The 1995 Nebraska football season was over almost before it began.
“I don’t know of anybody who wasn’t scared of us,” Christian Peter said recently. “I saw the fear across the line. I heard how nobody wanted to play us. We were intimidating and there was a good reason.
"We had Tommie Frazier, maybe the best quarterback ever, and we had, what, a dozen great running backs and the best offense in the country.
“Our only fear was losing, because we were the best-coached team, the best-practiced team and the most-motivated team in the country. We had Tom Osborne on our side.
"I don’t care who it was … No. 8 Kansas State one week, No. 7 Colorado the next week, No. 2 Florida in the Fiesta Bowl. They knew after a couple of plays, there was no hope.”
Peter was a Husker captain. He was the famous star of the “Pump Up” video where he screamed about how the Huskers were despised, disrespected, called names and accused — and sometimes convicted — of all kinds of misbehavior.
“I was crazy and I guess they wanted the biggest, dumbest, loudest idiot to put a speech on a video before the Fiesta Bowl and something went off in my head,” he said. “I just ranted and yelled and just winged it for a while, and we went out and won big-time,” said Peter, who was a senior defensive tackle, starting next to his younger brother, Jason, and flanked by defensive ends Grant Wistrom and Jared Tomich.
Peter earned All-Big Eight first-team honors as a senior. He was one of the most recognizable players of NU's 1994-1995 national championship teams.
Peter was responsible for 20 tackles for loss, nine sacks and 33 quarterback hurries on a defense that had plenty of stars all eager to pile up stats.
He was also arrested eight times and convicted four times for misdemeanor crimes. The university settled with Kathy Redmond for $50,000 when she accused Peter of twice sexually assaulting her. No charges were filed.
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He was a wild man on the field and a self-admitted wild man off it.
“It took me a long time and a lot of help, especially from my wife, Monica, and now children, Olivia, 13, Juliet 10 and Christian Jr., 7."
Peter explained that it took time, treatment for alcohol and his behavior to turn his life around. He is president of Competitive Advantage Companies in New Jersey, working long hours for the various businesses under the Competitive Advantage umbrella.
“Nebraska took me in and I wanted to be a part of something so big, so special,” Peter said. “I got to play alongside my brother and against the best offensive lines Nebraska ever had, every day of the week.
“It got nasty. Not only did you get Aaron Graham, Aaron Taylor, Steve Ott and Chris Dishman in your face every day in practice, you had all those backups trying to prove something by blocking you,” Peter said. “And when practice was over, after you tried to kill each other for two hours, we’d sit down, eat and laugh, like brothers.
“When I went to the NFL, guys in the pros who were from Florida and Florida State and Colorado all said they hated playing us because we never let up,” Peter said.
As for his brother, Christian wanted to explain a story Jason talked about recently.
“Yeah, we started yelling at each other and we got in a fight and we blocked traffic and went to the training table and everybody laughed, like he said,” Christian said.
“But he went home and packed and said he was headed to Miami. I told him we all loved him and he was going to be a special player. And he stayed.
"See, I can be a good guy, too.”