Two days after a health scare that included a trip in an ambulance, Bo Pelini knew what everyone wanted to hear.
“I assume you guys want to jump right into Idaho State questions,” he said to begin his weekly news conference Monday.
At the end of his half-hour talk, he was asked about his standard workout regimen.
“I get after it."
Another hit. Certainly Pelini revealed a healthy sense of humor.
In between the jokes, the fifth-year Nebraska head football coach talked a little Idaho State, a little Rex Burkhead, a little defense.
But most of the talk centered on his health. It’s not a concern at all going forward, Pelini said.
After leaving the stadium in an ambulance and missing the second half of Saturday’s 42-13 win against Arkansas State, Pelini said tests at the hospital revealed no lingering issues. In fact, he said he'd be making his usual four-mile run around town Monday.
“A clean bill of health,” he said. “Everything came back perfect. I’m not just healthy. I’m very healthy."
But that's not how he said he felt about an hour before Saturday's game, when he was bothered by an upset stomach, which began to feel like "severe heartburn" as the first half progressed. Some dizziness accompanied it.
"It's hard to explain what I felt," he said. "I knew this: I didn't feel good."
At halftime, team doctors and those around him felt it was in his best interest to exercise caution and go to the hospital.
“I didn’t have a choice after a while,” Pelini said. “They told me what I was going to do and how I was going to handle it. I’m glad they did.”
Pelini hinted that he received some game updates but saw very little of the second half from the hospital, catching only the very end when Nebraska was running out the clock.
“I’m glad I wasn’t watching when it was 28-10 and they had the ball deep, because then I maybe would have had a heart problem,” he said with a laugh.
While doctors told Pelini any number of issues could have caused the problem, the coach doesn't believe stress was a factor.
“One thing I don't want is anybody to make this out to be like I'm overstressed or this or that. I’ve never had one issue,” Pelini said. “It was an isolated incident and there were a number of factors that probably contributed to it.
“I have tremendous balance in my life. I’m not a real stressed-out person. I’m just not. Probably the biggest stress you have is getting from here and getting to my kids’ games and making sure I’m handling the time here with what you want to be as a father, and make sure you have balance.”
Pelini was out of the hospital by Saturday afternoon, back at work Sunday, and cracking jokes in the news conference Monday.
He thanked the many people who had sent him well wishes over the weekend.
“I’m as healthy as can be,” he said. “You guys are going to be stuck with me for a while.”