for change to come.
Although rumors had been swirling for weeks and I’d literally been talking about it for years, this past Saturday, the University of Nebraska – Lincoln hired former Husker football player and current coach of the University of Central Florida, Scott Frost. I couldn’t be happier. The hire has created a fresh hope in a fanbase (and me) that hasn’t experienced anything like this since the mid-90s.
Here’s the thing. While it’s true that Scott Frost has been a great coach – helping develop Marcus Mariotta at Oregon and flipping the UCF team from abysmal to undefeated, there’s something far greater happening here than just hoping we’ll win some ball games. As Coach Frost addressed the press on Sunday afternoon and eager Husker fans tuned in across the state and nation, they didn’t get promises about wins and losses. Instead, they got what they’d been desperate for for years: a promise for unity, toughness and a work ethic like no other.
I’m frequently pretty hard on the state of Nebraska. I’m partial to the West Coast, expansive bodies of water and much warmer winters, but the people of the state where I live are special. Nebraskans are some of the hardest working and most loyal people I’ve ever known. In a place where the climate is harsh, the landscape unremarkable and the inconvenience of travel is high, it’s the people who stand out.
The hard work, unity and never-counted-out attitude that I see in my team at work used to be the same thing I saw on the football field. Nebraskans have never been the kind of people that put up with “good enough” for very long. I see that in my team at Mineral as they push each other toward tighter user experiences, more innovative design and tighter copy. I watch them come together without ego to gain ground in unison. I see them put in the time in the “weight room” of education to hone their skills and craft. It’s a privilege to be a part of a team that’s working this hard.
I’m in debt to my team’s hard work this year and I hope their unity, toughness and unparalleled work ethic shows up in our football team next year, too.