Traditon, Pageantry and Passion In College Football

Bleacher ReportAnalyst INovember 13, 2008

I am a college football junkie and an addict to all the pomp and circumstance, tradition, pageantry, and passion that it has to offer. 

The first step in any recovery process is admitting that you're powerless and have no control.

Okay, you win.

College football is my drug of choice if only for 12 fleeting weeks a year.

I got my first fix as an eight or nine-year-old when my dad and I went to a University of Nebraska football game.  Thanks Dad! 

I remember the jump in my step as I tried to keep up with Dad and the other Cornhusker faithful making their way to Memorial Stadium.

Something struck me as we got closer to the stadium. I could hear a band playing, but because this was the first game I attended, I had no clue what it was all about, only to walk up to our gate and see the band playing "Hail Varsity," while waiting to make their entrance.

The gates opened up and the band marched in full throat playing Nebraska's fight song.  I was immediately struck by the incredible unison, cadence, and symmetry of the band's members.  It gave me goosebumps and today I still get goosebumps hearing the Nebraska marching band play that song.  I know it's the band, but that is a part of the tradition and pageantry of the college football experience I enjoy.

We sat in the seats underneath the north end zone along the fence that borders the rear boundary of the end zone. 

Early in the game, Nebraska's running back Roger Craig broke loose on a long run and high-stepped his way into the end zone, running past me and my dad.

I got goosebumps, again. Thanks Roger!

I still can't figure out getting goosebumps at a football game.  Maybe it's my passion for the game. 

What a long time ago!  Am I really that old?

Now that I'm an older fan I love tailgating before and after games, where I meet fans from the opposing team.  We share a burger, brat and cocktail, the inevitable football talk, and good-natured ribbing.

Of all of the highs I have experienced while being a Nebraska fan and college football fan in general there is one thing that really stands out.

It was Oct 29, 1994 and #3 Nebraska was playing #2 Colorado in Lincoln. 

A new high tech sound system and four new large video boards had been installed at Memorial Stadium prior to the season. The Husker Vision staff created a monster of a entrance for the Huskers, called the "tunnel walk", that to this day has completely changed visiting teams before game routines.

Up till this game, Nebraska, when at home had always been the last team to come on the field.  I think it's pretty traditional in college football to allow the home team to come out last.

Just minutes before the kickoff, the sound system came alive with the Allan Parson's Serius song while the video boards show the Huskers leaving the locker room and heading to the field. 

The crowd roared and the stadium shook like I have never felt it move before. The crowd reached a crescendo when the Huskers stormed the field with Sirius booming from the sound system. 

And on the visitors sideline, there was the Colorado team, witnessing and hearing it all.

It was said after this game that Colorado was completely intimidated and psyched out after bearing witness to that.

To this day, no visiting team has since been on the field for the Huskers "tunnel walk" entrance.

It is something to behold the way the home crowd and their team energize and feed off one another.

Is there any other game where fans and players can be as one?  It's a relentless monster for the opposing team if they are unable to break the momentum.

I've seen teams battle this in Nebraska, and I've seen Nebraska battle this in visitors' stadiums.

I love to see a team that plays with passion, which is exemplified by playing hard at all times, never quitting, giving every ounce of effort, and playing with a sense of reckless abandon.

I want more.

Tell me about the traditions and pageantry of college football that feed your soul and make you the fan that you are.

Yes, I am an addict.