Tag Archives: sam foltz

An Open Letter to the Criminal Mastermind who Robbed the Foltz Family

Dear Dipshit

Congratulations on successfully claiming the title of the most vile person in the Great State of Nebraska. That’s far from an easy feat to achieve and I commend you for doing so without having resort to violence.

All you had to do was burgle the home of a member of the Foltz family while they were in Lincoln honoring the life of Sam.

Out of all the below-the-belt dirty things a person could do, yours was an act so deep in the depths of wrong that even the most dastardly creative member of the Albanian mafia would have pumped the brakes on that one.

And what did you get? A TV and some tools? What? You didn’t feel like stuffing some silverware in your pockets on your way out?

According to news reports, the total retail value of your haul was around $1,400. I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I’ve watched enough episodes of Pawn Stars to know at best you might be able to clear $300 at the expense of committing a crime the entire state (and every college football fan around the country) knows about.

Oh sure. You could have poached those items for personal use but what happens when you have friends over to bask in the glow of your new-to-you TV?

If you’re the type of person who needs to resort to stealing a TV in order to have a TV,  you’re probably not the type who has the money for a new TV in the first place. So how are you going to explain that purchase while the dump you call home is one strong gust of wind away from being scattered around Greeley County?

And the tools, aside from the fact that you stole from someone’s livelihood, at least those are practical things to have. But as many well-rounded guys and ladies know, Snap-on brand tools have a level of cachet far beyond the Kolbat garbage found at Lowe’s. Hand anyone a Snap-on tool and the first thing they always do is admire its precision quality before putting it to use.

So I guess that means you now have a set tools you can never loan anyone or bust out at a workplace (assuming you’re at all employable) since people who work where tools are used love talking about tools. A mystery set of Snap-ons is going to be a hard one to explain because those are kind of tools people don’t find at garage sales.

If there’s one thing Nebraskans love more than the Huskers, it’s gossiping about their neighbors. In a case like yours, the mantra ‘snitches get stitches‘ goes right out the window. The fact that you’re still at large makes me think you acted alone. There’s no way you and an accomplice could have made it past the 24 hour mark without one of you trying to rat out the other the moment you felt the heat of an entire state breathing down your neck.

If anyone finds out there’s even a remote chance you’re the guilty party, you’re gonna be so doomed I almost feel bad laughing at the possibilities. Do you really think the bars of a jail cell are strong enough to protect you from the wrath of a football team, scratch that, an entire state out for a super-sized serving of prairie justice?

Really, you only have two options:

1) Anonymously return everything you stole (leaving it all on the tennis courts across the street from the Greeley County Courthouse would be my easily findable suggestion) and take what you did to your grave.

or

2) Return nothing and take what you did to your grave.

Let’s be honest. What you did was so awful, you’ll want to keep this one to yourself even when a priest is administering your last rites (should you be so lucky to die in an organized fashion) because your second-to-last breath will suddenly be your last.

Nebraskans take a lot of pride in being known the world over as a quality and trusted people.

You, my friend, have violated that trust in the worst possible way and will be paying the price sooner than you think.

Good luck.
Mike Riley - Taken 2Mike Riley’s particular set of skills consists of having a roster of total bad asses that runs 139 people deep.


 

 

 

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Sunday Morning Hot Takes: Fresno State Edition

Well, that was certainly a much better way to start a season.

Between the combination of Mike Riley apparently spending his off-season reading each and every one of his emails with a subject header of “Run the damn ball” and Fresno State being Fresno State, the Huskers gave fans exactly what they wanted to see- a dominating victory by the Big Red.

With enough subtle miscues and missed opportunities to have things to complain about, of course.

The Huskers ran the ball 80% of the time and limited Tommy Armstrong to only 10 passing attempts in a throwback to the era of that other Tommie.

Is this a game plan the Huskers will stick with all year? Who knows? It was just great to see they were able to roll Fresno State without having to empty the playbook. The less details that can be revealed to Oregon the better.

Compared to last season, it was so refreshing to be able to kick back and enjoy the game without the possibility of a brutal, gut wrenching last second defeat entering the picture.

