I’m guessing there’s probably more heated Nebraska football-related topics to discuss today than what color fans should wear to Memorial Stadium.
But, boy, was it a polarizing discussion before Saturday’s game.
Blackout? No blackout?
We’d known for months that Nebraska would be wearing alternative black jerseys, courtesy Adidas, for the UCLA game. And last week, a social media/grassroots campaign developed for fans to follow suit.
Credit NU junior receiver Kenny Bell for starting the movement on Twitter, when he asked fans to show support by wearing black.
The Nebraska athletic department, however, never made an official push for a blackout, probably figuring what I figured: No way would Nebraska’s more, ahem, established fans go for such a crazy thing as filling a stadium with black.
That said, I was surprised to see Memorial Stadium at least half black on Saturday, including a solid black portion from the student section.
Because the attempted blackout picked up steam via social media, I asked my Twitter followers for their thoughts on wearing black (which, yes, I realize is not an official school color for Nebraska.)
Some of the feedback in 140 characters or less:
@HuskerExtraBR This goes beyond tradition. The guys we cheer for are asking us to do this, as fans we should be happy to oblige.— Logie Bear (@LogieBera) September 13, 2013
@HuskerExtraBR No! It would be like the Cincinnati Reds coming out in purple. The color red is synonymous with the University of Nebraska!— MD Messerly (@MDMesserly) September 13, 2013
@HuskerExtraBR The blackout never works. All red is much better then 50/50.If they could get > 80% black I'd be N.They won't w/o free shirts— Jason Burcham (@jbIGRED949597) September 14, 2013
One fan said black has been his game-day attire since 2006. Another said he’d wear pink, if it meant a Nebraska victory.
UCLA coaches and administration were deeply moved by Nebraska’s gestures to remember Bruins’ walk-on receiver Nick Pasquale, who died after he was struck by a car last weekend.
Nebraska students released 200 blue and gold balloons during a moment of silence before the game to remember Pasquale, and NU players wore a black “36” decal on their helmets.
“I thought it was an incredible gesture they made here,” UCLA coach Jim Mora said. “And I think it kind of shows the class here at Nebraska.”
* In case you didn’t hear, No. 39 for UCLA changed his jersey from No. 11. Just so you know.
* Never doubt Nebraska’s end-zone fans when it comes to calling a field goal. Never.
* Basketball practice starts Sept. 27.