The pomp and pageantry of college football is one of the reasons it carries a special place in the hearts of fans around the country. In each college town, the local traditions make each gameday an experience unique to the history and geography of the school.
Nebraska is no different, and Lincoln is a special place to watch football in autumn. So, what makes the capital of Husker Nation so special on a football Saturday? Let's take a tour of the highlights.
One thing is for sure if you see a football game in Lincoln—you won't be lonely.
Since 1962, Nebraska has sold out 311 consecutive games in Memorial Stadium, a streak unmatched in the country.
Be it Texas or Western Kentucky, Nebraska fans fill up the stadium at 10th and Vine every football Saturday, contributing to one of the greatest atmospheres in sports.
Right before kickoff, the Nebraska band takes the field, performing the same "Pregame Spectacular" every Saturday. Once the band takes the field, the PA announcer reminds the crowd "it's football Saturday in Memorial Stadium, and there is no place like Nebraska!" The band then plays the aforementioned school song, a series of others and then the "Hail Varsity" fight song.
The crowd then performs the "Husker! Power!" chant at high volume, building everyone in attendance up to a frenzy in time for...
The screen darkens. The lights begin to flash. The song "Sirius" by the Alan Parsons Project begins to blare, and the crowd goes wild in anticipation. The HD HuskerVision screen comes to life with computer-generated images reflecting Nebraska's past glories and celebrating current heroes.
Since 1994, the Tunnel Walk has been the showpiece of Nebraska's pre-game ritual, and it never fails to get fans excited.
As Nebraska fans file into Memorial Stadium, many (both young and old) clutch red helium balloons.
When Nebraska first scores, all the balloons are released, filling the sky with dots of red. Whether it's the perfect blue sky of an autumn afternoon or the slate grey clouds of a damp November evening, the image of the balloons drifting over the field as the Cornhuskers celebrate their success is a memorable sight.
Looking for a lesser-known treat before a game in Lincoln?
About an hour or so before kickoff, head over to the library. Before every home game,the band warms up and practices their routine. You'll get an up-close look and listen to "The Pride of All Nebraska" before the game.
You can then march along with them as they enter formation and play their way through campus and down to the stadium.
Sure, everyone can enjoy a game at the Rose Bowl, the Swamp, Death Valley or any other place where you know it will be warm (although sometimes a little too warm for some).
In Lincoln, though, you can run the gamut from scorching August heat, to misty September rain, to bright and crisp October sunshine, to slate grey and snowy November afternoons.
Why be bored with just one weather pattern?
If you have been to Lincoln for a game and have not eaten at Misty's, you simply have not had the full Lincoln gameday experience.
Misty's opened a second restaurant downtown, but for the true, traditional feel, you need to eat at the original location on Havelock Avenue. The food is wonderful, and the atmosphere simply oozes Nebraska football.
Photo originally located here.
Let's face it. Any gameday experience is a lot more fun when the home team sends the fans home happy. Nebraska has consistently won at home (leaving that unfortunate experience with Texas in 2010 aside), and to be inside Memorial Stadium when Nebraska is winning is an experience you will not soon forget.
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