The reason most of us are Husker fans is because we were born into Husker families. I am not an exception.
Today, August 1st, 2021 would have been my father Carl's 100th birthday. He is pictured above with my mother Margaret.
In 1964 Dad purchased six season tickets when the south end zone was built. I was 13 at that time. 57 years later we still sit in those seats along with some of the people that also bought those inaugural season seats. I haven’t lived in the State of Nebraska since I graduated from Kearney State in 1973 but I have been to at least one game every season since my first game in 1963 (the loss against Air Force). I will be sitting in Section 17, Row 37 in the 2021 season and will release a balloon in Dad's memory after the first Husker score.
During the 60’s when we would listen to Lyell and the other announcers on the radio it always amazed me how Dad knew the number of every player. If Lyell would say “Tackle by Big #64” Dad would immediately say “Way to go Bob Brown!” He knew the X’s and O’s of football and was an athlete in his own right in his youth. He played football and some semi-pro baseball until a knee injury ended his playing career. He loved Husker football and always had “suggestions” on what the team needed to do to improve. I had daydreams about Bob Devaney asking Dad to give the team a pep talk at half time of a tight game to get them over the top to a classic victory.
We did not have a lot of money growing up and there were many years when those six season tickets counted toward the family vacation. We didn’t mind one bit and felt fortunate to be among the chosen few that were lucky enough to have season tickets. We would get up at 5 AM, drive to Lincoln for the standard at that time 1 PM kickoff and get a parking space at the gas station where the Champion's Club is now located. After the game we would eat the sandwiches Mom prepared and drive home that night to avoid the expense of a hotel room.
Dad and Mom went to just about every home game between 1964 and 1983. I also had the honor of picking a classmate at Ainsworth High School to attend one game a year with me. When I went back to my high school reunion decades later I had many people say to me "Your Dad took me to my first Husker game."
A few years ago the members of the HuskerMax bulletin board got together and purchased a tree to be placed outside of the south end zone in Memorial Stadium in memory of Carl and Margaret. I greatly appreciate this gesture and it has become tradition to get our picture taken in front of that tree every year.
In August 1984 Dad developed a severe diabetic neuropathy that left him paralyzed from the waist down. The last home game of 1983 turned out to be the last game he attended. He passed away at Madonna Rehab Center in Lincoln on Dec. 3, 1990 from complications of age onset diabetes. I still miss him.
For the 1994 National Championship game I took Mom to the game. We were able to get three tickets. I left the third ticket empty for Dad.