100 REASONS WHY I'M A CORNHUSKER FAN
When I first got the idea for this piece, I thought it might be a stretch to think of 100 reasons for being a Husker fan. But the more I wrote, the more I realized how difficult it was to limit the total to just 100. There are many great moments in Husker football history that didn't make the cut, not because they weren't important, but because of the constraints of space.
Please email Husker Dan with some of the reasons YOU are a Husker fan. What would you include in your TOP 100? Send your comments to HD will post the best responses in a future Husker Dan column. Be sure to list your name and town. Your name will be used unless you specify otherwise.
1.) Bob Devaney's arrival in 1962. In the 20 years before he arrived, Nebraska had only 3 winning seasons. During that time, the Huskers averaged only 3 wins a year and went through seven head coaches before hiring Devaney. Husker football was a study in futility. In fact, in the '61 Colorado game played in Lincoln, the Huskers didn't register a single first down the entire game. Big Red was nearly dead.
Then in 1962 all hell broke loose.
I knew something was up that year. While attending football games at Omaha University in '62, I noticed the crowd would yell and cheer at odd times, during time outs, halftimes etc. I couldn't figure out what was going on. Then it dawned on me that the people were listening to the Husker games and cheering them on.
Nebraska was winning and winning big that year. The Huskers won at Michigan; there were home wins over Iowa State, South Dakota, North Carolina State, Kansas and Oklahoma State. By season's end, the Huskers were 9-2 and had won their first bowl game in school history. It was the year everyone knew Husker football was again something special. But no one had any idea that for the next 40 years, the program would remain one of the most dominate programs in college football.
2.) It's THE only game in town. Weddings, baptisms, reunions and even funerals are planned around Husker games. It's true the state doesn't have any mountains, or an ocean or any major league sports teams. So who cares? We have the Cornhusker football team and not much else matters.
3.) The records
255 consecutive home sellouts
41 consecutive years without a losing season
34 consecutive years in a bowl game
5 National Championships
3 Heisman Trophy winners
8 Outland Trophies
Over 300 Academic All-Conference players
Over 480 All Conference players
4.) Tom Osborne-the classiest and best college football coach, ever
5.) Nebraska's stunning upset of Oklahoma in Lincoln in 1959
6.) The '71 NU-OU game (it's the best regular season college football game, ever)
7.) Johnny Rodgers' punt return in the '71 NU-OU game
8.) Johnny Rodgers' late 4th quarter 3rd down reception on "The Drive" in the '71 NU-OU game
9.) Any Johnny Rodgers' punt return
10.) Lyle Bremser ("Good afternoon, football fans. They're jam-packed to the rafters for this one today..."). He was the best Nebraska announcer-ever. End of story. End of discussion.
11.) Mike Rozier (best NU running back, ever)
12.) The Tunnel Walk on HuskerVision just before the team comes on to the field
13.) Memorial Stadium on Game Day
14.) Memorial Stadium on a Big Game Day
15.) A night game at Memorial Stadium (awesome!)
16.) The fact that there are only 1.6 million people in the entire state and yet it has produced such great players as Johnny Rodgers (Heisman), Eric Crouch (Heisman), Dave Rimington (the only 2 time Outland Trophy winner), Bobby Reynolds, Tom Novak, Jeff Kinney, Scott Frost , Ahman Green, Cory Schlesinger, Tom Rathman, John Parella, the Kelsay brothers, Bob Churchich etc.
17.) The Cornhusker name. We're not the 'Cats, Wildcats, Panthers, Cowboys, Lions, Tigers or Bears (oh, my). We grow a buttload of corn in the state and we're proud to be known as The Cornhuskers.
18.) Huskerpedia.com (hey, it never hurts to suck up a little)
19.) When people in Nebraska ask you, "How do you think they'll do this year", you know they don't mean corn futures, the stock market or politicians.
20.) Rich Glover (maybe the best Nebraska player ever)
21.) The "Miracle in Missouri" (1997 in Columbia)
22.) "The Catch" by Matt Davison
23.) Scott Frost's pleading the Huskers' national championship cause after the '98 Orange Bowl
24.) The spirit, the play and the class of Brook Berringer
25.) The '71 Orange Bowl (NU's first National Championship)
26.) The '72 Orange Bowl
27.) The '95 Orange Bowl (TO's first National Championship)
28.) The '96 Fiesta Bowl (watching Steve Spurrier fall apart during the Husker onslaught-priceless!)
