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.”
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.
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.
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.
Students 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.
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.
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.