Gear Up For Gameday

If you search ‘Huskers’ on eBay, a bunch of things that don’t need to exist happen to show up for sale. So whether you are looking for a new jacket for October tailgating or some artwork for the man cave, get ready for gameday with my eBay round up. In honor of Ryker Fyfe, here are the top 17 Husker items up for sale.

17. Youth Nebraska Cornhuskers Taylor Martinez Small Jersey

Who this is for: A little kid that you hate.

Why you should buy it: I don’t know. It’s basically free, I guess.

Taylor Martinez kids jersey
Too bad it’s not autographed

16. Women’s Nebraska Huskers Lingerie Night Gown

Who this is for: The very lucky lady in your life.

Why you should buy it: As seen on Victoria’s Secret models, probably.

Somebody actually owns this
Somebody actually owns this

15. Vintage Nebraska Cornhuskers Glass?

Who this is for: CU Fans.

Why you should buy it: To break it.

This Ebay user should be reported for listing this as a Nebraska item
This Ebay user should be reported for listing this as a Nebraska item

14. Vintage Nebraska Pager Cover

Who this is for: Somebody who still has a pager.

Why you should buy it: There is only one of these and probably only one person with a pager so it’s a match.

Only one left in the world
Only one left in the world

13. Nebraska Cornhuskers Vinyl Stadium Seats

Who this is for: Awful  people who use these.

Why you should buy it: You shouldn’t. If you sit next to me in these, I’m going to hate you. They take more than one space. You are at a football game, I have faith that you can survive for a few hours without cushions.

If you have to sit on these, you have no business being at a football game
If you have to sit on these, you have no business being at a football game

12. Corn Coozies

Who this is for: Men, women, and children.

Why you should buy it: This is one of those items that you didn’t know that you need, but you definitely do.

A Budweiser would look good in one of these
A Budweiser would look good in one of these

11. Nebraska Cornhuskers bed in a bag

Who this is for: I could see Taylor Martinez having this in his room. Or people who like to have nightmares about mediocre football.

Why you should buy it: It will match your new lingerie.

Act quickly. There are only 10 available, so not everybody will get one.
Act quickly. There are only 10 available, so not everybody will get one.

10. 1997 National Champions T-shirt

Who this is for: Somebody looking for a faded gray t-shirt

Why you should buy it: They haven’t made any of these since 1997

Over priced since you will be able to buy a brand new 2017 version soon
Over priced since you will be able to buy a brand new 2017 version soon

9. Portable Tailgate Cornhole Set

Who this is for: Anybody that wants me to visit their tailgate.

Why you should buy it: Because it’s awesome.

Screen Shot 2016-08-22 at 2.15.20 PM
More than 10 available means I better see some of these at the tailgates

8. Vintage 1997 Huskers Football Unisex Glass

Who this is for: Anyone who loves equal rights and the 1997 Cornhuskers.

Why you should buy it: Not often do you come across a glass that both men and women can drink out of.

Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 5.36.03 PM
Equal rights for all drinkers

7. TOM OSBORNE Nebraska Cornhuskers artist signed FOOTBALL ART vintage champions

Who this is for: People who are fans of vintage champions, that’s a nice way of saying they haven’t been recent champions.

Why you should buy it: Art is pretty good investment, and lucky for you, there are more than 10 available at the low, low price of $14.99.

Looking good, Dr. Tom
Looking good, Dr. Tom

6. Nebraska Huskers 90s Starter Jacket 

Who this is for: Someone who can fit in a child’s XL.

Why you should buy it: It’s cool as hell and there is no denying it.

I'm going to look so good in this
I’m going to look so good in this

5. Taylor Martinez Signed Photo

Who this is for: Somebody with $40 too much money in their bank account.

Why you should buy it: Probably don’t.

Closed eyes, full hearts, can't lose
Closed eyes, full hearts, can’t lose

4. Tom Osborne and Bo Pelini Signed Football

Who this is for: A true fan who remembers the best of times and the worst of times.

Why you should buy it: Similar versions with only a Tom Osborne signature are about $100 more. This is a bargain. Just white out Bo’s signature.

Free shipping because the owner wants this out of their house
Free shipping because the owner wants this out of their house

3. Rare Warren Buffett and Tom Osborne Autographed ball

Who this is for: People who weren’t interested in the bargain Bo Pelini ball above.

Why you should buy it: Maybe it comes with an authentic email from Warren asking why you just wasted $3,500.

Warren would not approve of this investment
Warren would not approve of this investment

2. Nebraska Huskers Recruiting Machine Telephone 

Who this is for: Anybody that has the numbers for Darnay Holmes or Joseph Lewis.

Why you should buy it: If a recruit knew you were calling on this, they would probably commit immediately.

Probably the only missing piece in the recruiting process
Probably the only missing piece in the recruiting process

1. Bo Pelini business card

Who this is for: A collector of rare items, misprints, and mistakes.

Why you should buy it: Stick this in your man cave so the next time the Huskers lose, you can remind everyone who is really at fault.

Integrity-Trust-Respect-Teamwork-Loyalty The 5 pillars of Bo's existence
Integrity-Trust-Respect-Teamwork-Loyalty: the 5 pillars of Bo’s existence

 


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The Big Red Fury Season Preview: Our Most Optimistic Post of the Year

As the calendar lurches towards the start of the season, each passing day brings fans new reasons for hope or dread as college football prognosticators trot out their previews.

Well, we’ve got nothing but good news and better news for you, dear reader. All three of us here at Big Red Fury summoned the ghosts of football future and came away with a consensus opinion.

The Huskers are going to kick a lot of ass this season.

The only question mark is exactly how much ass will be kicked.

Pour yourself a glass of Kool-aid. You’re going to enjoy this preview.

Game 1: Fresno State – September 3

FRESNO STATE FAN
At least one guy is pumped to be living in the Grand Island of California.

KUBRICKIAN GLEE: Tim DeRuyter got off to an auspicious start as Fresno State’s head coach when he landed in the raisin belt capital back in 2012. He won two straight Mountain West Conference titles while amassing a solid 20-6 record. Since then, Tim’s luck has gone to shit. The Bulldogs are just 9-17 over the last two seasons. You may remember Nebraska terrorizing these bastards on their home turf back in 2014 in a 55-19 waxing. Things aren’t going to get much better for the Bulldogs when FSU hits Lincoln for the season opener. Nebraska 49 Fresno State 10.