Our Californians for Nebraska watch site was packed from wall-to-wall and felt like the first day of school. Conversations from last season picked up right where they left off.  There were handshakes, high fives, and new faces all around.

Husker Crowd
This is only a fraction of the Sea of Red that had gathered in Hollywood for the Huskers’ season opener.

Hopefully the crowds will keep going because November’s showdown with Ohio State will be interesting to say the least.  Our local spot is also an Ohio State bar.

NEW OLD WATCH SITEWhy yes, in LA a $4 Bud Light is considered a good deal.

Look for us on the next episode of the Big Red Cobcast.

Or in jail…

Funny how bogus targeting calls can do that.

Mike Riley’s Balloon Watch:

Mike Riley Happy Balloon
All is well in Lincoln for another week.

Our Score Prediction:

One of Hollywood Blvd’s many Spider-Men made the call.

Spidey’s 42-21 final was averaged out from our predictions in our season preview. Not a bad way to start the season.

The last time Nebraska played Fresno State: We were there in Fresno and crashed the Abdullah family tailgate and wrote about it in one of this site’s first posts. You can take a stroll down Husker memory lane here.

NUMBERS TO IMPRESS YOUR FRIENDS WITH

2: Number of sacks by Dapper Ross Dzuris.

Ross Dzuris
Dapper Ross Dzuris. Let’s make this nickname happen, people.

114: Tommy Armstrong and Ryker Fyfe’s combined passing total was Nebraska’s lowest in a season opener since Jamal Lord(!) threw for 78 yards in the 2003 opener against Oklahoma State. The Huskers won that game 17-7.

103: Devine Ozigbo ran for 103 yards on 17 carries. Last season, the Huskers didn’t have a hundred yard rusher until game seven when Terrell Newby put up 116 against Minnesota.

CORRECTION: Newby went HAM against South Alabama and broke off 198 yards in the second game of last season. Let this be a lesson, kids. Don’t comb trough game stats while you’re still drunk from the game.

8: Chris Jones, number 8 in your program and number 1 in your heart, continued his interception streak that started in the Foster Farms Bowl. Like his pick against UCLA, last night’s also came in the end zone.

51-13: The Huskers’ run to pass ratio. That outta shut up your cranky uncle for at least a day.

0: Number of turnovers committed by the Huskers.

27: The tribute to Sam Foltz  was everything you hoped it would be and then some.  Its poignancy was felt all the way out here in California. As the Huskers lined up in formation for their first punt, fans quickly noticed who was missing and the din of a packed bar instantly went silent.

Sam Foltz JerseyYou’ll always be with Husker Nation, Sam.


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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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Halloween Huskers 2015

As if this season needed to be any more frightening, it’s time continue a tradition that started last year. Here are some fresh Halloween costume ideas for Husker players, coaches, and a few hangers-on.

Mike Riley as Roy Munson

Mike Riley Roy Munson

As much as Mike resembles the pride of Ocelot, Iowa, this choice is also symbolic as Coach Riley has found himself Munsoned in the middle of nowhere with a fan base that’s making their pitchforks a little sharper with each passing week. As someone who happens to share Roy’s cursed last name, I’ve somehow never dressed as him for Halloween but I did get to meet his landlord this past summer so I’ve got that going for me.

Mark Banker as Kevin Costner

Mark Banker Kevin Costner

Maybe Kev could use some of the spy skills he picked up from his recent flops to help Banker solve the mystery of what happened to the Blackshirts.

Mike Cavanaugh as Jim Ross

Mike Cavanaugh Jim Ross

You can almost hear the legendary WWE announcer screaming “My God, the  man never substitutes his offensive line!”

Danny Langsdorf as Dorf

Danny Lansdorf Dorf

Because nothing shows your relevance to a bunch of 18-year-old kids by dressing as a character from the 80s so forgotten that a good photo doesn’t even exist on the internet.

Shawn Eichorst as The Shermanator

Shawn Eichorst Shermanator

We can only hope that one day a sophisticated robot Athletic Director will be sent back from time to change the future for the Huskers.

Mark Philipp as Leonidas

Mark Philipp Leonidas

You know Mark has this outfit hanging in his closet ready to go at a moment’s notice whether it’s Halloween or not.

