I’m anti-wave.

It was cool to do in the 1980s, especially prior to the 1984 Bruce Springsteen concert at the Bob Devaney Sports Center. Now that was something to see.

But last week, during the second quarter of the Nebraska-Idaho State game, the wave became significant again.

So much so, my friends and co-workers who attended the game talked about it the following Monday.

This time the wave was multifaceted, and, apparently we have the Husker Marching Band to thank for it.

It started out the same as usual, but then slowed down -- waaaaaaay down. Then it sped up and swept around the stadium at hyper-speed. Then there were two of them going in opposite directions.

It was fun, novel and, most of all, surprising.

Last year, after all, I wrote a column about needing to have more fun at Husker home games beyond rooting for the Big Red football team to crush its opponent.

Watching the Wisconsin fans at Camp Randall on television “Jump Around” and karaoke “Build Me Up Buttercup” and “Sweet Caroline” left me wanting more from my Husker home-game experiences.

Many readers agreed with me, flooding my email with suggestions and posting comments online. The athletic department even invited me over to talk about it.

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But nothing really came of it. The remaining home games featured more of the same tired music and cheers. Can we retire “Husker Power” already?

But so far this season, I’ve seen and heard changes. Marc Boehm, assistant associate athletic director, told me they’ve tweaked the game experience, from updating the songlist to trying to get the students more involved.

On Saturday, with Wisconsin coming to town to open Big Ten play, the athletic department will hand out red-and-black “growl” towels to complement the special red-and-black uniforms the players will wear.

It should provide a stark contrast to the Wisconsin fans, who have been urged to “white out” their portions of the stadium.

“You’ll see more (changes) during Big Ten play,” Boehm said. “Everything will be elevated. We’re trying to mix it up a little bit. It should be festive.”

The students, too, are trying.

“At all the university athletic events,” said Tyler Gruttemeyer, a senior education major and president of The Iron N, a student group promoting attendance and participation at Husker games. “We’re hoping to enhance the experience.”

Formerly known as Take Back Gameday, The Iron N uses social media and word of mouth to get students involved. The group patterns itself after other student groups in the Big Ten, such as Ohio State’s Block O and Iowa’s Hawk’s Nest.

The Iron N currently is working on a name for the student section in South Stadium. “Children of the Corn” is my favorite under consideration. The group also has worked with the Marching Band to get a “Jump”-like song going between the third and fourth quarters, singing rapper DJ Kool’s “Let Me Clear My Throat.”

They may, however, want to consider another, less obscure song that would appeal to a variety of ages the way “Jump” does in Wisconsin. When the whole stadium is involved, as it was with last week’s freaky wave, the experience becomes more enjoyable.

Reach Jeff Korbelik at 402-473-7213 or jkorbelik@journalstar.com, or follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/LJSjeffkorbelik.


Features editor

Jeff Korbelik is the features editor and covers dining, performing arts, TV and local media. Follow him at @LJSjeffkorbelik.

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