TODD MUNSON: It’s not BYU so I’m happy. Does the dad from Orange County Choppers still coach the Bulldogs? Huskers roll 42-17 and give fans visions of somewhere between 1995-1997.

LESLIE MICEK: I think it’s going to be a bigger blowout than 35-14 but I’ll stick with with something more realistic. This is the part of the season where anything is possible. I would have said BYU would have been a blowout last year but then I watched them throw a Hail Mary.

Game 2: Wyoming – September 10

WYOMING FANS
Pull your pants up, son. You’re wearing a bucket, old man.

KG: Right about now Craig Bohl might wonder why he exchanged the dynastic FCS bounty of Fargo, North Dakota for the massive headache of trying to run a Division 1 program out of Laramie, Wyoming. Sure, the scenery beats the hell out of Fargo, but former Husker Bohl had become the Tom Osborne of the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision, forging a run not dissimilar to Nebraska in the mid 1990s. But now? Bohl is the owner of a 6-18 record playing in the God-forsaken Mountain West. Relish those 2015 victories over Nevada and UNLV, Craig, because you and your Cowboys aren’t waking up from your prolonged nightmare any time soon. Nebraska 45 Wyoming 14.

TODD: It’s a rude return to Lincoln for Craig Bohl. Nebraska wins 52-21 in such a convincing fashion that fans will momentarily forget that Oregon is coming to Lincoln the following week.

LESLIE: Wyoming stinks. Huskers win 45-7.

Game 3: Oregon – September 17

Sad Ducks Fans
When your Tinder date turns out to be a juggalo

KG: It’s Duck season! Nebraska fans have this date circled on their calendars the day these two teams were scheduled. Some of the luster may have fallen off, though, after the recently mighty Ducks fell back to Earth a little in 2015 with a disappointing (for them) 9-4 campaign. Offensive coordinator Scott Frost’s departure to UCF also saps a little of the intrigue this game had going for it just a year ago. But seeing Mike Riley get a crack at his old in-state nemesis with an arsenal like he’s never had in Corvalis— there’s still plenty to get excited about.

The Ducks, as usual, will be able to put up some points on the Blackshirts. But Oregon’s own defense is a definite liability. Opponents scored an average of 44 points against Oregon in 2015. And most of that personnel returns in 2016. Throw in a questionable quarterback situation (that has former Husker commit Terry Wilson in the mix), and conditions seem favorable for Mike Riley getting a little payback against the old neighborhood bully. Nebraska 42 Oregon 38.

TODD: This game is the only question mark on the Huskers’ home schedule and there’s no middle ground. A win for the Huskers will mean the sky’s the limit for the season (at least until October 29). A loss, no matter how close, will mark the return of  the dark cloud of doom (at least until October 29.) Best case scenario for this game is that Coach Riley channels his inner John Kreese and sweeps the leg for a full 60 minutes. Huskers win 28-24.

LESLIE: I’m glad they don’t have  Vernon Adams or Scott Frost anymore. Easy to root against them again. Huskers. 28-21.

Game 4: at Northwestern – September 24

NORTHWESTERN FANS
A moment of silence for these poor kids who were rejected by Ivy League schools.

KG: Let’s be honest, before Nebraska joined the Big Ten, what would you have predicted Nebraska’s record would be against Northwestern five seasons in if you’d have bothered to even think about it? 5-0? 4-1, allowing for some strange fiasco of an upset somewhere along the way?

Well, Nebraska is now 3-2 in conference vs. Northwestern. And all but one of those games has turned out to be a nail-biter. Last season’s match was one of a gamut of frustrating, heartbreaking losses within the final minute of play, despite Nebraska outmatching the Wildcats in virtually all facets of the game. The difference in that contest (as with most in 2015) was turnovers. Nebraska had just one against Northwestern, but it was a big one — a 72-yard pick-six with just over seven minutes left in the half. Nebraska was marching on that drive and, had Armstrong’s pass gone the other way, it would’ve meant a 17-7 lead that probably wouldn’t have been relinquished. Instead, the Wildcats took a 14-10 advantage, giving them just enough to stave off Nebraska’s control of the game in the second half.

If Armstrong is new and improved in the turnover department, as some observers have said, things probably won’t be quite as rosy for Northwestern this year. Even with the game in Evanston which, let’s be honest, isn’t a particular advantage for the home team. Nebraska 31 Northwestern 21.

TODD: The good thing about playing Northwestern on the road is you don’t have to worry about the Wildcats coming into Lincoln and finding a new way to humiliate the Huskers. Nebraska hasn’t lost at Evanston since 1931 and they won’t do it again this year. Huskers win 31-17.

LESLIE: Not only am I planning on sneaking onto the sidelines again at that embarrassment that they call Ryan Field, I’m planning on dancing after a bunch of touchdowns. Huskers 34-does it even matter? Northwestern is losing.

Game 5: Illinois – October 1

ILLINOIS FANS
Sorry, Chief. Lovie Smith won’t save your Illini from another horrible season.

KG: Prior to the Purdue debacle, Illinois was the absolute nadir of Nebraska’s season in 2015. I still boil with anger when I recall the manner in which Nebraska squandered a 13-0 4th quarter lead only to lose in the final ten damn seconds. It was like watching the scene in Austin Powers when the security guard screamed for a solid 60 seconds as Powers’ steamroller inched toward him. All he had to do. All Nebraska had to do. Was step out of the way.

When the Illini come to Lincoln this year, expect something more akin to the Pelini-era outcomes. Nebraska 49 Illinois 17

TODD: Just to prove that last season was a total aberration, the Huskers should run the ball every time they face a 3rd & 7 and rack up 150+ bonus yards in the process. Chief Illiniwek gets wrecked 42-10.

LESLIE: I’m worried because Illinois will be coming off a bye week and I’m just kidding. Huskers 31-14.

Bye week – October 8

KG: I’ll be driving the choo-choo at Vala’s Pumpkin Patch.

TODD: Do some yard work. Reintroduce yourself to your family.

LESLIE: I predict Nebraska will win.

Game 6: at Indiana – October 15

INDIANA
A capacity crowd was on-hand for Indiana’s season opener last year.

