With Nebraska's @Huskers Twitter account passing the 100,000 follower mark yesterday, the athletic department announced a contest to reward Husker fans who use their approved hashtags as part of the #Huskers100kGiveaway. 100 T-shirts will be given away that feature this motto, borrowed from the signs over each gate at Memorial Stadium.
"Through these hashtags tweet the Greatest Fans in College Football."
Those signs rub many people the wrong way. It's one thing for Bobby Bowden, Lee Corso, or Keith Jackson to say that. Those are outsiders making that statement. If they want to compliment us by saying that, we should accept that graciously. And humbly.
It's another thing to claim it for yourself, as Nebraska does, by posting it above every gate. It's braggadocio.
It's unnecessary, if Huskers truly are what others say they are.
And it's a hammer for others to hit us with when a Husker fan does something they probably shouldn't have done. Three years ago, Pat Forde used our own hubris against us:
For decades, the Nebraska Cornhuskers have been the self-proclaimed kings of institutional class in college football.
Their fans lead the free world in civility and decorum toward opponents -- just ask them. To hear the Big Red faithful tell it, Gandhi could have learned a few things about dignity on a football Saturday in Lincoln.
Like most everything else that was installed during the Steve Pederson error (West Coast Offense, closing off the program), these signs should have been taken down years ago. Now, we're extending them onto T-shirts.
If Nebraska fans are truly salt-of-the-earth, ordinary folks who act the way college football fans should ask, why the heck do we need signs and T-shirts to pat ourselves on the back?