So we don't have helium, but we can still do a balloon tradition at Nebraska!

LINCOLN NE - OCTOBER 16: Balloon vendors hand out balloons specially printed for the Nebraska Cornhuskers football game against the Texas Longhorns at Memorial Stadium on October 16 2010 in Lincoln Nebraska. (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)

It was announced the other day that Nebraska's 70+ year tradition of releasing balloons after the teams first touchdown would be suspended due to a world-wide helium(He) shortage. I won't go into the fact that He is the second most abundant element in the known universe. If anyone can pull it off, Jim Delany can mine the sun for enough helium to launch a few balloons in Lincoln.

But it is what it is, and on this planet we call earth, it can be difficult to find Helium. So what about tradition. Don't we HAVE to keep the red balloon apart of Nebraska football? Well, I've come up with some cleaver ideas that just might work, even on such short notice!

So the first possibility is to use Hydrogen(H) instead. It's not that hard to get and is lighter than air. That will allow the balloons float just fine. We won't have to worry about the shortage anymore. I can't think of any possible issue that could go wrong with using Hydrogen. The BEST part of hydrogen is that if it does combust from an ignition source, it will react with oxygen in the air and form water! Yay. we could use more water due to the drought AND we get this cool POP.

Dangerous you say? Think about the children? I'm guessing the kids would think it's cool to explode a bunch of hydrogen balloons, especially if we could time them all to pop in mid air over the stadium. I do see your point, however. Safety first.

Well, what else could we do? We could just give everyone a red balloon or two and have them blow them up themselves. If everyone gets one balloon to blow up, we would have about 90,000 balloons that we could release after the first touchdown. Where would they go you ask? Well, they wouldn't be lighter than air, of course, so they would probably sink. I don't think that would cause a problem if they ended up on the field, though, would you? Maybe we could have everyone rub their head against their balloon to induce an electrical charge. We could create the worlds longest string of balloons! I don't think that would present a safety issue with 90,000 of them, would you?

Ok, so maybe that isn't the best way to do it either. Well, it has been hot and dry this summer, maybe we should fill the balloons with water and have a big water balloon fight after the first TD. The kids would love it, though some of the older crowd might get grumpy.

But the student section would probably love it.

What could possibly go wrong with water balloons?

Well shoot. I guess i can't think of any SAFE way to keep the balloon tradition alive. Wait, I just had an idea. When you watch the superbowl or a championship game, they always drop balloons down on the team when they get their trophy or win the game. Maybe we could give everyone a balloon in the stadium and wait until the end of the game. If the team wins, everyone blows their balloons up and proceeds to bounce them to the center of the field and shower the players with them. Yea this could create a huge clean up mess, but that's what the ROTC is for right? It would be pretty fun to see Osborne Field filled with red balloons after the game.

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