KG: One of the most intriguing matches of 2016 is Nebraska’s trip to Bloomington. The Hoosiers have the most statistically dominant offense in the Big Ten — although, talent-wise, that title probably should go to Ohio State. Nonetheless, Indiana can put up some points and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Just ask the 2014 SEC East champions, Missouri. The Tigers fell to Indiana 31-27. On the heels of an Indiana loss to Bowling Green, too. 

The Hoosiers will be game for a basketball-type score (what else would you expect), but Nebraska should have no trouble tearing through Indiana’s defense. This one is going to be a track meet (and a little too close for comfort) but I see Nebraska pulling it out. Nebraska 41 Indiana 34. 

TODD: This is Nebraska’s sixth season as a member of the Big Ten and it’s their first time squaring off against Indiana as a conference opponent. Your days of dodging the Big Red are over, Indiana. Huskers win 55-21.

LESLIE: A battle to the death of two teams coming off 6-7 records. Only difference is that Nebraska is a lot better than their record shows. Also, Indiana plays Ohio St. the week before and Nebraska comes off a bye. Sorry, Indiana. Huskers 45-17.

Game 7: Purdue – October 22

PURDUEPhotos of Purdue fans do not exist on the internet so here are some Indiana fans insulting the ladies of Purdue.

KG: Revenge will be at hand. Purdue is the worst team in the Big Ten and they will come to Lincoln having poked the gorilla with its ridiculous 55-45 win last year. Look for Nebraska to eliminate the five turnovers that turned last season’s match into an embarrassment. Nebraska 49 Purdue 17.

TODD: The Huskers should save the Boliermakers the trouble of a road trip and just schedule an Indiana/Purdue double header the week before. Or, they could give Tommy the week off and let Ryker start so he can get chance at cold-blooded revenge. Huskers win 38-24.

LESLIE: Goals for the Purdue game this year: under 4 interceptions, rush more than 77 yards, and win. Simple. Huskers 37-14.

Game 8: at Wisconsin – October 29

badgersfansWisconsin fans are creeps.

KG: Quick trivia question: What is Nebraska’s combined record vs. Big Ten juggernauts Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State and Penn State?

Is it a) 4-10 or b) 10-4?

If you said “b” 10-4, give yourself a cigar! This cherry-picked bit of knowledge belies the notion that Nebraska has struggled in its time in the Big Ten. Nebraska has, in fact, posted the 4th best league record since joining the conference in 2011. While it hasn’t quite hit the mark that most Husker fans anticipated heading in to the Big Ten, Nebraska has held its own in virtually every category. Except one.

Playing Wisconsin.

Oy. I wonder if Barry Alvarez has any mixed emotions seeing the Monster of Madison he created bat his alma mater around like Lennie Small petting a scared bunny. While Mike Riley’s Huskers did a great job of not allowing the Badgers to embarrass Nebraska (in a way Pelini rarely could), the last second loss was still among the hardest to stomach in 2015. Andy Janovich’s 55-yard burst up the middle in the waning minutes of the game had Husker fans believing the Wisconsin demon had been exorcised. But no, the Cheesehead Linda Blair had one more gullet of projectile vomit to spew in our collective faces.

It will be tough. But I think Nebraska goes to Madison and takes care of business. It helps that Wisconsin, I believe, is on a slow downtick from its respectable run of the last decade. Nebraska 28 Wisconsin 24.

TODD: Welcome to the first installment of the most terrifying two weeks of the season. Since joining the Big Ten, the Huskers’ average margin of defeat when playing at Madison has been a robust 33 points. For the sake of it being August and all, I’ll go out on a limb and say Mike Riley delivers an eat shit and FU of his own to the troglodytes who call themselves Badger fans. Huskers 24 Badgers 21.

LESLIE: Don’t be scared, Todd. The Blackshirts won’t be. Huskers 24-17.

Game 9: at Ohio State – November 5

columbusriot1
This is what happens when Columbus runs out of Cincinnati Chili.

KG: Ohio State. What’s there to say, really? Urban Meyer scares the shit out of me. And so does the talent level in Columbus. Still, in this age of parity, no team is absolutely invincible. Nebraska will get beat in The Horseshoe. But make no mistake, Riley and his squad will make a game of it. Nebraska 28 Ohio State 34.

TODD: If you’re traveling to this game, here are two things to know: 1) It’s only 175 miles from Columbus to Youngstown and 2) Bo Pelini and his Penguins will be playing on the road at North Dakota St. If you regret not egging his house when he lived in Lincoln, this is your big chance to make amends and give yourself at least one thing you’ll want to remember because I don’t see how the Huskers can escape that burning couch of a state with a win. Ohio State 35 Nebraska 21.

LESLIE: Todd doesn’t seem to understand that it’s August and this is the time right after depression and right before reality. The perfect time for optimism. The Huskers are going to walk right into that dump called Ohio Stadium and make that WR coach Zach Smith want to delete his twitter account. I hope they pass the ball 100% of the time and win so we can all tag him with the #Shhh hashtag that he loves so much. Westerkamp, DPE, Reilly, and Stan the Man are gonna get savage all up in Coach Smith’s face. Honest to god, I hate that guy. Shut him the hell up. Huskers 28-21.

Game 10: Minnesota – November 12

sel 4078Minnesota Nebraska
If you don’t have enough fans who are willing to spell out your team’s name, you don’t deserve to have a team.

KG: Jerry Kill had a remarkable run at Minnesota, moving the Gophers from an after-thought to a solid middle-of-the-conference program. I genuinely feel bad for Jerry and his health issues. But I’m not sorry to see him absent from the opposite sideline of Nebraska. The Husker dominance of Minnesota resumed in 2015. Onward. Nebraska 45 Minnesota 21.

TODD: A week of many hack Caddyshack jokes being made by this site culminates with the Huskers starting a new win streak at the expense of the Gophers who will find themselves hiding near the bottom of the Big Ten West standings. Huskers win 31-17.

LESLIE: If the Huskers could beat you last year, they can definitely beat you this year. Huskers 55-21.

Game 11: Maryland – November 19

MARYLAND FANS
Supposedly this is what Maryland fans look like.

