What can ESPN tell us that we don't already know?

Nebraska's 1994-95 national champion football teams are going to be the subject of an ESPN "30 for 30" docu-movie. Generally, this is good news. The "30 for 30" series has been terrific, compelling storytelling.

Of course, we know that this will not just be two hours of sugar plums and Tommie Frazier touchdowns, right? Yes. The reason to do this subject is to show the other "stuff." The stuff that draws ratings.

I get the "careful what you wish for" mentality. More than 20 years later, ESPN wants to rummage through the closet of memories one more time. Lawrence Phillips. Christian Peter. I hear this could damage the legacy of those teams.

No, no, no. First, their legacy is written. In ink. The good, the bad and occasionally ugly. You can't change it now.

Again, what can they tell us that we don't know? The "controversial" stuff is widely known.

Henry Cordes chronicled the details of the era in his fantastic book, "Unbeatable." Maybe ESPN can dig out a surprise or two, all these years later. We'll see. Definitely, we'll watch.

I have seen most, but not all, of the "30 for 30" series. The ones I've watched have been fair, balanced and accurate.

They don't hold back. But they do a great job of laying everything out on a table and, in the end, letting the viewer decide what to think.

If the director does that with this story, I believe Nebraska's image will survive just fine.

The story of the 1994-95 seasons is the tale of the human side of Nebraska football.

For many years, Husker football was seen as consistent but dull, machine-like in its approach. Devoid of emotion, personality and joy. Maybe not entirely accurate, but always compared to the Wild West show in Oklahoma.

These two seasons gave the world a window into Nebraska's human side: hopes, fears, laughter, tears, determination and a heaping of loyalty.

It's a story of a coach chasing his career white whale, a Heisman favorite sidelined by blood clots, a backup quarterback to the rescue.

It's the story of Phillips and Tom Osborne's decision and Peter and others in trouble. But, in the background, there was also a team of guys who didn't cross the line — and stood by their teammates. This was a team with an incredible bond, bolstered by controversy, that became one of the game's all-time greats.

And, finally, months later, faced death in the loss of a teammate.

This was a breathtaking, two-year roller coaster of daily emotions, frailties, greatness, flaws and flat-out legendary football.

It's a total package, a story with many layers, a story about a program whose foundation helped it survive — despite itself.

Will ESPN tell that story? I'll watch. We all will.

The John Parrella hire is a good one. How good? It will likely depend on Parrella's penchant to recruit. But the Big John I knew back in 1991-92 was full of passion for Nebraska football.

That passion should make Parrella a terrific salesman. He should have no trouble laying out the vision for Nebraska football. He lived it. I think that will play well in living rooms.

I believe that passion will serve him well at this level. The program could sure use a dose of it. Is this a reach hire? No. A risk? Sure. But a good one, I believe. I understand the hand-wringing by some fans.

But we don't know that Parrella can't recruit. He's already earned connections in California and learned the junior college backroads. All of these big name guys started somewhere. Parrella has the passion and history for the place. That will serve him well.

I had to chuckle last week when some fans were upset that UCLA defensive line coach Angus McClure decided not to come to NU. Didn't the Huskers just trample McClure's position group in the bowl game? An offensive line that hadn't done much of that all season? Yes. I realize McClure is probably an accomplished recruiter, and his group had some injuries. But usually you want to hire the guy who just beat you — not the other way around.

A TV station in Cedar Falls, Iowa — Trev Alberts' hometown — last week dropped Alberts' name as someone to watch for the Northern Iowa athletic director opening. Alberts never talked to UNI and won't. What struck me about this story is that, when you think about it, UNO is a better job than UNI.

Did you ever think that would be the case?

Nick Bahe, color analyst for Creighton basketball and Big East basketball on Fox Sports, is resting at home after successful surgery last week to remove a tumor. Bahe received a phone call from all 10 Big East head basketball coaches last week and many more in the basketball and Omaha community. The man does a three-hour radio show by himself every day. But he should know by now: He's not alone.

Ron Prettyman, the new NCAA managing director of the College World Series, figures it's ironic that his first year at the CWS is the first with alcohol.

"I haven't told anybody this," Prettyman said, "but I don't drink alcohol."

Prettyman was in Omaha last week to visit with local media. There's always something to talk about with the CWS, and the latest hot topic is time of games. As in, way too long.

Prettyman said the subject is on the minds of the NCAA and ESPN. He was set to meet with ESPN officials last week about the length of games. Among the topics of discussion: using a clock to time pitches and at-bats, like the one at Werner Park for Class AAA baseball.

"There has been talk about that, some experiments," Prettyman said. "It has not made it through the rules committee.

Coaches are split on that issue.

I think it's doable if we think it's necessary and good for the game."

With 39 rebounds in the last six games, Nebraska freshman Michael Jacobson has a nose for the ball. Since coach Tim Miles hasn't had a lot of luck recruiting big men, could he lock the 6-8, 222-pound Jacobson into the weight room over the offseason and make a power forward?

Miles wouldn't say no, but ... "He's getting stronger, and he's warming to the fight more and more," Miles said. "He's got enough skill, passing ability, where he could play the four (power forward). We could if we needed to. I'd prefer not to. He can knock down 15 to 17-footers now. I think eventually he'll be a mismatch for people (at small forward) as he becomes a better 3-point shooter."

One more and I'm outta here: There's not a lot of wisdom out in social media land. But there are the rare places like Terry Pettit's Twitter page. This week, I thought I would share a recent post from the legendary Nebraska volleyball coach:

"The biggest challenge for college women's volleyball teams are not technical: It is that the young women they are coaching don't know how to play.

"Not just volleyball. They don't know how to play in general. They are Vitamin P (play) deficient. They haven't been encouraged to choose sides, to negotiate, to go outside, to communicate face to face, to find equipment, to create games with uneven numbers, to discover for themselves why they are doing what they are doing."

Kids and parents of youth sports: Sound familiar?

Contact the writer: 402-444-1025, tom.shatel@owh.com twitter.com/tomshatelOWH

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