We’re previewing spring football in the latest issue of Hail Varsity. Given some of the position battles and some of the decisions to be made facing the Huskers — new defense, new quarterback, new receivers (mostly) — it should be an epic unlike any other in recent memory. That informed our design direction and cover for this issue, masterfully executed by design director Quentin Lueninghoener. It also features recaps of Husker action on the diamond and on the hardwood, an interview with former Nebraska quarterback Steve Taylor and a Hail to the Fan that you don’t want to miss.
Below is the Letter from the Managing Editor in this issue, which will hit mailboxes and newsstands this week. Subscribe today.
It’s hard to beat the romance of a trip to the movies. Often hard to find that romance, too. Hollywood has always been great at recycling, but boy is it good at it now. Selling someone something they have already purchased many times before is a pretty safe strategy, and these are boom times for that as seemingly every piece of old intellectual property gets mined for any residual commercial appeal it may have left. The Coca-Cola commercials that run before the previews that run before the feature you are at the theater to see often seem more in love with the idea of the movies than the movies themselves.
This probably isn’t the place for a screed on the state of cinema, however, so the point is this: The reason a purveyor of sugary-sweet drinks can sell its product via sugary-sweet odes to the silver screen is because it’s a universal experience. We all know what it feels like to sit down with the hope of seeing something we’ve never seen before. And, if the local multiplex isn’t providing that often enough for you, I might recommend making it to Memorial Stadium for the spring game on April 15.
That will be the main attraction, but before that there will be a month of “previews” in the form of position battles, scheme switches and all of the other stuff daily stories are made of. Some of the unanswered questions facing the Huskers as they turn towards 2017 are big ones. There will be a new quarterback and a new defense. Nebraska improved its record in 2016, but all of the typical jockeying that goes on around this time of year takes on an increased sense of urgency as the Mike Riley era enters year three.
Spring football is often a strange thing. It’s a football-like substance, the Velveeta to fall’s cave-aged cheddar in that it can be useful and even tasty, but it’s not the real thing. This spring in Lincoln, however, feels a little different. There’s more mystery. It feels like the stakes are a little bit higher given all there is to do.
We preview what we perceive to be the major players and key plot points of the spring in this issue, but ultimately what makes this collection of practices feel different is that it feels like almost anything could happen. Maybe we’ll see something we’ve never seen before.
That’s a good feeling and an increasingly rare one. Somebody should make a movie about it.