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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