- It is much more enjoyable to watch a football game on television than it is in person. Especially if the game's in HD, which most of them are anymore (including the upcoming NU-USC game). Jimmy Johnson had a famous quote about the difference between football on TV and in the stadium. "In person, a four yard gain is just a four yard gain, but on television, a four yard gain is armageddon."
- Memorial Stadium, even before the new improvements, has always been, for lack of a better term, a clusterfuck.
And what do you know? After Saturday's game, almost everyone confirms what I've thought for years. What, did people in the North endzone really expect to be able to see that big ass TV that's right ABOVE them?
These sorts of congestion issues always happen with parks and stadiums whenever you try to add more butts in the seats. But what nobody ever seems to realize is that you also need to add some new ENTRANCES and more accessible ways to get 10,000 more people into a stadium that already had 77,000 crammed in there like sardines.
The best part about Gameday in Lincoln has always been and forever will be the tailgating and the many bars in downtown. And now you can sit in some parking lot and have a great view of the new screen in the North Stadium, enjoy as many adult beverages that you like, and laugh at the fact that there are some INSIDE the stadium who can't do either of those things.
Plus, let's not forget some of the leftover quirks in the stadium that will probably be there for the rest of our lifetimes. There's not much that can top the buzz that goes through the air as you walk into the stadium, but once you're in the stadium, there are some unescable truths:
- Once you find your "seat", which is really just a # for you to put your ass on a bench, you're scrunched in there for the next 3 1/2 hours.
- No standing or cheering unless everyone else does. Go sometime, stand up and applaud at something that nobody else does, and you'll get hundreds of turned heads staring at you like you just robbed the Salvation Army Christmas kettle. One of my friends always said that going to a Husker game was almost like going to church: You'd stand, sit down, stand, occasionally sing....and everyone had to do this at the same time.
- The student section, which is still prominent in places like South Bend and definitely down at Texas A & M, just aint what she used to be. The University has priced out most students from even having a chance at going to a game.
- Those corn-head hats you see on TV? They look worse in person. Do not trust this person.
- No matter how many times you hear it, Nebraska fans are NOT the classiest and courteous in all of college football. In fact, they're not friendly to the opposition at all. The only time they even give that "standing ovation" to the opposing team is when they annihilate them. Think they gave Texas Tech one of those standing O's last year? Ask Kansas State fans about how they were treated in 2003.
After I graduated from UNL and then REALLY priced myself out of the possibility of getting season tickets, there were two games that I went to that I'll always remember:
- November, 1995, Iowa State at Nebraska, but more importantly, this was the return of one Lawrence Phillips, and there was a tension throughout the stadium as to how everyone would react when he came onto the field. We all KNEW he was going to play because TO came out and said that he would. And the whole game, everyone was literally just sitting on pins and needles waiting for #1 to come into the game at I-Back. Remember, this was the dominant 1995 that could do no wrong, that was blowing away opponent after opponent by scores of like 83-10. It wasn't like they NEEDED LP to play because Freshman Ahman Green was having a very good season. Then it happened, midway through the 2nd quarter, and the whole stadium took notice that #1: PHILLIPS had entered the game at I-Back. And I'm telling you, nobody knew what to do. I couldn't resist, after all, here was a guy who had only weeks before thrown a woman down a flight of stairs, injuring her terribly. So I promptly stood right up from my sardined seat and BOOOOOED as loud as I could, prompting the usual expected stares. After all, this was in the West Stadium, full of older folks who'd had the same tickets in the same section since Moses wore short pants. They'd probably never heard anyone BOO a Husker player. I seemed to be the only one in my area booing, until finally about ten other women who were near me -- a few of who were there with their children -- then stood up and started booing louder than I was. I think they might have booed LP everytime he touched the ball. Later one, one of the ladies came by and thanked me for booing, because it gave her the idea that it'd be OK for her to do so. Lawrence Philips might have been the most physicially gifted I-Back in Nebraska history, but for him to come back after the shit he pulled to anything but boos would have been unacceptable.
- October 31, 1998: The first Husker loss at Memorial Stadium since 1991, as Ricky Williams and Texas run all over Nebraska during Frank Solich's first season as head coach. Everyone around us was stunned at what was happening, they couldn't believe that Nebraska was actually going to lose a game at HOME. My friend Mac and I only wanted to leave because our buzz had started to wear off, but somehow we started talking about anal sex. I said I would never even try it on my wife and she had colitis problems so it was out of the question anyway. He wanted to go on and on about how much he thought women loved it. Before we knew it, we had spent the entire 2nd half discussing nothing but anal sex, Ricky Williams was screwing the Corn over hard, and I can't TELL you how many disgusted looks we got from Husker Nation after the game. I think they were just so stunned that NU lost to say anything to us about our conversation. No matter, Lincoln turned into a ghost town on Halloween after that game.
Other than that, the real fun on gameday in Lincoln is always outside the stadium. The NU/USC game is going to be next week on ABC in HIGH DEFINITION, which frankly is the only way to watch any sporting event. If you want to go down to the Nicholls State game because it's not on TV and you want to see it live in person, by all means don't let anything stop you. Just know there are better venues to see a football game, no matter how many times that used car salesman of a PA announcer tells you "there's no place like Nebraska."