Sunday, October 14, 2007

Go Big Red!

Yesterday, Sweetie and I took Kiddo to his very first Nebraska Cornhuskers football game.

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

Go Huskers!!!

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 for the video

"There Is No Place Like Nebraska" for the video



ColonelMustard said...

The best part is, he will always remember the experience of going to his first Husker game, not the outcome.

He'll remember the atmosphere, the people, the fun he had with dad, the fun he had overall, etc.

I'm glad he had a great time, and I'm glad you had the chance to take him!

- ColonelMustard (the KSU one)

Scott (in exile in Illinois) said...

As a fellow Lutheran Husker, seeing this post made my day. After spending HOURS reading all of the (necessarily) negative stuff on the web, it was great to see something that captures what the Husker experience is all about. What a great day to spend with Kiddo, and keep things in perspective. My folks took me to my first game when I was two, and this reminded me of how much fun I had growing up a Husker.

I hope you get to go to a lot more games with the family, and the program comes back to make it fun on all levels.

Thanks for sharing your experience.


PJ from CA said...

Great Stuff. Someday I will take my son out to Lincoln (I live - and am from - California)
I will be out there this week with the wife to watch NU vs. A&M.
My yearly trip.

The team is just going thru the motions. No fun to watch.
pj from CA

Anonymous said...

Your kid is ardorable.
Welcome to Husker Nation kiddo.

Neal Davis said...

We sometimes forget what this being a fan is all about. GO BIG RED!

Anonymous said...

It was so nice to hear something positive about Saturday's game. I'm so glad that Kiddo had the time of his life.

Anonymous said...

thanks! i needed that after that game. It reminds you what husker football is all about. I still remember taking my boy to his first game. thanks again.

dave said...

This is great!! Reminds me when I took my son's to their first game.I hope SP and BC and staff see this. This is what the BIG RED tradition is all about!!!BIG RED fan in Kentucky.

Rob L., Omaha said...

Great post, it made my day, too. I still clearly remember my first game with my dad, a 28-21 win over OU in 1970. And I remember taking my son to his first game and later, my daughter too. Your post was pure bliss, we all need that and more right now, the changes needed will come naturally.


Anonymous said...

That's awesome. I was a little older when I first got to go to Lincoln, but it was amazing. Great post and the videos just about brought a tear to my eye. cute kid...

Go Big Red..

Rev Scott said...

Oh, if only Kiddo's first game could have been a win! But a wonderful post and it sounds like you had a wonderful day.

My first game was in 1986 - the first night game at Memorial Stadium, against Florida State. Great memories, and I'm sure it was the same for my folks as it was for you. Thanks for sharing.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post and for Huskerpedia for linking to it.
I agree with Illinois Scott.. I too spent time on the negative. I'm tired of reading it and ready to try and fix it. I live in Kansas and have two Husker kids who love Big Red football in Lincoln. Thanks Lutheran Husker.. from another Lutheran Husker in KS.

Susan said...

Reading this post and seeing the pics and vids makes me realize that it was actually a pretty good game, after all. Maybe not on the field, but it was still good. :-) Thanks so much for sharing!

P.S. Kiddo has great rhythm with the whole "Go Huskers!" bit.

Anonymous said...

Wow!!!! That's the way to put things into perspective!!!! WE ARE NEBRASKA!!!!!! This isn't about little men like Steve Pederson, or Bill Callahan!! WE ARE NEBRASKA!!!!
We, the fans, are the core to what is good in this program. The talking heads that permiate throughout this mess is shamefull.
How in the world can you sit there with a straight face and tell me that it is one
"missed tackle" or one individual out of position????
Sorry guy's, you had your chance here in the Heartland Of America.
Let's see if we can get a coach that can get his nose out out of the playbook during the game and actually coach the game!!

jini said...

your posting is great and reminds me of the first time we took our son to a freshman did the trick and he's still a great fan.
this is a sad year in huskerland, and i thank you for the smile and the memories!

kyle said...

i turned to my girlfriend at the game yesterday and said "i feel really bad for the kids who are at their first game today" and now i realize i should've known better. kids are going to love and support the huskers win or lose, and are going to have just as much fun as i did at my first game. i remember we beat iowa, but i don't remember the score... what i remember is sitting on those old wooden seats with my dad and getting goosebumps and tears in my eyes watching my first tunnel walk. glad you and your son had a good time. go big red!

