If you look at it from the right spot, it appears to be giving Colorado the middle finger. Too bad it couldn't have been facing a bit more towards Austin
So y'all want to know a few things about Nebraska? Well, first off, very few of us say y'all. You might find a few out west, but here in eastern Nebraska, we just ship them off to Council Bluffs. Nebraska's stereotype is corn. Fair enough. We do grow a lot of corn, but to get a great example of what the state is really like, you should check out the South Park Episode "Merry Christmas Charles Manson". Ok that's it. You now know everything you need to know about Nebraska. Thanks for stopping by.
Nebraska is actually a fairly diverse state geographically. The eastern part of the state looks pretty much like Iowa. As you move further west, you get into an area known as the sandhills. It's a place that you will either love or hate. If you like to go for a drive and see parts of the country that you haven't seen before, you would love Nebraska Highway 2 through the sandhills. If you hate to drive and just want to get from point A to point B as quickly as possible, stay on I-80 if you ever drive across the state.
This picture is pretty typical of what the sandhills are like. Trees? Only if a local rancher decides to plant them (or some crazy guy who thinks planting a forest in the middle of Nebraska is a good idea). There are counties in central Nebraska that have more windmills than people. I'm pretty sure that the county seat in Hooker County (yes, it's actually called that) is an unincorporated village of about 350 people. That's the only town in that county. Some other interesting sites west of Lincoln include Chimney Rock, Carhenge, Ashfall Fossil Beds, a good variety of wineries, and Smith Falls.
If you are coming from B1G country to see a game, you will likely go through Omaha to get to Lincoln. If you stay a few days in Omaha, you could check out the Henry Doorly Zoo, Lauritzen Gardens, the Joslyn Art Museum/Joslyn Castle, the Durham Museum, a Broadway show at the Orpheum Theater, and our downtown Old Market area. TDAmeritrade Park is where the College World Series is played and don't be surprised if Omaha makes a bid for the B1G baseball tournament next time that comes around. Omaha has AAA baseball team (Omaha Storm Chasers), two hockey teams (UNO Mavs, Omaha Lancers) and a UFL team with some football greats like Maurice Clarett. The team is trying to get Terrelle Pryor to play. Thanks Ohio State. Keep the questionable players coming so that our UFL team stays relevant. Lincoln also has a USHL team (Stars) and a minor league baseball team (Saltdogs).
If you like 'the Old West' history era, there are also a lot of tourist attractions and museums spread throughout the state that focus on this theme. Some of these include the Old Oregon Trail, the Pony Express and Buffalo. There's also the Strategic Air and Space Museum along I-80 between Omaha and Lincoln.
As far as our football team is concerned, we had a lot of nicknames during the early years. One of them was the "Bugeaters." This comes from the bull bats that reside in Nebraska who like to chow down on insects. We actually stole the Cornhusker nickname from our next door neighbors, the Iowa Cornhuskers/Hawkeyes.
The Fans and the Traditions.
I'll say this now. You are going to love us and you are going to hate us. Deal with it because I'm sure we will feel the same way about you too. We love our football team because they bring a lot of national recognition to our little corner of the world. We take a lot of pride in our history because we know that it might be awhile before we see those kind of glory days again, if ever. If you come to a game at Memorial Stadium, there are things that you will notice and things that you may want to see.
First off, when you walk into any gate at the stadium, you are going to see a sign similar to the one above. "Through These Gates Pass the Greatest Fans in College Football." The signs are a relic of the Steve Pederson era and a lot of Nebraskans don't like them. I view them in a different way than most people, though. To me, that sign represents the great fans not only from Nebraska, but from all over who come to see their team play in Lincoln. If you travel to support your team, you are one of the "greatest fans".
I know this may come as a shock to you, but you will still find "elitist" fans that wear the scarlet and cream. Just wait until Friday's Rival Story. They'll all come out of the woodwork and take offense to the slightest dig at the program. I put the over/under at 700 comments for that thread. Most of them will be from Nebraska fans that are pissed off for no real good reason. Anyway, I've traveled to a lot of college stadiums and seen opposing teams' fans. I have also witnessed how my fellow Husker fans can act. As classy as the media says we are, Nebraska still has it's fair share of dumb ass, douche bag, jerk off, drunken frat boys, hecklers, player hating (not playa hatin'...well, maybe those too), commissioner-threatening assholes. We are people too. From the places I've visited, I've seen and interacted with great, polite, courteous fans from the home team. I've also had to deal with the jackasses. They all exist in every fan base and you'll not hear me ever say that Nebraska fans are the classiest. When I was in the Husker band in 1997, the direct actually told us "Guys on the outside, girls on the inside," as we hurried back to the buses after the Miracle in Missouri game.
