Today is the first official day of Crazy Season in Nebraska – or as others call it – Nebraska Cornhusker Football! Today is the first football game of the University of Nebraska at Lincoln – known nationally as the Cornhuskers (originally called the Bugeaters, but for some reason that name didn’t really stick!).
Today is the day every Nebraskan will wear red or else face the wrath of other devout followers who will point at them in public and whisper “He must be senile/crazy/stupid – he’s not wearing a red shirt!” For those normal people out there who don’t follow college football quite so closely — red is the Cornhusker team color. Wearing red today is apparently a state mandate and it is doesn’t matter that you didn’t attend UNL or have never even been to the campus — today, everyone is expected to be fan and not only wear the colors, but become completely absorbed in the team.
In some cases this means that you will blindly believe that the Cornhuskers are the BEST team in the entire country – no, the entire WORLD! It doesn’t matter that we haven’t won a national championship in many, many years. It doesn’t matter that there are high schools that have better records than we do. It doesn’t matter that most of the team (99%) doesn’t even come from Nebraska and are recruited just like pro football players. No — what matters is that you BELIEVE and spread the word!
Yes — it is like a cult religion during football season around here and I pity any person who voices a different opinion. Much like the days of the Inquisition, you will be subjected to unknown horrors if you dare to question the superiority of the team and its rightful place in this world. You might end up spending Saturday afternoon, all alone in the movie theater or the shopping mall! Your friends will stop calling you and extolling the virtues of every team member – and they may even force you to make bets on games where you will actually win a steak dinner because you were right!
Yes – today is the start of the annual insanity that grips Nebraska. I’m pretty sure this is what Stephen King really meant when he wrote Children of the Corn. The only difference is that in this horror story – everyone is wearing red and chanting “Go Big Red. Go Big Red. Go Big Red.”