Sam Foltz as Joe Dirt

Sam Foltz Joe Dirt

As a fellow Grand Island native, I can say on good authority that Thunderleg is just one sweet IROC away from absolutely nailing this look.

Andy Janovich as Dalton

Andy Janovich Dalton

If the Huskers don’t make it to a bowl game, here’s hoping Andy commemorates his Senior Day by ripping out the throat of an Iowa player in the middle of a touchdown run.

Tom Shatel as Bobby “The Brain” Heenan

Tom Shatel Bobby Heenan

At the rate this season has been unraveling, the brains of the World-Herald will be turning heel before you know it. Going as Bobby for Halloween will be a great warm up.

Mike’l Severe as Mickey, the guy who cut the tag off a mattress

Mike'l Severe Mickey

Possibly the only costume choice of the 80s more random than Stiles from Teen Wolf but Mike’l has the obscure film knowledge to make it work.

Dirk Chatelain as Jared from Subway

Dirk Chatelain Jared from Subway

Yes. This one is in absolutely poor taste but when all you need to pull off a costume that will get the whole neighborhood talking (and the police making unannounced visits) is a pair of glasses and foot long, you just gotta do it.

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View from the Boneyard: Wisconsin

This one was so personal.

As maybe like, two of you know (hi mom), while I go to school here in Lincoln, I’m originally from Minnesota. The Land of 10,000 Lakes, the inability to say the word “bag” and learning to cheer against all things Wisconsin before cheering for anything Minnesotan.

I still identify my favorite Husker game as the 2012 home win against Wisconsin. I made the trip out to Indianapolis for the B1G Championship game for my 19th birthday. There are so many memories of games against the Badgers.

This one hurt so badly.

Four hours before kickoff, less than ten students sat in line waiting for a wristband from the events staff. Any other year, you’d probably see quite the lineup that close to doors opening. But as time passed, the same familiar faces of east stadium arrived.

If you follow me on twitter (once again, hi mom), you’ll know that I was diagnosed with mono earlier this week. You can only imagine the chaos that ensued as I ran between the doors of east stadium and my practically-on-campus apartment three times before going in to the stadium. For the first time since the Wisconsin game in 2012, I missed doors opening. I’m an embarrassment. A disappointment. A disgrace. I’m sorry, Husker nation.

Worry not, however, because as I ran down the stairs (alone) to the front row, everything looked the exact same as every other game. The only difference was the group of drunk guys that ended up sitting in the row behind us and kept encouraging my incredibly awkward dancing throughout the game—as if I needed encouragement to embarrass myself.

Despite previous games, the entire crowd was just as energetic as always for the pregame events. The atmosphere changed as Alex Lewis said his introduction in the starting line up.

A chorus of boos echoed from various parts of the stadium. Another chorus of boos greeted Wisconsin as they ran on to the field. Typically, I’m completely against booing anyone other than the refs, but I made an exception just this one time.

This game started out the complete opposite of every Wisconsin game we’ve had in recent years: scoreless. An entire quarter of almost nothing but punts left everyone hopeful and thanking the football gods for the blessing that is Sam Foltz.

While Wisconsin was first to finally get on the board, it didn’t take the Huskers long to follow suit. A touchdown from Tommy Armstrong Jr. with just 2:40 left in the half left the Husker fans who were daring enough to get a game day balloon feeling relieved as they no longer had to deal with the hassle of keeping the balloon from flying away or hitting their neighbor in the face.

Just minutes later, a completed pass from Armstrong to Alonzo Moore for a touchdown put the Huskers up 14-7 at the half. Between a week of dealing with mono and the excitement of finally being up on the Badgers, halftime couldn’t have come at a more perfect time.

I’m gonna be real with you all, because I like to think of us all as friends (yet again, hi mom). The entire third quarter was almost a complete blur, with the exception of a field goal for the Badgers, which was soon joined by a touchdown and field goal early in the fourth to put the Badgers up 20-14. Honestly, with what then happened in the fourth quarter, it’s hard to think about much else.

