From: Luke Binder
Hey Ryan! I know that I’m probably the 800,000th person to email you today. I really hope that you get a chance to read this. It would mean a lot to me. Okay, I grew up in the small town of Davey, Nebraska – a little north of Lincoln. I got the privilege to go to my first Husker game with my dad for my sixth birthday present on September 30th, 1995. They played Washington State that day. The Huskers won 35-21 and I have been a fan ever since. In 2000, my family moved back to Denver (where my dad is from). I still wore my red proudly and I can remember being cussed out by CU fans for it. Oh well, I loved my Huskers and I loved Nebraska. Fast forward to 2009, my parents divorced after 25 years of marriage. Obviously, I was crushed by it and I did not know how to make sense of any of it. So, I made up my mind that I would move back to Nebraska and try to figure out my life. I packed up my 1989 Buick Century Station-wagon and head east on I-80. I had no clue what I was doing or why I was leaving mountains for cornfields. However, I did know that I was getting season tickets for Husker football. I searched CraigsList for season tickets. Not surprisingly, I had little to no luck. I was about to give up until I saw a student selling her tickets for “the best offer.” Needless to say, I emailed her back immediately and offered her $400. Three hours later, I had season tickets. That season of Husker football saved my life. I got to attend every home game with lifelong best friend who I was reunited with in Lincoln. I witnessed the thrill of the 300 consecutive sellouts party and victory against Louisiana-Lafayette. I experienced the joy of the comeback victory against Missouri (after which my friend and I ran down O Street screaming “Go Big Red”). On the contrast, I witnessed the horror of Iowa State and 8 turnovers. However, it was made up for two weeks later when we upset Oklahoma 10-3. I can remember walking down Vine after the game and thinking to myself that everything was going to be all right. It was a great feeling- for the first time in a long time, I was genuinely happy. Two weeks later, the Huskers beat Kansas State 17-3 to win the Big XII North. I was fortunate enough to be able to take my nephew to that game which was also his first Husker game. I can remember walking back to the car with him, it was a special moment. I realized (again) how Husker football represents so much more than football. It helped me see the beauty of life, once again. It helped me see how the ups and downs are a part of life, neither one defines you. It helped me see that at the end of the day, family is the most important thing in life. Most importantly, a season of Husker football taught me that every Saturday in the fall 85,000 of the best people in the world gather at One Memorial Place and prove that win or lose there is NO PLACE LIKE NEBRASKA. I will always treasure being able to be a part of that magical atmosphere for an entire season. I moved back to Denver in December of 2009. I have a great relationship with both of my parents, once again. Life is as back to normal as it can be after a divorce that changes the way a person’s world looks. Yet, through all of the ups and downs, I know that I can always count on God and Husker football to be there for me – win or lose. I’m a part of Husker nation and that’s a family that can never be taken from me. God bless.
- Published in Fan Perspective