KG: Maryland and Nebraska meet for the first time ever in Memorial Stadium. Since the two teams are unfamiliar with each other, it’s good news for Nebraska that the Terps are about as intimidating as a squad of actual turtles. Nebraska 51 Maryland 24

TODD: You might remember Maryland as the team who had those atrocious uniforms a couple seasons back, or for their most famous alumni (Shawne Merriman) dating Tila Tequila. If you need to use this weekend to prep for Thanksgiving you’re in luck. This game won’t be close. Huskers 42 Maryland 20.

LESLIE: Three wins last year? Good lord. Stick to basketball, Maryland. Huskers win by a billion.

Game 12: at Iowa – November 25

IOWA FANS
When Iowa fans realize their welfare checks aren’t big enough to cover Powerball tickets and Vape juice.

KG: The worst 12-0 regular season program I’ve ever had the displeasure of witnessing take the gridiron. As snake-bit as Nebraska was in 2015, Iowa was itself holding aces all season. But both teams showed their true colors in bowl games — a solid 37-29 victory over UCLA by Nebraska (a healthy margin that, quite frankly could’ve been even healthier) and a 45-16 ass shellacking of Iowa by Stanford in the Rose Bowl. Iowa made rings to mark their 12-0 regular season accomplishment. Good for them. Fucking losers. Nebraska 45 Iowa 10.

TODD: Mike Riley puts the exclamation point on #IOWAHATEWEEK by stealing the keys to Herky Hawkey’s El Camino and burning some donuts on the 50 yard line of Kinnick Stadium following a Huskers blowout victory.  Huskers win 38-14.

LESLIE: If I was running things, Iowa would have to sit out a year for that Rose Bowl performance. But since it doesn’t look like that is going to happen, Nebraska is going to have to play them. Unlike last season, Iowa actually has to play some real teams before Nebraska, so there is no chance they go into this undefeated again. As you can tell, I actually have the opposite. Nebraska is going in there undefeated this year and kicking some Iowa ass. Leave me alone. A person can dream. Huskers 21-17.

(But for real, watching Iowa collapse at the Rose Bowl was the highlight of last season.)

Final regular season tally:

KG: Huskers go 11-1 with a loss to Ohio State.
TODD: Same.
LESLIE: Huskers run the table and go 12-0.

Remember, what you just read is published on the internet, so you know it’s true. GBR.

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Hey K-Dubs, Here’s Your Guide to Watching Husker Games at Home

Good news, everyone! Keith Williams didn’t get fired.

From what I’ve been able to decipher through the flurry of tweets leading to stories blocked by paywalls, K-Dubs will remain suspended without pay through August 31 and won’t be attending the first four games in any capacity.

Games three and four, as you may know, are Oregon and at Northwestern. Good thing being good at catching the ball has never been important when playing the Wildcats.

In the interim, Mark Philipp can double up as strength and receivers coach. We all know that K-Dubs has ingrained such a T-1000 level of  killer technique in his receivers that the only coaching they’ll need in his absence are occasional subtle, yet stern reminders to not drop the ball.

And who’s better to do that than a guy who could rip you in half?

Mark Philipp
Mark Philipp, a guy who could rip you in half.

Now that we’ve solved the temporary coaching crisis, let’s move on to the topic at hand.

The stark reality is that K-Dubs has probably never watched a Husker game at home. Up until last season, he never had a connection to the team and before that, the guy was busy doing football stuff with other teams. Best case, he might have randomly caught one between 1997 and 2000 when he was out of football according to his bio.

OK K-Dubs, here’s how you Husker like you’re one of us.

STEP 1: STAY THE F HOME

Don’t go try to crash some tailgates or check out the scene at the Railyard. As much fun as it is to be a fan, you need keep a low profile, my friend. The last thing you want to do is wander through someone’s Snapchat story.

STEP 2: FOOD 

FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, DON’T ORDER A PIZZA. Everyone and their brother who isn’t at the game will all have the same brilliant idea to order a pizza. If you’re lucky (which, let’s face it, you are and we’re glad), it will show up in the middle of the third quarter but if your luck has run out, expect to see it on your porch by Sunday morning.

But what you want to do is bribe your extraordinarily understanding and loving wife with whatever it takes for her to swing by the nearest Runza drive-thru for you and pick up a few of Nebraska’s greatest sandwiches that can’t really be classified as sandwiches.

(My inner-fat kid also suggests stopping by Taco John’s for some Potato Olés to cross the streams of Nebraska deliciousness but we won’t press our luck. Runzas will have to do.)

runza-largeThe venerable Runza.

To go with your Runzas, you’ll need some sodas, maybe some sparkling water, and a party tray of carrots, celery, etc. If you need to stress eat, you might as well try to be healthy about it.

STEP 3: THE TV

Bigger and high-def’er is always better but as any Husker fan in the western reaches of the 308 will tell you, a Husker game can be just as stressful and exciting when you’re listening to it on a crackling radio while on the edge of your seat in a combine (the tractor, not football kind). But you’re city folk, so you can get the best of both worlds: TV and Radio.

Download the official Huskers app so you can stream the radio broadcast instead of listening the schlubs on TV drone on about Tommy and Jordan being roommates. Spend the first couple minutes of the game synchronizing the stream to your TV. It takes a little trial and error but once you get it locked in DON’T TOUCH ANYTHING.

One last important detail, make sure your cable package has the Big Ten Network. If you need a password to watch online, hit me up. You can use the one I borrowed.

STEP 4: YELLING AT THE TV

Since you’ll be streaming the radio broadcast, you can pop-in your ear buds and have the TV on mute. Your wife will love you for that but what she won’t love is the inevitable screaming and yelling.

You have three options to prepare for this:

1. Treat your extraordinarily understanding and loving wife (and however many friends she’d like to bring along) to a spa day. (After she picks up your Runzas, of course.)

2.  Buy a screamin’ pillow to muffle the sound. Scream PillowThis is pretty self-explanatory.

3. Adopt a kitten. Todd and WillardThe calmest Husker game of my life took place on October 30, 2010, mere days after Willard was sprung from the pound. It also helped that the first quarter ended with the Huskers up 24 – 0 over Missouri thanks to Roy Helu Jr. running wild.

STEP 5: SOCIAL MEDIA

Think of this as the digital version of strolling through the Big Red Sea of tailgaters. No matter how hard you’re tempted, DON’T TWEET DURING THE GAME. It will just open the doors to trolls and you really don’t need to give that butthole coach at Ohio State a reason to be a bigger butthole.