The crowd was absolutely deafening as fullback Andy Janovich ran for 55 yards to put the Huskers up 21-20. The student section erupted as students ran up and down the aisles, hugging strangers as Let Me Clear My Throat blasted through the speakers. I went from struggling with the fatigue of mono to suddenly realizing exactly how Grandpa Joe felt when he finally got out of bed and danced around when Charlie got the golden ticket. It was truly an unforgettable moment.

Andy Janovich Touchdown
The joy of a Husker fullback rumbling 55 yards for a touchdown.

And then the game was over and the Huskers won.

…Just kidding.

Not long after the touchdown, Wisconsin was faced with a field goal attempt with just 1:26 remaining. Every person in the stadium held their breath as they watched the football fly through the air. I kid you not, that stadium was so quiet that you could hear the football go off the post from the other side of the field. The kick was no good.

missedFG
The goal post deserves a Blackshirt for blocking that field goal attempt.

And then the game was over and the Huskers won. (OK Hayley the joke wasn’t funny the first time, stop.)

All the Huskers had to do at this point was get the first down. Then we heard it, loud and clear in the east stadium student section: “We’ve got this! We’ve won! We beat Wisconsin!”

Every student within earshot turned to stare down the man who had clearly not watched any previous games this year and decided to jinx this one. Next thing we know, Foltz is running out to punt and everyone is watching the rest of the game through their fingers.

A 46 yard field goal attempt with just four seconds left sounds crazy and an absolutely heartbreaking way to lose a game—so naturally that’s how the game had to end.

You could physically see the disappointment hit each Husker fan as the Badger football team celebrated their victory. Some fans hurried out of the stadium, others chose to sit and mourn in their seat.

I’ve cried a total of two times in Memorial Stadium: Jack Hoffman’s touchdown at the spring game in 2013 and the Hail Mary pass. The third time nearly happened after that field goal.

Life would be so much easier if football games were only 59 minutes.

end-hiEvan
Husker faithful exited Memorial Stadium in stunned silence. Nice photobomb, Evan.

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View from the Boneyard: Southern Miss

After an entire pot of coffee at 6:30 in the morning, I knew that Saturday morning’s homecoming game against Southern Miss was going to be an interesting one.

The first challenge of the morning was to go to LaMar’s and ask for the “game day special” and get whatever they give you. But after one smart ass comment of “watch as it’s something like seven dozen donuts” from me, our friend decided that it might not be worth the risk. Instead, we all stuck with the tried-and-true red and white sprinkles.

We honestly weren’t expecting too many people to be at the gates for such an early start time, so we were shocked when we walked up around 8:20 to see a decent sized line already formed outside of east stadium.

All of the usual costumes made an appearance that morning, with the addition of @brus_almighty ‘s Westerstache drawn on his chest. Being the pun enthusiast that I am, I took it upon myself to name the long lost brother of the Westerstache: the Chesterstache.

chesterstache
Behold the glory of the Chesterstache.

Despite the turnout, we still got our usual seats. Partially from skill and experience, but mostly from the fact that most people were still half asleep and struggled to maintain anything more than a brisk walk to get to their seats.

Since this game was an 11 am game, there weren’t any games being played on the HuskerVision screen to pass the time. Luckily for me, the girls sitting in the row behind me brought in a deck of cards and invited me to play a game of Go Fish with them. In all of my years of going to Husker games, I still can’t believe that I had never thought of that. I also never thought that I would be as competitive at Go Fish at 8:30 am as I was, but you learn something new every day.

Time actually went by quickly waiting for the game to start, especially with additional things happening for homecoming. But to me, nothing says “home” quite like the collective off-beat clapping to Sirius during the Tunnel Walk.

Everyone seemed eager early on to let go of their red balloons, so when the crowd saw what appeared to be a touchdown, the sea of red balloons took flight. Despite protest from the rest of the fans that had realized that we were on the 4 yard line, balloons continued to be released throughout the next two snaps.

A fumble recovery by Kevin Williams on Southern Miss’s next possession helped wake up the crowd. During this time, I was challenged by my dear friend, the camera man from across the stadium. (If you’re new here, I urge you to read last game’s story.)

However, a star emerged early in the second quarter: Andy Janovich. After a gain of 25 yards, students could be heard chanting “Janovich” and “run the fullback.”

band
The superhero themed halftime show was great even if the Batman logo wasn’t visible from field level.

