We need to talk. Don’t worry. This is all going to be for your own good. I just want to make sure you little Duckies are prepared for what’s going to happen on Saturday.
You’ve probably been licking your bills for a while now at the prospect of migrating halfway across the country just to beat up on your former in-state rival like the good ol’ days of your annual Civil War.
But there’s one tiny problem.
Mike Riley isn’t at Oregon State anymore.
He’s at Nebraska.
Sure, I could start rattling off all the ways Riley’s coaching toy box has been upgraded but the truth is he’s just getting a taste of what it’s like to be in your Nikes, with world-class facilities and talent far beyond what he had in Corvallis. His playing field is finally level with yours.
But he has one big advantage that can’t be bought with Phil Knight money.
Heck, it can’t even be bought with Warren Buffett money.
And that’s Husker Nation.
While there’s no official date for when it was founded, a great case could be made for November 3, 1962, the day the Huskers’ sellout streak started. The Big Red lost to Missouri that day but the fans were back for the next one and all the others for the past 54 years. You Ducks have the honor of being number 350.
That’s kind of a big deal especially when you consider Memorial Stadium has nearly tripled in size during that time and Bill Callahan was head coach for a while.
Things are a little bit different around these parts. You’re going to be greeted by 90,000 of the most loyal and passionate fans you’ve ever played in front of anywhere. And that includes the little nest you call a stadium. (54,000 fans for your home games? Cute.)
Those fans (who will all be wearing red, btw) have known since Monday they won’t be sitting down for the duration of the game. All it took was a tweet from a linebacker that simply said #NoSitSaturday and everyone was like ‘Cool. We’ll spread the word.’
That’s how people roll in Nebraska. We take care of each other. Someone needs a favor? It gets done. Mike Riley is one of us now so when he steps onto that sideline, 90,000 people will have his back along with another million plus watching from afar.
Oregon, when you come out of that tunnel, it’s important that you’re prepared for what’s going to happen.
First off, no matter how loud it gets, and it will get loud, Memorial Stadium will not fall apart. She may feel like she’s about to crumble but don’t worry. She’s as solid as a rock. Mostly.
Either way, you’ll probably want to dip into your vast wardrobe and pick out some pants that can hide crotchal region stains (both the front and rear kind) just to be safe. Maybe something in a nice dark green? That should do the trick.
It’s going to be so loud you may feel yourself getting knocked backwards by the sheer force of 90,000 people screaming at the top of their lungs. For as much as these folks want to see the Huskers win, they don’t mean you any genuine harm. No matter the outcome, they’ll be cheering for you after the final whistle. It’s what Nebraska fans do.
So there you are, taking it all in and you see him.
Yes, that inflatable Bob’s Big Boy looking thing is definitely a creeper and he’ll be there to welcome you onto the field. His name’s Lil’ Red and just go with it. Maybe even make a mental bookmark of the moment you make eye contact with his black, soul-less eyes. You’ll already be having the most surreal experience of your football career so why not make it just a little bit weirder?
Now kickoff. That’s when the fun really starts.
You may have read somewhere that Mike Riley’s Huskers can be a little unpredictable. For as frustrating as that can be, it’s been kind of fun that every game brings a new surprise. Will the Big Red decide to kick it old-school and pound the ball down your bill until you give up, or will Tommy Armstrong have the green light to go full Tommy, or maybe a mix of both to really keep your defense on their webbed toes?
Then there’s the problem of dealing with the Blackshirts.
Oh, you have an Olympic hurdler as a wide receiver? Well the Huskers have the guy who set the South Dakota state record in the 200 meter dash and he’s really good at making interceptions and too good at making tackles. Trust me, if you happen to make it past the defensive line, he’s not somebody you want to run into.
And if that wasn’t enough to make you want to go hang out in a park and beg for bread crumbs, there’s a rumor going around that the Huskers are getting hooked up with Yeezy Cleats.
— Tommy Armstrong Jr. (@Tommy_Gun4) September 15, 2016
If that happens, you’re doomed. Everyone knows it’s a proven scientific fact that a person runs faster in new shoes and Yeezys are far from being another boring pair of Nikes.
Good luck tomorrow, Oregon. You’re going to need it.