What you can do, and I highly recommend it, is slide into the game thread on Huskermax. You don’t need to be a member unless you want to comment. Depending on what exactly you read though, you might want to become a member just so you can cool off some of the inevitable the-sky-is-falling hot takes and conspiracy theories. Seriously, bro. It’s like that every game.


Welcome to the other side of Husker Nation, K-Dubs. While it will be nice to have you among us, we can’t wait to see you back on the field.

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The Season Doesn’t Have a Reset Button. We Gotta Roll With It.

We’re still 19 sleeps away from the season opener and it’s already becoming one for the books.

The news of Keith Williams‘ arrest on a suspected DUI appeared on my phone Sunday morning (thanks, Leslie) right as I was about to do a swan dive into a $12 breakfast burrito.

My appetite vanished as I read the details of what happened… crash at 9th and N (at least it was only a four block ride to jail) and a possible third DUI, tipping the scales at a .15 BAC.

Honestly, even one DUI isn’t excusable but, if we’re really being honest, there’s a good chance we’ve all been one faulty taillight away from finding ourselves trying to walk a straight line on the side of the road.

But three DUIs? Hell no. Completely inexcusable. Especially in an age where an Uber, even in Lincoln, is a press of a button away. Then there’s the fact that the Star City is one of the greatest cities to pedal a bike around at night shitass drunk. I did it for five years and it was awesome. Plus, every bar has a bike rack out front so it’s a win-win for everyone.

Here in LA, a DUI ends up costing the lucky recipient around $10,000 just in fines and legal fees. That’s 1,000 $10 Uber rides and translates to a lot of nights out without having to worry about anything other than if your driver can properly follow GPS directions. (Hey, since you’re here, get a free Uber ride on us. #ad)

Will Williams stay on with the Huskers? That’s a hard decision and one that has to suck for whoever ends up having the final say on the matter.

Did he instantly lose all his credibility as a respected coach and mentor to college kids? Well, a person can learn a lot by messing up and taking the steps to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

Williams seems to know this all too well.

But will he be standing on the sidelines come September 3rd?

As much as the Huskers rule everything around us, he has more important stuff to worry about and let’s all hope he finds the support he needs to fix it.


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Two Husker Fans Walk Into Dodger Stadium…

Like a lot of things these days, what turned out to be an awesome real-life moment started out on Twitter.

With the Philadelphia Phillies in town to play Los Doyers,  I half jokingly suggested to my friend Leslie, aka Big Red Fury’s newest contributor, that we should go to the game in Husker gear to show some Big Red love for former Husker and current Phillie Cody Asche.

She was down so the hard part became deciding which Husker shirt to wear. In the meantime, I tweeted to Cody to let him know that Husker Nation would be at the game.

Oh snap. Since he knew we’d be there, that meant it was time to break out the big gun, the mighty foam finger.

FOAM FINGERFoam finger. (File photo.)

If you’ve never done so, I can’t recommend going to a sporting event decked out in the gear belonging to a team that is A) not even playing and B) the completely wrong sport. The odd looks from security are totally worth it.

We slid into the fancy seats near the Phillies’ dugout for their half of BP and waited for Cody to take his turn in the cage.

Cody Asche - Batting CageWhy yes, Cody, Husker fans are stalking you.

When he took his final cut in the cage, I couldn’t help but let a Go Big Red rip. It was my first one of 2016 and felt good. Darn good.

Cody then walked over to some fans who were on the field for BP and it looked like he was signing a ball for one of them. But it turned out he was borrowing a pen.

Cody Borrowing PenA fan flips Cody his pen. 

The next thing you know a ball was coming our way. There’s nothing that instantly brings back every haunting memory of missed Little League pop ups like a big leaguer tossing you a ball.

Luckily, I didn’t muff his perfect throw and here’s what I found when I un-cradled my mitts.

Cody Asche Go Big Red Ball
So awesome. 

As our friend Marc snapped a souvenir photo for us, he remarked that Husker Nation is on a completely different level than any other team. He’s a die hard Dodger and USC fan and was just boggled by how much deeper Husker fandom goes.

You’re damn right.

With the ballThanks for the ball, Cody! 

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We’re doomed anyway so we might as well win.

Here are a couple dates to chew on.

January 9, 2017: The College Football Playoff National Championship Game will be played in Tampa, Florida.

January 20, 2017: The 45th President of the United States of America will be sworn into office.

No matter which way you swing on the political spectrum, one thing we can probably all agree on is that this country seems to be spiraling towards an embarrassing face plant faster than an Iowa fan on her 21st birthday.

No matter whose hand is on that bible this January, be it a very tiny one that’s never seen a hard day’s work or a normal-size paw that lacks the motor skills to properly send an email, there’s a good chance President Camacho will be their successor.

So what’s all this mean to Husker Nation?

Well, if we want to see a day when the Huskers return to national dominance, they should probably work on that sooner rather than later.

Best worst case scenario, a National Championship this year would give us a 11 solid days to celebrate before we have to start living under a cloud of worry about the Commander-in-Chief’s stubby little finger accidentally launching a nuke instead of firing off a late night rage tweet.

Even if that doesn’t happen, what are we, five to ten years away from tackle football going the way of the lawn dart? Unless someone can clone Teddy Roosevelt STAT, football as we know and love it will be changing. Wouldn’t it be great if the Huskers could win one more championship before sport becomes as hard hitting as a game of quidditch?

On that uplifting note, the good news is that if you play (or go through life) like you’ve got nothing to lose, you’re going to win. The scoreboard might not always agree with that philosophy but at least you can sleep well at night knowing you gave it your best.

In the case of Mike Riley, his career head coaching record might stand at a humble 153 – 151 but entering his second year at Nebraska, it’s a safe bet that the win column is going to start shooting up at a faster clip. Over the course of this off-season, it seemed like he realized he’s playing with house money and is using that giant stack of chips to build something great.

To paraphrase the life motto of the late, great Lemmy Kilmister from the legendary band Motörhead, Riley may have seemingly been born to lose but right now he’s living to win.

A coach who’s supposedly in the “twilight” of his career wouldn’t be spending his summer criss-crossing the country or waking up at the stroke of midnight to retweet recruits. Much like Lemmy being on tour barely two weeks before he dropped dead from an undiscovered brain tumor, Riley is not slowing down as his golden years are fast approaching. Lemmy went out as the undisputed most rock n’ roll bad ass to walk the Earth and Riley is setting the table to walk into the sunset with a powerful legacy of his own left in his wake.