Everything seemed promising as the Huskers came out to start the second half with a score of 22-0. Then things got ugly.

The first three possessions by the Huskers resulted in an interception, a missed field goal, and a fumble recovered by Southern Miss’ D’Nerius Antoine.

game
The Blackshirts hunker down to keep Southern Miss out of the end zone.

Despite scoring another touchdown to make the score 29-7, an on-side kick successfully recovered by Southern Miss caused Husker fans to expect the worst, especially with how many of the games had been ending this season.

The east stadium student section saw some excitement as the Huskers had to punt for the first time. A large white banner that read “Foltz fer Hizemin” in Chick-Fil-A writing was brought out immediately after the punt. After working on the banner until 2 am just a few nights before, I was just happy that we got a chance to show it off.

The Huskers were soon looking at a 36-28 score against the Golden Eagles with just seconds left in the game. Surrounded by worried fans, my natural sports-optimism came our strong as I reminded everyone that Southern Miss would need to not only get a touchdown, but complete the two-point conversion just to tie, and how absolutely ridiculous that would be.

Then I remembered the Miami game just last weekend and joined everyone in their panic.

Thankfully, the game ended with a sack by Freedom Akinmoladun as time ran out. All I have to say is: let Freedom ring.

end
There would be no Hail Mary anxiety this time.

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

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View from the Boneyard: BYU

I’m always so amazed how waking up on a Husker game day at 8am is almost effortless, especially considering how difficult it is for me to roll out of bed to get to my 12:30 classes half of the time.

Our casual group of five arrived at the stadium just before 11am (after eating copious amounts of french toast made by yours truly), but five soon grew to over 15 as we realized how many seats we needed to save in the front of East Stadium.

After so many years of going to the games early, you start to recognize the reoccurring people who arrive hours before kickoff. Walking up to East Stadium, you’re greeted by students in fun costumes, students playing catch with a football, and The Iron N’s football sport directors telling you to “do the Westerstache.”

westerstache
The Iron N football sport directors (minus Allison Redwine) telling fans to “do the Westerstache.”

Hours of waiting outside of the doors in the unbearable heat were made easier thanks to Zesto’s bringing ice cream for everyone. Seriously—you’re the real MVP.

The cries of “3, 2, 1” echoed outside as students in South Stadium got ready to “walk” up the ramps to their seats. Ever since my freshman year, students have been threatened by security to walk—not run—to their section since students kept running into the large concrete pillars in the past. Personally, I say let natural selection take its course, but that’s just me.

eaststadium
Not even Abraham Lincoln could persuade the powers that be to open the East Stadium doors just a little early. 

There are few things on game day more frustrating than waiting to be let in to East Stadium after South has already been let in, especially since watching the chaos of getting to the front row is one of my favorite parts of game day.

It’s a lot like watching the Hunger Games, honestly. Every man (or woman) for themselves as people push, yell, and weave through other students in the bloodbath to get down to the front rows. May the odds be ever in your favor.

This year was the first year that I hadn’t been worried about getting to our spot in time. It’s kind of comforting knowing that roughly 15 people waiting in line with you are all trying to save spots for the same group.

Hayley Archer Boneyard
Front row seats secured!

The Boneyard was entertained before the game by its new official DJ Phipp Phippa, who was able to get students to go down to the field to dance, as well as get everyone involved in some new Husker chants.

Despite having the DJ, two and a half hours of waiting inside of the stadium can start to drag on. Students passed the time by meeting new students, reuniting with old friends, and even getting Sam Foltz’s attention with a “Foltz 4 Heisman” poster.

The real excitement kicked in once the pregame festivities began. This year was the first year that I was actually a part of the Go Big Red banner in East Stadium. No one warned me how easy it is to get completely engulfed in it as it comes back down, though. Rookie mistake.

tifoStudents in South Stadium bring the Boneyard tifo to life.

Everyone in the section seemed to be showing off the goosebumps as the Tunnel Walk happened, and I stood there shaking like one of those little lap dogs that had just been asked if they wanted to go for a walk.

