Kevin Trahan (@k_trahan) submitted this article after attending the Big Ten Media Day in Chicago on October 31.
After Nebraska fell behind to Illinois 35-23 at halftime last season, Huskers coach Tim Miles didn’t like what he saw. So, he tweeted about it: “We played with zero pride.” The tweet didn’t help play on the court — Nebraska went on to lose the game, 71-51 — but the halftime tweet has become a staple for Miles, dating back to his days at Colorado State. The Twitter legend began in Fort Collins, too, at the urging of marketing director Ben Chulick. “He came to me and he said, ‘Listen, we want you to Facebook or Twitter or whatever it is,’ and I’m like, wait, what’s Twitter, what’s Facebook? I had no idea,” Miles said. “So when he said what it was, I’m like, we’re not doing Facebook. I graduated with 13 kids in my high school class. I already know where they all are, I don’t need to reconnect. So what’s Twitter again? 140 characters. I’m like, I can do it. I can do 140 characters.” As it turns out, he can do it quite well. Technically, it’s not Miles tweeting out his thoughts from the locker room. “I just say it to [the sports information director], ‘We better flippin’ rebound,’ and then he edits it appropriately and we go from there.” But technicalities aside, the halftime tweet and Miles’ overall Twitter presence — he has nearly 50,000 followers — are among the best in college basketball, even if the Huskers can’t yet match that on the court.
Nebraska is known for its athletics. The football team is built on great tradition and the women’s volleyball and women’s basketball programs are both consistently good. Heck, even the bowling team is a winner. “We won the bowling deal,” Miles said. “I watched that on ESPN. I was going nuts. It was good. We were good at bowling.” The one thing Nebraska can’t seem to win at? Men’s basketball. The Huskers have not been to the NCAA Tournament since 1998, and in Miles’ second year in Lincoln, he made sure to point out at Big Ten Media Days that his team was supposed to finish near the cellar.“I see we’re picked 12th out of 12 again,” Miles opened with. “And it’s not just by you guys. I see it’s by everybody.” That’s not sarcasm; the fact is, Nebraska probably won’t be very good at basketball this year. But luckily, Miles doesn’t care for facts. “I understand why we are — facts in life are really interesting,” he said. “I’ve always tried to ignore them.”