A Husker’s Life

If you were born in Nebraska in the latter half of the 20th century, becoming a Husker fan may not seem like it was a choice.  It was more a matter of destiny.  Lincoln is populated with many sons and daughters of small farm communities throughout the state drawn by the university.  That was my grandfather's story and he took me to my first game. 


I can't say I recall the opponent.  Only that it was one of Tom Osborne's outstanding early 1980's teams on a nice day and the Huskers won easily.  Like most children, I was captivated by the practice of releasing balloons after the opening score.  I  enjoyed a Coke or 7up at the game and some popcorn.  I also recall an explosive play or two for touchdowns.  It would not be the only game I attended with Grandpa.

By 1987, I was emotionally invested in the Huskers.  I was hooked.  It seemed sort of automatic then, that I would attend the same school as my grandfather and my parents.  My grandfather had a successful career as an agronomy professor (and department chair) at UNL but always lived modestly.  In his later years, much of what he'd saved was given back to the school and the community.  For all of his family that were UNL grads, he purchased lifetime memberships in the Alumni Association.  We're reminded of this gift every time the Alumni newsletter arrives.

In his 90's, it became clear that our time with him was getting short.  My father became a caretaker, seeing him several times a week.  Living out of state, we wanted to be sure my kids got to visit with him and the weekend we chose was a football weekend.  I made sure that they attended a game with their grandfather.  So not only did he take me to my first game, he indirectly did the same for my kids.  

Grandpa passed yesterday, leaving behind a family that will always love and miss him and a legacy of pioneering work in sustainable farming.  He also brought his family to the game.  Now, I think he has an even better seat. 

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Comments 16 comments so far


Sorry to hear about your Grandpa.  Take care.

Thanks Josh, much appreciated.

Great piece, Steve.
Thanks for sharing a slice of your relationship with your grandfather.

This is what makes being a Husker fan special:

Nice article that will hit home with much of the NU fanbase and cause many to reflect on how they became fans.

Would be nice if only ONCE the usual suspects don’t take this article like they do the other 99% to launch their Bash BO agenda.  We get it, and read it continually, so take your comment to paper and write to Harvey or someone that also gets paid a million $ to make the decisions you want.

Thanks Steve for a heart warming article. Sorry for your loss!


So sorry for your family’s loss. It sounds like he was truly a great man. My prayers are out to you all from Oklahoma.

R.I.P to your Grand daddy.

May he rest in Peace

Steve - sorry for your loss.  My first memory of Husker football was watching my Father try to push Johnny Rogers across the TV screen during his famous kick return vs. Oklahoma.  I am fortunate that my Dad and I still get to talk on the phone at least 6 times a game..
Celebrate your Grandfathers memory by continuing to root for his beloved Huskers and you can take comfort in the fact that he will be with you in spirit every time you watch a game.

Sorry to hear about your grandpa passing, Steve. Good memories to have.

Enjoyed the story of your family Steve.  Thanks for sharing. Very sorry for your loss.

Thank you Steve,
for sharing your endearing story of genuine Nebraskans.

Steve, sorry for your loss…great article…also wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your writing, as I live in Atlanta, and love the Huskers, so it is great to get daily Husker news and information.  Thanks for doing a great job.

I second that…....I am in Atlanta also and love to read your writings.
My condolences to your family…....I lost my father November 2 last year right before the game started.
We always watched the Huskers when we could and I just got back from an early trip in January to “spread his ashes” where he spent so much time near Wauneta Nebraska.
Keeping your family in our T&P

@Elmn8tr69 - good to know there are a few of us down south that bleed Husker Red!!......Hang in there Steve..lost my Dad 40 years ago when I was 19 and still think of him every day…Stay strong!.


I am sorry to hear of your loss.  Our thoughts and prayers are with you and you family.  However, it sounds as though he was the proper sort of man so as long as he is remembered by your thoughts and actions with your own children, he will never really be gone.  Part of him will always live on in you.

God be with you and your family to fill your hearts up with the loving memories of your Grandfather and all the wisdom he taught you.

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