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Get To Know the Corn Nation Staff: Ranchbabe

Jill talks about her move into Husker nation and reminisces about Roy Helu galloping all over the Missouri Tigers. Good times.

The ranch crew at Smith Falls near Valentine
The ranch crew at Smith Falls near Valentine
Jill Heemstra

I thought this series was almost done (only Jon is left) but then realized I forgot to fill out my own questionnaire. So, here goes. Everything you ever wanted to know about the token female at CN. (Fortunately, the community member profiles include a few other fellow brave women that have managed to infiltrate the site). Follow me on Twitter at @jill_heemstra

How did you become a Husker fan?

I moved to Nebraska in 1996. Hubby (then, boyfriend) preceded me by two years and we both worked for the University of Nebraska. At that point in Husker history, I suspect not becoming a fan would have been a fire-able offense. Resistance was futile. We were assimilated.

Of course, we are still regarded somewhat suspiciously because we have not yet painted a big red "N" on the side of our house.

What is your favorite Husker-related memory?

I just missed the 94 and 95 seasons, and it would be easy to pick something from 97 (flea-kicker anyone?). However, I am going with a game that I witnessed in person. Nebraska v. Missouri 2010 was awesome. Watching Roy Helu streak down the field for a touchdown ON THE FIRST PLAY FROM SCRIMMAGE was sooooo satisfying. As he continued to pile up the yards, it was obvious we were watching something special.

That game may have been the high-water mark for Pelini as a coach. He thoroughly out-prepared and out-coached a top 10 team. That, and the win against K-State were the best games of the "Farewell Big 12" tour. Unfortunately, Martinez' ankle injury in that game meant he wasn't the same player for the rest of the season (and arguably 2011 either).

Update: I found my pictures from the game. (7:30 pm CDT 8/13/2015)

What is your most prized piece of Husker gear or memorabilia?

My paycheck (OK, the electronic deposit notice). I don't like to collect ‘stuff'. I might frame one or more of the pictures I have taken at the stadium and put them up somewhere in the house if I get around to it.

Do you have any "superstitions" or routines that you have to do on game day?  How or why did that particular routine/superstition evolve?

My superstitions tend to have great recency bias. If I wear a particular shirt and the Huskers lose, I won't wear that shirt again during a game for the rest of the season. For a while, I was convinced that the sooner I put on my Husker shirt on game day, the earlier the Huskers actually started to play well. That only lasted 2 or 3 games before I realized nothing I did mattered. At all.

Among your family and friends, who is the most die-hard Husker fan? What makes you say that?

Me. All the males in my house have tried to nicely let me know that yelling at the TV takes away from their enjoyment of the game, but I have not made much progress. Also, none of them have written poems about Husker football. That automatically makes me the biggest fan (or weirdest one).

What is something non-Husker related about you that people here at CornNation would be surprised or interested to know?

My day job involves talking about manure a lot. I even worked with an app developer to create two apps for managing manure and keeping records on farms.

What one thing about the Mike Riley regime has stuck out most to you so far?

I expected it to take more time for Riley and his staff to win over Husker fans. His nice-guy reputation made me confident he probably would, but it is happening much faster than I expected. Of course, that will only last until he starts losing games. Hopefully that is a long time coming.


ICYMI: Ranchbabe spearheaded the corny kickoff poetry series last season, starting with 'Twas the Night Before Kickoff'

She also created a couple of flow charts to help with football's pressing questions - including how to pick all-conference offensive linemen