A trip every Big Ten fan should make

Submitted by RationalMSUfan on October 31st, 2011 at 11:48 AM

And you thought I only posted after MSU wins.........


In any event, I just got back from Lincoln, Nebraska.   Obviously, the result of the game was disspointing, but what an experience.

From the time we arrived on Friday until the time we left, I was greeted about 7,236 times with "Welcome to Lincoln" and I didn't recieve a single taunt BEFORE, DURING OR AFTER the game.  The Husker fans were the epitome of what a Big Ten host school should be.  I think Husker Football is similar to the Green Bay Packers in that for the most part it is "the only game in town". As such, the residents treat it like their baby and they want everyone else to love it.

Their stadium was great and will look even nicer when they finish their mirror tower on the other side of the field.  Their fans (young and old) stand up and cheer the entire game.   Not sure if they do this everygame, but they realeased about 50,000 balloons into the air after their first score.  Their intro/hype videos are great as they follow the team during their "tunnel walk" from the lockerroom onto the field.

They also play a 5 second highlight clip of each notable Husker currently in the NFL and how they did in the NFL the previous Sunday.  One quick note...don't bite my head off, but I did crack a rye grin when they showed Suh's highlights.  They chose to show a clip of Suh ripping Matt Ryan's facemask off and the place went nuts. Obviously, they love Suh, but given the Gholston saga, I did have to laugh a bit at the irony.  Speaking of which, Gholston's performance got lost amongst the egg our offense laid, but he had 15 tackles and a sack. Pretty amazing tackle total for a DEnd.  In that regard, I think our defense held up pretty well given that they were on the field for 55 minutes of a 60 minute game!!!!  The offense.......not so much.

In any event, if you can make it, I really reccomend making the trek to Lincoln for a UM game. You won't regret it despite the LOOOOOOOOOOOONG drive.



October 31st, 2011 at 12:03 PM ^

You must have been wearing the epitome of a rye grin as you typed that.

All spelling nazi kidding aside, good post by the OP.  We've been thinking about that trip for next year instead of Alabama in Jerry World.  Sounds like a great experience.


October 31st, 2011 at 11:54 AM ^

It goes without saying but the place to avoid is that wretched hive of scum and villainy in Ohio.

However for places to go, Lincoln is definitely on my list. All I've ever heard is how nice everyone is even if it's a Rival fanbase.

Bando Calrissian

October 31st, 2011 at 11:55 AM ^

First thought that came to my mind after Nebraska joined the conference (well, the third, after momentarily reliving early January 1998 and the 2005 Alamo Bowl) was that I now have a reason to go to Lincoln and see a game.  Everyone raves about how great it is.

Similarly, I'd recommend making the State College trip.  Had a great time out there, would do it again in a heartbeat.


October 31st, 2011 at 11:56 AM ^

1. Dog feces thrown at me.

2. Random guys trying to fight.

3. Getting yelled "Go Blow."

Of course, haven't gone back there since 2004...


All kidding aside, I've heard Lincoln is great. Would love to go.


October 31st, 2011 at 12:08 PM ^

I can only speak for myself.  I really place a high value on treating visitors with respect.  Despite the running joke on this board, I think the majority of MSU fans especially alumni feel the same way.  I'm not saying we are Nebraska (we're not), but I would guess that visitors from other Big Ten schools get treated better at MSU than Michigan fans do due to the rivalry.  I wish we could have a respectable rivalry, but we don't. I've been to UM for the MSU game and don't think that UM fans don't taunt MSU folks. It goes both ways. Just look at how I get trashed on this board by "some" posters.   It's very easy to use a wide paint brush.


Not sure if I answered the question, but "yes", I would be embarassed if I saw an MSU alumni acted inappropriately. I don't think there is anything wrong with some good natured ribbing/trashtalk, but there is a line that everyone should know.


October 31st, 2011 at 1:18 PM ^

It absolutely goes both ways.  I have had some enjoyable experiences with fans from other schools, and always try to treat them with respect.  If someone drives/flies from Lincoln to Ann Arbor, they are a serious football fan and deserve seeing the best of what Michigan has to offer.  Those of us who are alums or students make a very strong statement about Michigan when we treat visitors cordially. This courtesy has been extended to me on trips to Madison, State College, West Lafayette, South Bend, etc.  

Over the last two years, when PSU and Bama have played, the PSU fans were blown away by the hospitality they received at Bama and reciprocated in kind this year at State College.

I have spent a few days in Lincoln over the last few years.  You won't meet nicer people and the town itself is nice with decent food, etc.  I'm looking forward to making the trip next year.

