Friday, December 13, 2013

Go Big Red!

I'm reluctant to admit it, but there was a time in my life when I was a fan of Nebraska football. Like many people in Southwest Iowa whose news came out of the Omaha TV stations and newspapers, we felt more connected to Nebraska than to Iowa.

This was around 1966 when Coach Bob Devaney was rebuilding Nebraska's program prior to leading them to two consecutive national championships in 1970 and 1971.
I would listen to Lyell Bremser on KFAB. He would always get so excited, sometimes not even realizing what he was saying. His pet phrase was "Man, Woman and Child!" As in: "Man, woman and child! Can you believe that play?" (Or pass, block, touchdown, etc.)
One time when I was over at my parent's helping do something and was listening to the radio broadcast of the game, I got so excited when Nebraska made a touchdown I started screaming and jumping up and down. Mom said, "Ramona! Are you crazy?" I must have been, at least a little.

Fast forward ten years, November 13, 1976, and my allegiances had totally changed. I had become an Iowa State fan. (Still am.) ISU and Nebraska were both in the Big Eight Conference then. Nebraska was a powerhouse; Iowa State, not so much. Since 1961 Nebraska had won every game over Iowa State except for the 1972 tie at Clyde Williams Field in Ames.
Nebraska was ranked #9; Iowa State wasn't even ranked. Everyone expected another Nebraska win, but, what the heck, it was a beautiful autumn day and I had been invited to attend the game by another Iowa State fan.
I remember arriving at the stadium and going in on the west side to find our seats. I remember the taunting and obnoxious remarks by the Husker fans as well as the miles of cable and the cameras for the TV coverage. I really remember the long, long lines at the women's restroom. But mostly I remember Iowa State BEATING Nebraska 37 to 28! It was wild. I screamed. I jumped up and down. I was more than a little crazy.

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