Seems a good challenge to have.
Pelini thinks Husker fans' passion and zeal for football are greater at times than it is at other big-time programs such as LSU or Oklahoma, two places he coached as an assistant.
“LSU is into it, Oklahoma was into it,” Pelini said Friday. “But the constant seven days a week, 365 days a year, it’s different here than those places. It’s not as constant a barrage of it at some of the other places I’ve been. It’s kind of compartmentalized a little bit where the players aren’t slammed over the head with it every day of the year. That is a challenge here.
“But it just is the way it is. It’s not going away. And believe me, the fans' passion for it, and the media, that’s a positive. But there are issues with that, too, that relate to our football team and how you keep them focused and heading in a certain direction.”
Head coaches by nature seek to control everything they possibly can. Pelini, however, can't control what media and fans think -- and write -- and how it impacts his team or certain players on the team. He has to manage the issue the best he can, and realize it's part of the job -- a bigger part for coaches than, say, 20 years ago.
Pelini is "old school." He likes to coach football. Likes to help guide young men and prepare them for the future. I've gotten the feeling in past interviews that he spends more time than he would like dealing with issues (and non-issues) that pop up in the Internet/media world.
To be fair, Pelini in both interviews said media attention and fan passion are positives for his program.
"But there are issues ... that relate to our football team and how you keep them focused and heading in a certain direction,” he said.
Pelini isn't shy about sharing opinions. We like that about him. As he talked about this particular issue, he had to know there would be some blowback.
What say you?