Don’t be shocked when he cranks up his win total by 11 this season.

OK Huskers, it’s time to get out on that field and snap some necks and cash some stipend checks.

Mike Riley and LemmyHusker head coach Mike Riley (left) and Motörhead’s Lemmy Kilmister (right). Two disparate dudes with nothing in common but a burning passion for their life’s work.


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Saying Goodbye to Sam Foltz

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a special guest post by Misty Schaecher, a dear friend from my high school days at Grand Island Senior High. Like nearly every kid from that era, we both worked at the Skagway store that was on the other side of the parking lot from Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church which hosted the memorial service for Sam Foltz.

Misty reached out earlier this week to see if this site could use any coverage of his service. Her out-of-the-blue offer momentarily took me aback until I realized this is just another example of how Husker fans stick together in all kinds of weather.

Her story and photos follow below.

Drew Brown and Sam Foltz

“There is a Presence in this Place.”

As Husker Nation descended upon Grand Island for the memorial of Sam Foltz, the air of grief was palpable. An early morning thunderstorm set the stage for this morning’s service, causing flooding throughout this small Nebraska town.

The entrance to Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church was lined with flags, family, friends, fans, teammates and coaches. When you are a part of something as great as Husker Nation, you are a part of a family that is supportive and infinitely great.

Husker Flag

Nearly 2,000 people attended the 75-minute memorial service.  This included seven busloads of his University of Nebraska teammates and fellow students.  Seven Priests and the Archdiocese Bishop presided over the ceremony where Sam’s life was celebrated.  People overflowed the church, spilling into the hallways and reception hall where the ceremony was broadcast live.

Sam Foltz with kids

Not since April 18, 1996, when quarterback Brook Berringer died in a tragic plane crash, have Husker fans felt such sadness. Sam Foltz was a punter, so much of the everyday hoopla of being a quarterback didn’t surround him as it did Berringer, however, his genuine kindness made him a fan favorite from the start.Sam was a true hometown hero of Grand Island. He was not only a Husker, he was also a brother, a son, a friend, and a true Islander.

Sam Foltz Diploma

As the football season fast approaches us, Husker Nation will not be the same. There will be one less dreamer on the field this year. One less determined young man reporting to practice. One less teammate offering advice to the underclassmen. One less hero representing the town of Grand Island, Nebraska on the national stage.

On July 19, 2016, Sam tweeted, “You never know who’s watching. What impact do you wanna leave on the next generation to aspire too?!”

This fan, this town, and this state will remember you Sam Foltz and we will indeed be looking up to you.

Sam Foltz Running

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BLACKSHIRT FLAG

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Sam Foltz: An Appreciation

Seasons aren’t supposed to begin this way.

This time of year in the college football world is supposed to be nothing but unbridled hope and boundless optimism. The sky’s the limit during this wonderful transition when the dog days of summer start giving ground to the football season approaching over the horizon.

It’s not supposed to be a time for a team and its fans to say goodbye to one of their most beloved players.

To say that Sam Foltz is the backbone of the Cornhuskers is not hyperbole.

In an age of showcase camps, star ratings, and selection videos with as much production value of an average Michael Bay movie, Sam was just the latest homegrown example to prove there will always be a place on a team for someone who’s willing to get there the old-fashioned way, through hard work and sheer determination.

One of the biggest points of pride to being a Cornhusker fan has always been the crop of local players standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the marquee out-of-state recruits. It’s a subliminal boost of confidence that lets a Nebraska kid know that, even if he or she comes from the middle of nowhere,  it’s possible to hang with with anyone no matter where you go. Those bedrock Nebraska values of humility, integrity, and an anvil solid work ethic translate to any field, be it athletic or otherwise.

Sam knew this and used his role on the Huskers to continue the tradition of paying forward this inspirational quality to the next wave of Big Red faithful.

I’ll never forget Sam’s first punt as a Husker. It was the 2013 season opener against Wyoming that turned into an unexpected nail biter, remember?

I watched that game in Sacramento. My wife and I took a road trip up there from LA to cheer-on the Iowa Hawkeyes soccer team  (my cousin was co-captain) in a game against Pacific.

Husker fans being Husker fans, we have a knack for finding each other and organizing for game days so I ditched out on visiting with family in from out-of-state (they understood) to head to the local watch site.

Nebraska’s first offensive drive of that game started on their own two yard line. Three plays and a false start later, a redshirt freshman named Sam Foltz jogged onto the field and boomed a punt all the way back to Wyoming’s 36 yard line. In the score book, it’s officially listed as a 56 yarder but everyone who saw it knows the ball was launched from the Huskers’ end zone.

When the shock wave caused by the ball rocketing off Sam’s foot finally subsided, a bar full of Husker fans asked in unison, “Who is this kid?”

Husker fans being Husker fans, we slapped high fives for a punt and all knew right away that Sam was going to be special.

And then, a little later on, we saw his ability to knock any ambitious punt returner into next week and we finally began to grasp the enormity of just how special Sam was. He was a hard nosed football player who happened to be a punter.

When I put together a pump up video for this upcoming season, one thing I had to include was one of Sam’s punts. Out of the scores of highlight reels I’ve ever watched, a punter has never been included. Since this was my video, I was going to make sure a fellow Grand Island alum got a little recognition.

Husker fans being Husker fans, message board chatter about the video quickly became about the inclusion of Sam among the jaw dropping highlights. I was glad to see I wasn’t the only one who appreciated what his contributions meant to the team.

Sam’s final punt as a Husker came the Foster Farms Bowl with about five minutes to go. Nebraska was faced with a 4th and 23 “situation” and a surging UCLA team. Sam’s punt wasn’t his biggest but those 39 yards got the Huskers out of trouble and did their part to hold off the Bruins.

I saw that punt at my brother’s house in Iowa. The last time we watched a Husker game together was at the Rose Bowl and Nebraska was playing Miami for the BCS Championship.

A lot had changed in nearly 14 years but our love for the Big Red had remained constant.

A player like Sam can never be replaced but we can all do our part to ensure that his legacy remains for decades to come by leading by example in our daily lives and making time for those who could use a boost of support and guidance.

