"I thought that we tried to have a bit of fun today," Bo Pelini said as he kicked off his post-scrimmage press conference.
Before anything else could be discussed, there was one thing the media wanted to address. That was the cat.
"The cat was probably a little freaked out," Pelini laughed. "Was just trying to have a little bit of fun."
That's exactly what the team, and in turn the fans, had.
And it would appear that spring is Pelini's time to shine. Over the last two seasons, he has used the annual spring game to highlight a very different side of himself and his team.
During the 2013 game, the Huskers made national headlines when Jack Hoffman ran for a 69-yard touchdown. It was a moment that was not soon forgotten. In fact, Jack went on to win an ESPY for the moment.
With the 2014 game approaching, fans wondered what could possibly be in store. It would be hard to top Jack's run (and arguably, nothing ever will), but fans figured something had to happen.
And sure enough, the fans were right.
As the tunnel walk music began, the stadium rose to its feet. The big screen began to show the typical pregame footage before cutting to a live shot of the locker room. The first person to be seen was Pelini. That's typical.
What wasn't usual was the cat in his arms.
From there, Pelini carried the cat from the locker room to the field's entrance. Holding the cat in the air, a la The Lion King, Memorial Stadium erupted.
At that moment, it was clear the spring game would be unlike any other. While some had figured the unique score system would be what made this scrimmage different, it ended up being a variety of small moments that took place throughout.
For example, Pelini challenged wide receiver Kenny Bell to a throwing contest. Whoever hit the goal post the most in three tries would be crowned the victor. Bell hit the goal post twice, securing a win over Pelini, who didn't hit the goal post once.
"I threw a lot better ball than Kenny Bell, by the way," Pelini made sure to note afterward.
And then there was Jeff Jamrog, the assistant athletic director for football, calling out players' Twitter handles during drills. He encouraged fans to "give 'em a follow," connecting the real world to the Internet.
That wasn't it, of course. True to Husker form, there was one more moment that had yet to happen. As former players came out on the field to compete in a drill, one player decided to make it a moment to remember.
As he stepped forward to participate in the drill, former Husker Jeremiah Sirles turned back around and got down on one knee. With his girlfriend there, he proposed and she said yes.
By that point, fans had stopped paying attention to the score. After all, there were bigger things happening on the field.
Over the last two years, Nebraska has turned the spring game into an event. It's an event that not only captures the attention of Husker fans, but also of people all across the country.
The annual spring game still allows fans to see the team in action and get a taste of football mid-spring. However, the Huskers have found a way to make it as much of a celebration as a scrimmage.
And Pelini accomplished exactly what he wanted, which was for everyone to have a little bit of fun.
All quotes were obtained firsthand, unless otherwise noted.
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