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Commentary by David Max
not exactly sure how many Spring Games I have made it to but this is at
least my seventh in a row. This one is the one that made history as being
the first sellout of a Spring Game in Nebraska Football history. I didn't
attend the Missouri game in 1962 that started the famous consecutive sellout
streak but 80 plus thousand of my closest friends (aka other Nebraska
fans) and I were a part of Husker history on April 19, 2008. The nicest
part was I got to share it with my wife of 32 years (on April 10th) and
I think she will go to all of them with me in the future.
You can feel a completely different atmosphere and the re-establishment of the "Nebraska Way". The former players walking the sidelines and glad handing and high fiving each other. The Sea of Red fans standing in line for an hour before the gates opened for general admission seats to get their best shot at a good seat. The kids that had a chance to see their first Husker "game". The adults that have a hard time containing their excitiement for the upcoming season. I was told it was also the first day this year that the temperature was above 70 degrees. I have a farmer tan to prove it.
The "game" itself showed that there is still work to do between now and August 30th but there were some highlights including the collision between Quentin Castille and Ricky Thenarse. There were a lot of players that got a chance to showcase their talent and it will be an interesting first two weeks of practice in August to see who rises on the depth chart. There is no doubt that there is plenty of depth at the running back position and that Joe Ganz is the leader at quarterback.
The only disappointment I had on the trip was that my flight back to California on Frontier was delayed again and I got to my house around 2 AM before having to go to work this morning. At least the flight out was on time and we made it to Steve Warren's D.R.E.A.M. event for his Omaha non-profit organization. Ahman Green and Steve both gave inspiring speechs about how they are giving back to the community. This is the second year Steve has held this event and it was well attended by former players. I would recommend putting it on your itinerary for next year's Spring Game as it is a great way to start the weekend and help at risk kids in Omaha. For those of you over 21 and enjoy songs with a "adult" twist to them a trip to the Sidetrack on O Street should be on your itinerary for games this fall.
2008 will definitely be an improvement over 2007 and I don't expect any opponent to score more than 40 points which was done several times last year. I expect we will be undefeated going into the Virginia Tech game just like we were going into the USC Game in 2007 but the outcome may be a lot different. Early season projections have the Huskers around 4th in the Big 12 North but that would change dramatically if we enter October undefeated. Not an unrealistic expectation.
It's going to be a different season with a new coaching staff, a new athletic director, and a new attitude about returning to the "old way" of Nebraska Football. Former player Scott Livingston could not say enough at the tailgate about the way he was welcomed back to Memorial Stadium this last weekend. He had an opportunity to observe the coaches and the players interact with the former players and was beaming ear to ear as he was talking about the experience. I have a feeling he will be a part of the Californians for Nebraska migration this year for the Virginia Tech game that will feature a reunion of the 70/71 National Championship teams. We will have Scott as a guest in a future HuskerPedia Live radio show with John Fricke so you can hear a microcosm of the rebirth of Husker Fever. We will also be interviewing some players from the 70/71 teams over the summer as well as we all look at the countdown clock on the front page for kickoff on August 30th.
Just my 2 cents. What about yours?
GO BIG RED!!!