Published: February 2nd 2012
February 2nd 2012
Imagine an entire state having one common love. Contrary to the title, “Corn Nation,” I am not talking about the love of corn. I am talking about the love of the Cornhuskers. The Cornhuskers are the University of Nebraska at Lincoln (UNL) football team. We used to be called the Bug-eaters, we answer to Huskers, or Big Red. The Huskers play at Memorial Stadium; also known as Home of the Greatest Fans of College Football according to Fox Sports Network.
Memorial Stadium has been the home of Nebraska football since 1923 and holds the NCAA record for most sell-out games. EVER. The stadium has sold out for the past 322 games (www.huskers.com
). This stadium holds 36,501 people. On college football Saturday, Memorial Stadium is the fourth largest “city” in state!
Football in America is one of the most popular sports. The criterion for a “good game” differs from person to person. From my point of a view a good game has to have good food, friendly fans, and a lively environment. To me a lively environment consists of chants or cheers, pre-gaming or tailgating, and smiling faces all around.
One food item unique to Nebraska is the Runza. A Runza is freshly baked, homemade dough stuffed with beef, pork, cabbage or sauerkraut, onions and a delicious blend of spices. It is served with crispy crinkle cut fries that make my mouth water just thinking about them. Below is a picture of a typical “tailgate” meal, with fries, a Runza, corn and a cake with the Nebraska “N.” Some other items one might find are juicy burgers, bratwursts, hot dogs, and even steak! The delicious smells fill the air and add to the football atmosphere.
During football season, Memorial Stadium experiences all four of Nebraska’s
seasons (yes, we have our own)- humid, rainy, blizzard and -last but not least- perfection. Being a season ticket holder for 3 years, I have experienced all of these seasons. Although humid, rainy and blizzard don’t sound like any fun, each unique game has one thing in common. HUSKER POWER!
First game of the season is the BEST game to attend. Fans are optimistic about the upcoming season and in an overall happy mood. This game is normally played in the lingering summer heat. When I say heat I mean about 85 degrees, with 90% humidity. Now that doesn’t sound too appealing to most people, however the atmosphere around you makes you forget about it. As you enter the city, there is traffic because of the game. This is something that does NOT occur often in Lincoln, Nebraska. Traffic is not fun for the most part, but what is unusual about Lincoln on game is as you roll your windows down; you can already hear chants of GOOO BIIIG REDDD. You can smell fresh, unpolluted midwestern air. As you enter downtown (where the stadium is located) there are hundreds of people wearing red. As you grab a bite to eat downtown or tailgate by the stadium (beef of some kind is suggested), I am always amazed at how friendly the people are. Doors are always held open, “please” and “thank you” are regularly used and it wouldn’t surprise me if you receive a high five from a stranger (this is if you’re sporting husker red, of course ;) ).
Going into the later seasons, there are weather adversities such as rain or snow. Do you think that stops the good mood and the Husker spirit? OF COURSE NOT. This video gives a glimpse of the husker spirit- and what you get to see on the husker vision during game day.
The corn finger is a foam hand, that when you look at the three fingers is the “corn” while the pinky and thumb act as the stalk around it.
Yes, we might be considered “behind the times” or “hicks” by some of America. But during a game, it’s a nice break from technology when I don’t have cell reception. Simple food items, clothes and even drinks after the game are cheaper than here in Arizona. For example, a Runza at a game is 75 cents, compared to the $3 piece of pizza here. A Nebraska T-shirt can be found in the tailgating area near the stadium for $4. Lastly, you will not find a bar in downtown Lincoln that charges a cover.
I have never once had a bad experience at a husker football game. Whether I’m appreciating the high-fives, a Runza, or even just the amazement of how much red there is, I love going to a Nebraska Cornhusker football game.