Nebraska fans, lend him your ears -- and more

I am writing this now to give the overland stage time to get it there.

USC will be playing in Nebraska on Sept. 15, and I will be joining the greatest football team ever assembled as they strike out into the wilderness.

If possible, I’d like to spend time boarding with some corn cobs, maybe getting a smell of what it’s like to be around livestock -- then leaving Lincoln to move around the state and spend a few days here and there.

A stop in Wahoo at the Wigwam Cafe is probably a good start, but I was thinking it’d be interesting to stay with a real-live-boring Cornhuskers family somewhere out on the prairie so I can feel what it’s like to have nothing to look forward to in my life other than a Saturday afternoon football game.


I’ll be going to Nebraska early in the football week, and while I’m not sure what corn cob hospitality is like, I’d like to remind folks that when they came to L.A., I tried to help.

Remember when the Cornhuskers came to the big city to lose in the Rose Bowl? Everyone here knows there are no individual seats -- just long benches for the skinny people who live here.

I was looking out for the corn-fed porkers, of course, including all their big-butted women, when I told them that if everyone sat down after the anthem, there were going to be people falling atop each other at the end of each row.

A number of corn cobs e-mailed to say they were unhappy with Page 2 but thrilled now to have their very own Internet machines.


They also wanted to tell me about their wonderful lives, kids and the modern facilities being built right down there by the creek. Well, there’s nothing like a Wal-Mart coming to town to excite the locals, so I was thrilled for them. But for some reason that didn’t come across in our correspondence, and there might still be some hard feelings.

I got to thinking last summer, though, as I drove the family-that-I-used-to-love across Nebraska in a RV what it must be like to actually live there most every day of your life.

I can’t remember for sure if it was Nebraska or Kansas where I saw a tree, but it just seemed as if there wasn’t much there.

That’s why the corn cobs love their football. It’s all they have, everyone wearing red, and sitting there like plump, ripe tomatoes with corncobs stuck to their heads, singing, “There is no place like Nebraska.”


Hard to argue. There’s not a 7-Eleven in the entire state, thousands of people never once tasting a Slurpee, which got me wondering whether I could live that way for a whole week.

I know there aren’t a whole lot of cities in Nebraska, but I’m willing to spend a few days out yonder with a family if someone would like to show me what it’s like to live without DirecTV and not ask me to kill a chicken for dinner.

I can play checkers if forced, though, or make a run to the Feed Store. Right now I’m willing to go wherever the corn cobs tell me to go, and while several have already done that, I’d like to see for myself they’re not talking about some place in Nebraska.

LAKERS FANS have been waiting for this for years, and it looks as if Kevin Garnett is going to be traded. To Boston.


I don’t know if it was because he had a home in Malibu -- and how many times have we been reminded of that -- a cousin playing for the Lakers or he grew up idolizing Magic Johnson, but most Lakers fans took it for granted Garnett would one day be wearing purple and gold. Instead, it will be Celtic green.

Just goes to show you how clueless some Lakers fans can be.

Some Lakers fans, and players too, think the Lakers are supposed to win the NBA title every year. Crazy, crazy folks out there.

TIM LEIWEKE, the Anschutz empire’s grand pooh-bah, was so carried away by the arrival of David Beckham, he told everyone on the morning radio show he’d make a donation to the Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA for every Galaxy game sold out the rest of the season or any match drawing more than 30,000.


“How much should I make it?” Leiweke said, and for the first time anyone can remember, all three radio hosts shut up -- no one wanting to short sell Leiweke’s level of excitement.

“I’ll donate $5,000 for each one,” Leiweke gushed, which could be as much as $120,000 if Beckham is as big a draw as Leiweke contends.

Personally speaking, I think it might help if Beckham occasionally puts on a uniform and plays a little.

AS FOR what Beckham’s arrival is going to mean to the sport, he arrives just as the last sensation, Freddy Adu, is about to leave MLS to play overseas in Portugal.


TWO WEEKS into my training to pitch to James Denton, the plumber on “Desperate Housewives,” I was able to get the ball all the way to home plate on the fly.

I bought a used “Johnnie Walker” model glove and used spikes. Craig Levra, chief executive of Sport Chalet, heard about the old shoes and sent along a new pair and a promise to donate $1,000 to Mattel’s if I struck the plumber out. Denton said he’d donate $1,000 and Manager Mike Scioscia said he’d make it another $2,000, “if for some reason it happened.”

Let me just say that after pitching to Denton before the start of a recent Orange County Flyers’ game, it’s hard to picture Teri Hatcher falling for such a disappointment. The best the “whiffer” could do was a foul tip before striking out.

The Flyers, meanwhile, have offered me a contract to pitch for them.


TODAY’S LAST word comes in e-mail from Jeff Barnes:

“So the Bagger gets a raise and you disappear. Either he set you up for life or hired a hit man. When are you coming back? I am dangerously close to reading Plaschke or Dwyre.”

Why do you think I needed a vacation? I found myself one morning reading Plaschke and Dwyre.



T.J. Simers can be reached a To read previous columns by Simers, go to