It was a resounding success, despite the 45-14 drubbing the Huskers received at the hands of Oklahoma State (good grief...Okie STATE?!?!?! Ya gotta be kidding me!!!! **sigh**). Yes, that's right, the worst home loss since 1958.
I believe that was during the Eisenhower administration. Top song that year was At The Hop, top selling album was the soundtrack to South Pacific.
I gotta wash that game right out of my hair.
Anyway, it would have been a complete loser of a day had it not been for Kiddo. The boy had been looking forward all week to the day, and there wasn't anything that would have gotten in the way of his good time. We left the house at about 8:40 AM, parked in our usual spot by the County-City building, walked up to the stadium, and met Sweetie's dad on the north side of the stadium. From there, Sweetie and her dad went inside to a brunch on the terrace of the Tom and Nancy Osborne Complex, and Kiddo and I walked down to the Husker Nation Pavillion.
Athletic Director Steve Pedersen has made about a million boneheaded moves in his tenure at Nebraska, but one thing he did do right was the creation of the pavillion. It's a big, family friendly area right next to the stadium that has games for the kids (including those inflatable things for them to jump in), face painting, a big field for just running around, a big screen monitor where you can watch ESPN, and a stage set up where a band plays and the Nebraska Football Network radio broadcast does their pregame show. And best of all, it's free.
So Kiddo got his face painted, and we checked out some of the other stuff going on. Then we walked to the Student Union building (daddy needed cash from the ATM), where we saw 1997 Outland Trophy winner Aaron Taylor was signing autographs at the bookstore. There wasn't a line when we got there, so Kiddo got his hat signed. Aaron asked Kiddo his age, and when he said 3, Aaron did a doubletake, and said "wow." That's right--an Outland trophy winner was impressed with my son's size. He moves around well too--sign him up!
After doing some more sightseeing around campus, including buying a balloon to let off when the Huskers scored, and checking out the HuskerPedia tailgate, we went into the stadium. Kiddo just took everything in--the band, the GIANT videoboard, the crowd--he just had this "deer in the headlights" look. But when the band started "There Is No Place Like Nebraska," Kiddo sang along.
The whole game, he kept cheering and singing "There Is No Place Like Nebraska." He did get a little antsy because he wanted to let his balloon off into the air, but Nebraska didn't score during the entire first half. We finally said he could do it at halftime. He participated in the wave, waved his arms in the air with the student section after we finally DID score, and just in general had a wonderful time. In fact, after the game, he didn't want to leave!
Now, I'm about as big of a Husker fan as there is, and watching the debacle yesterday left the "grown-up fan" in me pretty sick to my stomach. But I had the privilege of watching the game through the eyes of a 3 year-old, and through those eyes, yesterday's game was the best Husker football game I've ever been to.
Go Big Red!
Here's some pictures and video of the day:
Outside East Stadium
Aaron Taylor at the bookstore
Kiddo at the fountains in front of the Union
HuskerPedia tailgate...with North Stadium in the background
Watching the players come out for the 2nd half
Borrowing Grandpa's binoculars
His idea...he wanted to bring his play corn from
home for the CORNHUSKERS...
Kiddo's quote: "They need to try HARDER!"
Joining in The Wave...click for the video
"There Is No Place Like Nebraska"...click for the video