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Huskeradian clocks need some adjusting

Huskeradian clocks need some adjusting


It’s not easy to function when your internal biological clock gets thrown out of whack.

A salute to all of those night shift workers who keep industries going 24/7, fighting their own circadian rhythms along the way.

In many ways, the novel coronavirus pandemic seemed to slam its big hand on my circadian clock’s snooze button.

During the spring when my children were doing online learning from home, there was no need to get up in the morning to transport them to school. They are old enough to safely travel the short distance to their Chromebooks.

Add in three months of working from home, and that threw things off even further. If needed, I could doze until five minutes before I needed to start my workday and still make it with minutes to spare.

When sports were shut down across the state, there were no reminders of exactly what day it was.

When my real life alarm would go off, there were some days that I struggled to remember exactly why it was doing so — along with what day it was and was it 8 a.m. or 8 p.m.?

Things are slowly returning closer to normal. I have the need to transport the one too-young-to-drive offspring to school this fall.

Sports have returned across the state minus some teams being forced to take a two-week hiatus here or there to quarantine after exposure to someone with COVID-19.

And, yet, it seems like this entire state’s circadian clock is even more off kilter than ever before.

I know this is only the second weekend but ... how in the world are we surviving without Nebraska college football games?!?!

Our Huskeradian clocks are screaming at us that something is horribly wrong.

Last week’s uncommon cold spell only made things worse. For a few cool, rainy days it felt like October Big Ten Conference showdown weather.

By now, good old NU hopefully would have been 2-0 after beating Purdue and Central Michigan, and fans would be ready for a showdown with the rascally rabbits of South Dakota State.

Well, that was before the Big Ten decided to go with an all-conference schedule. So right now Husker fans would hope that their team would be 2-0 with wins over Rutgers and Illinois. They’d be hoping for the best next weekend against Wisconsin.

But then that schedule — along with every fall sport across the conference — got scrapped days later, and here we are.

So, is everybody caught up on their yard work?

Let’s admit it — this state is just a wee bit obsessed with Nebraska football. The cult of the Big Red dominates many conversations from July until the bowl game — at least it did back when the Huskers were automatic bowl participants, usually on New Year’s Day.

Just like Runzas or eating chili with cinnamon rolls, it’s something that can baffle outsiders.

But Nebraska football simply takes over this state each autumn.

I bravely predict that 95% of fall weddings in this state next year take place on Oct. 23, better known as the Huskers’ bye week.

How confusing are the current conditions? If a couple had to postpone a wedding earlier this year due to coronavirus-related directed health measures and is looking to reschedule for the next few months, they can realistically pick any single weekend and expect people to attend? Really?

I strongly suspect that in previous years, weddings that took place during Husker games were visited by mysterious men in red who would round up everybody and then deport them to one of the Dakotas.

You will be pretty lonely if you tailgate around Memorial Stadium any Saturday in the upcoming months, but you probably would have the quickest, smoothest drive down Interstate 80 to get there in history.

The pressure continues to mount upon the Big Ten to change its decision and hold a football season whether that begins in October or November or January or ...

While the return of Nebraska football in some form would be more than welcomed in this state, it wouldn’t necessarily reset our Huskeradian clocks back to normal.

I pity those couples who wanted a winter wedding in January who would now have to go up against a Nebraska-Iowa rivalry game. Keep your eyes out for any mysterious men in red.

Dale Miller is a sports writer for the Independent. Once a week he wanders away from the sports department to offer his take on non-sports related topics. Email him at

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