Do you know why Nebraska fans got the title "Classiest Fans Around"? Because we use to beat everyone. It's easy to be classy when you win and the occasional loss was something you just had to contend with. Bill Callahan taught us what it was like to lose and it didn't feel good. True colors from some (all?) Nebraska fans started to show in the last decade.
You're going to get a warm welcome when you come to Lincoln. For the most part, the majority of the fans will stick up for you if the D-bag tries to start anything.
Now that we are done with the stadium signs and what to expect from the fans, there are some other cool things to take a look at. If you like college marching bands, you can check out the "Pride of All Nebraska's" schedule here. Also, I recommend you getting to the stadium early to visit the Osborne Athletic Complex, located on the north side of the stadium. It's where we keep all of our trophies, etc. We're hoping someday to be able to add a B1G rivalry trophy or two to our collection. There's even the Alamo Bowl trophy that we got when we dismantled Northwestern 66-17 and the national title that
the big ten media helped us get we won instead of Penn State in 1994. The easiest way to get to the OAC is to walk along the west side of the stadium until you see the statue of Tom Osborne/Brook Berringer. You can get there from the east side but sometimes they block off the pedestrian track over there and you will have to walk around anyway.
Needless to say, Husker fans are almost unanimously thrilled about our move to the B1G conference. Even though the conference stacked the schedule against us this year by leaving off the bottom feeders in the Eastern Division (here's looking at you Illinois and Purdue), we are excited to see where we stand with the rest of the league. We haven't really had a hated rival since the formation of the Big XII and we look forward to being hated by everyone in the B1G. Just make sure you beat us so that we can hate you back. This probably excludes Minnesota. We could never hate Kansas(91-23-3), Iowa State(86-17-2), Kansas State(78-15-2), Oklahoma State(36-5-1), Missouri(65-36-3) or Colorado(49-18-2) because of how long we dominated them. Sorry Spartan fans, we don't know what it's like to be little brother. We do plan on being "Champions of the West" more often than not, though. So Michigan fans, if I'm in Ann Arbor and we wrap up the Western Division title that day at Michigan Stadium, you'd better believe that I'm coming up with my own rendition of your fight song with a Nebraska touch to it.
Ok. Well this is a football blog so I should at least introduce you to our team and what its capable of. There are rumors that Bo Pelini has a secret laboratory under Memorial Stadium where each player has to go through a rigorous training session. It's not as tortuous as what Iowa does to their players, but it's similar to this:
Ok. So maybe that isn't true, Mario would never be able to land a princess in the real world, anyway, and our big uglies likely won't either. But Pelini has concocted a great formula for defensive success. In the Big XII, the Huskers ran what was called the "Peso". It's pretty much a 4-2-5 with one of the defensive backs being more of a hybrid LB/DB. When defending against spread offenses, Pelini's logic was to have 7 guys back to cover a good chunk of the field. As much press as the "hybrid" and 4-2-5 gets, it all starts with the D-line for the blackshirts. The Pelini's also believe in preventing big plays and that's where the line comes into play. When the front four is young (2010), they gets real conservative. The linemen are taught to push towards the center to plug up any holes so that running up the middle becomes tougher. When the line is experienced (2009), they are allowed to be a bit more aggressive. See Ndamukong Suh.
As far as the offense goes, well, your guess is about as good as mine. We let our offensive coordinator go last winter and promoted a guy named Tim Beck. During spring ball, a few things kept coming up in coaching interviews. "We're going to be physical. We're going to simplify things. We're going to focus more on concepts and understanding what goes on the field and how those things work instead of just the playbook." The spring game itself was pretty vanilla. Brion (Bree-on) Carnes and Jamal Turner look like future stars at QB and WR and not all of us are convinced that Taylor Martinez will be the starter by the end of this season.
Around these parts, people try to put 1-and-1 together regarding the offensive transition. Bo Pelini knows defense, but he also knows what types of offenses give him trouble. One would think that he might want to run that kind of offense. This leads some people to speculate that Nebraska may adopt a no-huddle, hurry-up offense similar to Oklahoma's.
So there you have it. That's one man's brief intro of Nebraska. The Big Red is a comin' and no I don't mean you Wisconsin. I'm pretty sure I got a little jab in for every school in the B1G, but if I missed you I apologize. Sorry Indiana, I left you out because I've been told you are insignificant in football. Now that you all know a bit about Nebraska, I expect you to return the favor in the comments section below.
Over at CornNation, we have been counting down the days until July 1st. This 100-day series that started back in March was designed to introduce Nebraska fans to some of the history and traditions of the B1G and also to introduce B1G fans to some of Nebraska's history and tradition. So if you want to learn a little more about who we are, head on over and check out that series.