If Nebraska is Boring, What is Northwestern Football?

Northwestern head football coach Pat Fitzgerald made minor headlines when he included in his plea for Wildcat fans to fill their home stadium an insult to the state of Nebraska and its residents.  His claim was that, Nebraska was "a pretty boring state, so they're really excited to see Chicago".  His statement begs the question, if the Cornhusker state is so boring and Chicago so appealing that Big Red fans will swarm like locusts for a road game, why can't he find 47,000 bodies in a metropolitan area of close to 10 million people willing to cheer for the home team?


Even if Nebraskans are drawn by the excitement of Chicago, why bother with the football game? After all, any entertainment advantage that Chicago holds over Nebraska would not be in the college football department.  For example, the pretty-darn exciting Hail Mary play that beat Fitzgerald's Wildcats (great coaching on that one by the way, Pat!) happened in Lincoln along with a bunch of other outstanding and consequential victories over the years.  

The shining moment for Northwestern in Evanston was probably a 54-51 game victory against #12 Michigan in 2000.  Of course, that year the Wildcats went on to get smoked by a record 66-17 versus the Huskers in the Alamo Bowl.  Under Fitzgerald's stellar coaching, the team has also lost their last four games on their own field.  

Given the way the recent series with Nebraska has gone, the upcoming game should be the one they actually could sell a ticket to their own fans for.  In fact, they've made it their homecoming game.  But that won't stop a Husker invasion.  Especially with Northwestern likely to be sitting with a 1-2 or 0-3 record in the Big Ten.  Chances are there will be more than a few Wildcat fans with better things to do than see their team lose again.

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Comments 28 comments so far

Unlike NU, NW has too much sports competition in the Chi-Town region to fill a stadium unless NW is having a spectacular season.  NU is the only show in town by comparison.

Taking Fitz’s comment waaaaay to personal.

We’ve been down this ‘Nebraska stigma’ road before. The correct thing here is to just prove it on the field and settle it that way.

Really, you have to take it as a compliment.

Boring= No hustle bustle, pollution free air and lifestyle.

Heck yea!

I suppose if you like big cities Illinois has some excitement but if you aren’t Nebraska has a lot more to offer than Illinois. Illinois is 90% cornfields while Nebraska is probably only 30-40%. No wild wapiti or mtn goats in Il. And how about the largest area of sand dunes in the western hemisphere. Nebraska smokes Illinois in outdoor fun stuff.

Nebraska smokes Illinois ...

I thought I had to go to Colorado for that.

Probably best to smoke outdoors

Would nvr want to LIVE in Chicago, or any huge city FTM.  Omaha and Lincoln are mych better and affordable.

NE fans will probably take over jNU’s stadium yet again in ‘14, especially since jNU will probably have repeat of ‘13(1-7).  I dont see how they can be better this year.

I drove through Nebraska in the late 80’s on our way to Winter Park, Co.  Spent a night in a hotel in Kearney that my wife still hasn’t recovered from.  From I-80 we observed soy beans on the right and corn on the left until the scenary changed to corn on the right and soy beans on the left. We crossed the Platte River 92 times.  Stopped in Omaha and Lincoln - nice places.  I thought the western part of Nebraska was interesting with the hills and dessert-like characteristics.  You get the idea driving through that the state has the ability to feed the world.

Been to Chicago several times, but went all the way into downtown a few years ago when my daughter was playing in a summer hoops tournament there.  Pretty awesome, but I’m a country boy, so if you give me the choice, I would live in Nebraska.  :)

NW has a horrible football history interrupted by some great moments and seasons.  Chicagoland doesn’t really believe in them, and their alumni base is too busy trying to cure cancer, and other mundane things, than to worry about a football game.

Ohio State’s fan base dominated that stadium last year for what was anticipated to be a big game.  Fitz needs a homefield advantage to help him win those types of games.  He knows Nebraska will travel and will have Chicagoland area alumni who will attend.  I don’t blame him for trying to maximize the advantage playing Nebraska in Evanston should give him, but he doesn’t have to insult the entire state to do it.


Oh, dude, did you stay at the Ramada in Kearney? 
We put that one up back before the interstate was put
in.  I think you stayed at the one that was in town. 
Meaning you actually had to drive into town to get to
the hotel.  We have more near the interstate now that
are newer.

Sometimes what we think are luxury conditions are not considered
that by others.  But we are getting better at accommodating
folks with more discerning tastes.  Please extend our apologies to your wife.


Never had to spend a night in a Kearney motel because that’s where my inlaws live. I heard a horrow story of one in North Platte though. To really see Ne. you have to get off I-80. My favorite hwy (29) runs from Mitchell to Harrison. One can see pronghorn and praire chicken out of the car window.

Ohio is much better than Illinois too—70 mph speed limit vs the 65 in Illinois on I-80. Been crossing your fair state now that my son lives in Ct.

