Saturday, September 5, 2009

Go Big Red

You all had one in your school. A fat kid who was never picked for the team, who'd come up with any excuse to miss PE, who'd walk the cross country track and pace the court in basketball to avoid overexerting themself in the game.

Yup, it was me. Oh how I hated PE. And sports in general.

In Scotland, football (soccer) is all about the violence. It is a non contact sport, but that doesn't apply to the fans. You never want to be alone in the middle of Glasgow after a Celtic and Rangers match. I've been there and I'm lucky to live to tell the tale. It's living on the edge for sure. The fans of opposing teams, particularly Celtic vs Rangers (it's a Catholic/Protestant thing, which is still a huge source of contention in the UK) see the whole competition as less of a sport, and more of a battle/warfare thing. There is an insane amount of violence, fights, stabbings etc over whose football team is the best and who should have won the match. It's pretty scary.

So when Rene and I moved to Nebraska in 2007 and had our first fall time and football season here and heard of the massive crowds that congregate in Lincoln to see the Huskers play, we felt scared. And thought we should be sure to keep our kids away to protect them and keep them safe. Then Rene encountered two fans - one from the away team and one Husker fan, chatting in a gas station. They exchanged a couple of jokes, shook hands and went on their own ways. Rene had been embracing himself for conflict, but then was amazed to see how peaceful the whole thing is.

I'm sooooo not a sports fan. I'm an introverted, geek who'd rather spend my time online, at home with the doors locked. I really don't know anything about American football, the rules or how it works. I have no interest in ever watching a game, even on TV.

But I consider myself Husker fan. Maybe it would be more accurate to say, I'm a Husker fan fan. I love football season. The heat of the Summer has passed and we have lots of beautiful days in the 70s and low 80s. Lincoln becomes a sea of red, with everyone sporting their Husker gear and moving into the city for the game and for the buzz. Everyone is excited. It is so friendly and the non violence still seems so novel to me. Lincolnites greet and leave each other with, "Go Big Red" or some other comment about the game. There's a sense of unity and excitement. It's not about being a fan of football, it's about being a fan of Nebraska. And I am a fan of Nebraska!!

I will wear red today in support of the Huskers. I could tie this post in with something meaningful, maybe about how the world should unite for a common goal, something Christianny. But I'm a bit tired to think and not in the mood to preach. Today is the first game day of the season and I just wanted to say Go Big Red!

Here's a couple old pics of our Husker family back in 2007.


DJ said...

I hear you about the violence over here - even Hearts and Hibs fans can't leave each other alone after a match. Makes me hope neither of my kids grow up to follow the fitba'.

allenaim photography and design said...

Go Big Red! :) we love lincoln too!!

Kinsleys4 said...

Aww - those are the little kids I recognize. I don't know who these BIG kids are that you keep posting pics of! Your kids are just growing like weeds! I have to say, as a non-football (practically anti-football) person myself, I do miss being in Lincoln at this time of year. If for nothing else, the NE-football-worshippers are certainly a unique thing to watch - and of course I miss tailgates at the Gov's. I'm sure just for the sake of keeping Madison a true Nebraskan born Husker girl, we'll throw a Big Red sweatshirt into her wardrobe now & then. ;-) Have a fun football season there for us!