Having been born (in 1969) and raised in western Nebraska, I grew up thinking that all people born in Nebraska had Cornhusker blood coursing through their veins because every single person I knew was a Nebraska fan. There were no exceptions. It was a way of life. There were no closet Wyoming Cowboys fans to be found. To be clear, I have been all in with Nebraska since so my story is not really all that exciting.
However, I have decided to write why my nine year old son is a Nebraska fan because I believe that would be a more interesting read. You see, he was born in Kansas a little over a month after Pelini replaced Callahan...that little guy was a light after a dark season.
Anyway, the first time I was going to help him go to sleep, I realized that I could not sing that crazy lullaby where the baby falls out of the cradle. I just couldn't do it. Instead, I changed the words to "Dear Old Nebraska U":
There is no baby like Kyler, no baby that we know. We'll love him and miss him. And hug him and kiss him. We'll take him wherever we go.
There is no baby like Kyler, no baby in this land. We'll love him forever, walking together. Holding each other's hand.
Go Big Red! Go Big Red! Go Big Red! Go Big Red! Go, Nebraska!
Believe it or not, I would repeat that song a couple of times while patting his back with each word, and he would fall right to sleep.
As he began talking, the first color he knew was red. However, that was not what he called it. In fact, at his four year check-up, he was asked by the nurse to identify the four colored squares. He said, "Blue, yellow, green, and Go Big Red!" He referred to red like that until he got to first grade.
Other than watching Nebraska play on TV whenever possible, his life as a Nebraska fan really took off at four years old after he attended his first fan day so that he could get Kyler Reed's autograph in 2012. After that, we went to the spring games in 2013 and 2014.
Finally, in 2015, he saw his first football game against Southern Miss where Tommy Armstrong and Jordan Westerkamp became his favorite players. Last year, he went to the Wyoming game and got to release balloons for the first time AND start a "Gooooooo Biiiiiiig Reeeeeed!" cheer. To this day, whenever we throw the football around, he is TA when he passes the ball and Westerkamp when he catches the ball.
In addition to the football games, he has had the chance to attend three Nebraska baseball games and one Nebraska basketball game. If someone asks him which of the games that he has been to is his favorite, his reply, "All of them!"
At 9 years old, he is all in. Some nights, he will ask for the "Go Big Red" lullaby at night which I proudly sing. Just to be clear, I now know that even kids born in Kansas have Cornhusker blood coursing through their veins. By the way, the color of that blood is "Go Big Red!"