Bringing back the ‘heart’
By Molly Young
A large scarlet “N” painted across her cheek, the woman walked past me wearing a red shirt with white lettering. At first glance, she looked much like the 80,000 other fans filtering into Memorial Stadium. Then I read her shirt.
“My ‘bofriend’ is back in town.”
And what a welcome her “bofriend” received.
In his two games as head coach of the Nebraska Cornhusker football team, Bo Pelini has transformed the Huskers beyond adding notches to the “win” column. Pelini has restored a sense of tradition, the foundation of Husker football and a concept his predecessor never seemed to grasp.
Admittedly, Saturday’s game versus San Jose State was a little shaky. And there were some interceptions during the season opener versus Western Michigan. But, I am not a sports writer, nor will I ever be. I don’t really care who missed a tackle or who dropped the ball. Repeat: I am not a sports writer.
But I do know one thing. Husker football is, and always has been, about the team – the ritual of the Tunnel Walk, the unity on the field and the support of the sidelines.
Hartley Burr Alexander’s words, carved in stone above an entrance to Memorial Stadium, describe the true meaning of Husker football. “In the deed, the glory.”
Victory is desirable, but the true glory comes from effort and hard work.
As Nebraskans, this concept flows through our veins. The appeal of Husker football is not based on wins and losses. Instead, for five hours every Saturday, Nebraskans set their differences aside. Superficial things become meaningless, and society’s boundaries are broken. For a few hours a week, Nebraskans are one.
The gritty details really don’t matter. In five years nobody will remember the specifics of every game. What people will remember, however, are the pits in stomachs forming right before kickoff, the Midwest’s Red Sea engulfing the field, and the instantaneous roar erupting after touchdowns. These things are hard to forget.
Our “bofriend” came home, and he brought back the heart of Husker football.