BYU’s team ran out on the field and was soon greeted by a chorus of boo’s from the South Stadium students. East Stadium was quick to call out the freshmen and sophomores on their etiquette, though. If we’re going to take Minnesota’s motto and make it our own by saying “Nebraska nice,” we better live up to that. Granted, I went the entire week saying “more like BY-Eww am I right?” but I’m pretty sure the only offensive part of that statement is how horribly stupid it is. Much like most of my jokes.

BYUfield
After months of waiting, the Huskers are moments away from return to action.

Can You Feel It blasted through the stadium as The Iron N’s newest project was displayed. I can say from experience that a lot of hard work was put in to that project, especially after spending countless hours painting and trying to tell as many people there about this exact article that I’m writing. So yeah, hey guys. (I told them I’d give them a shout out to get them to read this.) (Editor’s note: This is a brilliant move, always.)

The game began and everything seemed right again in Husker Nation. Shoes were raised during the kick off and I managed to only almost fall off of the bench while dancing twice, so there was definitely progress from previous years. Seriously, those benches are narrow.

It was weird though to be at my first Husker game without my partner-in-crime, my former roommate and now Husker marketing intern best friend. Thankfully that void was filled during the second quarter when she was finally done working.

With the first touchdown of the season scored by Westerkamp (#DoTheWesterstache),  everyone was relieved to finally be able to release their red balloons into the sky without having to worry about accidentally releasing it prematurely and facing the judgement of their peers.
Memorial Stadium Balloons
Balloons were let loose following Jordan Westerkamp’s jaw dropping touchdown catch. What a way to start the season.

There seemed to be a serious disinterest from many fans during the second quarter, in which the Huskers were unable to put any points on the board while BYU got two touchdowns and a field goal.

The attitude changed with an injury to Sam Foltz, causing fans to jump out of their seats screaming at officials. With that occurring during the only time that I had left the student section, I realized that I had probably jinxed everything and that I should never leave the Boneyard during a game again.

The new energy seemed to fuel the Huskers as they kept BYU scoreless in the third, especially after an interception by Nate Gerry. Some of the energy was lost in transition to the fourth quarter, where most people blamed the oddly quiet pump up music being played over the sound system.

Honestly, I was thinking about how the Huskers had the game in the bag during last few minutes of play. But when 15 seconds started ticking down, you could see the looks of fear in Husker fans as the clock stopped with one second remaining. The dreaded one second.

Soon after students were greeted by a celebrating BYU coach making his victory lap around the field. No one left the section for multiple minutes after the end of the game from pure shock. I guess this is how Northwestern felt not too long ago.

In my opinion, we probably jinxed ourselves by not keeping up with the greatest Husker tradition of all time: Valentino’s Slice of Life. But that’s just me.

But as the random passerby said after the game, “if we can make it through Callahan, we can make it through anything.”

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

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Sunday Morning Hot Takes: BYU Edition

Welcome to our first edition of Sunday Morning Hot Takes where we’ll be delivering a fresh, steaming pile of hot takes following every Husker game.

So… how ’bout that BYU game?

If you’re reading this, congratulations on making it through the night to see another sunrise. I haven’t yet ventured outside but I’ll go out on a limb and say that the sun has kept its 4.5 billion year streak of being where it’s supposed to be going for a least one more day.

Granted, that final second of regulation ended with as much shock and horror as seeing an animal shelter get napalmed but we can get through this Husker Nation.

It’s a long season. There will be peaks. There will valleys. And there’s a pretty damn good chance that 90,000 fans will not get their hearts ripped out on the final play of a game at Memorial Stadium for a long, long time. (Or at least a few weeks.)

Mola Ram BYU
Who knew Mola Ram was a BYU fan?

Before we dive into the hot takes, we must first drop the worst humble brag ever. In our interview with former BYU linebacker Austen Jorgensen, there was a little nugget where he absolutely nailed the outcome of the game.

Austen Jorgensen Prediction

ON WITH THE HOT TAKES!

Mike Riley: Two things are clearly apparent: 1) He does not rattle under pressure and he certainly had his fair share on Saturday. One can only imagine he keeps a screaming chamber in his basement.

MeditationChamber-ESB
A visualization of Mike Riley’s top secret screaming chamber.