Good post, OP.


October 31st, 2011 at 2:26 PM ^

I shared in another thread that I had free tickets to the Notre Dame - Navy game this weekend.  My son is a Notre Dame fan (he takes after my dad unfortunately).  He is 12 and feels that he needs to point out to people around us that I am a Michigan fan inside Notre Dame Stadium.  I don't cheer for either team and remain seated when they play the fight song.  I would be suspect anyways because of my lack of involvement in the game.

It was funny to hear the fans around me ask me questions (after he had outed me).  A couple of women felt the need to share that they didn't like The Big House because they had been pushed around during the game a couple years ago.  She went on to say how these men while cheering and jumping were shoving them and they thought it was rude.  An older gentleman (a Michigan fan) told them to settle down and not push the women.  All I could say was that there are jerks in every stadium, you are blessed if you don't have to sit next to them.  She nodded and then dropped this gem; they were wearing shirts that said "Ann Arbor is a Whore".  Now while I think pushing people is over the line, I lost some sympathy for her when she stated her attire.

I'm sure everyone has a different opinion from mine, but here's my thoughts anyways.  I don't wear my Michigan hat to a Notre Dame - Navy game because I feel that I am just trying to draw attention to myself.  Sure I see people wearing gear for a team that isn't represented on the field that day and that's fine.  That's their choice.  I like to cheer for my team and don't mind the occasional ribbing or trash talk - sports can get heated.  I'm just not one to try to incite anger in people around me because some people get very emotional about sports.  Can you wear a shirt that says "Ann Arbor is a Whore" to The Big House?  Sure.  I'm sure that a few people might make you wish you hadn't by the time the game is over though.

Indiana Blue

October 31st, 2011 at 7:37 PM ^

what a great learning experience for your 12 year old.  Make sure he asks grandpa about why Ann Arbor is a whore.  Classless, arrogant fans at ND.  I've had a few ugly moments there over the years.

I did go to MSU this year, and to be honest my wife and I were treated very well.  One over-lubricated fan (adult) behind me went overboard when Denard went down ... but otherwise no thing bad.  This includes my pre-kickoff desperation trip to the bathroom ... in the MSU student section.  I was fully decked out in my M gear (the standard away #86 jersey, of course) and the students were fine ... one student got a little too "rude" but actually the rest of the students told him to shut up ... I was impressed.

Go Blue!


October 31st, 2011 at 11:59 AM ^

Thanks for posting!  It sounds like a great place to visit.  I've been to each of the B1G schools except Minnesota, Wisconsin, and now Nebraska.  Would you suggest putting Nebraska at the top of my list of places to visit, over Camp Randall?

(P.S.  Husker Nation is clearly not concerned about the environment, releasing all those balloons into the atmosphere.  Point-source pollution!)


October 31st, 2011 at 1:29 PM ^

I'd put Camp Randall first.  The Badgers really get into the game, although they all show up late, and it is a really good scene at the stadium.  The reputation for partying in Madison is well known and the people tend to be very nice (unless you are from Iowa). Game parking was easy....we park at the U of W hospital and take a bus to and from Camp Randall.

Madison itself is a decent and attractive city, and if food is your thing, there are dozens of good restaurants. The town and the U of Wisconsin itself are both situated on a lake. In some ways, Madison reminds me of Ann Arbor, but on a much larger scale. 


October 31st, 2011 at 3:44 PM ^

but as you say it is bigger, with lakes.  It is also without a nearby decaying metropolis and it is distinctly more left leaning.  I have not been to all the B1G campus towns (missing Happy Valley and now Lincoln), but Madison might be the nicest.  There are good reasons it always makes the list of the top places to live in the country.


October 31st, 2011 at 12:00 PM ^

My roommate is a PSU alum and went to a game at Lincoln back in the 90's and also said it was the best away game environment he had ever been to.  He apparently went out in Lincoln Fri night with a PSU hat on and the owner of the bar allowed him and his friends to drink for free all night since they drove out to watch the game, and he wanted to "thank them for coming".  That alone makes me want to buy tickets now for next year.

Inertia Policeman

October 31st, 2011 at 12:03 PM ^

I recently moved to Omaha, and I must admit the Husker fans, while completely obnoxious about their own team (most seem to think that they are easily the best team in the country and just get screwed by the refs), are actually generally pretty friendly and willing to talk about college football intelligently. I haven't been to a Husker game yet, as I'm trying to save that experience for when we play there next year, but I'm definately looking forward to it.


