Saturday’s drenching, stifling humidity was actually good for something.
Curly Crossley’s hair.
The aptly nicknamed 23-year-old Husker fan from Lincoln already has naturally curly hair. With the help of a late Nebraska summer and a pick, Crossley had no problem sporting a poofy look that closely resembled Husker wide receiver Kenny Bell.
Bell, one of Nebraska’s top receivers and big-play threats on kickoff returns, has been a fan favorite, if not for his play, his hair. Perhaps you’ve seen the “Fear the Fro” T-shirts, or people wearing Afro wigs.
Crossley, whose first name is Matt, needs no wig. He might not have a true Afro, but it’s darned close.
“I am white, though,” Crossley said, “so I have that going against me.”
It’s impressive enough that Crossley always is asked if his hair is real.
“That,” he said, “and, ‘Can I touch it?’ are probably the two most popular questions.”
Friends have been calling him Curly since junior high.
“I picked it out, starting at the end of eighth grade, all the way through high school, and then college I stopped,” Crossley said of fluffing up his 'do. “Every now and again, I’ll pick it out for events, like Halloween.”
Or when cheering for a popular player who’s known for his big hair.
Crossley complemented his look Saturday with a makeshift No. 80 red jersey, in which he used some white duct tape to change the numbers on a No. 30 jersey he’d had for years.
The downside to all that hair?
“It is definitely hotter. As you can see, I’m dripping in sweat,” Crossley said. “This humidity is killing me.”
But not his hair.
For the first time since the Nebraska football team’s 2002 season opener, the Cornhusker Marching Band didn’t wear its full band uniforms for a Husker football game.
Would you want to wear full band gear in Saturday’s weather?
Their red-collared, short-sleeved shirts and black pants looked just fine, and without a doubt were more comfortable.
“Next step is shorts,” one tuba player said. “Maybe next year.”
It was a perfect audible by the band’s directors, who decided Saturday morning it was simply too hot to go in full uniform.
“We had at least one student go to the hospital last week for heat-related issues,” said Doug Bush, assistant director of bands.
The band didn’t wear uniforms in the 2002 opener because they simply weren’t ready in time for an Aug. 24 game.
* If you’re looking for tickets to a Nebraska home game, just roam around the stadium or downtown Lincoln before kickoff. Plenty have been available on the cheap.
* Thank God for cloud cover (well, until kickoff, anyway).
* “Tommy on the option” just sounds so … right.