I'm not the biggest college football fan in the world, but I do try to pay attention. Just not at the level where I would have been aware that Nebraska's Bo Pelini is something of a serious hard driver. I gather that that truth is pivotal to fully enjoying the payoff in this fantastic video. I've watched it three times already.
Coach Bo Pelini instilled terror in the hearts of each and every one of his Nebraska players, and then he delivered the punch line.
"That Pelini is such a hilarious jokester"—said nobody ever.
But that's what makes this prank so effective, especially for college football fans watching from home.
It all starts during a team meeting when a phone goes off. You don't have to be a Nebraska football player to know that this isn't a good thing. According to the video, Pelini even has a strict policy against phones going off, which makes the initial reaction from some of the players so priceless.
Let's begin with the goal. Pelini is actually going to surprise his players by canceling a planned second practice. Instead they are going to the movies.
The coach has a reasonable rule that I' m guessing is true for most teams -- no cell phones.
Most great pranks require key collaborators. In this case, a fifth-year senior. His years of experience with the coach likely deepen the "buy in" by the other players.
Now, you will see this in the video -- and I'm not going to give away the best parts -- but the instigating moment is the loud ring of Thad Randle's phone. That basic iPhone ring that has become a Pavlovian irritant. Or in this case - Pelinian.
Coach storms out to the hall to cool off, but it doesn't work.
He comes back in with what we presume is a hammer (Coach has a hammer in meetings?) and proceeds to smash the phone into oblivion.
Props go out to Randle, who sells his disgust perfectly. That's when he walks out of the room, leaving behind a bunch of guys who all now have their mouths wide open in shock.
Here's a screenshot of the phone pounding moment:
Randle might think about theater as a fallback. His walk out is pretty convincing:
Coach follows and the players listen as things sound pretty intense out in the hallway.
Okay -- no more screenshots.
The payoff hits at 2:24. But don't skip to that point. You need to enjoy the delicious build-up of tension in room. If you do, you can then really savor the reactions of a bunch of large, tough guys caught in a sudden wave of revelation. Enjoy.