Anonymous said...

This was the most refreshing story of all. As i set here in Oklahoma a husker fan and very disapointed. Your 3 year old son brought me back to reality. It's just a game. And it's a team we love. Love is through good and bad. Thank you young man! Darwin

Chris said...

My internship supervisor is an avid Huskers fan. Sorry about the loss.

At least you witnessed history!

I was at Philadelphia with my Dad to witness the Phillies lose game 2 of the divisional series against the Rockies (my Phillies were eliminated a game later). Despite the loss, it was a great day at the ballpark with my dad. I'm glad you had a similar experience with your son.

David Fields said...

Wow! Thanks a lot, I've been so negative since the game, and your story melted my cold dead heart. I appreciated it very much. It really lifted me up. I wish more fans would read your story.

Anonymous said...

These pictures and videos are the only good thing from the '07 Husker season. Thanks for sharing them.
NE native now in MN

Anonymous said...

I went to my first game in 1975, and it was against OSU. I will never forget being with my Dad and walking into the stadium for the first time. The turf, the noise and seeing the Huskers on the field in those helmets is something I will never forget. I am a divorced Dad in Texas and seeing that little boy makes me miss my boys more than ever and I can't wait to seem them even more than usual this weekend. My sons saw their first game two years ago at Baylor. We had a ball and I also got a lot more out of seeing my kids watch than I have ever gotten from a game myself. I recall that at one point we needed the Blackshirts to make a stop, which they did. My son who was 7 at the time was yelling his hert out and his little face was red as I could tell that he was making the plays with the Huskers too!

Last year I scored tickets for the A&M game and flew my Dad down to see it. I am sure that he saw the 9 year old in me come out when Mo caught Zack's pass at the end!
Let's not forget what this is all about and enjoy the games with our families and friends. This is a tough year but just as the mighty fall, we will rise again and these experiences will make the future wins that much sweeter.
Thanks for the great article. You have warmed my heart!

HuskerPhil in Corsicana Texas

Anonymous said...

That is wonderful and very age appropriate. I know as a father that the time I spend with my children is very special to me.

Fast forward.....The 3 year old becomes 4, 5, etc. It amazes me how fast these little ones become savy about what is going on.

Let's say my little one is now in High School and happens to be an athlete. Let's say he is being watched by several Colleges.

Let's say my son asks me for my opinion about what college is the best for him to attend?

How would you answer that and for what reasons?

Not taking away from what you brought because I understand that quite well and I cherish it.

I also appreciate the message you brought.

I just don't mix the two because they are quite different. Being with the ones we love and the current status of the NE football program.

In your situation, I would care less about the status of the NE football program for the day.

But then the sun rises and there is tomorrow.

Sincerely...just additional thoughts

bugeaterchic said...

Enjoy that little guy. We took our son out of school for a week one year for the Nebraska/Oklahoma game. That was to be TO's 250 victory and the last of the Big 8 games between those two teams. We drove back to Lincoln and had a wonderful time. We still talk about that trip to this day. I married an OU man but I am proud to say that the Husker gene was dominant. We still fly the Husker flag this Saturday.

krugie23 said...

Now that Peterson is gone, maybe things can be get better!

Great pictures! Thanks for sharing!

Rev Scott said...

I'd be remiss if I didn't add this in:

"There is nothing like a GAME!!!!"

As you were.

Fr. Jason Emerson said...

I'm a pastor in Omaha, and it drives me nuts how out of whack everybody is over this huskers thing. Personally, I'm a rabid University of Tennessee fan; so I connect with about 90 percent of the way husker fans act. However, when the team WON over ball state and people were calling for heads to roll I about lost it. If I could get my congregation as half as passionate in spreading the gospel, we would give the mega churches a run for their money. Give me a break. It's football, not world peace. I for one and extremely glad you and your family enjoyed the purity of sport even if yall lost. That's the way to be, and the way to raise a kid.

God's Peace,