I too was born and raised in Lincoln. My father taught at the university for 30 years. He lived and died husker football.
I have very early memories (age 4, 1972) watching my parents leaving for the game and being jealous. i would go out into my back yard and listen to Lyell Bremser’s play by play and act out the game. Dave Humm was my first hero. I asked my parents to measure out 6’0 so i could see how high I would need to grow to be his size.
When I was 5, I finally got my chance. I road the bus downtown from southeast Lincoln with my Dad. When we got off the bus, I asked him where the stadium was. He said, “Just follow the people in red.”
We walked across campus, past Love Library, Oldfather and into east stadium. I have very vivid memories of being crowded by people, who towered over me at the time. I squeezed my Dad’s hand tightly, as we snaked up the ramps and into the stadium. We exited the tunnel and there was the field and stadium. There was an amazing ‘wow’ factor. To see it person. You have to remember this was back before ESPN and all the games being televised. We would see the OU game and the bowl game on TV and that was it. For the entire year.
My dad bought some stale popcorn and a hotdog. I recall we won by a large margin. I was hooked.
Through the years I would have all sorts of experiences with Memorial Stadium. Selling coke when I was in junior high ($1.00 a coke, I’d make 14 cents profit per coke). The summer I was 16 I got a job helping out putting the astro turf on the field. This was the year after the scoring explosion and the 1983 Orange Bowl heartbreak. I remember Rozier and Fryar coming by one time to look at the progress of the new astro turf and telling us about how they had just had come back from seeing the Jacksons in Kansas City. I also remember having to use the restroom one day and ducking into the locker rooms that were then in the south stadium. There was an incredibly old, age spot old man weighing himself on the scale in there. Who was that guy? It was Bob Devaney.
Later, I would go to the games in college and sit with my friends. I once called a game while taking a sports broadcasting class.
My Dad died in 2000. A week after the great OU game where Crouch scored on the pass.
Now I am a Dad. My two boys hold my hand tightly as we walk into the stadium. I buy them the snacks and the balloon and I can’t help but think of him. I like to think I am carrying on the tradition. He would tell me about listening to the first Rose Bowl game on the radio; now when I am not at the game, my sons and I sit in our ‘man cave” and watch it on a 55″ HD screen. The technology has changed; but the passion is the same.
- Published in Fan Perspective
My name is Chris, I live in Fremont, NE., and I am a life-long Husker Fan! I am just a regular, hard-working Nebraskan who loves Husker sports, but has a passion for Husker Football in particular that is hard to explain through words. The best way to share my passion is by sharing a true story of how I felt after defeating Miami in the 1995 Orange Bowl.
Like many Nebraska Fans, immediately after defeating Miami in the Orange Bowl, on that cold, winter night in January, I was out on the streets of Fremont at 10:30 pm., driving and celebrating the win by proudly holding a Husker flag out my drivers window with one hand as I was driving and honking my horn with the other as were many other people, quite to my surprise to be honest! It was a spontaneous feeling of something I had to do… almost involuntary in nature. At the time, I had just broke my right leg at work with a nasty split of my tibia bone in half for 5 inches vertically. Let me just say, I couldn’t sleep because of the pain for 72 hours after breaking it. But, nothing was going to stop me from celebrating what I knew was going to be the 1994 National Championship!
The next day, after hearing about the celebration that was going to happen at the Devaney Center, two friends of mine and I, drove down to Lincoln to go to the Devaney Center, and be a part of the celebration and welcome home the Husker National Championship team!
As we arrive, we find a place to park as close as possible because of my broken leg, and at that time, the streets and sidewalks were covered in ice, so I knew it wasn’t going to be easy for me, but still ended up 4 blocks away from the Devaney Center. Nonetheless, nothing was going to stop me from being a part of the celebration, so I decided to leave my crutches in the car because I feared I had a better chance of falling using them on the icy walkways than if I just hobbled the entire way, so that is what I did. I hobbled in pain up to the Devaney Center, but the team was late in arriving from the airport so this huge crowd, along with my friends and I, had to stand outside and wait for the doors to open. To be honest, I thought I had made a big mistake in going at this point in time because my leg was causing me great pain, and apparently I must have shown it because the group of UNL students standing around me noticed and offered to pick me up and hold me off the ground while we stood there and waited. Although I greatly appreciated the gesture, I had to decline… I thought to myself, “I can’t look like a wimp in front of all these people”.
Thank goodness it wasn’t much longer before the doors to the Devaney Center opened, but since the seating was open to the public, it was first come first serve on getting a seat and what happened next I wasn’t prepared for! There was a wave of humanity rushing through the doors, everybody running to get a seat before all of them were taken… me included! I was hopping along on one leg as fast as possible and thankfully my friends and I got seats about halfway up the Devaney and settled in while waiting for the team and Tom Osborne to enter the arena. How we were able to get seats I will never know because I think the entire place was filled within 10 minutes of the doors opening? Regardless, I was one of the happiest people on earth that day and my adrenaline pumping helped keep my mind off my broken leg.
After sitting and proudly cheering for Coach Osborne and all the players who worked so hard to get that first championship for Coach Osborne, and enjoying, for me, what was a once in a lifetime experience, my friends and I were headed back home to Fremont, each of us unable to stop smiling.
Even me… broken leg and all!
Well, later that night, after all the jubilation was starting to wear off, the pain in my leg was starting to increase. I was hoping it wouldn’t keep getting worse, but by the next morning, the throbbing pain was bad enough that the pain medication I was given by my doctor wasn’t working at all. Therefore, I scheduled an emergency appointment with my orthopedic surgeon later that day. After having x-rays taken of my leg, the doctor was looking at them, and acting baffled, asked me, “Have you been putting a lot of weight on our broken leg or been doing anything that could possibly have caused your break to become worse than it was to begin with?” You know… I proudly answered, “No sir, I haven’t done anything out of the ordinary that could have possibly caused the break to become worse?” Anyway, although it took four weeks longer than the doctor predicted for me to be healed enough to get back to my normal daily routine, I recovered fine and continued on, not regretting what I went through to be a part of Husker history for a single second!
That’s what it means to be a part of Husker Nation as a Husker Fan!
GO BIG RED!!
- Published in Fan Perspective