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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SPRING GAME INVESTIGATION: Who Was the Fan in the Dick Shirt?

Nebraska’s 2016 Spring Game went off without a hitch, except of course for that part where the Big Ten Network apparently only planned on broadcasting three quarters of football, causing fans at home to miss the debut of Patrick O’Brien.

But who am I to complain? Until yesterday morning, the Big Ten Network and (most importantly) BTN2GO was far, far out reach.

Let’s just say that dreams come true when you work hard and pray to the Twitter gods .

As a freshly minted Big Ten Network subscriber, words can’t begin to describe the joy of spending a gorgeous April afternoon indoors to watch the Huskers’ Spring Game.

What a sight it was to behold: The Sea of Red. Tommy’s YOLObombs. Running backs who look legit. That last remaining Cotton kid doing his family proud. Mike Riley standing on the sidelines looking like he might say something.

And if that wasn’t enough, there was a fan in a dick shirt.

Yes. A dick shirt.

Late in the 3rd quarter (or close to quittin’ time according BTN’s clock) the live-stream cut to senior safety Nate Gerry on the sideline talking to a fan.

Husker fan in Dick Shirt 2

While one could arguably look past the fact that an adult (fans gonna fan) was monopolizing Gerry’s time while a group of young Huskers were eager to bask in his presence, it was impossible to look past the hefty dick drawn across the left shoulder of his shirt.

Here’s a closer look.Dick Shirt Close Up

Dick Shirt Close Up
There’s no doubt that’s a dick and if you look close, it appears that someone had the honor of signing the shaft.

Four seconds later, our anonymous Husker fan goes for the kill and asks Gerry to sign his dick shirt.

Husker Fan in Dick Shirt 3
“Whoa. Bane’s really gonna sign your dick shirt!”

Husker Fan in Dick Shirt 1Meanwhile, another fan peers over dick shirt’s shoulder like Maynard during the gimp scene in Pulp Fiction.

Husker Fan in Dick Shirt 5Little Ameer realizes where this is headed and peaces out. Good work, kid.

It was at this moment the BTN’s feed cut back to the action on the field. Apparently showing a dick shirt signing all the way to completion was far too racy even for the internet.

Still,  questions remain.

Did Nate Gerry fulfill the fan’s request? In the last screen grab he wears the expression of someone who grudgingly realizes he’s about to sign a dick shirt.

Why was the fan wearing a dick shirt in the first place? Bachelor party? Look close at his hat. It the puffy paint doesn’t look like it spells out “GROOM.”

Was it Mardi Gras in April? That would explain the beads but how did he earn those beads?

Did he lose a bet?

Who else signed his dick shirt? In the screen grabs at 5:24 and 5:20 it looks like there are several other autographs on the torso. Or is that his shopping list for when he runs to the store after the game?

Someone out there has to know this guy and his story.

Help a slightly better than average Husker blog out. Give us some details about this mystery man.

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We’re Hiring a Student Contributor for the 2016 Season

Because we had so much fun the first time around, Big Red Fury is on the hunt for a new student contributor for 2016.

With our inaugural student contributor Hayley Archer doing that whole graduation thing in a few weeks, we have an opening on our roster for 2016.

This is a paid position and a great chance to get some clips for your portfolio and get a taste of that sports blogger high life.

WHO WE ARE LOOKING FOR: A UNL student who has a passion for writing, the Huskers, sits in the Boneyard (important because your column will be called View from the Boneyard) and never misses a home game.

If you have to miss one because an inconsiderate friend or relative chose to have a wedding on game day, you have our permission to attend. You’ll just have to do a write up on the anguish of missing a game.

This position is open to any grade level and major. If you’re an eager freshman to-be and you think you’ve got the chops, go for it.

missedFG

TO APPLY: Send an introductory email to –

bigredfury603@gmail.com

– telling us about yourself (it doesn’t have to be a formalized cover letter) and include the following three items:

1) A sample post: A recap of your favorite game last season or go to the Spring Game and do a write up of your experience.

Your recap should put readers in your shoes and give a feel for what it’s like to be in the Boneyard. Shoot for 500 – 800 words (no penalty for going over). Don’t worry about including photos with your submission but feel free to include any if you like. Recaps during the season should include photos and/or video.

You can see all of Hayley’s recaps here.

You can check out other examples of our game write ups here and here. As you’ll see, they are a mix of humor and analysis.

Humor: If we had to describe our style, we’d call it semi-sophisticated potty humor. Deadspin and A.V. Club are some of our favorite websites. F-bombs, S-bombs, etc, should be used sparingly for maximum effect. Strive for PG-13, not R. Slang you’d find in the Urban Dictionary, witty pop culture references and YouTube videos are always welcome.

Analysis:
This is not a site readers turn to for a serious X’s and O’s breakdown but right-on if that’s your wheelhouse. Your analysis should be your description of what you saw.  That could mean a breakdown like this or this.

2) Links to your public social media profiles: Twitter, Instagram,  Facebook, etc… (Wait does anyone under 25 even use Facebook?)  We’re old so that means we don’t understand that Chatsnap so don’t worry about sending your snap code. If your profiles are private, that’s totally cool. We just want to get a feel for who you are and what you’re in to.

We’re looking for writing talent, not an influencer. However, you will be expected to share your work socially and we’ll be promoting you as a featured contributor.

3) Explain the significance of 603 in our email address: Bonus points if you get it right.

STIPEND: $25 per game recap, paid via PayPal or Venmo immediately upon publication. Your deadline will be 9am (Lincoln time) the Monday following a game so that your piece can featured that day.

Please keep in mind that the person who wrote what you just read has been working as a writer in one capacity or another since starting out at the Daily Nebraskan way, way back in 1997 and is a Jedi Master when it comes to laziness and creative excuses and has never missed a deadline. In other words, don’t be a flake.

Deadline to apply is Friday May 6, 2015.

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