The Cornhusker Vortex Season 3, Episode 6 -  Aired November 2, 2009

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When Leonard feels left out after Penny has her friends over to watch a football game, Leonard decides to learn about the sport. Leonard calls on an unlikely source of football knowledge, Sheldon, who knows all about football from his childhood in Texas. Meanwhile, Howard and Raj's friendship is threatened after Howard causes Raj to lose his prized kite in a kite-fighting match.

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Guest Stars: Zachary Abel as Todd, Jason Mesches as Denny

Writers: Bill Prady (Story), Steven Molaro (Story), Dave Goetsch (Teleplay), Richard Rosenstock (Teleplay)

Director: Mark Cendrowski

Viewers: 12.73 million Households Rating: 7.7/12 Adults 18-49 Rating: 4.7/11

Available on iTunes

Episode Notes

  • The title references the football team that Penny and her friends root for, the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers. A vortex is a rotation or a whirlpool of water or (more applicable in this case) of air, which alludes to the fighting kites.
  • This episode was filmed as the fifth episode of the season but aired as the sixth.

> Sheldon's Knock

When Sheldon interrupts Penny's football party to check on Leonard, he uses his ritualistic knock even though Penny's door was open.

Episode Quotes

Leonard: I think I'm starting to get this.
Rajesh: Really? The only thing I've learnt in the last 2 hours is that American men drink a lot of beer, pee too often and have trouble getting erections.
Leonard: Focus on the game, not the commercials Raj.

Howard: Sheldon knows football? I mean Quidditch, sure, but football?

Sheldon: I grew up in Texas. Football is ubiquitous in Texas. Pro football, college football, high school football, pee wee football - in fact, every form of football except the original, European football, which most Texans believe to be a commie plot.

Raj: You always do this, you know, ditch me for a woman you don't have a shot with.
Howard: I totally had a shot.
Raj: With a woman you were chasing in a park. That's not a shot, that's a felony.

Wolowitz: At least I can talk to women without being drunk.
Rajesh: Excuse me, I have selective mutism, a recognised medical disorder. You're just a douche.


As the guys go out to fight kites, they run into Penny, who is about watch the Nebraska Cornhuskers' football match with some of her friends. At the park, Leonard and Sheldon are kite fighting against Howard and Raj, while Leonard wonders why Penny doesn't want him to meet her friends. After Raj suggests a kite move to Howard, the latter gets distracted by a female jogger and causes the move to fail. Raj loses his prized Patang to Sheldon, leading to feelings of anger at Howard.

After Leonard tells Penny he would like to meet her friends and agrees to attend the following Saturday's match, he and Howard watch a game to try understand the rules. As they struggle to follow the game, Sheldon reveals he knows all about football having grown up in Texas. Leonard begs for Sheldon's help to teach him the ways of the game.

The next week, Leonard, dressed in an oversized Nebraska Cornhuskers jersey, is getting ready to watch the game over at Penny's apartment. Elsewhere, Howard tries to apologize to Raj but his friend only accepts after a long argument. Meanwhile, Leonard's efforts to blend in with Penny's friends fail when he won't stop talking about the mechanics of the game. When Sheldon arrives and offers Leonard the chance to go fly kites, Penny convinces Leonard to take him up on the offer. While fighting kites, Howard once again gets distracted when a woman walks by, but this time Raj reluctantly agrees to let him go after her.