2) Even at 62-years-old, his heart his clearly in tip top shape. Yes, he slumped over when the refs signaled touchdown but he walked off the field under his own power. Even as cold blooded as he is, Bill Snyder would not have survived that ending.

Coach Riley’s calmness must be contagious because it even carried over to Husker Twitter. These tweets were from when things weren’t exactly going right.

Behold the calmness and rational thoughts!

Tommy Armstrong: Holy crap did he look sharp. Yes, he had a few low points (and one crazy pass that gave Husker Nation a T-Magic flashback) but overall he clearly bought into what Danny Langsdorf is selling. Our DVR mercifully stopped recording with 8 minutes left in the fourth quarter but his pass to Brandon Reilly the final time the Huskers had the ball was a sight to behold and his best pass of the game. He put the ball exactly where it needed to go. Tommy just needs to remember he has a pretty fast set of wheels underneath him and be a little quicker when it comes to deciding to tuck the ball and run.

Danny Langsdorf: Hey man, the Huskers are kind of known for running the ball. Maybe you could add some more of those plays next week? And that number 32, he’s kind of a beast. Maybe call his number a few more times. Oh, but it was really cool when you mixed up some of the old stuff following Nate Gerry’s interception. Do more of that and Husker fans will love you long time.

Jordan Westerkamp:  Another season opener. Another jaw dropping catch. Say what you will about Adidas, but they at least know how to make a jersey that stays in one piece.

Jordan Westerkamp Catch
The Huskers got their first points on this season on this nice little stretch play. Please, tip your server.

Mark Banker’s Defense: Every time I started writing a stupid tweet (note to self: you can save drafts) that said Mark Banker was an anagram for Kevin Cosgrove, the Blackshirts adjusted and got a stop. They’ll figure out how to stop a Hail Mary eventually. 

Sam Foltz: Best wishes to Thunder Leg for speedy recovery. It was really great to see the Huskers pay tribute to him by not punting and scoring a bunch of points instead for a while there in the second half but how about Tyson Broekemeier stepping up huge when the Huskers truly needed to punt?

Tanner Mangum Granted, he’s a freshman who graduated high school in 2012 but he’s still a freshman playing in his very first game. On the road. At Nebraska. And he walked off Tom Osborne field swinging the biggest pair of stones of the day. Hopefully the BYU equipment team will get him a helmet that fits now that he’s officially a legendary quarterback and switch the letters on his jersey so that his last name magically becomes Magnum. If you’re gonna have eyebrows that look like a pair of Tom Selleck mustaches you might as well play the part. Plus, how sweet would it be if he took the field to the theme from Magnum?

TANNER MAGNUM
Tanner Mangum is 6’3″ but stands 5’3” with the over-sized helmet.

KEEPING IT CLASSY: Thanks to our handy guide to drinkin’ in Lincoln for BYU fans blowing up on BYU Twitter earlier this week, we sort of became unofficial ambassadors of Husker Nation. We’re thrilled to see that Husker fans were living up to their reputation. Good job, everyone.

BYU TWEETS

FINAL NUMBERS:

17: The number of are you still alive? text messages I received from various family and friends in the minutes and hours that followed the game.

6: Points left off the board by missed field goals. Drew Brown will get it back on track. Maybe it’s not too late to get Alex Henery on-board as a volunteer coach?

0: Number of concerned texts I received from my otherwise lovely wife. When I told her about the heartbreaking outcome, she chuckled before saying, “Wait, I thought they always played a high school team so would always won their first game? Did they lose to a high school team?”  She grew up an LSU fan, btw.

38 – 24: Our score prediction as modeled by one of Hollywood Blvd’s Spider-Men. With the Blackshirts holding and the offense rolling, this prediction was lining up to come true.

Spider-man Hollywood Blvd

STUFF THAT’S NEITHER A NUMBER OR A HOT TAKE:

Unsung Hero of the Day: My KMASHI battery. While it may not be as sleek and slender as a ridiculously overpriced Mophie, it’s built like an offensive lineman and will take your mobile device from zero back up to full power many times over on a single charge. I can’t remember the last I even charged the thing but even with one bar it charged my phone twice yesterday. Plus, it has 2 USB ports so you can help out a friend in need. Best $13.99 you can spend.

