I was born in a divided state…

There were Gator fans…There were Seminole fans…There were Hurricane fans…Each set of fans was adamantly convinced that their team was the best.  While this division was profoundly seen in the fall during football season, it seemed to expand beyond collegiate athletics.

Home of the Nebraska Cornhuskers Football Team...

For this reason, I have spent the last 14 and a half years being amazed at the unity found in the state of Nebraska.  EVERYONE in the state of Nebraska is a Husker fan, and “game day” at Memorial stadium is a testament to the bond that all Nebraskans share.

It is demonstrated in the “sea of red” that fills the stadium.

Red is the preferred color of all Nebraskans!

It is demonstrated by the comraderie felt amongst fans.

An Enthusiastic Fan...

It is demonstrated by the love and support shown to all of the youth.

The Cornhusker Marching band is introduced as the "Pride of All Nebraska"...

While it may seem odd to some that an entire state population (1,711,263 strong) all rally around one college football team, I believe that this unification, manifested in Memorial Stadium on game day, extends to a feeling of community that permeates everyday life in the state.

Learning to be "part of Nebraska's team" while cheering on "the team"!

My desire to live in rural America, combined with an adventurous spirit and a cute farm boy, led me to Nebraska.  The unity, shared respect, and “neighborly” attitude of the citizens of Nebraska will keep me here the rest of my days.  Very simply:  In Nebraska there is no me, there is us. That is an incredibly powerful mindset, and one that allows our state to continue to move forward and thrive.

It manifests itself on Husker Game Day, but it is really much deeper than that.  It can be seen in our unique unicameral state legislature…It can be seen on Nebraska’s rural high ways where it is common practice for everyone to wave (even complete strangers)…It can be seen in the way that communities help one another when Mother Nature strikes…It can be seen at frequent local benefit suppers held to help a family or individual that needs a boost…It is a beautiful thing, and makes me proud to be called a Nebraskan.

Perhaps I am over-emotional at times, but I found myself getting choked up at several points during the game on Saturday…

A powerful rush of emotion surrounds the stadium as the players walk through "the tunnel" and enter the field...

The honoring of our country with the entire crowd singing the National Anthem, along with multiple tributes all throughout the game to individual Nebraska soldiers who represent and defend our great nation.

The tradition of releasing red ballons as the Huskers make their first exciting touch down!

The Celebration of Victory!

To me, the most poignant of all...The blend of athletes, coaches, and officials who faithfully take a moment immediately following the game to give quiet prayful tribute to God for the blessings that we all share...

While life is not a game, perhaps a game can teach us a valuable lesson about life…


Filed under General

6 responses to “Unity

  1. Bill

    1,711,263? The last that I checked, Florida’s Palm Beach County population was around 1.4 million. I last checked years ago. During the Bush-Gore hanging chad thing, the population was 1.2 million, which is why it was such a battle. A huge number of votes were at stake. As many as some states, apparently.

    Of course, Nebraska probably does beat Palm Beach Co. on community. In big U.S. population centers, no one seems nice to one another. I’m not going back, either.

    Your next topic should answer, “Who produces the best beef in the world?” There are some South American countries that can give us a run for our money. Argintine beef anyone? It ranks third on my top ten.

  2. Al Svajgr

    Too bad we in the cattle industry in Nebraska continue to be so divided on many issues that effect our bottom line, like the GIPSA rules and country of origin label requirements for beef. Unity among and between our different factions continues to be lacking as we move our industry ahead. Too bad for all of us and but hopefully not our consumers.

    • You make a great point, Al. We have our differences in agriculture related to various production methods, geographic location, size of farms and ranches, etc., but when it comes to raising high quality food for consumers we must put those differences aside and work together. This is especially true when it comes to facing the challenges from those who don’t believe in raising animals to produce food, like PETA and the Human Society of the United States (HSUS). I’m sure Husker fans (I’m not one, Rock Chalk!) have their differences, too. Some drive to the game in a Chevy and others in a Ford, both with stickers of Calvin pissing on the other, but when it comes time for the game they unify against the opposing team. Thanks for the call for unity, Anne.

  3. Nebraska Farm Wife

    Anne – LOVE this Post!! After moving from Colorado to Lincoln for grad school the first game day was a… well lets just say it was a highly educational day. It has taken a few years to fully understand why everyone in Ne bleeds Husker Red. As we were weaning calves on Sat, I had the radio station turned on to the husker game, I even had to call my hubby after the opening drive TD to celebrate so I think I am becoming a part of the tradition!! We are very lucky to live in a state where we are all friends and neighbors…
    Al is right about the beef industry we need to put aside our differences and form a united team to battle some of the pollitical and social wars we are facing, Not just the beef industry but the agriculture industry.

    • Ron

      Continue to love your posts, Ann. Al nails it, we need to find unity in the “beef industry”. The “us” you talked about is too often missing in some of our beef organizations. Too much “me” and “my beliefs” , right or wrong. It would be nice of all organizations that claim to speak for beef producers thought about the good of the whole rather than the good of a select few.
      Oh well, perhaps some day. Mean while it is football season…Go Big Red!

  4. My Husband had no idea how big NU Football was until we started dating. He had never in his life seen anything like it!
    The Hubby also says that he has never met a group of people that love their state as much as Nebraskans love Nebraska. I think your post is a great explanation of why!

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