The pomp and pageantry of college football is one of the reasons it carries a special place in the hearts of fans across the nation. In each college town, the local traditions make game day an experience unique to that school's history.
Nebraska is no different, and Lincoln is a special place to watch football in autumn. The Scarlet and Cream runs deep for every Huskers fan. Here are five reasons that make game day at Memorial Stadium so special on football Saturday.
1. The Sellout Streak
One thing is for sure - if you see a football game in Lincoln you won't be lonely!
Since 1962, Nebraska has sold out every game in Memorial Stadium, a streak unmatched in college football.
Be it Texas or Western Kentucky, Nebraska fans fill up Memorial Stadium every football Saturday, contributing to one of the greatest atmospheres in sports!
2. Sea of Red
Long before college (and pro) teams started organizing “white-outs” and “black-outs,” Nebraska fans have been religiously wearing red to every Huskers game.
Not only do Huskers fans create a sea of red in Memorial Stadium but, as a fanbase that is famous for traveling well, they’ve been known to create a sea of red in their opponent's stadium.
Naturally, the impact is more awe-inspiring in Lincoln where the red-clad fans sway their arms, rhythmically clap along to “Hail Varsity” after every touchdown, and hold up their shoes before every kickoff.
3. Nebraska Fanfare
Right before kickoff, the Nebraska band takes the field, performing the "Pregame Spectacular" every Saturday. Once the band takes the field, the PA announcer reminds the crowd "it's football Saturday in Memorial Stadium, and there is no place like Nebraska!" The band then plays the school song, a series of others, and then the "Hail Varsity" fight song.
The crowd then performs the "Husker! Power!" chant at high volume, building everyone in attendance up to a frenzy in time for...
4. The Tunnel Walk
The screen darkens. The lights begin to flash. The song "Sirius" by the Alan Parsons Project begins to blare, and the crowd goes wild in anticipation. The HuskerVision screen comes to life with images reflecting Nebraska’s past glories and celebrating current heroes.
The Tunnel Walk videos are unique from year to year. You can see some examples here, here, and here.
Since 1994, the Tunnel Walk has been the showpiece of Nebraska's pre-game ritual, and it never fails to get fans excited.
Every entrance at Memorial Stadium welcomes Huskers fans with the following phrase:
“Through These Gates Pass The Greatest Fans In College Football.”
One of the classiest Nebraska traditions is the home fans applauding the opposing team, win or lose.
In 1998, after Texas snapped Nebraska’s 47-home game winning streak, the fans gave the Longhorns a standing ovation for a game well-played. Back in 1991, the same courtesy was extended to the Washington Huskies after they defeated the Huskers 36-21.
Nebraska fans simply enjoy a game well-played and will give credit where credit is due.
Former Florida State coach Bobby Bowden wrote this letter after a Seminoles victory in 1980, and sent it to the University of Nebraska:
"I have been coaching college football the past 28 years and have played before some great crowds in this country. I have never seen people with more class than I saw at Nebraska last week. The Nebraska fans, players, cheerleaders, band, officials, coaches, etc., gave me a living testimony of what college football should be all about."
That pretty much sums it up.
To be inside Memorial Stadium on a football Saturday is an experience you will never forget!