This past weekend's events in Husker Nation are reminiscent of a large, loyal, closely knit family getting together for Thanksgiving. They have some nice moments but also might experience a disagreement or two, perhaps even a shouting match.
At the end of the weekend, however, they apologize to one another, profess their love for the family and move on with their lives.
Bo Pelini remains Nebraska's head football coach. Whether you love him or not, he's our guy. Loyal fans continue to fill Memorial Stadium. They live and die with each great run by Ameer Abdullah, each highlight-reel catch by Kenny Bell.
And, yes, they also take personally interceptions and other mistakes that our Huskers make.
They are, after all, our Huskers. Husker Nation remains relevant because of the hundreds of thousands of amazingly loyal fans both within and outside of Nebraska who still care. Deeply.
One of the reasons that so much speculation, so many rumors, so many divergent opinions surfaced about the coach's future is that we can't help ourselves. We care about this occasionally dysfunctional family. We love it. We always have and always will.
One of the biggest assets in this state is the University of Nebraska system. And the university is, indeed, far more important than the football program.
Interestingly, the critically important hiring of Dr. Jeffrey Gold as chancellor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center went virtually unnoticed — almost drowned out by all of the talk about the Pelini situation.
Like it or not, the Huskers' head football coach is an important face of the university, perhaps at times of the entire state. Former athletics director Tom Osborne, his successor Shawn Eichorst and UNL Chancellor Harvey Perlman have entrusted Pelini with the unique responsibility of maintaining and enhancing NU's reputation on its most visible national stage.
Pelini may not have asked for that responsibility, but it comes with the job. As such, Pelini does have an obligation to present himself in a manner all Nebraskans can be proud of.
Some would argue he has not lived up to that ideal on several occasions, including his outbursts during Friday's game and subsequent press conference. He has apologized. Like families do after stressful moments, Husker Nation needs to accept his apology, appreciate all of his positive attributes and keep them in mind when his not-so-positive traits come to the surface.
Otherwise, we simply continue to be obsessed with things that don't help the university or the football program. And Nebraskans are smarter than that.
We hear reports of Alabama fans sending threats of violence toward the Crimson Tide kicker who missed three field goals in Saturday's Iron Bowl. Michigan and Ohio State players engaged in a fistfight during their game, and an ejected Buckeye issued a dual middle-finger gesture toward the Michigan fans. Pelini vented his frustrations at a referee and at a press conference.
The coach has apologized. His boss supported him. The rest of the Husker family can put this latest squabble behind them, too.
Communities need to embrace their treasures. The University of Nebraska system and our football program are two of ours.