Keith Mann, Nebraska's assistant athletic director for communications, is in charge of day-to-day media relations for the football team, among other duties. A 44-year-old married father of two daughters, Mann has worked full time at NU since 1995. It should be noted that he is a devout Pittsburgh Steelers fan.
Have you ever been star-struck by a media personality in town to cover a game?
"Not really. I mean, maybe when I was a student worker or intern a little bit, just seeing someone famous for the first time, whether it was Keith Jackson or Lynn Swann, obviously."
Yes, of course, Lynn Swann. How did you develop your affinity for the Pittsburgh Steelers?
"When I first started watching the NFL when I was a kid — I mean, I was probably only 7 — it was often the Steelers and Cowboys. My older brother liked the Steelers. That's a big part of it."
Name your three favorite Steelers of all time.
(Long pause followed by a groan). "Man, that's putting me on the spot. Let me get back to you on that ..."
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C'mon, you can name three, right?
"No. There are too many. With a franchise like that, there are too many to narrow it down to only three. I mean, six Super Bowls ..."
What made you want to get into your profession?
"I was probably like you were — worked on the high school newspaper, yearbook and those type of things. I planned to go into journalism when I came to school (at UNL) but didn't know exactly what I wanted to do. But I made a connection, and as early as my freshman year I worked as a student in our sports-information office. Don (Bryant) was kind of semi-retired then. But Chris Anderson and Tom Simons were there, and just right away I liked the team side more than the newspaper side. I just stayed with it."
Did Oregon-Nebraska generate a lot of media interest?
"We issued 440 media credentials. It will be the most this year. It will be a full press box — a (media) crowd that is well above average."
— Steven M. Sipple