You don’t have to be a football player to inspire others but you can channel one’s attitude and help make a difference to those around you and in your community.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Meet Our New Contributor Leslie Micek

Hey there, remember us? Hope so because our off-season hiatus is back off, again. We trust you’ve been having a great summer, staying cool, never changing, and catching a boatload of that Pokéyman.

Before we resume our usual Husker high jinks, we’d like to introduce you to Leslie Micek, a five star recruit who’s joining the Big Red Fury squad this season.

If you’re a regular participant in #Huskers Twitter, there’s a good chance you’ve seen her hot takes and observations on game day. If you haven’t, follow her here. Leslie is a world-class smart-ass, probably knows more about the Huskers (and sports in general) than you do, and can pound Bud Heavies with the best of them. (Actually, she’d probably put you under the table.)

Since there’s really no way to improve upon an intro like that, let’s get to her interview.

You hail from the land of Kool-Aid, aka Hastings, aka Tom Osborne’s hometown. What was it like growing up in the southern corner of the golden triangle that is Nebraska’s tri-cities area? 

Perfect. Nebraska is a great place to be a kid, you can always be outside with a relatively low chance of finding any real trouble. I played with a lot of fireworks, rode my bike a lot, and constantly bothered all of the neighbors. I moved in 3rd grade, but my dad still lives there so I go back a lot and do Nebraska things like go fishing and attempt to learn how to play pitch. Not many people can say they were at the very first Kool-Aid Days back in 1997 (or something like that). And yes, that’s a real thing.

Leslie Micek
Leslie Micek, Husker fan, catcher of delicious bass.

What’s your earliest Husker memory? 

Winning. The teams of the mid 90s set me up for a lifetime full of disappointment. Thanks a lot, Tommie Frazier. Sometimes I get on YouTube and watch things like this- –

–it doesn’t help. I think I thought Nebraska was supposed to play in the championship every year. I mean, they are supposed to, they just don’t.

What’s your all-time favorite moment in your history as a Husker fan? 

A couple of years ago I sneaked onto the sidelines of a game at Northwestern. My friends had media passes and passed one back to me. I got to witness my boys Ameer and Randy Gregory up close and personal. It was awesome, until they figured out at the end of the third quarter that I wasn’t supposed to be there and kicked me out. I tried to say I lost my badge but the security guy wasn’t having it. It was just fun to know that I could yell at Bo if I chose to…I didn’t. By the way, that Northwestern stadium is pathetic.

Leslie
Not many fans can say they’ve had a Husker coach send them their own HUDL highlight of their sideline freakout. See if you can spot Leslie going nuts at Northwestern.

What’s the one loss that still sticks in your craw the most? 

One?? Besides the obvious big losses, some personal memories have to include that very special BYU game last year. I decided last minute to go with my mom. I needed to be part of Mike Riley’s first game. I needed to be there. I did not need to see that BYU Hail Mary. Also, a special memory from the UCLA game in 2013 taught me to never make fun of my friends and their team until the game is over. The 18 point comeback by UCLA was brutal, I ended up being at Barney’s Beanery in West Hollywood from 9am-2am that day.

EDITOR’S NOTE: That’s a 17 hour(!) shift at a sports bar.

Who’s your all-time favorite player?

I’m bad at favorites. I would say either Tommie Frazier or Lawrence Phillips. There is a video compilation on YouTube of Lawrence Phillips running all over everybody for like 5 minutes.

He was just unreal. His story is heartbreaking but I find it very interesting. I think he is tied to be my favorite but he is the most interesting to me. Hope the upcoming 30 for 30 does his story some justice because I don’t think people know or understand the whole story of his life.

What’s your outlook for this season? Do Mike Riley and company have you feeling optimistic? 

HCMR and Co. have me pumped. They are recruiting really well and the energy is contagious. As Phil Steele said, the Huskers were 5 plays away from being 11-2 last season and has them as his No. 2 most improved team this season. To be honest it’s the best time of the year, the time to be delusional and say the Huskers are going undefeated. Everybody tweet to me after the Huskers first loss and remind me that I’m a moron (but I see them at least getting to the playoffs, their schedule is pretty good, minus the Ohio State part).

What are your feelings on the phrase “Run the damn ball?” 

I scream it at my TV enough that I suppose I like it.

You went to a “certain college” that was a former conference rival to Nebraska. You don’t have to name it, but was it like being a Husker fan behind enemy lines?

It was always fun to bring people from the school that will not be named to Nebraska for the games. They knew I wasn’t there permanently and referred to me as a tourist. I enjoyed showing them around Lincoln and introducing them to my Nebraska friends, and of course the local Runza. They always had a good time and the trips usually ended with us staying awake in the Cap City long enough to see the sunrise. It was quite a different experience for Nebraska fans making the trip to Columbia, they have some unwelcoming fans. I remember a story about some Mizzou fans letting all the air out of some Nebraska fans tires.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Um, I think you just named the school. 

Rank the following Big Ten teams from least to most hated: Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State, Wisconsin. 

1.Ohio State
1.Michigan
1.Michigan State
1.Wisconsin
1.Northwestern
1.Penn State
1.Iowa 

I’m an equal opportunity hater. I hate them all. Also, I have never understood the root for your conference stuff. If Nebraska loses, why do I want their competition to win? No thanks. Sorry to break it to Ohio State, but I will never be cheering for them.

Which one of the following Husker media types would you most like to have a beer with? Dirk Chatelain, Sam McKewon, Mike’l Severe, Tom Shatel, Steven M. Sipple.

Probably Tom Shatel because I don’t follow him so he hasn’t gotten on my nerves yet.

You’re one of the fortunate people who can claim being both a Husker fan and a Dodger fan. How would you say the two fan bases compare? 

I think they both are similar because they have very dedicated and loyal fan bases. It’s pretty easy to be dedicated for 12 games a season for football fans but I meet Dodger fans that watch 162 games a season. I would like to think that’s what Husker fans would be like if there were that many games. They are both also very knowledgeable fan bases. I think Husker fans know more than the average football fans, especially regarding recruiting. Dodger fans are the same way, they are very educated about their team and their opponents.

I’ve always thought of LA as sort of like a United Nations of college football where you’ll go to a bar and see many different colleges represented. Is there a school’s fans that you find almost likable and is there a group that you find completely obnoxious?

