This post isn’t for the diehard Nebraska Husker fans. You know who you are—the ones born wearing a Go Big Red! onesy, who put out an inflatable Herbie Husker in the lawn for every home game (or maybe that was just my old neighbors.)
This post is for the transplants, the unenthused, the couldn’t-care-less-about-football folks. Because when you find yourself in Lincoln, Husker fandom—or being able to fake it—is necessary for survival.
I’m one of the transplants, the unenthused and the couldn’t-care-less-about-football folks. At least I was, until I started working with some of the most Husker-obsessed coworkers in the city. At some point, you just start learning by association or osmosis or something.
So if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. Here are four easy steps to reach true Husker fandom:
1. Befriend the fans. Enthusiasm is contagious. It’s a lot easier to be excited—or disguise your boredom—if you’ve got friends, coworkers and family who live and breathe Huskers. And if you live in Lincoln, or really anywhere in Nebraska, they shouldn’t be hard to find.
|If you're on the road to fandom, befriend this man: A True Husker Fan(atic?)™|
2. Get the gear. As you’d expect from the team’s headquarters, Lincoln has Husker stores all over town. For great deals, check out the newly relocated Husker store inside the downtown Pinnacle Bank Arena. For awesome sidewalk sales, ask the campus bookstore when their stuff goes on sale. You’ll have to fight through lines of college students in front of UNL’s Union, but a good deal is a good deal. (Even though all Husker gear is essentially overpriced polos* with an “N” stamped on it.)
*Or sweatpants. Or sweatshirts. Or umbrellas. The magic “N” artificially inflates the price on any generic item.
3. Check out the stadium. No, you don’t have to wait until game day to see Memorial Stadium, and you don’t even have to buy tickets. Just go through the red-gated door on the east side of the stadium. Bonus tip: If you run the Lincoln National Guard Marathon and Half Marathon, you can finish your 13.1 mile jog on the 50-yard line.
|The magic red gate. Keep an eye out for True Husker Fan(atics).™|
4. Use Twitter to learn the ropes. Bo Pelini may be living out his $7.9M severance paradise in Youngstown, but the fan favorite @FauxPelini account is still around. I turned to a diehard fan (see Step 1) for more Twitter suggestions, and this fan recommended following: @937Lanny, @TheGundy, @Andy_Vaughn and @Sean_Callahan.
And there you have it. Husker fandom made simple.
Try any of these things? Leave a comment below. Meanwhile, I’ll be trying to master my Husker mojo before football season starts.