October 31st, 2011 at 12:03 PM ^

I've heard that from everyone who has ever attended a Neb game.  For example, I sat next to some Washington fans the last time they played at Michigan.  They were very impressed with their reception in Ann Arbor, but said that Lincoln was even more hospitable---gracious hosts, whehter they are running up the score, or losing, doesn't matter.  I think it also helps that we're a "new" home for them---the Nebraska fans I know are pretty excited about being in the Big Ten.

Bando Calrissian

October 31st, 2011 at 12:53 PM ^

The Nebraska fans were a blast in San Antonio in the days leading up to the Alamo Bowl in 2005.  Well, aside from their sheer tenacity in yelling "Goooooooo Biiiiig Reee-eeeeedddd!  GO BIG RED!" everywhere they went, every 30 seconds, 24 hours a day.  It was cool the first couple times, but not so much after that.  Especially whilst riding in an elevator.


October 31st, 2011 at 1:41 PM ^

"It must not be their average fan who goes to bowl games, because these guys are assholes".  They were drunken jerks at the bars before the games; they came over to the team hotel to gloat after the game. I ended up thinking "this is the classy Nebraska fan?".  \

Best Bowl game opposing fans I've been around was, surprisingly, Texas. (Washington State wasn't too bad...but...Washington State). Florida are probably the worst. (USC is bad, but they only care the day of the game, so they don't count as much).


October 31st, 2011 at 12:06 PM ^

I went out to watch a volleyball game there about 10 years ago, and I was utterly blown away. There were 16,000 out to watch an NCAA tournament game with the band in tow. It should be quite an experience for our women's volleyball team when they play there.

The Haymarket district is a great place to grad a beer and meal, and I suggest the NZone for fans of sports bars.


October 31st, 2011 at 12:21 PM ^

It's a reason I'm so looking forward to this rivalry.

Also, when Pelini gets it going, all that great atmosphere above will be the reason Ne starts pulling 3rd pickings in Ohio (behind Ohio and M).  Thank goodness for you that Dantonio recruits almost exclusively on a national stage.  Great post outlining your inevitable doom.


October 31st, 2011 at 12:25 PM ^

Sat in the Nebraska section in Norman in 2000 with an OU hat on. They were really good natured and cool. OU slapped them around that day too.  I was impressed with how positive and knowledgeable they were. 


October 31st, 2011 at 12:31 PM ^

The only other game in town is the USHL Junior A Lincoln Stars.  My son played there briefly and the rink atmosphere was awesome...almost as good as Yost.

When the visiting team was introduced, after each player's name was called most fans turned their backs to the ice and yelled, "Who cares?"  As I recall, there were some clever chants but the highlight came 5 minutes after the goalies fought.  The score got a bit lopsided so the visiting team decided they needed to "send a message".  After a couple of good fights, the goalies decided to skate out to center ice, drop the gloves and duke it out.  The visiting goalie suffered a minor cut and five minutes after they left for their respective dressing rooms, a page was issued over the stadium sound system.  "Would Dr. So-and-so please report to the visitor's locker room."

The place went absolutely nuts.  It was one of the loudest cheers I'd ever heard at a sporting event.

All in good fun...


October 31st, 2011 at 12:33 PM ^

As someone who has probably been to about 50 Nebraska football games, Rational's experience is very typical for a Husker football game. I have been at multiple games where the fans have given a standing ovation to the away team. (Usually a non-conference game where the away team gave Nebraska everything it could handle.) Overall, the fans act as advertised. Over the years I have seen very little taunting by Nebraska fans. Just like anywhere you will find a percentage of fans who think their team is the best in the world, a percentage that always think the sky is falling, a group of fans that are more rationaleand a small group that are asshats, but Nebraska is a great experience.
The balloons are released after the first Nebraska score and they have been doing that for as long as I remember. Only drawback to the games might be that every replay is shown on the big screens and they are always sponsored by local companies. Very commercial.


October 31st, 2011 at 12:37 PM ^

Big Ten needs a Hall of Fame. A trip all B1G fans, of all sports, should make kind of place. We got the best history across all sports of any conference. I'm thinking some place on State street. Just a thought.

Nice post, Sparty. For what it's worth, the MSU game was always more of a fun thing than "hate 'em and throw dog crap at 'em" kind of game (who brings dog crap to a game?). Too many of us knew too many of them, we're friends of too many of them, to cross that line. Not that it didn't get heated; but it was more of a "brother borrowed your car and didn't gas it up" kind of thing.