29.) Cory Schlesing-yah's two TDs in the '95 Orange Bowl
30.) Tommie Frayz-yah's late 4th quarter runs that tightened the noose around the Miami Hurricanes' neck in the '95 Orange Bowl
31.) The '78 NU-OU game (Osborne's first win over the Sooners)
32.) The '81, '82 and '83 NU-OU games
33.) The Cornhusker Marching Band playing "The Band Song" and "Hail Varsity" as they march down Stadium Way before each home game
34.) Mike Rozier's "Heisman" run against UCLA in '83
35.) "There Is No Place Like Nebraska" anytime, anywhere
36.) The beautiful photography of Nebraska's own Michael Forsberg
37.) The Sandhills in the spring
38.) "Iron Man" anytime, anywhere
39.) "Come A Runnin' Boys" anytime, anywhere
40.) The class of the Husker fans in the North Stadium as they applaud Husker opponents as they leave the field
41.) The '83 NU-Minnesota game in Minneapolis (NU 84-MU 13)
42.) The works of Mari Sandoz, John Neihardt and Willa Cather all of whom wrote brilliantly about the people, the land and the history of Nebraska
43.) The 1966 NU-Missouri game in Lincoln (the first Husker game HD ever attended)
44.) The fact that you can go to a Husker game 1,500 miles away and you swear it's a Husker home game
45.) The Sea of Red at Notre Dame in 2000
46.) Kent Pavelka and Gary Sadlemyer (the second best play by play broadcast team in "modern" NU history)
47.) Denny Claridge
48.) Will Shields
49.) Mike Brown
50.) Roger Craig
51.) Bill "Thunder" Thornton (the original Thunder).
52.) The late, great Jake Young
53.) Bob Churchich
54.) Josh Brown's last second field goal that allowed NU to beat Colorado in Lincoln in 2000 (maybe the most dramatic Husker home win)
55.) Eric Crouch's "Heisman" run at Missouri in 2001
56.) Fresh Nebraska home-grown sweetcorn
57.) The '71 and '95 Husker teams (maybe the two best teams ever in college football)
58.) DeJuan Groce's punt returns and interceptions
59.) Mike Rucker's stuff of the Okie State player on the last play of the '98 NU-OSU game in Kansas City
60.) John Ruud's hit on Kelly Phelps in the '78 NU-OU game
62.) The 1973 NU-UCLA game (TO's first game and first win)
63.) The Bounce-a-roosky
64.) The Fumble-roosky
65.) Black 41 Flash Reverse
66.) The late, great Wayne Meylan (#66)
67.) "Going For Two" in the '84 Orange Bowl (hated the results but loved the call)
68.) The celebration at the Devaney Center after Osborne's first National Championship in January of '95
69.) Bobby Reynolds
70.) Tom "Trainwreck" Novak (the best ever to wear a Husker uniform?)
71.) Pat Fisher (played 17 years in the NFL)
72.) Vince Farragamo (the only NU quarterback to play quarterback in a Super Bowl)
73.) Tom Rathman
74.) Dana X. Bible
75.) Dorky car horns that blare out the first four bars of "The Is No Place Like Nebraska"
76.) There IS no place like Nebraska.
77.) The Blackshirts
78.) The Scoring Explosion
79.) The Triplets (Irving Fryar, Turner Gill and Mike Rozier)
80.) Grant Wistrom
81.) The Peter Brothers
82.) Jeff Kinney
83.) Jerry Tagge
84.) Larry Jacobson
85.) Charlie McBride
86.) Switching to the 4-3 defense in '92
87.) The '94 NU-Colorado game
88.) Mike Rozier's 2nd half performance in the NU-Missouri game in '82
89.) The '81 NU-Penn State game in Lincoln
90.) The Auburn game in '82, the week after the infamous loss at Penn State
91. The '83 Kickoff Classic
92.) Tommie Fraizer's run in the '96 Fiesta Bowl
93.) Husker players with names like Charlie "Choo-Choo" Winters, Wonderful Mounds, "Tough Tony" Davis, I.M. Hipp, "Lighthorse" Harry Wilson
94.) Seeing Warren Sapp and his teammates sucking wind in the 4th quarter of the '95 Orange Bowl
95.) The offensive line of the '94 team
96.) Eric Crouch's overtime touchdown that beat Notre Dame in 2000
97.) The '78 NU-Alabama game (the fake field goal and a win over Bear Bryant)
98.) Chimney Rock, Mitchell Pass, Scottsbluff, Chadron State Park, Fort Robinson and the Stuhr Museum
99.) Turner Gill's exceptional play in '81, '82 and '83
100.) Ahman Green's touchdown run on the first play from scrimmage at Colorado in '95