How good of a football player was former Husker wingback Anthony Steels? Good enough that Steels, who grew up in a military family, played his senior year of high school football in Spain, but still got a shot to walk-on at Nebraska. He eventually earned a scholarship and went on to play pro football in the NFL and USFL.
Perhaps most famously, Steels sang the national anthem on senior day in 1981, a 31-7 win over Iowa State in which Steels scored a touchdown.
Steels struggled with addiction after his football days were over, eventually conquering the disease only to find himself battling another — prostate cancer.
A benefit this Friday at the Millard (Neb.) Social Hall will raise funds for Steels’ ongoing treatment and to help his family with the cost. The event, which will include a number of former Huskers, includes a prime rib dinner, music and a Husker memorabilia auction. Tom Osborne will deliver the keynote address and local medical experts will also be on hand to discuss prostate cancer.
Steels told Randy York of Huskers.com that the education part of it was key:
“I wanted to do something for the community, so others can understand how prostate cancer is a silent killer, especially for black males,” Steels said. “I think it’s lovely and awesome that so many people wanted to do a benefit, but I just want to help others learn about this deadly disease.
“Coach Osborne is so generous,” Steels said. “He did not hesitate. I received a second chance years ago with my addiction problem. God came through for that, so this is the same type of battle, spiritually, emotionally and in some cases physically. I have been blessed beyond measure, but I don’t want to leave my family empty-handed. I don’t know how to thank the friends I went to college with that are showing their support and their love. It has been beautiful.”
The benefit for Steels — called “A Night to Remember” — is this Friday. The dinner begins at 6 p.m., followed by the auction and musical performances which will run from 9 p.m. to midnight. Tickets for the dinner are $100 and are available by calling Tim Wurth (402.397.7890) or Martha Florence (402.570.1522).
Tickets for the music and auction are $10 are available at the door.
The Battle for March Is On
The NCAA polices its “March Madness” trademark pretty diligently. Plenty of companies, small and large, have found this out the hard way, but I didn’t expect to see the Big Ten potentially falling into that category.
The NCAA has filed an opposition to The Big Ten Conference’s use of “MARCH IS ON!” The NCAA claims that if the power conference is cleared to register the mark, then the Association will be damaged in its regular promotion of a wide range of goods and services in relation to March Madness and its annual Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments.
In fact, the NCAA references its continuous use of the “MARCH MADNESS” mark in commerce in an attempt to persuade the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board that it should not register The Big Ten Conference’s application for MARCH IS ON! Three distinct registrations for MARCH MADNESS are cited in the NCAA’s filing.
Must admit, I haven’t seen “March Is On” used by the Big Ten to this point, and I guess maybe I never will now. It’s an important reminder as that month which shall not be mentioned nears: Just call it basketball month and you should be fine.
The Grab Bag
- Looks like Nebraska is out of the running for Clemson transfer defensive tackle Scott Pagano.
- Former Husker Daniel Bullocks is joining Kyle Shanahan’s 49ers staff.
- Good interview with Tim Beck by Max Olson as Beck prepares to take the reins of the Texas offense.
- The “biggest strengths of teams in the Big Ten West.”
Today’s Song of Today
This OMD sample is everything.
Brandon is the Managing Editor for Hail Varsity and has covered Nebraska athletics for the magazine and web since 2012, Hail Varsity’s first season on the scene. His sports writing has also been featured by Fox Sports, The Guardian and CBS Sports.