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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: My Buddy Dave Shot Der Viener Schlinger

Sometimes in that Facebook haystack of baby pics and political rants you can find those priceless moments you really want to see.

Following the Illinois game, Facebook’s mighty algorithm bestowed upon me one of the most glorious things I have ever seen.

My longtime buddy Dave hoisting Der Viener Schlinger to the sky like he was some sort of Husker Rambo and blasting a Fairbury Brand Hot Dog into the Sea of Red.

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Dave and I go all the way back to our freshman year at Husker U. when someone in our dorm (I don’t even remember who) decided we need to know each other based on the fact that we both spent our mornings religiously watching CHiPs.

It was pretty much a Step Brothers moment the second we bro’d down over Ponch and Jon. From there, was nothing but several years of some pretty ridiculous hijinks. I’d share details but honestly it’s all a haze (and my mom has been known to read this thing from time to time).

Besides, we’re not here for stupid stories from the days of yore. We’re here for incredible stories from right now.

Or as close to right now as possible.

The events that follow transpired during the Illinois game. Shortly after, Dave got lost on a motorcycle tour for a while so it took a minute to coordinate our big interview. Enjoy.

So you and the Mrs (happy anniversary, btw) went back to Lincoln for the game. Did you do take the train to from Denver to the Haymarket like you’ve done before? If so, how does that set the table for your gameday experience? That has to be one of the coolest ways to roll into Lincoln for a Husker game.

This is the first time I’ve hopped the train back for a game in a couple of years. It’s a pretty amazing experience overall. Some of the comforts of flying are erased, but you can most certainly listen to loud snoring and iPad use with no headphones. A couple of beers and a dram of whiskey and I can pretty much sleep through anything. Arriving in Lincoln early in the morning, refreshed, and ready for coffee sets the perfect tone for a wonderful game day. I love what they’ve done down in the Haymarket area. It’s much more inviting then a decade ago.  

The Der Viener Schlinger… walk us through how that happened. How did you get picked? How much of a rush was it to fire off a Fairbury Brand Hot Dog into the East Stadium stands? Did the Der Viener Schlinger guy give you any tips? Did it have a lot of kick? Who was the guy yelling DBO in the video? Did he get a hot dog?

My friend Jenna walked us down to the sidelines after the start of the 2nd half.  She asked if I had any interest in shooting off Der Viener Schlinger and I shyly responded, “If he wants me to.”  She nudged her way over towards the artillery and got me positioned in line for firing. The operator of Der Viener Schlinger then forcibly moved a 6-year-old girl out of my way to get me cued in line. I was on cloud 9 with my finger on the trigger ready to blast on Illinois fans who had their eyes fixed on the game, but was instructed to shoot it at people paying attention and pull the trigger. No kick, you could blast weenies all day with no shoulder soreness. My homeboy JD was the one yelling my name, all my homies were as excited as I was. No hot dog for him though. We mashed on Runzas until our stomachs hurt the first half of the game.

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Dave lives Der Viener Schlinger dream while a jilted 6-year-old plots her revenge.

How has your life changed from shooting the Der Viener Schlinger?

I feel as though that people who are in tune with what it means to shoot Der Viener Schlinger are beyond impressed and really want to know how the opportunity happened upon me. I’ve become a B list celeb in the Husker fandom world. The emails and texts haven’t stopped since gameday.  

Will a going to a Husker game ever be the same for you again?

Every Husker game is a memorable one for me, but unless I’m shooting weenies into the crowd, it’ll never be the same.

Do you remember that time we spent 18 straight hours watching Molly Ringwald movies in those recliners you had in whatever dorm that was? (I don’t think we even moved until Katie T. brought us Burger King if I sort of remember correctly. Sometime we’ll all have to combine brains and see if we can remember at least some of the stuff we pulled.)

I wish I could remember half the shit we did in college. Let’s recreate the recliner gig. It was a good one.  

Does it weird you out if I tell you I still have a glossy 8 x 10 of your snowboarding injury somewhere?

That actually warms my heart and makes my scar tingle.

These days you’ve got quite the business going in Denver. Would you mind telling our readers what Bear Creek Distillery is all about and what they can expect if they visit?  

Bear Creek Distillery is a grain to glass, grain to bottle distillery nestled into the heart of Denver. We currently have a Silver Rum, Cask Strength Rum, Spiced Rum, Rye Vodka, Wheat Vodka, Rye Whiskey, Wheat Whiskey, White Whiskey and we will be releasing our flagship product Holiday 2017, which is a 3 grain Bourbon. We have a full tasting room open 5 days a week. We feature handcrafted cocktails and offer tours of our facility to the public. I’ll be shopping Nebraska distributors next year to place our product in Omaha and Lincoln.  

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Dave in his element at Bear Creek Distillery.
If you’re there and someone shows up wearing Husker gear, what typically happens?

High fives ensue and if I’ve had enough whiskey we get a classic “GO BIG RED” call and response going. This place literally glows red on Saturdays and we welcome Huskers in here with open arms.  

Finally what’s your outlook for the Huskers for the rest of the season? How far do you see this team going? 

We look great and seem to be applying a little bit of smash mouth football this season. I predict we have at top ten finish and a Big Ten Championship to look forward to.

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Chuck, Dave, and your author, circa 1995. Photo courtesy of the Lane Hickenbottom archives.


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