Hilarious Twitter account you need to follow (especially if you’re also a soccer fan): Throwball for Brits.

Finally, the award for Most Click-Baity Headline of the Day goes to the otherwise rock solid Hail Varsity crew.

The “featured” tweets belong to Faux Pelini, the Huskers, Hunter Radenslaben, Sam McKewon, the Huskers, Dewayne Wade, Tim Miles, Todd McShane, and Ron Kellogg.

I’m sure they’re all thrilled and flattered to see their tweets in virtual print. Next time, try to feature more people like Hunter. Might help your engagement.

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Nick Allen’s Reasons to Be Optimistic About the Huskers

The first game of the Huskers’ season is always a special time full of optimism and hope right up until the moment the first pigskin is launched from the tee into the heavens.

To help ward off any dread that may be sinking in as the hours and minutes tick towards the Huskers’ date with destiny against BYU, we’ve enlisted the assistance of Omaha-based stand up comic Nick Allen. Maybe you saw him on NBC’s Last Comic Standing this summer?

And that accolade (no matter how brief) puts Nick squarely in the position of being the funniest white guy comic living in Nebraska not named Larry the Cable Guy. You can catch Nick in action on September 10th when he headlines the Comedy Underground show at Brewsky’s in Lincoln’s Haymarket.

Take it away Nick…

Guess who’s undefeated baby? The Huskers. Just like they’re supposed to be. New season, new coach, new, new PA announcer. Cue up the Alan Parsons Project. Let’s do this shit.

1) THE BLACKSHIRTS ARE BACK
Right away. Like they should be. Lead by spirit animal Jack Gangwish and a beastly defensive line, NU’s storied defense enters the season with an attitude and intensity backed by decades of tradition.

2) THE PIPELINE
Another backbone of Nebraska tradition is set to rise again. Milt Tenopir has been a regular at practice. Alex Lewis is a bad ass (‘with record’). All championship teams have rap sheets. A pancake breakfast all season long.

3) THE COACHING STAFF
A Head coach with championship pedigree.

mike-riley-bombers-cp-1988
TWO Grey Cups.

Plus, the Huskers now have an actual QB coach (who knows how to properly hold a football).

Tim Beck
Have fun with this guy, Urban.

Eli Manning Danny LangsdorfEli will retire with more rings than Peyton. Just like God intended.

4) STRENGTH COACH MARK PHILIPP

Mark Phillpp
Spontaneous bare-foot deadlift of 400lbs.

5) KEITH WIDEOUTS WILLIAMS

He could suit up if he had to AND he’s not a golf coach!

6) THE GUYS ON THE FIELD

Tommy Armstrong

STUD. End. Of. Story. He’s carried himself like a championship QB since his first snap. This year the big wins follow.

Jordan Westerkamp

Total magician. Usually I despise dudes with novelty mustaches but he gets a pass on that.

Vincent Valentine and Maliek Collins

Collins and Valentine
Wrecking balls.

DPE

DPE
He’s not out the whole season.

Sam Foltz

Thunder Leg
Even though he’s a punter, he could probably beat your ass.

7) EASE OF SCHEDULE
No self-respecting football program should ever be intimidated by the Big Ten West.

8) THE JET SWEEP
If you run it, you should  FINALLY be able to stop it.

9) TOM OSBORNE

Tom Osborne
I was on the same flight as him this spring. That has to mean something, right?

10) UP AND COMERS
According to the coaching staff, a lot of guys are ‘on the come.’ Not sure exactly what that means but it sounds like they’re either on they’re way up or involved in a ‘sticky’ hazing situation. Hopefully they’re rising stars.

11) WHY NOT?
Hey, the Huskers could be pretty good and somebody has to win these games. The past few years they’ve been close. Really close. Shit just fell apart in big games. Sometimes in spectacular fashion but they were ahead in most of those games to begin with. They usually lost one you would have thought they would win too. But they’re close. Plus they’re due. Either way, enjoy it and don’t get too caught up in it.

And if you find yourself screaming at a kid you’d go to jail for buying a beer for– don’t.

GO BIG RED!

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