 I don’t know about a likable fan base but as soon as I thought of an obnoxious and unlikable fan base, my first thought was The U. They are all unbearable.

 How would you say the overall college football knowledge base of an average Nebraska fan compares to other college football fans? 

Husker fans blow everybody else out of the water in the category. I don’t know a lot of other fans that follow the recruiting process so closely. When I talk to other college football fans they don’t usually know who they are after and don’t attend any of the camps. Nebraska fans are big football dorks and will attend almost anything. I drove an hour and a half and through a fire in Calabasas to a Nebraska satellite camp last month and didn’t think twice. But speaking of recruits… Darnay Holmes, please come to Nebraska.

On those rare occasions that Nebraska loses, what’s your mood like after a game? How long does it take you to recover? 

Such a rare occurrence that I can’t remember the last time that happened. But for future reference, nobody should contact me the rest of the day.

Who’s your number one QB if you’re building a team? Tommy Armstrong, Eric Crouch, Tommie Frazier, Joe Ganz, Taylor Martinez.

You go Tommie Frazier 100% of the time. As Tommie Frazier says “T Fraz, he was too smooth, he was too fast” in this classic rap song by Terrel Farley and Tommie Frazier:

Would you rather have one Ndamukong Suh or two Peter brothers anchoring a defensive line? 

It’s had to turn down two DTs on the greatest college football team of all time, but when Suh is the other option. You pick Suh. Plus he is the size of two people but only one scholarship. That’s a bargain.

Amigos or Taco John’s? And what’s your go-to order? 

Amigos. I love their chips and cheese and their crisp meat. The crisp meat is like a crispito from school lunches, I’m sure nobody will know what that is either. But I could really go for some Potato Olés right now.

How would you explain a Runza to someone who’s never heard of one? 

This actually comes up a lot. I say its kind of like a cheeseburger baked into a roll. But better. Then I just usually talk about the mini corndogs and fries and people are on board.

Finally, let’s say you have a Kool-Aid stand out in the desert and from over a sand dune appears Bo Pelini, He’s been lost and wandering for days. How much would you charge him for an ice cold and refreshing glass of Kool-Aid? (Hypothetically, you’d have a square reader and he’d have a black AMEX.) 

 He better hope there is another Kool-Aid stand around.

Leslie Kool-Aid Stand
That’s right, Bo. Keep steppin’.

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View from The Boneyard: Spring Game

There’s something about things coming to an end that always gets me. It’s been nostalgia overkill as my classes, newscasts, and now column are all coming to an end. But what better way to go out than with 73,000 of my closest friends at Memorial Stadium?

Apparently my senior slide is kicking in more than I thought, considering we didn’t even leave our apartment until an hour before kickoff. I hadn’t left this close to kickoff since I was a confused freshman on my first game day and somehow ended up lost in the middle of the East Stadium student section.

This was my first Spring Game as a fan in a few years, since I’ve had a few opportunities to watch previous games in the press box and on the sidelines. Funny how the one year that I probably *should* be in the press box, I’m not.

Luckily for us, our tried-and-true seats in the front were open for us when we got there. Maybe it’s because people know they’re our spots and want to be courteous. Or (more likely) they remember us and want nothing to do with us. Either way, we were thankful.

spring game 2
The Huskers come out of the tunnel for the first time in 2016.

Every year that I’ve been at UNL, something big has happened at the Spring Game. First it was Jack scoring his touchdown, then the infamous year of Bo and his cat, and finally, the introduction of Mike Riley to Memorial Stadium. This year, however, I almost felt like I was waiting for something big to happen the entire time. When the game proved to be exactly what was advertised—an open practice—I almost felt let down.

I mean, the football part of it all was exciting. From cheering on the new guys to missing the former seniors, the Boneyard had fun going through all of their game day traditions. Well, except the few older fans sitting in our section, who decided to complain about all of us standing during the game. Sorry, were you lost?

While I love watching football, I can’t get over how confused I get with the spring game scoring. Thankfully for people like me, they keep the scoring rules on the HuskerVision screen throughout the game so everyone can follow along. It did lead to the Blackshirts getting the win with an interception at the end of the game, which was pretty cool.

But my final time as a student in Memorial Stadium made me realize that there’s soon going to be a new group of young, confused freshmen and transfer students that don’t know the ways of the Boneyard, much like I didn’t (hence me getting lost in the completely wrong section). So let me be your honorary older sister and learn from my mistakes.

First, and this goes without saying, wear Husker red. I thought this was such a given until I see fans walking by wearing other B1G apparel, Blackhawks jerseys, or other non-Husker-related apparel. Unless it’s one of the Boneyard advertised blackouts, then forget what the older fans say and wear black. Please.

Next, just have fun and participate in whatever is going around you in the Boneyard. Our student section has so many fun traditions, so just go with the flow. You’re not going to look stupid, trust me. We all look stupid together, so it’s okay.

I know that this is a personal preference of mine, but if I’ve been given this soapbox to stand on, you bet I’m gonna get on it and voice my opinion. Please don’t boo the other team when they run on the field. Husker fans are some of the greatest in college football, so keep the booing to the officials and their calls—they’re the ones getting [over]paid.

Also, don’t be that dick that shows up way too drunk to function. Not only is it going to be difficult for you, but nobody wants to deal with someone falling into them or vomiting or anything like that. If you’re that drunk, just stay wherever you are and watch the game there—you won’t remember the difference, anyway.

But finally—contrary to everything I just said—don’t let anyone tell you how to cheer for your team. I’ve had plenty of people tell me I can’t be a Husker fan because I wasn’t born and raised in Nebraska. I’ve heard that I’m not a true fan because, since I’m used to being on the media side of it all, I don’t always scream and cheer at every play; I’m pretty content with watching many games with a pretty straight face and some polite clapping. But then again, I can also be that obnoxious fan running up and down the aisles making fun of the other team (just kidding mom, I would never do that). Just do you.

OK, sentimental stuff over. I had already gotten all weepy and sad after the Iowa game (both because of the game and because of senior year), so it was a lot easier to say goodbye after the game was over. Or maybe it was because I was promised nachos after we left. Either way, a lot fewer tears leaving Memorial Stadium this time around.

Overall, it’s been a fun senior year. Go Big Red, see you all next season.

Hayley Archer is a senior Broadcasting major at UNL. Follow her on Twitter at @Harchinator.

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