Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Bo Pelini digs the Cleveland Indians

Look out Urban Meyer. You might have competition for the title of biggest Indians fan among Big Ten football coaches.

Nebraska baseball coach Darin Erstad, who played 14 season in the major leagues, received an interesting call from a fan named "Bo in Lincoln" during his radio show Tuesday. The fan happened to be the most popular -- or embattled -- man in perhaps the entire state: Nebraska football coach Bo Pelini.

Erstad quickly put the name and voice together and chuckled. Pelini then asked Erstad about the Indians' World Series chances. Pelini had good reason for asking the question. He's a Youngstown native who remains connected to Ohio.

Like many baseball savants, Erstad respects Indians manager Terry Francona. But Erstad isn't ready to consider Francona's team World Series contenders.

"I would say the Cleveland Indians have an outside shot of winning the entire thing," Erstad said in response to Pelini's question. "I would have to say Cleveland Indians fans are the most loyal fans because they have nothing to cheer for over so many years and people that cheer for them I tip my hat. They have to be huge fans of Mr. Francona because he's done a great job. I'm pulling for them. I hope they do great. But I would be shocked if they get to the playoffs."

Pelini didn't seem enthused by Erstad's answer.

"You rain on my parade," Pelini said.

At least the fiery Pelini didn't unload on Erstad and the duo completed their impromptu segment without peeving the FCC.

If the Indians are seeking celebrities to throw out first pitches in 2014, Pelini might be a good fit. Pelini is looking to improve his image after some serious public relations flops in 2013 and he will likely be passing through Ohio for recruiting purposes.

Meyer, an Asthtabula native, threw out a first pitch in 2012. Pelini wouldn't incite the same cheers. But the Indians promote their fans' passion, and few men display as much on a regular basis as "Bo from Lincoln."

-- Guy Cipriano | @newsheraldguy

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