10.04.2007

I Couldn't Have Said it Better....

My ma sent me this letter in an email this morning. After so many years of telling people I'm from Nebraska and them saying, "I drove through there once, it was terrible..." Finally somebody understands the beauty I see in that perfectly flat landscape, the sweet smell of the air, haystacks and, yes, even livestock. Our enthusiasm for football is no secret though and I am glad this USC fan was shown such a great time. The descriptions of the people and places have made me a bit homesick for Autumn and football in my hometown.



How--and why--I became a Big Red fan (from an USC guy)
------------------------------------------------------------------------

I arrived in Omaha in the dark Friday. An early fall chill was accompanied by the sweet smell of crops in the air which was exciting just because it was so different than Los Angeles.

When I woke up Saturday morning I was bummed because I wanted one of those crystal-clear, bright blue never-ending sky days on the plains I had read about or seen on TV. Alas. We had breakfast at the Denny's off of exit 84 between Omaha and Lincoln. Then the beauty began. The countryside was just so beautiful. The rows and rows of tassled corn, the old barns off in the distance, passing over various creeks and rivers--I got goosebumps. Our hotel was waaaaaaay out of the way: America's Best Value Inn out at NW 12 st and Adams. We walked all the way into town--it was the best. Breezes rustling in trees, that sweet smell of the earth...

So we make it to the parking lot of the baseball stadium at the Haymarket when some Huskers fans collar us and invite us in to their tailgate. Soon we're helping them with the keg-emptying process and having great conversatiion. Turns out, we all had lots in common, starting with a shared love for the game of college football (and sports in general). Mike, Ross, Chad and the gang were awesome! So then, they insisted on taking us to "Rock the Dock" (something like that). Anyway, it's the place right outside Embassy Suites--what a great place. Cool live music, and the biggest six dollar beer I've ever had in my life. We were swallowed in a Sea of Redbut everyone was very cool--just wanted to have fun.

We left there and headed up O Street to The Watering Hole. A great place! Great pub grub and people bought us beer, including our new friends. So we chat about all sorts of interesting stuff with cool people in there. I got to know our new friends more. Farm life in Lawrence, NE. Wow! It truly is so different from life in suburban Los Angeles. But I couldn't admire it more. I think people forget just how tough--yet necessary--agriculture is to the existence of us all. I could see in the eyes of these young guys a genuine honesty that was very refreshing. We talked about the gamble that is farming. Yet I knew they wouldn't trade it for the world. The lifestyle, the people, the land. Which makes rooting for Big Red a very noble thing. Go Big Red is go big sky, go big land, go necessary rain, go sweet smelling earth, go John Deere, go flooded summer creeks, go people that have been there my whole life and always will be, go pork bellies, go old fashioned sensibilities, go things not changing too much, go quiet Sundays when you get to relax, go the feeling you worked hard outside all day and you fall into bed dead tired but wouldn't change it for the world, go being away from all the rush, go Runzas, go Saturdays out at the lake...

Our new friends made sure we got over to gate 2 on time. Everyone was really amped up by this time and there is much hooting and hollaring (as there should be). So, I ask "Where are y'all sitting?" They all replied matter-of-factly: "Oh, we don't have tickets. we just wanted to make sure you guys got here on time." Damn! Now that's what it's all about.

The stadium was, of course electric. My favorite memory of the game (yeah, I loved the score, but what I'll always remember) is at the end of half-time I was walking back up the ramp to my seat. I was able to look out past the campus, past the black line of trees to a sun that peeked through, bleeding Red into the land because it--like me--was tied to the land and the people that make it so great.

Gooooooo Biiiiiiiig Reeeeeeeeed! GO BIG RED! Fight On. Beat the hell out of everyone and know that y'all made a Husker out of me this weekend.


 

2 comments:

joanne said...

What a great story. Thanks BARB for sharing a bit of the Heartland.

Mom said...

Aw, you're such a sweetie. Sometimes I forget all those good things he mentioned. It touched me a lot, too.

Thanks, Joanne . . . and belated thanks for making Joe's blog book. That was the greatest thing for you to do.