Pickin’ On the Big Ten: I’m OK, You’re OK, It’s Not OK

Real Miami at Nebraska

Miami Nebraska


“Hello, this is Mark … oh, hi, 1992. Always good to hear from you. I was just about to pick the Miami-Nebraska game and … what’s that?

“You’d like your game back.

“Okay, there’s a problem with that. First of all, it’s not your game, it’s part of our present reality. Second of all, time travel is not possible. Third of all, you are a year, a fictional social construct used to organize time. It’s not possible for you to own something, and frankly it’s even less possible for you to dial a phone.

“I’ve got a bigger problem, though. There are a lot of people who have coworkers and bosses with terrible, outdated senses of humor. I know them. They’re getting tired of this unfunny, played-out meme of getting pretend phone messages from bygone years asking for things back. Even if I could overcome the whole time-travel thing, well, if I did give you the Miami-Nebraska game I’d just be encouraging them to keep using a shopworn joke that needs to die. Preferably screaming.

“What’s that again?

“I should tell you how I really feel. OK, I guess this is you, 1992, so here goes: We in the Big Ten need this game, even if it would have been a far more compelling matchup 22 years ago. You see, the Canes are vulnerable and the Huskers aren’t half as inept as they looked against McNeese State, and we really need this win to slow the roll of the never-ending narrative about the Big Ten, so even if I could send it back to you, well, no. Just … no.”


“Hello, this is Mark … wait, 2010? Why are you calling me? Look, you’re never going to believe this, but I’ve got 1992 on the other line and I was just explaining …”

Pick: Nebraska 41, Real Miami 27

About the Author