Story #6: A Lincoln Kid
I decided this evening that I wanted to tell my story. Why, I, Ryan Tweedy – the maker of this film, is a Cornhusker. I’d like to start out with a few things that I’m not. I’m not a Writer, so forgive my bad placement of commas and mis-spelled words. I’m not a business man, so forgive my many emails and facebook statuses asking for donations. I’m not a poet, (however I used to try to be one) so forgive my ramblings and run on sentences. I am however a Lincoln kid.
When I was in the 5th grade and I was finally allowed to ride my bike to Wes’ baseball card shop next to the Taco Inn on 70th between A and O. I would ride by this brown and white house across the street from the Shopko on 66th street that someone told me was Tom Osborne’s house. Every time I would ride by I would stop and wait a few minutes to see if he would come out. I wanted to see the legend that showed up on 10/11 news every night. The legend that my dad talked about, that my brother occasionally cursed about, that all the old guys at the restaurant had a new play written for. The guy that perfected option football. I never seen him. He never came out. I’m still not sure if it was his house. When I was in Middle School I played Midget Football. I played for the Executive Club, 2 years with Runza and then with the Fire Fighters. I played with a kid named Scott Sylvester. Tweedy and Sylvester, you couldn’t write it better. And every year the leaves turned brown and it got too cold to ride my bike to Seacrest field for practice and I knew winter was right around the corner. Every Saturday somewhere I was watching the Huskers. Side note- I always thought that Leodis Flowers was related to the weatherman Jim Flowers (I think that was his name). I remember thinking it was weird because the weatherman didn’t look like much of a football player. I was young. I watched Schlesinger break 2 touchdowns against Miami, Davison make “The Catch”, Tommy Frazier do everything. I got to grow up with all the greats. Crouch, Frost, The Peter brothers, Alberts, Thomas, All 15 Ruuds. That is why I was a fan then. The legends, the heroes, the guys that could do all the things I couldn’t.
When I was 24 I graduated college. I moved almost immediately to Chicago. A few months later the leaves turned brown. The first football saturday rolled around and no one was there when I yelled “Husker”. It just died. I eventually taught my friend “Fish” (His last name was Fisher and he was also a drinker) from Downers Grove Illinois to yell “Power”. To this day he cheers for the huskers. I eventually picked up a shift at a sports bar on Saturdays so I could watch the games for free. It felt empty the first couple of seasons. I missed my family. I eventually found people to cheer with but a lot of them just wanted a team to cheer for and they figured “I’ll just cheer for my friends team”. I appreciated the gesture but it wasn’t the same. When I was 26 I moved to Los Angeles. Theres was no more fall, there was no more snow, and to an extent there was no more midwest. It was a different world here. I felt like a Nebraskan that got picked up and dropped off on an alien planet somewhere. A lot of people don’t eat here. On purpose. It can be a very strange place. First thing I did was find a husker bar. There’s a lot of them. I went to a couple Nebraska Coast Connection meetings and learned where to go. I met a girl. We’re together still – She’s Russian so I feel teaching her to yell “Go Big Red” is more than appropriate. Every husker Saturday I find the biggest group of Huskers wearing red that I can, I take a moment to scan the room in hopes that Dr. Tom may have shown up there, and for those couple of hours a week, for those couple of weeks a year, I feel like I’m home. This film is about my home.