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Begin the season as The Blackshirts?


admo

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I agree with you. Blackshirt are traditionally handed out to the first string D. Over the course of a few yrs, the name blackshirts became so much more, the proud tradition of wearing a black shirt in practice became legendary. It has nothing to do with how good you are as a D, it's that you are the First String Defense for the University of Nebraska, even if you aren't as good as some before you. We're spoiled by years of success with BD, TO. legendary coaches aren't replaced easily. This D will be the most improved in the B1G this year. If the season begins and you're starting D, you should get a blackshirt. Pride has been know to win games at times. GBR

 

I believe the tradition may have started as the entire first team defense getting them but I think the tradition has evolved since the beginning. I think the Blackshirts mean much more than that now. It has evolved into a representation of something fierce and powerful. An intimidation factor in ways.

 

Plus, if I'm not mistaken, isn't Bo himself the one who changed the tradition by not handing them out to the starting defense? So in that itself it has clearly evolved, from the Osborne era and again in Pelini's short time here.

 

I think he was even the first DC in 03 to take them away as a motivational tool.

I think they had been handed out to more than just 11 players before Bo but the number has definitely grown over the years.

 

I don't have a problem with Bo putting his own touch on the tradition. It still seems to be something that the players get excited about.

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I believe he has the right idea about giving them when they are earned. Most in the last couple of years have not earned them. Suh David, and a few others earned them. In Bo's scheme. Originally it was to tell the difference between the D first string. He has changed that. But if they do not deserve them or live up to them, then they should lose them. Make a hard fast ruling on how you get them, what you have to do to keep them. The players then set goals, motivate themselves to accomplish the honor of being a Nebraska BlackShirt. Very little on the honor side the last couple of years. Or you just give them to the starters. It has grown more important in the fans eyes than it was intended to.

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I believe he has the right idea about giving them when they are earned. Most in the last couple of years have not earned them. Suh David, and a few others earned them. In Bo's scheme. Originally it was to tell the difference between the D first string. He has changed that. But if they do not deserve them or live up to them, then they should lose them. Make a hard fast ruling on how you get them, what you have to do to keep them. The players then set goals, motivate themselves to accomplish the honor of being a Nebraska BlackShirt. Very little on the honor side the last couple of years. Or you just give them to the starters. It has grown more important in the fans eyes than it was intended to.

 

Precisely this...

 

Hypothetically, if the UCLA game they hold them to less than a TD, force turnovers, and are a bigger factor in the win than the offense, then yes, I would have to say thats a good reason to hand them out...

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For those of you who don't want them handed out until they are clearly earned and the bearer of such is worthy of those before them, were you upset that blackshirts got handed out at any point the last two years?

 

I guess that is my problem with that approach. We would not have had a blackshirts unit for two years. At that point you might as well say to hell with the whole deal. Personally I don't want to see it come to that. Yes, I want them performing to the higher standard that shirt stands for but I just no longer see the motivation behind being reminded that you're not worthy for 6 or 8 games and then receiving them in an act of desperation and mercy. Look at it this way, if and when our defense is to be feared, the shirts will mean something. But when the D sucks, it really doesn't matter if they have blackshirts or not. The legend came about due to having fearsome defense not because people feared the shirts.

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Giving up 600 yards on numerous occasions states you do not have a Black Shirt defense. You have a defense that gives up huge points and yards. It can be the way it was originally. I would just like to see it be a standard. Do it the same every year. If it is the starters on defense, then do it that way. But we have differing qualifications it seems every year. In honesty I could care less if they get them or not. I just want to see a defense that is worthy of having the N on the helmet. We have fallen short the last couple of years, very short of what was once a proud tradition for this program. Will it change this year, I think it will. Speed kills.

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I think that Bo is the one that started the mystique of "this is a privilege, you gotta earn it" thing with the blackshirts. There is still a starting 11 Nebraska defense and according to tradition, they are blackshirts because of that.

 

That doesn't mean someone can't come up and take that spot from a starter. I think they should be given out early to motivate those who didn't make the starting 11. Then they'll push the starters to keep it.

 

It's almost as if the shirt were a symbol for starting or something.

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I don't understand the "make them earn it" argument. They earn it by beating out the other guys at the position to be a starter. It's motivation for the 2nd and 3rd string guys to beat him out for it. Once they put on that blackshirt there is a responsibility to live up to the tradition and legacy. I think the motivation of living up to the legacy is greater than the motivation of earning a blackshirt. One is an individual accomplishment and the other is how the defense plays as a whole.

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