I came across the film you are making and thought my friends and I might be able to contribute an interesting angle to the “Through These Gates” production. My friends and I drive over 1100 miles each year from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada in a school bus to attend the Husker home opener at the end of August. This will be our third year doing the trip. We are all born and raised in Canada and never attended the University of Nebraska yet absolutely love making the trip down for the game and joining in the Husker festivities. We all own a variety of Husker fan gear and even painted our Bus’s hood with the Nebraska colors last year. We love the atmosphere and comradery that is present on game day throughout Lincoln and it reminds us of the pride we take in our own home football team, the Saskatchewan Roughriders. I find that Nebraska is similar to Saskatchewan in a number of ways. We are both western prairie states (province in our case) and have a strong agricultural economy with a passion for football. The people in Nebraska also share the same welcoming, small town pleasantness that Saskatchewan has. A lot of people up here don’t understand why we would drive so far to go to “Nebraska of all places”… but game day in Lincoln really is something that has to be experienced to be understood. Anyways, good luck with your movie, saw the trailer and it looks great. GO BIG RED!
- Published in Fan Perspective
Charlotte: I’m 14 years old. I was born in Omaha, and lived there until the summer of 2011 when my family moved to Wyoming. I think of my self as a Husker, a full-fledged, born and raised, die-hard Husker. Although I wasn’t around for Nebraska’s first championships in the seventies, or our glory days in the nineties, I wish I could have been. I’ve grown up in a family where Husker football is life, and you WILL wear red every Saturday during the season. No questions asked, you just do it. I remember a picture of my parents and two older sisters in front of the statue in Lincoln the day after the 1997 Championship, wearing red from head to toe, and a video from that same day in the Devany center with all the coaching staff and players. That is the kind of fans we are. I have so many memories involving Nebraska I couldn’t count them all if I tried. One of my earliest memories is breaking my arm the night of the 2003 Alamo Bowl, against Michigan State. All of our friends and family were at our house to watch the game, and everyone was so wrapped up in it, no one would pay attention to me. So naturally I decided to dance in my booster seat, which lead to falling off the chair, and snapping my arm. Of course we didn’t go to the ER until the game was over. I remember my first husker cheerleading uniform when I was a little girl. I remember playing with our Husker Barbies during the games every Saturday. I remember my first Red and White game, and the whole stadium doing the wave. I can honestly say, I’ve been a Husker my ENTIRE life. I watch every single football game and volleyball game every season, every year, whether it is a win or a loss. I have even kept this up since moving to Wyoming. I think moving to Wyoming showed me how much of a Husker I really am. Being a Husker has helped me through the move a lot honestly. It’s that one piece of home that I can always hold onto. No matter what, I have Nebraska. I don’t introduce myself as a Nebraskan, I tell people I’m from Nebraska and I’m a Husker. Everyone here likes UW (University of Wyoming) because that’s all they’ve got. Sometimes I wonder if that’s the only reason I like the Huskers, because it’s the only big team in Nebraska, but then I realize that isn’t the reason. I like Nebraska because of what it stands for. The tradition, the morals, and our reputation. Nebraska is known for having the nicest fans in the country, and if that isn’t something to be proud of, then I’m not sure what is. Nebraska truly does have the best fans in the Big 10, and the best fans in the Nation. But I don’t like to refer to Nebraska’s fan base as “fans”, because we aren’t. Every team has fans, but no one else has Huskers. You don’t refer to OU fans as Sooners, or Texas fans as Longhorns, they are just Oklahoma and Texas fans. But Huskers aren’t called Nebraska fans, we are called Huskers, and I think that’s pretty special. Every team has fans, but no one else has Huskers. Huskers are the athletes at UNL, the students, the coaching staff, the people who live in Lincoln, the people who live in Nebraska, and all over the world. We are all Huskers, and that’s what makes us so special, we are one big family. We are the Sea of Red, and we make up Husker Nation. We pride ourselves our tradition, morals, and reputation, and we will never change. You don’t have to be from Nebraska to be a Husker, But once a Husker, always a Husker. That’s just the way it is, you know? It’s hard to hate Nebraska, and my personal opinion is that people who hate Nebraska are simply envious. Not because we are such a good team, and never lose, or because we always get the results we want, but because of our spirit. No one has as much love and respect as Huskers do for Nebraska. Huskers aren’t afraid to admit when we lose, because we are here to stay through thick and thin. During the season I wear a Nebraska shirt every Monday to school after the game that weekend whether we one or lost. We represent our team no matter what, year round, we are devoted to Nebraska. Devoted like a Catholic is devoted to God. Being a Husker is a part of your life, and a part of you personally. That is why the Huskers are the best.
- Published in Fan Perspective
Scott: My first Husker game happened in the fall of 1985. My Uncle Ken had had season seats for the Huskers for years and years, and after years of begging, my parents allowed me to buy his second seat for the Nebraska vs. Oregon game. This is not the Oregon that we know now as a national power sponsored by Nike, but the Oregon that still had Daffy Duck on its helmets. The game was an early season match up for both teams. However, on that day in September, it rained, and I don’t mean a sprinkle. I mean one of those late summer/early fall kind of Nebraska rains that started sometime during the night and kept going throughout the day. It was miserable weather. That however, could not dampen my spirits. I got dressed up in red from head to toe. Looking back, I must have looked like a circus clown. On that day, though, I felt myself as part of the “Sea of Red.” My uncle drove us to the state fairgrounds where we caught a shuttle for 25 cents a piece or something like that. As we walked up to the gates, I had never been that close to a structure that huge, and I was awestruck. We made our way up to our seats which were in the first rows of the upper deck at about the 35 yard line, and I was amazed at being able to see the whole field and all of the players warming up. I remember McCathorn Clayton started at QB for the Big Red that day, and in the third quarter, “we” were up 63-0. Because of the rain, my uncle asked me if I wanted to go, and even though I was wet and cold, I wanted to stay. He and I talked all kinds of Husker football that day. He told me about the Bob Devaney days, which I was born during, and where he was watching the Game of the Century, and the Johnny Rodgers punt return. He told me of Vince Ferragamo and how Turner Gill was the perfect quarterback for the option offense. By the fourth quarter, we had both had enough, and my Uncle Ken took me for my first Runza after the game. I wasn’t too sure when I heard it had cabbage in it, but one bite, and I was more than hooked. I think about that day quite often, and even though I lost my Uncle Ken about 10 years ago, I can’t help but feel that he is in my Husker room in my house, sitting on the couch with me talking about Cameron Meredith and Taylor Martinez and Rex Burkhead. I can hear him telling me that we throw the ball too much, and we should stick with the option game because it is timeless and will come back into vogue. Husker football brings him back to me for four months out of the year, and I just can’t help but feel close to him.
- Published in Fan Perspective