For the Love of Red
I don't know of many Nebraskan's that aren't Big Red fans. I really don't know how you couldn't be. I know there are football fans, and sports fans and boosters all over this country, but I truly have a hard time believing that any could be as passionate and true as a Husker. This state of ours is Red from border to border. On a Saturday in the fall, you'd feel a little left out if you weren't in red...or black or white with some red. See, if it's football season, Saturday is game day, and Nebraska becomes a sea of red. Big "N" flags come out on homes and cars. On home game days, Lincoln litterally becomes a sea of red and Memorial Stadium becomes the third largest city in the state! I believe that you've never really experienced college football until you've experienced a Husker game day! Events are planned around football games--seriously!
Tailgating starts early and goes late. Traffic crawls into Lincoln. TVs and radios in stores are tuned into the game. The bars and restaraunts are filled with patrons donned in Husker Red. Downtown Lincoln turns into a tidal wave of red-dressed pedestrians on every street leading to campus. Hopeful fans hold up fingers incicating the number of tickets they're needing. And then there is the stadium where all the red and black and white converge and it feels like cattle being herded through a narrow gate. Those who aren't in their seats nervously continue, just hoping that they don't miss the tunnel walk. Once the designated seat is reached, a sigh of relief...still 15 minutes until kickoff. The music blasts, highlights reel on the enormous screens throughout the stadium and anticipation builds. "Gooooo Biiiiiiiiig Reeeeeeeeeeeed...Go Big Red!"
It is most amazing...this temporary city within the walls of Memorial Stadium. The diversity is vast, but the common denominator unifies everyone. Husker fans here...Go Big Red.
The "fly-over"...it's starting...here we go...
And then...the low, slow, familiar music, hands start to keep rythym to the beat...and the Huskers take the field. They come out of the tunnel, each one hitting the horseshoe above the door for good luck as they enter, and the air is no less than electric. Words can merely describe it...you have to be there to feel it.
The excitement continues at kickoff. You don't dare sit down, you'll miss something unless you're watching the jumbo screen. Minutes later, money is being passed down the row, exchanged for a slice of pizza. The stadium is buzzing...no roaring...and then...TOUCHDOWN Nebraska! High fives are passed between total strangers, part of the uniform Husker language. Red balloons fill the air, indicitive of the first touchdown. The band plays the fight song. Did I say electric?? I meant HIGH VOLTAGE!
And after they score?? It's time for DEFENSE. The Blackshirts "bones" come out, and after a short three plays, so do the hands indicating that it was "3-out".
Yes, I love the fall...the cooler weather, the changing leaves, and football--Husker football! We don't get to go to the games often, but tonight, we were in the stadium for the first game. Thanks Grandma and Grandpa A. for watching the game at our house so we could watch it live! Thanks Tim, for taking me. What a fun way to start the season.