Derek Johnson Muses

It is my daily goal to make everyone around me better people, thanks be to God.

Identity: Husker Nation Crosses the Plane for One Long Train

Husker Sojourners…

(Only to brag a little: I did write that Husker fans were capable of putting 20,000 in Ryan Field earlier this year. Here is the proof.)

Who are Husker fans? I asked myself this question as I paced the lobby of my hotel room in downtown Chicago before last weeks Nebraska-Northwestern game. There was a strong contingent, along with BYU fans and Notre Dame fans who were staying there. The BYU fans were polished, with sharp polo shirts, the older men with heads having a touch of gray. Notre Damers look like they buy their gear at American Eagle Outfitters, the place where young people spend $200 on clothes with wear-and-tear designed into them.

Once observed, the characteristics of Nebraska fans emerged. Their hair was a bit thinner, and when they were in groups, their body language made the groups seemed more isolated. Compared to the regular tourists at the hotel, Nebraska fans looked a little more burdened and their shirts had more wear on them. For most of these fans, this would be their most expensive trip of the year, and it showed, especially in a husband and wife with a young child who were sitting the comfy lobby chairs speaking quietly. This was, of course, the early morning crowd. By eight, the red mesh polo shirts of the better off-Husker fans emerged from their rooms.

While I’m sure it wasn’t intended to be rude, there were a couple of examples of rural behavior that stood out. At breakfast, there was a party of three older adults who took a table for six, and after breakfast, had coffee and had the paper spread out on the table. Having spent enough time in urban environments, both are a no-no. Space in a city is precious, and you don’t waste it like that.

This behavior continued on the CTA train our family took out to Evanston. The breakage of rule on this train was horrid. People getting on the train and not moving to the back immediately when it was standing room only. One guy who forced his way back to a seat when I had been standing by it before he got on. Then there was the sardine can-ride back to the city. Mercifully, the train skipped a few stops on the way, but it was wall-to-wall standing room, people pressed to me on each side. I had a few nice conversations, but I mostly held on.

From a travel perspective, this a great win for Husker nation. On my way walking to the stadium, I actually admired Minnesota fans; last year, the Minnesota-Nebraska game looked like a neutral site, 50-50 fan split. This year, as I walked to the stadium, I expected Husker fans to be the majority. I don’t think they were, but still it had to be an embarrassment for Northwestern. Somehow though, I ended up with a Wildcat fan sitting behind me, in the Nebraska section no less.

Team on the Field after Northwestern took a 28-16 Lead

All that said,, and Northwestern fans should be ashamed Minnesota fans cheer harder. Bandwagon fans if there ever were some, you could barely hear the Purple People as Taylor Martinez was driving to win the game. Meanwhile, Northwestern had to use a silent count; hopefully, this is the impetus that get Fitzgerald to leave Northwestern.

As far the stadium itself, Ryan field was the worst stadium experience I’ve had. Northwetern needs a jumbotron in the south end zone, better restrooms, and a better concourse. Husker fans may be used to using portable toilets, but not a stadium. Really, Northwestern, if you want to use the slogan “Chicago’s Big 10 Team”, you can’t ask Chicagoans to come to such an outdated stadium. If this was the Bears or the Cubs, you won’t tolerate this. Go ask Iowa State how to improve your stadium.

On the train ride home, I had an intriguing experience. I met a woman who became a Nebraska fan during the Callahan years. Yes, really. When I asked her why, she said her roommate, who is a Nebraskan, sold her with her enthusiasm and stories from the 90′s. I needed that experience to remember how great it had been, and can be if you let it.

Heading out…

Other Husker Road Trips: Minnesota last year, Iowa State two years ago.

About these ads

6 responses to “Identity: Husker Nation Crosses the Plane for One Long Train

  1. Pingback: Go Big Red vs. Go Blue: Why We’re Here « Thoughts of a Wandering Mind

  2. Pingback: Where Was I? A Personal Update « Thoughts of a Wandering Mind

  3. Pingback: Is Husker Nation Travel-ed Out? « Thoughts of a Wandering Mind

  4. Pingback: 2009 Holiday Bowl: Out of the Snow & Into the Sunshine « Thoughts of a Wandering Mind

  5. Pingback: Stuff upon Stuff: What’s at the Bottom of that Blue Tote | Derek Johnson Muses

  6. Pingback: College Stadiums Through a Prism | Derek Johnson Muses

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Limning the Psyche

The web site of Mark Yarhouse

GMO Free Girl

Changing The Way You Eat One Bite At A Time

StarboCho

Dragon Slaying: from the Lutheran Perspective

The First Premise

Looking at all things through suffering and the Cross

Final Mystery

"The final mystery is oneself" - Oscar Wilde

Biking with Coleman

Traversing North America by Bicycle

Christian in America

The blog of Matthew Tuininga

Cassie Moore

Adventures in the Mundane

For the Love of Food

...because a girl's gotta eat

An Illustrated Parsonage Life

A new pastor's wife writes about church, home, children, and life's general absurdities and mishaps.

Musings of a Country Parson

Just another small town preacher

Oratio + Meditatio + Tentatio

A theologian's pressure cooker.

Brent Kuhlman's Blog

A great WordPress.com site

Peruse and Muse

The musings of a student teacher

Gamekeeping

Ensuring young baby boomers thrive in today's workforce

St. Matthew Lutheran Church

Bonne Terre, Missouri

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 163 other followers

%d bloggers like this: