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Cindy Lange-Kubick: An 89-year-old standing for Nebrasketball the WHOLE FREAKING GAME

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The Landing was on quarantine -- a flu outbreak -- and Dick Knudsen wasn’t sure he was going to make it to Pinnacle Bank Arena.

The 89-year-old retired Lincoln attorney was not at all happy.

“Dad said, ‘I am not missing that game,’” Dave Knudsen said. “Don’t you get rid of that ticket!”

Dad was there Sunday.

The longtime -- and long-suffering -- season ticket holder watched the Huskers take down No. 9 Wisconsin from Section 115, right across from the Big Red bench. He watched them earn a bye through the first round of the Big Ten tournament, and likely secure a spot in March Madness -- on his feet every second.

Not a problem.

“There must have been a lot of 89-year-old guys there standing,” Dick said Monday.

Maybe. But, he seems to have been the only one whose photo was taken, posted on Twitter and retweeted across cyberspace dozens of times in the next 24 hours.

Dick’s grandson -- a 2012 UNL graduate who follows basketball on social media -- found the photo shortly after the game ended and sent it to his dad.

“Papa’s a celebrity on Twitter,” Matt wrote.

Dave is pretty sure his dad isn’t familiar with Twitter, but he sent him the tweet in an email.

Dick had yet to open it Monday afternoon.

But he was happy to talk about basketball -- and the game deemed "No-Sit Sunday" by the athletic department.

“I’ve been to a lot of games, but nothing to compare with last night,” said the 1950 NU Law School graduate.

“I’ve never seen a Nebraska basketball game like that.”

Dick and his son share season tickets. They’ve had a pair together for at least the past 20 years.

And Dick has followed the Huskers on the hardwood since his undergraduate days.

Moe Iba teams. Joe Cipriano teams. Danny Nee teams. Doc Sadler teams.

“And the one from Indiana … ”

Barry Collier?

Yes, Barry Collier.

Dick enjoyed those games, those teams, even when the Huskers weren't winning.

“I like basketball and I’m a Nebraska fan and in the wintertime it’s a good activity outside the home.”

And this year’s “activity outside the home” has been beyond good.

The father and son upgraded their seats when they went from the Devaney to "The Vault." And Dick has been in quiet awe watching Tim Miles and his team create a magical season.

He’s especially pleased with the way Benny Parker has come along, he said.

“And I’m glad we have more than one star -- we have three or four guys that can get in there.”

He’s ready to go the next step with Coach Miles.

“I have hopes. It’s a different team, a different attitude, not just hoping we don’t get embarrassed.”

And, although his grandson said he was a little worried, being on his feet in the madness that was Pinnacle Bank Arena Sunday night didn’t bother Dick one bit.

He golfs when the weather is good.

And when it's not: “I work out pretty regularly on the treadmill.”

He was surprised to hear about the photo, because he hadn’t seen anyone take his picture. But he figured it must have been the season-ticket holder who sits beside him, and turned to him after the game to ask his age.

That guy turned out to be someone named Jon Callahan, who snapped a photo on his phone and wrote: “this 89 year old man STOOD THE WHOLE FREAKING GAME w my daughter and I.”

No big deal, said Dick, who planned to get over to his computer and check out the tweet eventually.

“Was I smiling?” he asked from his room at The Landing. “Did I look happy?”

Because if he didn’t, he was.

​Reach Cindy Lange-Kubick at 402-473-7218 or


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Cindy Lange-Kubick has loved writing columns about life in her hometown since 1994. She had hoped to become a people person by now, nonetheless she would love to hear your tales of fascinating neighbors and interesting places.

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