The University of Nebraska Athletic Department is working on a new airship that will be patterned after everyone's favorite Husker mascot, Lil Red. The airship, codenamed "Lil RedAir", will be a blimp should be unveiled this August just before the start of the 2015 football season. The athletic department has yet to find a sponsor, although CN was assured that the dirigible has been funded entirely with private donation. If successfully launched, Nebraska will be the only university and athletic department in the nation with its own airship mascot.
The long term plan will include arrangements so that the blimp could be present at both home and away games. Imagine the thrill of being able to fly over Wisconsin's Camp Randall while Nebraska plays below. The hope is that "Lil RedAir" be used as a fundraiser as high-rolling Husker boosters might want to take a unique ride over Memorial Stadium or an opponent's stadium during game day. It might also be used as a recruiting tool.
Dr Barty Metzel, my therapist, hinted that there might be a more diabolical reasoning behind the new airship.
"Adults have one of two reactions to Lil Red. They either love him or they hate him, but there's typically no fear as adults understand that he's just a mechanical creation."
"Children, on the other hand, are either drawn to Lil' Red because of curiosity or absolutely terrified of him. Flying an airship patterned after Lil' Red over a stadium is sure to make an impression."
"To put it bluntly, children who are drawn to Lil' Red might be also drawn to the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers, thereby making recruiting an easier task in years to come. Children who are terrified might be so imprinted with the relationship between Lil' Red and football that they might never play football again, OR, they would subconsciously replay their terror when playing against Nebraska, making them a substantially weaker foe."