I can’t remember the name, but I do remember the roaches and my wife scratching the bed bug bites during our vacation!  Damn that place.  Ever since then, we have had to stay at 4 and 5 star places - which has cost me thousands over the years.

I don’t know how you guys feel, but I can sleep anywhere.  But Honey Buns has higher standards.

Regardless, I expect the stadium at NW to be close to 50% red when that game rolls around.

Well, before industrial agriculture covered most of NE with endless miles of monotonous corn and soy fields—most of which really isnt used for as food for humans—NE used to be much more ‘biodiverse’.  Still flat though.

I agree with the guy, geographically it is pretty boring.

Culturally, Omaha and Lincoln still dont coke close to any major city, so there’s that.  However, unless you are rich, the big cities can be by and large a pain in the ass to live in and getting worse.  San Francisco is now officially so gentrified the working class can no longer reside in that city.  Nyc and boroughs and Jersey side is an endless expensive concrete jungle.

If you want to get way more bang for your buck, raise a family, and want to be a NE fan, NE is the place to be.

Did we find out what actually happened to OSU’s wife in Kearney that so traumatized her she still suffers 30+ yrs later?

The suspense is killing me.

Oh ok, bugs, got it.

For GageCoHusker:


A small news article on Roy’s BBQ in Hutchinson I was telling you about last season.


I drove through Hutch on a bug hunt back in May. Hunted just west of Medicine Lodge along hwy 160. Didn’t find the bug so I’m going back in Sep. Now I’ll have to get up an hour earlier so I’ll have enough time to pick up the smoked beef in Hutch. Thanks for the tip.

T Dogg

If you get off I-80 you will discover Ne isn’t flat. I guarantee that Ne has more hills than Il. Try hwy 2 from GI to Alliance some time. If you’ve never seen western Ne you won’t know you are in Ne when you try it.

Just don’t drive at dusk or night, so many deer.  That is a beautiful drive on hwy 2, not sure if it is hwy 2 or 91 before it merges with hwy 2 but they have some rolling mound like hills that they just paved over rather than leveling out, like a roller coaster.

Boring= a night without 30 shootings


Im from NE, yeah, there are rolling hills in different regions and herds of prairie dogs out west.  The entire midwest is flat, though, compared to, say, the N.E. where there are various mountain ranges.

Out here you have the Adirondachs, the Green, the White, the Berkshires, and Poconos down in PAtucky, streams and lakes all over the place and then the ocean.  Its vast and lush, ridiculous, actually, too much to see and do potentially.  Its just a whole different world, geographically speaking.

And, well, Im into music, and I can say w/o hesitation that NYC is about 1,000,000 x the scene compared to, say, Omaha, or about anywhere else, FTM.  Its unfathomable.  Not a put down of other places at all, just more FYI.  You dont want to live in NYC, though, it just goes on and on and on and on, and many areas might as well be different ethnic ‘countries’, one after another after another, on and on.  How its all sustained boggles the mind.

Catskill mtns too, forgot about that.

Couldn’t agree more, concerning NYC for music. As a jazz buff, used to really enjoy visiting all the 52nd street jazz spots and the Village Vanguard back in the day. Sure do miss the music from those days. Should also mention that back then there were also great jazz spots in San Francisco as well.

Its good to know that you don’t live in NE anymore. You forgot to mention that all the different mountain ranges, lakes and streams are over populated with people. You should support and blog on a site for the Orange Men’s football program. That is if they have one.

T Dogg

The comparison was between Nebraska and Illinois. Not Nebraska and upstate NY. And like Admiral alluded too—the fish you catch in Ne you can eat whereas the ones from NY are so poluted with mercury it’s best to leave them in the rivers and lakes. BTW—have you ever seen the Wildcat hills by Scottsbluff or the Pineridge by Ft Robinson? Nothing like that in Illinois.

Plus—in upstate NY—those are just big hills. Ne is only a few hours drive from real mtns in Colorado.

Illinois has more murders everyday than the war in Gaza is causing, indiscriminate drive by shootings are daily sports events in Chicago, and nobody even seems to give a damn.  Only a fool would do anything in Chicago except lock themselves in their motel room and pray to survive long enough to get the hell back to Nebraska after the game.  The only thing in all those East coast Mountains is wall to wall No trespassing signs and a few over crowded camping spots with hundreds of people lined up to use the rest rooms if you even have the dubious benefit of a reserved camp spot made months in advance , of course.

If they wrote a song for Evanston like they did in Lincoln,
how would it go?

There is no place like Chicago.
Good ol’e Murder U?
Were those with good wishes
will sleep with the fishes
if our Mayor says so too…

There is no place like Chicago.
Where the schools get shut down.
For their union is crying
but the kids still are dying.
for good ol’e Evanston U!

Go Big Purple!
Go Big Purple!
Go Big Purple!

(Thinks for a minute)

No, I just don’t think it sings well.

Apology accepted Coach Fitzgerald.

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