Game day at UNL: It’s glorious


By Lindsey Givens Unigo Campus Rep at UNL Football is not-jokingly referred to as the “most popular religion in Nebraska.”  It comes with the territory as a Husker student. Many parents have matching window stickers that say “Husker Mom” and “Husker Dad.” A little much? Maybe for some, but not here in Nebraska. It is a known fact that on game day Memorial Stadium holds more people than the third largest city in the state. “I go to pregame parties and go home and watch it with roommates then meet up with people after the game,” said Zach Wynn, a junior film studies major. “Watching the game is a big deal.” He agrees the atmosphere is much different on game day than any other. “It gets crazy,” Wynn said. “People who are usually mild-mannered become loud, obnoxious and not their normal selves.” Many students cite the athletic program as a strong draw in choosing UNL. “It’s really the reason I came here,” said Ryan Hoffman, a junior from Florida. “I wanted to come to a school with a major football team and the entertainment of the Huskers is amazing.” Hoffman remembers last year for the UNL-USC game a family pulled up in their motor home and paid to park it in a friend’s driveway close to the stadium. He said they spent all day hanging out with their new friends and eating food. The family barbecued and ate with Hoffman and his friends. “The coolest thing is that everyone is there,” said Tyler Thomas, a junior advertising major, and member of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. “It isn’t a certain demographic of people. There are older people, little kids, students; literally everyone. That’s what I like the most. You can always meet new people. There is always someone to hang out with.” Tailgating is a huge part of Husker game day culture. Wynn, Hoffman, and Thomas all say they tailgate often with different people. RVs, tents, and even buses can be seen in empty parking lots all over the city. “Lincoln comes alive on game day. People honk and scream and yell. There is red as far as you can see,” Thomas said. “The city basically shuts down for the game.” Hoffman said his friends waited outside the stadium at 3 a.m. for last year’s game against Texas to get front-row seats. This sort of enthusiasm seems to be rampant on game day, but not all students go to the games. “I don’t like to go the games because I get bored,” said sophomore Whitney Clausen. “It takes too long. I think it is important to show spirit, but I prefer other sports, not football.” Hoffman feels so strongly about the importance of the football culture at UNL, he got a little heated when I asked him about students who don’t care about the Huskers. “I hate UNL students who badmouth Nebraska,” he said. “Go somewhere else.”

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