While there were thousands of Nebraska fans in Kansas City, Missouri, the night the Huskers won the national championship, there were even more watching closely elsewhere. At a sports bar in Omaha, most of the televisions were on the match, even though the Nebraska-Kansas men’s basketball game was on at the same time. And a few thousand fans who attended that basketball game stayed after it ended to watch the match on the big screen at Pinnacle Bank Arena or scattered into bars near the arena to watch the finish. Here are some stories from fans about the night Nebraska won the national championship:
A good reason to break the etiquette rules
My wife follows the rules in life, especially etiquette rules. So I was shocked that she spent the afternoon before the championship match learning how to stream on her phone. We would be at a wedding reception in Omaha while the Huskers played Florida. We are passionate fans. Still, I couldn’t believe she was actually planning to watch TV on her phone during the reception. She did, and so did I. Furthermore, there was at least one person at every table streaming the match with the rest of the table looking on. Only in Nebraska.
-- Jay Wolf, Albion
Team is source of pride for all ages
I got in my car to listen to the last part of John Baylor’s postmatch on the radio and went in to get a pop. There were three or four Omaha Skutt boys at the soda fountain and they had a friend on speaker phone. “Hey, you see the Husker volleyball team won?” “Yeah, we were watching at my house.” It was pretty benign, but it just struck me as kind of funny that a bunch of stereotypical high school boys were even talking about it.
-- Joel Schafer, Omaha
When Huskers won, bar near PBA went nuts
My wife, Anna, and I left the NU-Kansas basketball game at halftime to watch volleyball at Longwell’s, across from the arena. Kind of a big deal for me, since I am a KU grad. But we did not want to wait until the end of the basketball game to see it. We are talking about a national championship here, after all, and Anna is a big-time Husker volleyball nut. It looked like a lot of folks had the same idea because it went from elbow room to no room at Longwell’s in about 20 minutes' time. There were a few folks there to see the Chiefs game, but 90 percent of the crowd was there for volleyball. And when the Huskers won, the place went absolutely nuts. What a cool scene. What a great time. We made new friends. We shared high-fives. It was a crazy, good time, and it is just very cool to see a women’s team get that kind of support. That does not happen everywhere, unfortunately, but it happens here. Pretty darn cool.
-- John Mabry, Lincoln
— John Mabry (@jlmabry51) December 17, 2017
A celebration at Village Inn
We spent the night at "The Nutcracker" at the Lied Center watching the basketball game and the volleyball game in between performances. I sneaked a peek at my phone every time we applauded. It felt like “A Christmas Story” as we ended up watching the final set at Village Inn while listening to John Baylor on the radio. Village Inn had it on their TV with the volume turned down, so we were listening to John Baylor on my phone app. About six tables were watching and we all clapped and cheered at game point.
-- Robb Linafelter, Lincoln
Nephew got to play in band at a championship event
My husband Tom and I followed the Husker volleyball team all year, loving their spirit and fight. We watched the finals in Venice, Florida, and did lots of loud cheering. Victory was wonderful! Interestingly enough, we never heard a word about the Florida team or the game here in Florida on their news channels. The stories about John Cook, and the part on his thanking and doing a photo with the band were so gratifying to read. ESPN never once showed our band. We have a nephew who played tuba with the Big Red Express and he was in heaven with the experience. He commented that when he started band in sixth grade he never thought he would play at a national championship. John Cook sealed the deal. He is a class act.
-- JoAnne Farber, Neligh
A night one Husker fan will never forget
Shortly before first serve, I found a ticket outside the Sprint Center and made my way in. It was only the third time I’ve been able to watch Nebraska volleyball in person, all three this season. This team has meant so much. Essentially I started life over this summer, chasing a new career dream while moving closer to family and friends in Lincoln after 17 years of attending college and living in Iowa. While the move has gone well for the most part, there have been some more bumps in the road than I anticipated. This team was a spark of hope that good things do happen to good people when they work hard for it, that the breaks will come their way, hopefully the same is coming true in my life.
Being in the Sprint Center, yelling myself hoarse, seeing the throngs of Husker fans doing the same, the passion and excitement in the Sprint Center created by Husker Nation, a couple hours earlier in the pep rally at the Power and Light District, made for an incredible atmosphere. It was a team and a night this lifelong Husker fan will never forget.
-- Ryan Kronberg, Lincoln
Late night to listen to Huskers in Spain
As well as in Lincoln, I have a home in Castellar del Valles, Spain, near Barcelona, where I live four months out of the year. The radio is the only way I can be involved in Nebraska’s games. The problem is most of the time I have to start watching them at 2 or 3 in the morning, which I do because I love Nebraska sports! The match was supposed to start at 3 a.m. but was delayed. So it was a very late night. I always stayed up to listen to the games rather than have an alarm to wake up. I’m less groggy that way. I am a graduate of Nebraska and a die-hard fan, so it was important to me to figure out how I can get access from Spain. And live stats don't give you the feel of being there. So I turned to radio on Huskers.com.
-- Nancy Middendorf, Castellar del Valles, Spain