Akron vs. Nebraska, college football, 9.1.18

Fans capture the Tunnel Walk ahead of Nebraska's scheduled game against Akron last Saturday.

Shot Kleen got a handshake from Bill Moos and wiped his brow in mock relief.

Nebraska’s assistant athletic director for HuskerVision had just watched a new Tunnel Walk — the most anticipated Tunnel Walk in years — go off without a hitch.

Memorial Stadium was in full-throat with an electricity that hadn’t been felt in a long time and wouldn’t be felt again for at least 10 more minutes, when lightning began to flash around downtown Lincoln.

Eventually, it ended up perhaps being the most memorable part of a night that ended after a delay of nearly three hours before the game between Nebraska and Akron was canceled.

Like Scott Frost’s football program, the video blended Husker tradition with all the modern trimmings in an effort to get 90,000 fans even more revved up than they already were.

The video opened with Tom Osborne, his voice bringing those in full-throat to near silence.

“It started,” Osborne said, "when Coach Devaney created a spark that ignited a flame in the heart of Lincoln.”

Then it was Grant Wistrom on the big screen, saying “Coach Osborne turned that flame into an inferno,” which had the effect you might imagine.

Then the montage cut to Joel Makovicka, a native son.

“What helped fuel that fire? Innovation and hard work. Physical football. Wearing our opponents down, dominating the fourth quarter,” Makovicka said. “Husker Power.”

Current players Stanley Morgan and Jerald Foster took their turns in front of the camera, with Morgan saying, “the time to bring back that flame is now.”

And then the man. A low-angle shot of Frost, arms crossed, standing on the field in front of West Stadium.

“There is no place like Nebraska,” Frost said. “And at Nebraska, red burns brighter.”

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After the opening strains of “Sirius," a flash of white light. Then Frost leading the Huskers out of the locker room and down the revamped tunnel area to the field.

An informal Twitter poll showed fan reaction was split on the updated video.

“Turned 90K into spectators instead of participants. Regardless of song choice, I tend to dislike that,” said one Twitter user.

“Didn’t like the song change. Couldn’t clap or do anything but stand in silence watching. Sirius allows us to clap in unison (sort of),” said another.

Others were more impressed.

“Not sure what some are talking about. It wasn’t quiet. It was awesome. Best ever,” one post read.

So, much like the night as a whole, we'll call it a wash.

Wade, Union interact with fans: Husker superfan and Hollywood actress Gabrielle Union, and her NBA superstar husband Dwyane Wade, spent more than 30 minutes on the sideline of North Stadium near the tunnel opening interacting with fans and Husker officials.

Wade, sporting a custom-made Nebraska basketball jersey with his name and No. 3 on the back, took photos with anyone who asked, posing with group after group of fans. He was a good enough sport to allow Herbie Husker to put his giant foam hat on his head for a couple photos.

Union did the same, having her photo taken with several fans. The couple even posed with Moos for a shot, and Frost came over to greet the duo on his way to the locker room after pregame warmups.

Wade's son, Zaire, has a scholarship offer from the Husker basketball team and participated in Saturday's elite camp at the Hendricks Training Facility.

Photos from the day

Reach the writer at 402-473-7436 or cbasnett@journalstar.com. On Twitter @HuskerExtraCB.


Husker basketball reporter

A Ravenna native, Chris covers the University of Nebraska men's basketball team and assists with football coverage. He spent nearly 10 years covering sports at the Kearney Hub and nearly four years at the Springfield News-Leader in Springfield, Mo.

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