Husker fans noticed something strange happening to their Tweets Tuesday afternoon.
It's become a habit for Nebraska fans to add a #GBR hashtag to their tweets...an internet shorthand for Go Big Red. When you only have 140 characters, you have to be brief. Except all of a sudden, the #GBR now has the British Union Jack attached to it. Wait...didn't we win two wars against the British so that we were free of England, her Majesty and that flag?
Yep...but Twitter isn't recognizing that anymore. You see, GBR is also the official Olympic abbreviation for Great Britain, and with the Olympics underway in Rio, Twitter has given the hashtag over to the British.
(Wait...can I say that? I think I'm not supposed to use that trademarked "O" term or that "R" placename. I think our lawyers would prefer that I call it that "athletic competition in Reeeo"...)
There are a lot of abbreviations that have dual meanings in the world. U Northwestern claims to be "NU", while there are multiple UM's and IU/UI's in the Big Ten. So it's not a big deal that the abbreviations for "Go Big Red" and "Great Britain" conflict. (Except, of course, you are trying to calculate Twitter analytics for Nebraska athletics or Team Great Britain.)
Nebraska's not the only college football team in this predicament though. Georgia's #UGA is now associated with Uganda while Purdue is now Puerto Rico.
The good news is that the Olympics only last less than three weeks, so the foreign flags should be freed from college hashtags well before the season kicks off Labor Day weekend. But I'd like to propose a compromise to Twitter as a makeup for the inconvenience. It's simple really.
Let Great Britain have the #GBR hashtag for the next three weeks. But Labor Day weekend, Nebraska fans get it back...and with the Iron N attached to it. And for three weeks as well. Just like this:
It's a fair trade off.
But in the meantime, Husker fans will have to put up with snarkiness like this:
Nebraska fans can take heart that the team that stole their Go Big Red hashtag was also at one point historically dominant. #GBR— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) August 3, 2016